Is Natural Always Good For You?


I recently became involved in a fascinating discussion on a beauty forum site. This particular part of the discussion was on the term “natural.” I stated that talc was not natural and was a dangerous toxin and carcinogen. In fact, talc is closely related to asbestos and has even been found in ovarian tumors. Someone replied that talc was in fact, natural, e.g., found in nature.

Well, I stand corrected.

I never claimed I knew it all! This person made an excellent point. Talc is found in nature yet is highly toxic to individuals. This leads one to believe that natural isn’t always good for you. When you say natural you tend to believe it is safe and pure. Yet a substance like talc is found in nature and causes cancer! So everything found in nature is not necessarily safe or good for you nor is artificial ingredients, synthetics, or petrochemicals.

So what’s the difference between natural and organic?

This is a question many people have.  I read about a poll where people trusted products labeled “natural” more than they trusted products labeled “organic!” Products labeled as “natural” are not regulated. Your best bet to determine if this product is safe is to read the ingredients. Know your ingredients! The lesser, the better. Be sure you’re able to identify all the contents.

The term “organic” is even more iffy. The term is definitely more regulated for food products than personal care products. The USDA issues their “organic” seal if the product is made with 100% organic ingredients. It can be labeled “organic” (but no seal) if it is made with 95-99% organic ingredients. Finally, “made with organic ingredients” refers to if the product is made with 70-94% organic ingredients. Even still, be wary of petrochemicals in such products as well as synthetic preservatives.

For a more in depth look at organic labeling, grab my free report Label Lies: Secrets of Organic Cosmetics by signing up in the box below this post or by clicking here.

I hope I have cleared up the difference between natural and organic for you so that the next time you go to the store to purchase your shampoo or lotion, you are not standing there shaking your head in confusion. Any questions or comments, feel free to use the contact form or post a comment.

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Stay natural…stay beautiful…go green!


Robin started her career as an educator of children and has now become an educator for adults everywhere who want to know the truth about what they put into their bodies through the skin. She is passionate about educating people to make better health and beauty choices.
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  • Foot Butter Guy

    Great article. Both terms are somewhat undefined so when looking for a really natural product, look at the company’s definition first. Unfortunately, natural is used to greenwash products these days. If I want natural, I want products made with ingredients that go into making that product that have not have their molecular bonds altered in any way. Nature identical doesn’t do it for me. GMO’s don’t do it for me. “Derived from coconut oil” doesn’t do it for me. And while we are on it, ingredients should be sustainably produced and/or extracted. Too many companies that claim to be natural – aren’t.

    And good points on natural not necessarily being good. Oil is natural. Poison ivy is natural. Some people are allergic to lavender – wouldn’t want to use it just because it might be natural in that case. Many essential oils are estrogen-mimics – natural as they may be, if you are avoiding extra estrogen, you wouldn’t want to use them. Natural is not a get out of jail free card – use natural products wisely, like you would anything else.

  • Tricia Lefkowitz

    I just wanted to make a general comment. Robin, I have been a reader of yours for a long time. I don’t know how long. But, I find your blog so informative. It has grown over time. And, it’s one of the few blogs that I subscribed to long ago that I still read. Way to go! I always learn something. Or I am reminded of something I already know … like sunlight and its benefits… keep up the awesome work.
    And, you teach little ones. A career important to our society, but often under valued. I admire you so much. Big thanks for all you do!

  • Natural Organics

    You have no idea what your words mean to me. Thank you so very much. It’s comments like yours that make it so worthwhile to come home after a long day with the little ones and put up a new post. I eventually hope to do just this full time and the more people I touch makes it seem possible! Thanks again and many blessings to you!

  • Michele

    Very interesting. Sometimes an ingredient is safe in it’s natural form, but becomes toxic due to the way it’s processed. That being said, the natural form and the processed form can have the same name, which gets confusing. The best bet, I think, is to develop relationships with companies whose ethics and practices you trust. And as always; read ingredients and don’t be shy to ask questions! If it doesn’t sit right with you, move on – there are other options out there. Robin thanks for highlighting this issue, navigating these waters can be confusing.

  • Natural Organics

    Hi Michelle-
    Thanks for insightful comments! That is definitely a strategy I use personally. I would much rather use a product from an idie brand I know and trust rather than a mainstream brand I’m not sure about…

  • BracesCostInfo

    I have to agree that natural isn’t always a good choice. Some types of honey can induce tooth decay and could not be any better than refined sugar, even when honey has all these health benefits.
    BracesCostInfo´s last blog post ..Myobrace Treatment

  • MichalinaHiszpanska

    Yeah, i guess you have explained it in a really good way! I was a bit confused myself. It was always important to me not to use products that were for example tested on animals. But just because they were not tested didn’t mean it was all so natural. Now i know a bit more about it, but the brands and their statements can still be a bit confusing unfortunately.