Is it just us, or do all-natural and organic claims seem to be everywhere?! They are marketed on many products and are a continuously growing trend. These products range from food and beverages to all kinds of toiletries to makeup and skin care products. We can't argue that some of these products may be better, but some are simply just marketing trends.
A very common misconception is that all-natural or organic skin care products are better for a patient's skin. However, there isn't sufficient or reliable support to back this up.1 Keep in mind that there are synthetic ingredientsand natural/organic ingredients that can be beneficial or unfavorable. In fact, some natural/organic ingredients, including several essential oils, were shown to be irritants, causing adverse or negative reactions in some people.1
All-natural certainly does not mean safer, and should not be viewed as proof of health benefits or of efficacy.2 Natural/organic ingredients may actually be more challenging to preserve against microbial contamination and growth.3
Interestingly, the term organic is defined by the United States Agriculture Department (USDA), not FDA. However, cosmetics labeled with organic claims must comply with BOTH the USDA regulations for the organic claim, as well as FDA regulations for labeling and safety requirements for cosmetics.2 Another interesting note - some products labeled all-natural or organic may actually include synthetic ingredients.3 For example, the USDA definition allows organic products to contain up to 5% of certain synthetic substances.
Key Takeaway: Skin care products that contain a mix of beneficial natural and synthetic ingredients can provide a good balance and work coherently when properly formulated.