As we get wiser to the ways of the world, the savvy consumer seeks to replace a host of practices that are better for our bodies and the overall health of our world. That is why terms such as ethical, sustainable, green, clean and natural have emerged. The beauty industry has not shied away from embracing these trends with open arms. But what exactly do each of these fad terms mean? 

Here is a glossary of green, clean and natural lingo that will help you to get to terms with the amazing things the beauty industry is offering. 


Before we get into it, it’s important to note that no cosmetic product can be chemical free. However, not all chemicals are synthetic. Do you have very dry skin that burns with the strength of a thousand suns when you put cream on? Dry skin is often caused by a skin reaction or a more serious skin condition. What causes the burning sensation is very often synthetic chemicals. When you select your body care, from deodorant and body lotions through to shampoos and hair care, opt for products that use non-synthetic ingredients and stay away from ingredients such as Phthalates and parabens. Queue the next set of terms…

…Phthalates and parabens 

Parabens are synthetic fragrances and phthalates are synthetic dyes/flavours. These are considered filler ingredients. It’s time to seek products like roll on deodorant, skin cleansers and even baby skincare products, that are free from these additives.

Clean beauty

Meaning products that contain non-toxic ingredients both natural and/or synthetic. Clean beauty highlights a consideration for ingredients collected from the best sources, farmed or made in a sustainable environment. The collected ingredients should also be used for their distinctive properties, unlike previously mentioned filler ingredients. 


This means that no animal testing took place at any point in the creation process of a product. The term also includes individually sourced ingredients, third-party testing, and finished products. There are two leading cruelty-free organisations, PETA and Leaping Bunny, and products and brands endorsed by these organisationsare reliably animal friendly.


No synthetic fragrance has been added to the product. This means you may smell the natural scent of cucumber for example, as they are naturally fragrant but completely natural.

Green beauty

This type of beauty is sustainable in some way and often stands with the goal of environmental responsibility and what’s good for the environment. Often brands will partake in one or several green initiatives. These initiatives include creating compostable face wipes, recycled packaging, packaging that is recyclable and planting trees or other rebuilding environmental initiatives. 


This refers to personal care products from deodorant and skin cleansers to moisturisers and hair treatment products that are not likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Natural beauty

This term generally refers to ingredients sourced from nature, in other words, aproduct made from natural materials and should not contain any synthetic derivatives. It infers that the product causes fewer allergic reactions because it contains less or none of the common allergens. 


This means no particular smell was selected for the product. But it doesn’t mean that a fragrance additive wasn’t added to cover the scent of ingredients that may not be appealing. 

It’s time to get body confident and how you achieve it is by knowing exactly what the beauty industry is doing – because knowledge is power. 

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