Natural is a word that has been thrown around so much I almost feel it is a throw away word. Its most common usage is to distinguish phenomena that exist only because of humankind from phenomena that doesn’t, presumes that humans are somehow separate from nature, and our works are un- or non-natural when compared to, say, honeybees.
When speaking of food, skin care, or cosmetics, “natural” takes on an even more complicated meaning. Why? Every country has a different definition of the word, the US for example, the FDA has given up on a meaningful definition of natural food (largely in favor of “organic”, another ambiguous term. Many plants are the result of thousands of years of selection by humans, from a plant that wouldn’t exist without human intervention.
Many words are grouped in with the word organic; chemical-free, and natural.
The usage in many cases is technically incorrect [though of course all] food is all organic, because it contains carbon, etc. The concern is the way they are used to dismiss and minimize real differences in food, skin care, and cosmetics and product production.
A product can be synthetic and manufactured or produced, but be safe; and sometimes be the better choice. Added preservatives prevent bacterial growth in food, skin care, and cosmetics which is not a bad thing. Things can be natural and “organic”, but still be quite dangerous.
With food, skin care, and cosmetics it is very, very important to go by the expiration date when they contain no preservatives. There are many organic/natural products that are great and contain natural or organic preservatives, they do exist, just be conscious label reader!
Excerpts taken from I09