The Difference between Natural and Organic Beauty

As a consumer, the choices you make can have a huge impact on the world around you. Whether you’re already using eco-friendly beauty products, or you’re considering making the switch from your usual brand, there’s never been a better time to buy organic and natural. Not only is this week Organic Beauty and Wellbeing Week, it’s also Organic September.

Organised by the Soil Association, both these events are intended to raise awareness of the benefits of shopping organic. The Soil Association also recently conducted research that showed the market for organic beauty products grew a massive 23% last year! Here are some of the reasons why:

Pesticide and GMO-free:

Organic beauty products are never manufactured using herbicides, artificial fertilisers, genetically modified organisms or pesticides. So you can rest easy you won’t be putting anything treated with that type of chemical on your skin.

They also don’t contain synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances in their formulations. Great news if you have sensitive skin, or want to avoid known nasties like parabens and polyethylene glycol – those tiny plastic beads in exfoliants, which can harm marine life and aggravate our skin.

Sustainability and no animal testing:

Choosing organic beauty products will also give you the confidence that the ingredients are sustainably sourced. This means no harm to the environment they were produced in and that the people involved in their growing, harvest and preparation were treated fairly.

Very importantly, organic beauty products and their ingredients are never tested on animals and many are vegan friendly too.

Plastic free packaging:

Organic beauty manufacturers take plastic free, sustainable packaging extremely seriously. The brands we stock have a variety of approaches. You’ll find refillable containers (some of our favourites being Kjaer Weis and ZAO Makeup!) which you can re-use, or packaging made using recycled plastic, rather than new, so-called ‘virgin’ plastic.

If you’re keen to avoid plastic all together, many brands now use paper or glass packaging, which can be recycled (or reused by you, some of the pots are ultra handy for jewellery or hair accessory storage). We have a dedicated plastic-free category on our site, to make browsing easier.

Is ‘natural’ the same as ‘organic’?

At Glow we stock organic AND natural brands. In fact, some are both! It can be confusing, so here’s an explanation of what we believe ’natural’ is.

Buying a ‘natural’ beauty product means the ingredients it contains originated from plants, flowers and minerals found in nature. Natural products generally don’t contain genetically modified ingredients, parabens, sulphates or petrochemicals.

Like organic beauty products, natural products are also never tested on animals.

Some natural products may contain ingredients that have been treated by pesticides or herbicides, but the natural brands we stock use high quality natural ingredients, which are totally non GMO.

A word of warning:

It’s worth noting that legally there is little regulation in the UK on what beauty products should contain to label themselves as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. For example, products can call themselves ‘natural’ if they contain just 1% of natural ingredients – pretty unbelievable, right?

If in doubt how ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ your beauty product is, always check the ingredients label. You’ll usually find plant-based botanicals at the top and anything synthetic nearer the bottom. We have a list of ingredients best avoided here, with the potential problems they can cause.

What’s in the jar?

At Glow we favour smaller, independent beauty brands, who take a more open and honest approach in communicating what their products contain.

For clarity we also have a full list of ingredients in each of our product descriptions, so you can check out exactly what you’ll be using. You can also contact us if there is anything on the labels you are unsure about.

Making the switch:

If you’ve decided you’d like to make your beauty collection more sustainable, but don’t know where to start, we can help. Our founder Mel has personally tested and approved every item on the site. As a former make-up artist, she has all the insider knowledge to find the perfect sustainable alternative for your favourite products. You can get in touch with her here.

Remember – we also offer free virtual consultations, where Mel can talk through your individual needs and recommend the best products specifically to suit you.

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