Natural. Cruelty free. Chemical free. Toxin free. Green beauty. Clean beauty. In an industry that raises more questions than it answers – even the savviest shopper struggles to find the truth.
Shades of gray
Natural beauty brands and stores generally agree on a “dirty list”. But because there is no legal definition for 'natural' in beauty products – differing opinions are plentiful.
Cruelty free makeup can still contain toxic ingredients (and animal derived ingredients such as lanolin, beeswax, collagen, silk or carmine).
And, natural products can still contain ingredients not found in nature.
My intent is not to shame, blame or judge. I don’t believe in a one-size fits all approach to anything. But, I do believe in complete transparency – only then can you make the best decision for your and your family.
It starts with knowing what you are buying. Each and every product we offer has a complete ingredient list attached.
Read on to learn what some of the most common terms really mean.
1. Natural ingredients
For us this means pure, natural ingredients. Ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible. Face oils (made with plant oils like pomegranate seed oil, Shea butter and avocado oil) often fit this bill. Face oils are often water free and do not need preservatives. Please note they sometimes contain naturally derived and synthetic ingredients.
Tip: Plant ingredients are easy to spot. A truly natural ingredient will be listed on the label by its botanical name, its common name or both. For example, take a look at the ingredient list from our best selling Mokosh Certified Organic light face cream:Ingredients: Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter⁺, Camellia oleifera seed oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) oil, Adansonia digitata (Baobab) oil, Macadamia ternifolia oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil, Borago officinalis (Borage) seed oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Sambucus nigra (Elderberry) seed oil, Salvia hispanica (Chia) seed oil, Vanilla planifolia fruit oil, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) and Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf extract.
2. Naturally-derived Ingredients
‘Naturally derived’ is another phrase you will see on some product labels. This simply means a natural ingredient is chemically or physically altered in a lab to isolate a specific component.
Naturally derived ingredients can play an important role in improving the effectiveness of your products. Although they are generally safe and effective – they no longer resemble the original plant. On labels they will include words like “from coconut/sugar/vegetable derived’. While most companies call them natural – we think clean is probably more accurate.
For example, caprylic/capric triglyceride naturally occurs in coconut and palm kernel oil. It is created by splitting oils and isolating the specific fatty acid and recombined with glycerin to form pure caprylic/capric triglyceride. It is an oily liquid used to create a barrier on the skin’s surface. It is sometimes used in makeup, skincare and deodorants to decrease moisture loss and make them easy to apply.
3. Nature identical
‘Nature identical’ ingredients are synthetic ingredients made to mimic a natural ingredient. Ingredients might occur in nature but may be unethical or unsustainable to extract.
For example, mica is a mineral widely used in makeup to give products a beautiful sheen. While it is a naturally occurring mineral – human rights issues involving child labor can make it difficult to source ethically. Obviously, using child labor for ingredients in our makeup is not something we support – and we accept brands substituting synthetic mica when necessary. Synthetic mica is believed safe and biodegradable.
4. Clean Beauty
Clean beauty brands embrace both natural and man-made ingredients. The focus is on safety over source. Not all “natural” ingredients are safe and not all synthetic ingredients are bad.
In clean beauty each ingredient is carefully evaluated for safety, efficacy and its broader impact. No ingredients linked to harmful health effects (e.g. hormone disruption, cancer or skin irritation) are permitted.
In truth, all ingredients, even natural ones, require some degree of processing. This is what makes them usable, more effective and removes harmful contaminants. For this reason, we believe Clean Beauty is the most accurate description of most natural beauty products.
Did you know? Vitamin C is one of the most well known beneficial active ingredients in skincare. It is also most likely synthetic. While chopping up vitamin C-rich fruit and vegetables may be possible for DIY recipes it is highly unstable. For this reasons, vitamin C is usually synthetic, even in natural skincare products.
How to natural are you?
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide how natural you want your products.
Some people are purists and prefer products that are 100% natural or contain naturally derived ingredients.
Others are comfortable using clean beauty products as long as they are safe.
All Natural Collection curates gorgeously clean and natural brands.
Some of our brands are super-dedicated to natural and only use 100% natural ingredients. Other brands make a conscious choice to use naturally derived or safe synthetics and/or preservatives to improve the efficacy and/or safety of their products.
We believe each and every product in our collection is safe and effective.
Explore our best sellers.