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Ingredient-conscious · August 5, 2015

Natural vs. Organic: Is There Really a Difference?

What's in a Label?

The difference between a label of "natural" versus "organic" comes down to regulation. Certified organic is a claim thats heavily regulated by the USDA. To qualify, a products ingredients must contain absolutely no toxic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizersand, in the case of animal products, no antibiotics or growth hormones.

On the somewhat startling flip side, there is virtually no regulation around labels of natural or all-natural." In the most nefarious instances, products may simply contain plant-derived ingredients that are highly processed and potentially even harmful. Yikes.

But the natural claim can be genuine. Botanicals like aloe, chamomile, shea butter, beeswax, and essential oils are all examples of natural ingredients with a ton of benefits for hair and skineven when not technically organic. A product could also include a few truly organic ingredients, which would be denoted in the ingredients list, without being marketed as such.

So When Is Organic Worth the Splurge?

The most important place to pay the price for organic, if you so choose, is the grocery store. But when it comes to grooming, start with skincare. Your epidermis is, after all, your bodys largest organ (and absorbent to boot). Strands of hair, on the other hand, consist of dead cells, which can withstand a little more abuse. Still, your scalp is very much alive and more susceptible to damageso go wholesome whenever you can.

Rule of thumb: Don't be fooled by branding, and always check the ingredients label. Its the one part of the packaging that doesnt lie (at least not without breaking the law).

If you want to exercise more awareness about your grooming purchases, check out our Ingredient Conscious shop, featuring products that are free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, and GMOs.


Kate Canary