Clean vs. All-Natural

The skincare industry is often guilty of what’s come to be known as “greenwashing,” marketing a product with a clever combination of language and graphics that implies a product is more natural or eco-friendly than it actually is. The worst offenders are often in the “clean” and “all-natural” space. But what do these terms actually mean? What’s the difference between them, and how can you tell when they’re relevant?

Truth is, neither “clean” nor “all-natural” have any real, legal meaning. There are no legal thresholds or qualifications that need to be met in order to label a product as either. Nor are there any real standards of quality or sources of ingredients required. The use of either term is self-assigned; the decision of marketers more so than of chemists. Thess labels often have no bearing on what’s contained, and are in fact often contradictory. 

Most of the industry thinks of “clean” products as those formulated without chemicals or toxins; “all-natural” is formulated with only plant-derived ingredients. Both, essentially, mean the same thing: an idea that no synthetic or “harmful” ingredients were used in the formulation of this product. “Clean” is chosen by brands who are aiming for a sleeker, high-end image, while “all-natural” goes after a market who responds more to green and brown labeling than they do silver and white. The terms dictate the color-scheme of a product more so than they do the ingredients contained.

At Geologie, we don’t waste time with arbitrary labels. Instead we use ingredients that work. That means sometimes we use ingredients that “clean” or “all-natural” brands may turn their nose up at, like Dimethicone (in the Repairing Night Cream) and PEG-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate (in the Everyday Face Wash). We’re unapologetic about ingredient choices that make us contrairain to the clean trend. We just care about creating safe, effective everyday products.

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