FEATURE: Natural Alternatives in Skincare

How to Identify Natural & Organic Products

If you prefer natural alternatives to traditional beauty & skincare products, here is an easy guide to follow that will better help you make an educated decision about the products that best meets your needs.   Categorized by type – natural, organic, vegan, paraben-free or cruelty-free.

100% Natural

Some beauty products may claim they’re natural, but without regulation it’s hard to know what you’re actually getting.  100% natural products ONLY use ingredients from natural sources, like plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables. Just look for the seal and you can be confident that these products do not contain any synthetic chemicals, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, petrochemicals, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), fragrances or dyes.

Certified Organic

If you want to take your natural products to the next level, then choosing organic is your best bet. Not only do these products contain 100% natural ingredients, but they also are certified by a regulatory agency to contain ingredients that are grown organically, which means without synthetic fertilizers and conventional pesticides. Three of the most popular certifications are listed below. They guarantee your products contain at least 70% or 95% organic ingredients.
Look for the seals when shopping:

70% Made with Certified Organic Ingredients:  A USDA-accredited certifying agent grants this seal to products with at least 70% organic ingredients. May contain some synthetic ingredients.

95% USDA Organic: The U.S. Department of Agriculture seal indicates a product contains at least 95% organic ingredients.

95% U.K. Soil Association:  The U.K. Soil Association Seal certifies products contain at least 95% organic ingredients.


By choosing vegan, you can be confident that there are no animal-derived ingredients in your beauty products. The Vegan seal ensures these products contain no animal or insect by-products, such as lanolin, shellac, honey, beeswax, musk and squalene. However, these products may contain some synthetic chemicals.


If your skin is sensitive to preservatives like parabens, then you may want to choose products with paraben-free formulas. These products do not contain any parabens, including methyparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, benzylparaben and their sodium salts. Look for the seal to easily identify these products. 

Certified Cruelty-Free

When it comes to cruelty-free products, the beauty industry has definitely come a long way. However, just because a brand says they don’t test their products on animals, doesn’t necessarily mean their ingredients haven’t been tested on animals somewhere along the way.  An easy way to determine if a product is really Cruelty-Free, look beyond the label that may just say “not tested on animals,” and check for if it has been certified by Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Leaping Bunny:

Leaping Bunny cruelty-free certification requires no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.


PETA cruelty-free certification requires companies do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future.


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