Natural. Synthetic. Organic. Free Range. Certified.
What does it all mean? Sometimes it's really hard to make the choice to buy natural, because there are so many companies out there that have products touting "100% natural", "made from natural ingredients", etc. But when you look at what is actually being used in the products you buy, it's often anything but. How is this possible? How can you really know what you're buying???
The first and most important step, is to really do your research. Alot of commercially-made bath & beauty products use the same ingredients, so if you take the shampoo bottle out of the shower or look at what goes into your moisturizer, you'll find alot of the same ingredients listed. I recommend looking up all the ingredients that you don't know what they are. Sometimes they are natural, but often they are things that were "based" in natural ingredients. What this means is that the origin came from a plant, for example, and was then often chemically altered in a lab. In my mind, this is no longer a natural ingredient. Look up the names of those ingredients, and see what you can find out. Doing this with just one or two of your products will help you to be better informed for your future purchasing choices.
Since I use 100% pure essential oils in all of my products, I wanted to focus specifically on the difference between essential oils & synthetics (or fragrance oils), and give you a few tips as to how you can know if someone is telling you something is natural when it's not. Essential oils are steam-distilled (normally) from the herb, wood, flower, or resin, and are the oils that naturally occur in a plant. Using essential oils means you get the benefits of the essence of plant, etc., many of which have medicinal properties. Also, essential oils tend to be more costly than fragrance oils. Rose essential oil, for example, is well over $300 for 1/2 oz if it's true rose oil.
In contrast, fragrance oils are simply that: they are oils created in a lab that are made to smell like various plants and other things. While fragrance oils do exist in many of the same scents as essential oils, fragrance oils actually have a broader range. What I mean is that not all plants will yield an essential oil. So if you want to make something with these scents, you would have to use a fragrance oil.
Some oils that you can find in fragrance oils, but not essential oils are:
- almond (can get an extract, but not an essential oil)
- any fruit scent
- coconut (can get an extract, but not an essential oil)
- lily of the valley
- musk (more on this later)
- many of your "foodie" scents
I wanted to write about this today because there are many companies, both large & small, that try to claim their products are 100% natural, but use these scents, particularly the fruits. As someone who works diligently to provide all natural ingredients in all of my products, and does ALOT of research to make this happen, it frustrates me when businesses claim their products are something they frankly are not.
With my business, I don't believe in lying (let's be frank) to your customers about what you're using to make your products. I don't like being told lies when I'm trying to live naturally, and I don't agree with lying to people trying to live naturally just to sell products.
Happy Sunday to everyone :)!