Thursday, July 19, 2012

Natural - What Does It Mean To You?

hmmmm, is this soap natural?
Natural is defined as: Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.  This makes me think of trees, flowers, fruits and veggies, etc.  But when I see/hear the word 'natural' I think as close to nature as possible.  (I should change my company name to Sincerely Natural As Possible!)  Many things need to be minimally processed in order for us to use them.  For example, any oil I want to use in my soap making has been processed by some sort of machine (most likely) before I can use it.  Olives are pressed to make Olive Oil.  Coconut oil has either been refined, bleached and deodorized or pressed as well.  So are oils no longer natural since they have been processed?

The problems I see are when companies use this word on their labels as a way to get people to buy their product, thinking that natural means better for you.  Is it possible for those gummy fruit snacks to be natural?  Check out this post on  It defines what natural is supposed to mean on food labels.  I think we all need to make sure we read labels and if there is something in the product we are not sure of?  Research it.  Find out what it is, where it comes from and if it fits in with your definition of natural.

The other problem is when it comes to bath and body products.  I agree with and really like this blog post at Point of Interest!  I make my own lotions and creams for myself and my family.  That requires me to use an emulsifier, not natural, and a thickener, no longer natural (it may be derived from vegetables but it is then processed).  I'm willing to sacrifice having a completely 'natural' product in order to keep my family safe.  So I use a broad-spectrum preservative at .5% in anything I make that has water in it.  That is my personal choice and if you decide not to use preservatives in your products that is your choice.  I have done the research and I don't want to take the chance and have beasties grow in my lotion.   I'll never say that my lotions are natural, I may say that they are better than anything I have bought in the store, but that is just my opinion!

So, what does Natural mean to you?


  1. I agree with you and we can only try to be as natural as possible, within safe and available limits. I make "natural" soap and only use essential oils and clays/herbs/spices for natural colour. Some people use micas, oxides and fragrance oils and call soap "natural", but these are processed and manufactured in factories.

    With lotions, I think Emulifiers and preservative are required, especially when selling products. I make some balms and butters without anything but mostly just for my use, or if I do sell some, I will label saying do not introduce any water to the product.
    Each to their own though and with the lotions, makign it ourselves we know how many great natural ingredients are in there and I think this outweighs the small amount of preserative used, when compared with commercial skin drying/unnatural ones.

  2. Thanks for your comment Lisa. I use mostly essential oils in my soaps as well, although there is the odd fragrance oil in there. Bubblegum was requested by my oldest son.