In our aggressively eco-conscious world, the terms “natural” and “organic” make for some pretty alluring labels—and consumers have every right to be skeptical. Here’s the black-and-white truth about green grooming.

What's in a Label?

The difference between a label of "natural" versus "organic" comes down to regulation. “Certified organic” is a claim that’s heavily regulated by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). To qualify, a product’s ingredients must contain absolutely no toxic pesticides, toxic synthetic herbicides, or chemical NPK fertilizers—and, in the case of animal products, no antibiotics or growth hormones.

On the somewhat startling flip side, there is virtually no regulation around labels of “natural” or “all-natural." In the most nefarious instances, products may simply contain plant-derived ingredients that are highly processed and potentially even harmful. Yikes.

But the “natural” claim can be genuine. Botanicals like shea butter (found in our organic Shea Butter and Premium Hair Butter), aloe, beeswax, and essential oils are all examples of natural ingredients with a ton of benefits for hair and skin—even when not technically organic. A product could also include a few truly organic ingredients, which would be denoted in the ingredients list, without being marketed as such.

So When Is Organic Worth the Splurge?

The most important place to pay the price for organic, if you so choose, is the grocery store. But when it comes to grooming, start with skincare. Your epidermis is, after all, your body’s largest organ (and absorbent to boot). Strands of hair, on the other hand, consist of dead cells, which can withstand a little more abuse. Still, your scalp is very much alive and more susceptible to damage—so go wholesome whenever you can.

Rule of thumb: Don't be fooled by branding, and always check the ingredients label. It’s the one part of the packaging that doesn’t lie (at least not without breaking the law).

For natural and USDA-certified organic products, please check out our gallery of products. Each ingredient is carefully and ethically sourced to ensure that our Jewels are getting nothing but the purest form; uncompromised and certified-organic.