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The True Meaning of ‘Natural’ … and More!

[POSTED ON: 12th September 2018]

We hear so many terms thrown around the skincare industry, the most popular and ‘trendy’ being NATURAL. But what exactly does it mean, and how regulated are these ‘natural’ skincare products?
The term natural is NOT actually regulated, and in fact, can have a multitude of definitions. Both companies and consumers have different standards of what natural means to them and the product they are labeling it with.


According to the School of Natural Skincare, there are two factors to consider when investigating if something is natural:

1) Where is it derived from? Is it from something that has had a life (ie plants, animals, minerals, etc) or is it from “petrochemicals” (synthetic)?

2) How is it processed or modified? Did it experience a physical process (the composition stays the same) or chemical process (the composition may change)?

So, you’ve identified both of these factors and are still unsure? Take a look at the following ‘natural to synthetic’ spectrum and what these classifications mean.

Naturally Occurring Ingredients: Unprocessed (ie. raw honey)
Naturally-derived, physically processed: Distilled, cold-pressed
Naturally-derived, chemically processed: Naturally occurring ingredients that are synthetically processed to become something entirely different (ie. Castor wax which is castor oil that has been processed).
Nature-identical: Ingredients made in a lab, chemically identical to those in nature (ie. Sorbic acid which is produced from rowan berries)
Synthetic: No ties to nature and processed chemically (ie. parabens).

We’ve gone through the basics, now let’s take it a step further by defining a few other key words seen on many products!

Organic: Ingredients are from living matter, no artificial chemicals.
Green: Produced with care in regards to environmental impact and sustainability.
Vegan: No animal bi-products.
Fair-trade: Great concern has been taken for safety, health, and development of the producers.
Clean: Minimal, non-toxic ingredients.

Baraka Shea Butter wants to make it easy and simple for you, sans fancy wording. We have both non-organic and organic raw Shea Butter that is all fair trade certified. Remember, Baraka Shea Butter is hand-made by women and families from Kperisi village in Northern Ghana using age-hold traditional methods. No chemicals, no harsh industrial processes, just amazing Baraka Shea Butter.

Thank you again to the School of Natural Skincare for all of your research and education! You can read their full article on Natural Skincare here.

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