What does Natural REALLY mean?

What is natural?

The natural movement is strong. We hear the word on a daily basis. Almost every product from food to beauty to pet food uses the word natural. But what does natural mean?


I googled it and got a range of definitions:

“Legally, this means nothing—it’s a completely unregulated term and should be thought of as pure marketing,” says Grigore. It will generally mean that at least some natural ingredients have been used in the formula, but a product can be labeled as natural and contain up to 30 percent synthetic ingredients.” – Adina Grigore, founder of S.W. Basics when asked by Harper Bazaar.

“A ‘natural’ ingredient is considered to be anything that’s a plant, mineral or animal by-product. However, because natural products – or those claiming to be natural – aren’t regulated by any governing body, brands can use the word natural on their packaging purely as a marketing ploy. This means a product that contains a handful of natural skin care ingredients can claim it’s natural, despite the addition of synthetic ingredients.” –

So in reality natural can mean anything. It is not monitored. It is up to us and the company to interpret its own meaning. As consumers we are busy, so we trust the label and just go with it. Plus all the pretty green clean packaging makes us think ‘oh ya this looks good.’ Or the amazing use of marketing and buzz words that trick us into thinking what we are buying really is natural. I decided to go around Manhattan with a few of the drug store natural cleanser brands and asked people to read their labels. Click the link below (and be ready to giggle) 🙂

What is interesting most people struggled to read the ingredients but wanted to believe that they could. Some people even started googling what was going on their face. Now I am not saying these products are bad or harmful, but would you eat something you didn’t understand? If you wouldn’t put things in your body you don’t understand then why are you putting it on?

Also with this broad definition of natural I feel super uncomfortable when reading the label as I am not 100% sure of what is going on my face or more importantly HOW MY FACE WILL REACT!

This is why at Feather & Bone we use the word PURE.

We use PURE to define our ingredients. To us PURE means whole ingredients and unmixed with other matter.

There are two key advantages for purity:

1) You know what you are putting on your face: because we use whole ingredients without any alterations, you know exactly what is going on your face. I like many of you have very sensitive skin so it is very comforting to know that when I am putting sandalwood powder, it is just that, not a derivative – exactly that.

2) Environment: We put so much emphasis on the packaging the product is being held in that we easily forget how the residue of our soap can cause water pollution and actually affect other plants and animals. With whole ingredients as they are found in nature, they are going back to nature and not hurting the environment.

What bothers me is that we are still going on this whole natural journey without even knowing what it means or even changing our habits. We just blindly believe the company is right. But as a consumer I realized it is our fault for not making the extra effort. And I get it. It is hard. We are busy. And this is why I launched Feather & Bone. We are a brand that is by a consumer for a consumer. We are 100% honest and transparent in what we are putting and why we are putting it. This is what has made our Face Gems special. If there is anything I ask you to takeaway from this article is to look at the label super quick and if you don’t understand it and don’t know what the ingredients are then DON’T buy it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this! And if you agree please share 🙂

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