What is organic skincare?

This month is Organic September. Run by Soil Association, this year's theme is 'If nature could talk, it would choose organic'. We love an opportunity to talk about organic skincare so in this blog we try to bust some of the myths around organic skincare, and the benefits of choosing organic.

Everyone has heard the term 'organic skincare'. But what does that actually mean? Most people know that organic skincare is good for us and the planet, but are unsure on the specifics.

You may be wondering precisely what makes a skincare product organic, and is organic skincare the same as natural skincare?

Luckily, we are organic skincare experts here at Nourish, so let us answer those questions and more below.

What does organic mean?

In the beauty industry, 'organic' means that some or all of the ingredients in the product have been grown and farmed organically, i.e. without using artificial substances, such as chemical pesticides or fertilisers. 

The standards of organic farming vary globally, but typically, organic farms do not use laboratory-made substances including the following:

  • chemical fertilisers
  • chemical pesticides
  • antibiotics
  • hormones
  • parabens
  • sulphates
  • GMOs

Organic farms keep their produce healthy using natural substances which are less harmful to the environment.

What makes a skincare product organic?

So what is organic skincare, exactly? For a skin care product to be organic, it must contain organically farmed and processed plant-derived ingredients.

At the moment, there is no legislation in the UK to monitor the use of the word ‘organic’ in beauty. This is why having organic products certified is so important.

What is the Soil Association?

At Nourish London we choose to certify our organic skincare with Soil Association. Renowned as the world’s strictest organic authorising body, gaining Soil Association COSMOS Organic approval is no mean feat. 

Every ingredient is checked before being certified organic – looking at how it’s grown, harvested, processed and traded. 

Every product is then examined, checking that every ingredient that can be organic is organic, there are no GM ingredients, petrochemicals, fake colours or fragrances… (their list of no-go ingredients is almost as long as ours!) and that there’s minimal packaging with recycled content. 

Then there’s the annual company audit. Every year they scrutinise how we do things, making sure we’re walking the talk. 

The Soil Association logos are your reassurance the product carrying them is made with pure natural ingredients organically-grown to protect wildlife, biodiversity and you.   Which is why you’ll see this hard-won logo displayed with such pride. 

It means you’re getting all the exceptional product performance and quality with the beautiful textures and fragrances without the unwanted optional extras. 

Is organic skincare the same as natural skincare?

The world of natural cosmetics can seem very confusing at times, with all sorts of dubious claims being made.

‘Natural’ is not the same thing as 'organic'. Natural ingredients can come from organic or nonorganic farms.  ‘Natural’ also does not necessarily mean safe or environmentally friendly.  

The Soil Association also have a certified natural logo which we use when we can’t certify something as organic such as toners, masks and bath salts that are made with high levels of pure natural water, clay and salt – none of which can be ‘grown’ and so can’t be certified organic.

Soil Association COSMOS Natural certification guarantees a product contains at least 98% natural origin ingredients, with no ‘nasties’ like parabens or phthalates, synthetic colours, fragrances or genetically modified (GM) ingredients, and hasn’t been tested on animals.

What about green skincare?

‘Green’ is a term companies sometimes use to convey that their products are not harmful to the environment. There are no rules or certifications governing this term and it can be subjective.

A company may use this to refer to their ingredients, their packaging, their business practices, or a combination. It does not guarantee that the product is truly harmless.

... and clean skincare?

‘Clean’ has a looser definition still. This describes products that contain safe, nontoxic ingredients. Clean beauty products would generally not contain ingredients that may be harmful such as parabens and fragrance.

What are the benefits of organic skincare?

Organic skin care has some key benefits as follows:

Better for your skin. Organic ingredients work in harmony with the skin’s natural processes and so do not disrupt the skin’s delicate balance or pH balance

Better for biodiversity. Organic farms do not use chemical pesticides, which can harm wildlife and reduce biodiversity.

Biodegradable. Organic ingredients also tend to be biodegradable, which means they break down quickly and do not accumulate in the environment.

Our views on organic skincare

Mother nature is the earth's original botanical scientist.   By listening to nature we learn to inhabit the planet in a balanced and productive way.   Our brand takes its cues from nature.   We look for solutions to skin care issues, packaging problems and ways to conduct our business by listening to nature.

All of our naturally active products are made using only the purest, highest quality, cruelty-free ingredients at their optimum levels ensuring we care for your skin as well as for the planet.

Through constant innovation and using the latest developments in natural science, we seek to create the most effective, 100% natural skincare that outperforms skincare formulated with synthetic chemicals.

We are passionate about inspiring people to reduce the toxins and synthetic chemicals in their skincare products and to experience the benefits of clean, green, cruelty-free skincare. We believe this has benefits for both our skin and our planet.