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Navigating the world of skincare: Understanding the differences between Holistic, Organic, Clean, Ethical, and Natural products.

Updated: Mar 8

If you’re confused about which type of skincare will work best for your skin, you are not alone! Keep reading as I explain the differences among the various natural skincare options and how to choose the right skincare product for you. 

Before I get into the differences, here is a quick reference:

  • Organic skincare products are made with ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or other harmful chemicals.

  • Holistic skincare products are made with ingredients that are intended to promote overall health and wellness of the mind, body/skin and spirit.

  • Clean skincare products are made without the use of synthetic ingredients such as artificial fragrances, lab-created colorants, and preservatives.

  • Ethical skincare products are made with ingredients, packaging, and shipping materials that are sustainable, biodegradable, or recyclable.

  • Natural skincare products are made with ingredients that occur naturally in the environment and are the least refined as possible.


Organic skincare uses ingredients that are grown without any pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers.

Organic products are therefore thought to be better for your skin and your health, as they don’t contain toxic chemicals. 

Organic skincare products may be a little more expensive, but many agree they are well worth it, especially for those who have sensitive skin. 

Organic skincare products are found in soaps, cleansers to toners and moisturizers. 


Holistic skincare products are made in a way that aims to encourage overall health and wellness of the mind, body (skin) and spirit.

This form of skin care focuses on the idea of more of a holistic process that infuses self-care into your daily routine.  

It’s about taking care of your whole body and skin through a healthy, mindful lifestyle, as well as with non-toxic skincare products. 

You’ll see natural ingredients such as essential oils and unrefined shea butter combined with energetic enhancements. Stepping away from the chaos and take a moment to recharge yourself.


Natural skincare uses ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible.

Ideally, natural products do not contain synthetic ingredients, but unfortunately, some do so you must read about the ingredients on the label. 

Currently there is no federally regulated definition of the word “natural”, the ingredients used can vary from one brand to another.

Reputable natural skincare companies may not be certified organic, but they are typically free from non-nature-made ingredients and in their least refined state as possible. 

Some natural skincare products may also be more affordable than organic skincare products simply because they do not require expensive certification.


Clean skincare products are made with high-quality ingredients that meet a certain standard of ‘cleanliness’, but they don’t have to be certified organic or natural. 

Clean skincare products are made without any cheap and potentially harmful ingredients such as toxic preservatives, fragrance oils or Sulfates SLS, SLES, parabens, etc.

Clean skincare is a good option if you have sensitive skin as it typically avoids the common dirty ingredients found in most store-bought skincare preparations that can lead to skin irritation. 


Ethical skincare products are made with ingredients, packaging, and shipping materials that are sustainable, biodegradable, or recyclable and never test on animals.

Most ethical skincare brands choose to be organic, use responsibly gathered ingredients, reduce packaging, and implement responsible production methods to minimise any negative impacts on the planet. Protecting biodiversity is essential, and ethical beauty aims to preserve nature rather than take part in its destruction.

The most compelling reason to opt for cruelty-free and vegan skincare is ethical treatment of animals. No creature should suffer for the sake of our beauty routines. By choosing products not tested on animals, you contribute to a world where compassion prevails over cruelty.


Choosing the right natural product for you is daunting and may take some time, trial, and error. 

First, you must decide which type of skin care aligns with your values:

If you strongly believe in the health of the planet above all else, search for an ethical skincare company that offers the skin products you need. 

If you strongly align with the belief that you are what you eat and put on your skin, search for a skin care company that uses simple, clean ingredients.

If you believe that your skin is intimately connected with your mind and spirit, seek a holistic skin care company who cares for the products consciously, infusing the power of positivity into each product they create.

Second, you must decide which products you actually need in your routine. 

With social media and google many of us have been conditioned to believe that we need a serum for this, a cream for that, an oil for here and a lotion for there. 

This is false and can lead to an abundance of unnecessary skin preparations in our daily routine.

When choosing natural skincare, it’s always best to go simple. 

Find a quality cleanser, moisturizer, and exfoliant for the body and the face.

Lastly, don’t give up after just one try. Natural, organic, clean, holistic, or ethical skincare companies are not all created equally. 

Do your research, try what you find, then move on to the next brand if those products don’t fit your needs. 

At GSL Organics, we believe in the power of natural, organic and holistic skincare. Our products are carefully crafted using clean and ethical ingredients because we care about your well-being and the planet. We invite you to explore our website and experience the transformative benefits of our products for yourself.

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