Plant-based, clean, natural, or organic?

As the demand for safe and reliable products that support a holistic approach to non-toxic living continues to rise, so too does terminology such as ‘natural’, ‘plant-based’ and ‘clean’ on the labels of cleaning, skincare and cosmetic products, blurring the lines for many conscious shoppers. As the commitment to organic, ethical products quickly becomes a verified way of life for many, so too does the need to decipher between cleverly articulated labels before adding them to your cart!

Plant-based, clean, natural, or organic? 

Plant-based: Plant-based is a widely used yet unregulated term. Plant-based means all ingredients should be derived from fruits, vegetables and plants. However, extraction techniques could involve inorganic methods which can compromise the effectiveness and safety of the ingredients used. 

Clean: Essentially, clean products should not contain harmful ingredients that can irritate your skin or pose potential health risks. If a product is clean, it implies the product if free from sulphates, silicones, phthalates, parabens, pesticides, petroleum derivatives, artificial colouring and synthetic fragrances. 

Natural: Arguably the most overused description across cleaning, skincare and cosmetic products. An important consideration when looking at natural products is that some products only have 1% naturally-sourced, plant-based or mineral ingredients. Be sure to check the ingredients list and not to rely on face value alone.

Organic: Organic is generally your gold standard as most organic products are regulated. If a product is certified organic it means that the ingredients were obtained without the use of synthetic pesticides, nano-particles, and are free from components cultivated with growth hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic products use ingredients that are carefully sourced and practice stringent manufacturing processes to ensure the integrity of the product.

Are organic products reliable and effective?

In short, yes. There is a misconception that green products may not be as effective as other products on the market. Organic products are safe and non-toxic; free from more than 50 controversial ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, mineral oils, sulphates, formaldehyde, talc and silicones commonly found in other inorganic products. 

Skin is the largest organ of your body, which absorbs any topical creams, sanitisers or cleaning products it contacts. Benzalkonium chloride, just one chemical often found in hand sanitisers, has been found to have adverse effects on humans including skin, eye and respiratory irritations. It can be particularly dangerous for individuals suffering from asthma or skin conditions such as eczema. Furthermore, studies support that organic sanitisers combining alcohol and plant-based acids such as Aelin Home’s botanical extract blend make for a superior sanitising product, without the use of any harmful ingredients. Paired with skin-loving moisturisers such as aloe vera, essential oils and glycerine, your hands will thank you for the switch.

The growing awareness around chemicals we use on our skin, around our home, and on our children is prompting many manufacturers to clean up their products; offering plant-based, clean, natural or organic product ranges. When choosing your next skincare, beauty or cleaning product, opt for organic where possible, or carefully read the labels and ingredients for products that are naturally effective, without the use of harmful chemical formulations.