Glossary

organic

ingredients are organically farmed. The company needs to be organically certified. A product has to contain a certain percentage of organic matter to be declared “organic” on its label. Ideally that means the product should contain at least 70% -95% organic ingredients (unless specified otherwise) . If a label reads 100% Organic, it is often done to reiterate that everything in the product is Organic.

natural

products are made from plants and minerals, they are not produced in a laboratory. A product claiming to be natural must be free of artificial fragrances, preservatives, and other synthetic additives. However, there is no regulation on the word ‘natural’. A product claiming to be natural may have as low as 10% natural ingredients. Which is why its important to know the %age of natural ingredients being used by a brand.

herbal

products made from plant extracts and herbs, which are used for their medicinal properties. Ideally herbal products should be Chemical free with no preservatives. But, since there is no regularisation, it’s common to find products that are labelled herbal even though they may have a lot of synthetic ingredients with only some Herbs.

naturally derived chemicals

are "synthetic-free" products which have no man-made ingredients. They are 100% made of naturally occurring elements or compounds. Though they may sound synthetic they are naturally derived - Citric acid is a compound found in citrus fruits, and sodium chloride is actually sea salt!!! The term "plant-based" indicates that the product is made with botanical ingredients

synthetic chemicals

Synthetic chemicals are made by humans, not nature. They however, can be made to replicate the chemicals we find in nature. Not all synthetic chemicals are necessarily bad for us.
DEA, TEA, EDTA, BHA, MCI, MIT, Sulphates, Phthalates, Triclosan, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Fragrance, Synthetic colours are nasty toxic chemicals often used in beauty and household products. The quantity in which these are used depends on the ethics and quality standards of the brand .
Word of caution: DEA, TEA, EDTA, BHA, MCI, MIT, Sulphates, Phthalates, Triclosan, Propylene Glycol, Artificial Fragrance, Synthetic colours are nasty toxic chemicals often used in beauty and household products. The quantity in which these are used depends on the ethics and quality standards of the brand .

paraben free

Parabens are chemicals that are used to prevent bacteria and act as a preservative in deodorants, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos, scrubs, and more. Sulfates are effective cleansing and foaming agents that can be found in toothpaste, shampoo, and body washes, among other products. Some think that parabens may be linked to breast cancer and fertility issues. Label saying paraben free means it has no parabens. The best option is to avoid synthetic preservatives, not just parabens. Choose pure, natural products with ingredients you can understand without a science degree.

cruelty free

brands never test on animals, nor are their ingredients ( including raw materials) ever tested on animals at any stage of production or marketing. Ever notice that little bunny symbol (cruelty free) on a label? That means that none of the product’s ingredients were tested on animals. All brands ( cosmetic products, hair, bath and body , fragrances, house hold products ) that sell in China are required to test on animals by law. Which means that a lot of brands which claim to be cruelty free are actually not if they sell in China.

vegan

means no animal derived ingredients. The difference in a vegetarian product and a vegan is, that the vegetarian product can contain milk, honey, ghee, butter that is derived from animals. A vegan friendly product would be only plant based.
Word of caution: Some beauty products like lipsticks contain carmine dye or cochineal which is made from crushing beetles.
Makeup brushes are commonly made from squirrel, mink, sable, horse , pony, camel, or goat hair. Mink and sable brushes are products of the cruel fur industry.
Lanolin also called wool wax, is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals. It can be found in baby products, skin care, shaving, manicuring, hair care, suntan and sunscreen products, as well as eye, lip and facial makeup.
Other non vegan ingredients commonly used in cosmetic and beauty products are milk, honey, beeswax, goats milk, butter, ghee.

environmental friendly

products do minimal harm to the environment. These products are usually made of natural non toxic ingredients. They do not pollute the air or groundwater. They use highly renewable resources and are made of recycled materials.
Petroleum, mineral oils, and liquid Paraffin are detrimental to the environment and potentially carcinogenic. Coal tar is another ingredient to avoid.
Word of caution: Petroleum, mineral oils, and liquid Paraffin are detrimental to the environment and potentially carcinogenic. Coal tar is another ingredient to avoid.