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It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Difference Between “Natural” and “Natural-Inspired” Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

August 23, 2018 | Ignite Visibility

It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Difference Between “Natural” and “Natural-Inspired” Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

You’ve probably seen them in the beauty sections of your drugstore or department store: Pretty bottles or jars in earthy neutral tones emblazoned with soothing spring-green lettering and product names that evoke tropical rainforests, fragrant gardens or citrus fruit orchards. The word “natural” is positioned prominently on the package; perhaps there’s even a logo with a tree or a leaf to drive the message home. But are those beauty products truly natural, or are they just made by companies jumping on the bandwagon for clean beauty? If you are interested in eco-ethical personal care products, it’s worth knowing the difference and why DERMA E is good for your skin—and good for you, too.

Natural vs. Natural-Inspired

Oftentimes, skin care products that claim to be natural are actually closer to natural inspired. In order to know exactly what you are purchasing, it pays to be savvy when reading ingredient labels.

Obviously, unless you are looking at simply botanical oils, there is no such thing as a cosmetic product that you can just pluck from a shampoo tree. And while the use of some synthetic or manmade ingredients is necessary in certain instances because of the lack of natural alternatives, truly natural skin care products, use a majority of ingredients that are found in nature—that means vitamins, botanicals and antioxidants, among others. Nature-inspired skin care may have similar-sounding ingredients, but may actually contain primarily synthetically created ingredients.

Nature-inspired products may sound healthy and environmentally friendly; however, a closer look at their labels often reveal they are filled with chemicals that aren’t necessarily good for you or the planet. For instance, parabens can be absorbed through the skin and into the body’s tissues, which is problematic because parabens may wreak havoc with hormone function. These chemicals have also been found in waterways such as rivers, as well as in the tissues of birds and mammals.

Another ingredient of concern often found in natural-inspired products is chemical sunscreen. Some of these chemicals may affect hormones in ways similar to parabens, or they may also cause allergic reactions. There have been several recent news stories about how these types of sunscreens can bleach coral beds in the ocean, harming the marine life that depend on that ecosystem for sustenance. Truly natural beauty products generally avoid using these types of chemicals, opting for mineral based sunscreens.

Another thing that can set apart natural from nature-inspired beauty products is fragrance. Catch a whiff of rose, eucalyptus, lemongrass or other scent, and you may be lulled into thinking that body lotion or face cream comes straight from Mother Nature. But just because a scent can mimic the real thing doesn’t mean it is the real thing. Synthetic fragrances are manmade and can be created with ingredients that may be considered toxic. Natural beauty products tend to be fragrance-free or use scents derived from natural sources such as essential oils.

If you want to be an informed consumer, you should know that nature-inspired products may try to capitalize on the growing interest in healthy skin care, but in some cases it may be in name only. If you care about using natural beauty products, you’ll want to find those that are cruelty-free and vegan as part of a commitment to a truly holistic approach to health and well-being.

Why DERMA E Is Your Answer for Natural Skincare

At DERMA E, all ingredients in our formulations are listed on our packaging—there is no long list of unpronounceable or questionable chemicals. You also won’t find parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, petrolatum, mineral oil or other harmful ingredients in our skin care. If you have any questions about the ingredients that we use, you can learn more thanks to our ingredient glossary. Plus, we are proudly 100% vegan and cruelty free.

Our passion for our planet extends to the environment. Virtually all of our packaging is recyclable and we use wind energy certificates to offset all of our conventional energy use. Our sun protection products use non-nanoparticle mineral zinc oxide to help prevent environmental damage.

DERMA E also stands out in the natural field of skin care because our products address a wide range of skin concerns, from anti-aging to blemishes. You’ll find something to meet your needs and add the luster of good health to the appearance of your skin. Because we are natural, our products are good for people with sensitive skin as well as for those with rosacea and eczema—they are effective, but also gentle.

So the next time you are shopping for skin care and see those pretty bottles and jars, don’t make an impulse purchase without reading the fine print first. Look beyond the “natural” label and make sure that the product formulations consist of ingredients derived from natural sources, and not filled with synthetic chemicals or manmade colors or fragrances. DERMA E has been a trusted leader in natural beauty since we created our first Vitamin E cream in 1984. In the years that have followed, we have continued to build upon our reputation for using potent, top-quality ingredients that are good for people and for the planet. We want you to get the best results, using the best nature has to offer. DERMA E is proud to be a truly natural company that lives up to that billing. Discover how nature can nurture your skin by exploring our products today.


Proven Clean Beauty


  • Interesting reading!!

    SIlvia on
  • Awesome read. Thank you.

    Ali Floyd on

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DERMA E didn’t start out in the beauty aisle or the boardroom. Instead, we began in a small health food store in Southern California. Our first product was a jar of Vitamin E 12,000 I.U. Moisturizing Cream. People were amazed at the results it had on their skin and word caught on.

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