CONVENTIONAL, NATURAL OR ORGANIC COSMETICS?

conventional, natural or organic skincare

CONVENTIONAL, NATURAL OR ORGANIC COSMETICS?

I am a skin nerd because I love to research all aspects of skincare. So also the part of the difference between conventional, natural and organic cosmetics. I want the know The Why and The What. And How To Choose from this abundance of cosmetics.

In this article

  • What are cosmetics?
  • What are conventional cosmetics?
  • What are natural cosmetics?
  • What are organic cosmetics?
  • Conventional, natural or organic, what to choose?

WHAT ARE COSMETICS?
For this one, I would like to point out the legal definition.

Cosmetics:
”All substances and preparations intended to be brought into contact with the various parts of the human body surface (epidermis, body hair, hair, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth, molars and the oral mucosa of the mouth, for the sole or principal purpose of cleaning them, perfuming them, modifying their appearance or correcting body odours or protecting or keeping the aforementioned parts of the body in good condition.” (Article 1)

In other words, cosmetics are personal care products. Many people immediately think of make-up and perfume. However, cosmetics are not just luxury items. Daily care products like toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo and deodorant are also cosmetics.

WHAT ARE CONVENTIONAL COSMETICS?
The ingredients found in conventional cosmetics are mostly synthetic and semi-synthetic.
Mostly belonging to two groups:
1. Petroleum byproducts: like Petrolatum, mineral oil, liquid paraffin.
2. Preservatives and foaming agents: like the paraben family.

WHAT ARE NATURAL COSMETICS?
Natural cosmetics contain natural ingredients of plant, mineral or animal origin. The ingredients are obtained solely through physical, microbiological and enzymatic methods (except for some perfuming ingredients and preservatives).

WHAT ARE ORGANIC COSMETICS?
Organic goes a step further than natural. Organic means that preparation in all phases has to be entirely natural. From growing plants to the production of cosmetic ingredients. So no use of synthetic compounds, e.g. pesticides and artificial fertilisers in the process of plant cultivation, or ionising radiation.

 
 

CONVENTIONAL, NATURAL OR ORGANIC, WHAT TO CHOOSE?
I will tell you about the characteristics of synthetic and natural ingredients. So you can decide what is most important to you.

1. Long tradition of the use of plants
Plants and plant extracts have been used for treatment in traditional medicine since prehistory. These ingredients are also added to cosmetic products.

2. There is no scientific prove natural ingredients are better for your skin
Plants and plant extracts have been used for treatment in traditional medicine since prehistory. These ingredients are also added to cosmetic products.

3. The quality of botanical ingredients often vary
The quality often varies and depends on the plant variety, time of harvest, ripeness, climate conditions and the soil where the plant grows.

4. Plant extracts have complex structures that can not be compared to synthetic imitations
Complex plant structures are almost impossible to replicate artificially. This means the effects of synthetic versions are different or less strong.

5. The shelf-life of conventional cosmetics is most of the time longer compared to natural cosmetics
Plant extracts have complex structures that can not be compared to synthetic imitations. Complex plant structures are almost impossible to replicate artificially. This means the effects of synthetic versions are different or less strong.

6. Natural ingredients & skincare are not cheap

7. The presence of parabens in cream could theoretically accelerate sun-induced skin ageing.

8. Parabens can penetrate the skin to some extent when used in cosmetics. Unfortunately, despite long-term use, there is still relatively little research on possible negative effects.