What is Natural Skincare?
Natural skincare. You’ve heard it. You’ve seen it. You’ve come across it on your Instagram feed. But what does it actually mean? And why is there such a high demand for it these days? While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate what “natural” means as it relates to skincare, it usually refers to skincare products that contain ingredients sourced from nature. This means you won’t find ingredients like Synthetic Fragrances, Dyes, Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates.
So, if natural skincare products don’t have any synthetic nasties inside of their formulas, what do they have? The answer: anything that comes from nature, which can originate from water, plants, or minerals.
For the products we carry at Terrakai Skin, it’s quite simple. We fuse high-performance, naturally-derived ingredients with powerhouse Australian botanicals to yield efficacious skincare formulas that deliver restorative results. Our ingredients come from the earth—not the science lab—and are formulated without Fragrances, Dyes, or other questionable ingredients.
But, there’s a caveat: just because a product claims to be natural, that doesn’t mean that it contains only naturally-sourced ingredients. When shopping for natural skincare, it’s important to do your due diligence by learning how to read the ingredient label on a product’s packaging. Becoming familiar with certain words will help you make better informed decisions on what you put on your skin. Bear in mind, ingredients are listed in order from highest concentration to lowest on an ingredient label, so pay special attention to those first few ingredients to ensure you’re getting natural active ingredients.
Natural vs. Clean. vs. Vegan
So, you want to make the switch away from harmful synthetic chemical-based ingredients in your skincare products, but navigating words like “natural,” “clean,” and “vegan” can be confusing. We hear you. And we’re here to break it all down for you.
As mentioned, though natural skincare products aren’t regulated by the FDA, they typically refer to how pure the ingredients in a formula are (1). Every company has their own definition of what natural means. For some, a product can be considered natural if the majority of the ingredients in it are natural and they only use a few synthetic ingredients either to preserve shelf life or increase the efficacy of the other ingredients. For others, they consider their entire product to be natural even if only the first few active ingredients are. At Terrakai Skin, we don’t use natural ingredients just for the sake of marketing. Being transparent with our formulas is part of our DNA, which is why we’re proud to say we only use naturally-sourced ingredients and botanicals that have proven results for restoring the skin’s vitality.
Like the term “natural,” “clean” isn’t regulated by the FDA. That being said, clean refers to the safety of the ingredients (which can include both naturally-sourced or synthetic ingredients) on human health. Essentially, a clean product means the ingredients that comprise it aren’t potential allergens. Also, clean skincare companies will have an interest in the environmental impact of their products and implement relevant practices accordingly (think: sourcing sustainable packaging or offering return-and-refill options for their products). When the term is used correctly, “clean” is interchangeable with “non-toxic” since the ingredient is safe to use and will not cause harm to one’s health (2). At Terrakai Skin, we believe it’s part of our responsibility to be kind to both our skin and our Earth—that’s why we avoid toxic chemicals in our products and choose packaging that can be recycled or has already been recycled.
A product is vegan if it doesn’t contain any ingredient that’s been produced by an animal or derived from an animal byproduct (3). This isn’t interchangeable with being cruelty-free—which simply means a product wasn’t tested on animals. To ensure your product is vegan, look for a "Certified Vegan" logo. Likewise, a cruelty-free product will have the Leaping Bunny logo somewhere on the packaging. All Terrakai Skin products are both vegan and cruelty-free.