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Synthetics in their simplest form are man-made substances that do not exist in nature. They can also be nature identical chemicals that were synthesized in a lab or chemicals that are made using some molecules from naturally derived raw materials in combination with man-made chemicals.

Given the scope synthetic ingredients encompass there's no wonder that manufacturers who are eager to appear ‘natural or organic’ can easily cloud the issue by using some of these chemicals and feel justified calling them natural when they aren’t. You may wonder what the motivation is. The answer is simply. Profit. Truly natural cosmetics are costly to make, the raw materials can be unpredictable and at times difficult to work with. They simply are not suited to mass manufacturing techniques. Synthetic additives have been designed to make products easier and cheaper to produce.

In contrast, a natural substance is one that is extracted from a raw material found in nature without the use of a laboratory. Organic substances use raw materials found in nature that were cultivated, raised and extracted without the use of man-made chemicals. Organic certification is reserved for substances that are farm raised (i.e. for human consumption) by organic standards.

As a natural cosmetic chemist I am dumbfounded by just how many natural skin care lines claiming to be synthetic free, actually produce products containing a plethora of synthetics in every formula. Here are some examples I pulled from the ingredients of a popular brand who built a marketing campaign around the claim that they contain absolutely no synthetic ingredients:

Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol, Glyceryl undecylenate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Cetearyl glucoside, Sodium hyaluronate, Decyl Glucoside, Sorbitan palmitate

These are all synthetics.

Another popular tactic companies use is simply omitting certain ingredients like emulsifiers (all lotions and creams require an emulsifier), water (all lotions and creams require water) or preservatives (all creams and lotions require a preservation system or they won’t last on the shelf one week) from their labels to make them appear more natural and concentrated.

At Meadowlake Farm we produce what we claim to produce. Skin care from raw materials that are either natural, organic or wild crafted. Review our ingredients and compare. You’ll discover we are the rare and wonderful real thing.