Natural skincare are cosmetic products formulated without chemicals or synthetic ingredients. As opposed to conventional cosmetology in which the traditional base ingredients are petroleum derivatives.

Perhaps you have heard the terms natural and organic popping up more and more in relation to cosmetics and make up. In the last few years as the population has become more aware of the potential effects of chemicals on their health, it has grown in popularity.

What is the difference between natural and traditional skincare?

Whilst traditional cosmetics contain chemicals and petroleum derived ingredients, natural cosmetic brands resort to, well nature, to create theirs. These ingredients come from three main sources: oils such as argan, olive or jojoba, animal subproducts like honey or lanolin and minerals like clays.

As well they can incorporate some processed ingredients when those don’t exist in nature. This is the case of surfactants which are responsible for the foam in cleansers and soaps and need to be subjected to a lab process of combination of several raw materials and then distilled. These products are identified as “derived from” in the ingredient lists. One of the most common ones is called “coco-glucoside” and you can find it in natural shampoos and conditioners. These lab processes are also typically respectful with the environment.

So, in essence, conventional cosmetics are formulated with paraffins and petroleum derivates, natural cosmetics use vegetable oils and extracts. This affects the bioavailability of the products since natural products are easily absorbable by the skin.

Are natural cosmetics more expensive?

Nowadays there are natural alternatives at all price points, but natural cosmetics are more expensive and difficult to produce, so they can be more expensive.

To extract, emulsify and preserve a natural ingredient as well as to achieve a nice texture, natural cosmetology has to work harder since raw materials are more expensive. For example, from one kilogram of camellia seeds, we can obtain around 300ml of oil in a cold press process however, its chemical counterpart can yield 700ml of the same amount of seeds thanks to the addition of other chemicals and heat during the process. The quality of the cold press oil is vastly superior but so is its cost.


Organic cosmetics are natural cosmetics made with ingredients grown following strict restrictions of pesticides, fertilisers or antibiotics amongst other criteria described in the European Union legislation. Other restrictions refer to genetically modified seeds, and the respect of local flora and fauna in an effort to protect biodiversity.

This means that all organic cosmetics are natural, but not all natural cosmetics are organic.

What is the difference between organic and ecologic?

They are the same thing. Depending on the country where you are and the language you speak, you will hear it referred to as organic, bio or ecologic. In New Zealand and France the term “bio” is the most popular while in the US and UK for example, is organic. Spain uses predominantly “eco” or ecologic, but they all follow similar philosophies.

How to identify organic skincare from natural skincare?

Typically, organic skincare will carry a third party icon that marks the product as certified. These organisations check the origin of every ingredient as well as the manufacturing process.
Some of the best known are Bioinspecta, Acene, Natrue and Cosmos. Each one has a different methodology and quality standard and in their websites, you can find more about their approach.

Why choose natural skincare?

Being a very personal choice, natural skincare provides the skin with antioxidants and active ingredients that are readily absorbable and available without the threats of chemical disruptions or allergies. They don’t contain residues of pesticides or endocrinological disruptors and they tend to be better tolerated by sensitive skin types.

While conventional cosmetics the advantage of lasting longer and being more stable (since its ingredients are inert) and sometimes cheaper, natural cosmetics have higher quality ingredients, they are free from chemicals and hazardous ingredients and easier to absorb as well as being respectful with the environment.

Eleven Obi is a natural and organic certified skin care brand because we believe that each ingredient counts. We skilfully combine high quality ingredients to make your skin glow.

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