Natural Ingredients vs. Non-Natural Ingredients
83% of people think there should be one meaning for what type of ingredients can be in a personal care product labeled "natural." *
We agree, and The Natural Standard identifies what is and isn't natural!
In short, we believe any ingredient in a natural product must be purposeful and come from a renewable/plentiful source found in nature. This includes ingredients found in fauna, flora and plants, and minerals-otherwise known as animal, vegetable or mineral. Period. Rest assured, though, the animal part is substances like beeswax and honey.
A Quick Comparison
|Natural Ingredients||Safe Alternatives||Non-Natural Ingredients|
Plant Components: fats, waxes, oils, lecithin, cocoa butter, coco betaine, sucrose stearate, cetearyl alcohol, glycerine, alcohol, water, witch hazel
Fauna Collection: beeswax, honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, lanolin, cholesterol
Flora Extracts: gums, colloids, seaweed, aromas, botanical extracts, proteins, vitamins, antioxidants, herbs and spices
Mineral Elements: salts, citric acid, borax, kaolin clay, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica, bentonite
|Synthetic Fragrances: those that do not have harmful ingredients, like phthalates, or effects||
Petroleum: including any ingredients developed from or processed with this substance
Chemically Engineered Ingredients: polymers, acrylates, carbomer, PVP, chemical sunscreens, preservatives
Silicones: ingredients derived from "sand" using harsh processes
Synthetic Fragrances: chemical compounds containing harmful ingredients like phthalates
Highly Processed Ingredients: those that are developed using harsh chemicals or unhealthy processes, including sulfates, PEG/PPG and quats
Ingredients Dangerous to Humans: any ingredients that are suspected to pose health risks to humans, including parabens, SLS, phthalates, talc, DEA/TEA and formaldehyde
Overall, we believe synthetic ingredients in personal care products should be avoided wherever possible. And to us, using a synthetic material is only acceptable when there is no viable natural alternative and it has absolutely no negative effects — on you or the environment.
For example, Burt's Bees uses 100% aromas (essential oils from nature's most fragrant plants) in most of our products. However, when the natural fragrance from a product doesn't smell as good as we'd like, a synthetic fragrance that matches the natural ingredients used may be the best choice for the consumer. The synthetic fragrances we use are safe, and we make sure that none contain phthalates, potential toxins found in some fragrances. Just the same, we will continue to try and find natural alternatives to even these safe fragrances.
We also believe there are certain synthetic ingredients that should never be used in any personal care products, let alone ones labeled "natural." This includes ingredients like parabens, glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate and petrolatum. While these ingredients are deemed safe, there is enough evidence questioning their safety that natural alternatives should be used instead. Less than 15% of the people we surveyed know about these potential risks*. At Burt's Bees, we never use these ingredients and use safe natural alternatives instead.
- Learn about the natural processes we use and ones we think should be avoided.
* This statistic comes from a survey we recently conducted to help bring attention to the need for Setting The Natural Standard.