It can be confusing and overwhelming trying to decide what skincare products to purchase and try out, especially when there are so many ‘buzz words’ thrown around. Natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free. What do these all mean? Are they interchangeable? Seeing these words on products makes us automatically assume the products are healthier for ourselves and for the planet, but is this true? In this blog post, I delve into the true meaning of each of these terms.


There is a lack of a clear definition in the industry, and the word ‘natural’ is often left to interpretation. Many companies use ‘natural’ as a marketing term when they include one or more natural ingredients (e.g., they could use water in their product along with other synthetic ingredients and claim it has natural ingredients or use ‘natural’ on the label). Sometimes even ‘natural ingredients’ aren’t natural. The manufacturing process may have caused extreme changes to the base molecular structure of the ingredient, making it not so natural after all. Reputable skincare companies recognise ‘natural products’ as those containing ingredients that are derived from nature, without any synthetic ingredients present. This can include fruit and plant extracts and oils, water, and even some animal-based products. Even a truly natural product isn’t necessarily organic, eco-friendly, or ethically sourced. Natural products also aren’t automatically low irritant, or safer for you either. There are plenty of natural ingredients that are quite potent and don’t agree with everyone.


The term organic refers to the farming process of the ingredients. If something is grown without the use of synthetics, pesticides, or fertilisers, it is considered organic. The term ‘organic’ is also overused in the cosmetics industry. While a company can claim its products are organic, you should only trust those with official organic certification. Certified organic products are regulated and must meet strict criteria to ensure they meet the standard. Not all natural products are organic, but all organic products are made from natural ingredients without the use of synthetic chemicals during farming and processing. If you want peace of mind when looking for organic skincare, look for an organic certification logo. However, while organic skincare is more regulated than natural skincare, it is still not necessarily vegan or cruelty-free.


Cruelty-free is generally used to signify that no animals were harmed in the production of the product, but using the term doesn’t actually guarantee that no animals were harmed for the product. It only means that the finished product was not tested on animals. This does not mean the product contains no animal-based ingredients (think beeswax, collagen etc), but it does mean that the bees didn’t have to try out the product first before humans did. The easiest way to confirm if a product is cruelty-free is to look for a certification logo.


Vegan products are those made entirely from plant-based ingredients, containing no animal-derived. It is possible for a vegan product to have been tested on animals, but most vegan certifications require products to be cruelty-free and ethically sourced.

Ethically Sourced

Ethically sourced products are those that have been produced by workers under fair employment conditions. This means respect must have been given to the rights of the workers at every stage of the production process. Ethical sourcing practices aim to uphold human rights and social responsibility.

Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally friendly products are those created without causing damage to the environment. This certification reflects not just the farming processes of the ingredients, but also the type of packaging used and the level of waste created during production.

Conclusion So, whether it’s natural, organic, cruelty-free, or vegan, always do your research to discover the ethics of the company advertising the product and whether they are backed up by reputable certifications. As a consumer, you need to be smart and discerning regarding the products and brands you choose, to avoid being misled. KD One products are certified natural, organic, environmentally friendly, cruelty-free and ethically sourced! We do use some animal-based ingredients (e.g. beeswax), so we cannot claim to be vegan, but we are definitely ethical in our choices and do our due diligence when sourcing new suppliers.