Natural does not mean organic

There seems to be some confusion about the terms natural and organic. They are not interchangeable and the difference is quite important to your health and the planet. Although, all organic ingredients are natural, not all natural ingredients are organic.

Natural: An ingredient derived from natural sources such as plants, animals*, or minerals. For example, olive oil is a natural ingredient obtained from pressing olives.

Organic: An agricultural or livestock ingredient produced without using synthetic pesticides.

Organically grown olives

The difference between a natural and an organic ingredient resides on the production, harvesting and handling systems used. For example, you can find organic and conventional olive oils. Both come from a natural source: the olives. However, the conventional olives have been grown using any type of pesticide (likely synthetic ones) and the organic ones have been grown using only biodegradable and nonsynthetic pest control methods. Does this matter for the olive oil you put on your table or your skin? Yes!

Several assessments (Albi et al in 1985, Cabras et al. in 1993 and Elpiniki et al in 2009, to list some) find pesticides residues on different samples of conventional olive oils. Do note that we are using olive oil as an example but the difference between natural and organic extends to any ingredient or oil.

So, do you want to eat or apply to your skin pesticides? Just in case you are wondering pesticides are synthetic substances used to kill bacteria, fungus, weeds. So the answer is a clear NO! We do not want to eat or apply pesticides to our skin. This is the reason why Olea|Cocos is an organic skincare line. Although we are not a certified-organic company yet, we use certified-organic ingredients. Do note that we talk about ingredients, not products. Stay tuned to our coming post to find out why.

Choose wisely and enjoy your skincare!


* Please, do not note that when I include animals in the list of natural ingredients I am not encouraging you to use products derived from animals. Olea|Cocos is a cruelty-free company.


  • Albi T, Navas MA (1985) "Phosphorus insecticide determination in oils". Grasas y aceites 36:48–54 (in Spanish).

  • Cabras, P.; Garau, V.; Melis, M.; Pirisi, F.; Spanedda, L. (1993) " Persistence and fate of fenthion in olives and olive products ". J. Agric. Food Chem 41 (12), pp 2431–2433.

  • Elpiniki A.; Triantafyllos A (2009) " Pesticide residue assessment in different types of olive oil and preliminary exposure assessment of Greek consumers to the pesticide residues detected ". Food Chemistry Journal. Volume 113, Issue 1, 1 March 2009, Pages 253-261

#organic #natural #oliveoil #pesticides

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