What & Why We Call Natural & Chemical
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What & Why We Call Natural & Chemical

Brian Guadagno

It is very challenging to determine the appropriate use and definition of the word chemical and natural in food and personal care products. We hope this blog post will bring some clarity as to how we at Raw Elements USA choose to do so.

It is our believe and practice to be be forthcoming with intent and use appropriate terms in the appropriate context and never be misleading.  We have science and chemistry, in the world of science and chemistry any and all matter is made up of chemicals. This is even true within our bodies. There’s no arguing or denying that. Also in chemistry any compound made up from and containing a carbon base is defined as 'organic'.  Think - Organic Chemistry. Therefore Oxybenzone and the chemical uv filters are organic by definition in science and chemistry.


We then have the context of agriculture, food, day to day living and societal use of words like chemical and organic. Organic use is even defined and regulated by governmental agencies like USDA. The clearly wide use, intent and context of these terms refer to chemicals being of a synthetic sourcing, process and nature and organic being defined as free of any and all synthetic components and processes, etc.

My opinion that i firmly stand behind, is this - in the case of foods, personal care products and such - to use scientific definitions which intentionally mislead consumers or undermine the intended context is not a practice we support.  I believe it is poor practice for uv absorbers to be touted as organic to market them within the industry. Also, so will USDA. I believe it is well within then context and intent of the terminology to refer to these compounds as being of a chemical nature. That is the context that the industry, regulatory groups and consumers alike are comprehending them to be.

We choose our inactive ingredients to be certified organic, non gmo project verified, certified natural and as close to the source as at all available.  We spend great deal of time and resources ensuring all of that with transparency through the best, independed 3rd party certifiers in the industry.  Our zinc oxide is purchased from one the most sustainable metals mining and recycling company on the planet . The zinc oxide is uncoated and untreated and non nano.  As per definition and regulation of of the Natural Products Association - in order for the zinc oxide to be certified natural - it needs to be from a mined source.  Our sourcing partner and the zinc oxide meet all of the stringent guidelines.  All of our ingredients including our zinc oxide are certified natural by the Natural Products Association which is extremely rigorous and is the leading standard across industries.

In terms of the conversation - natural and chemical:                                                                                                 Our sunscreen ingredients are natural and have all the top certifications to ensure that to us so we can ensure that to you.  In the world of food and personal care products and the overall context - chemical sunscreen  and personal care products and ingredients are chemicals as clearly understood by everyone - being of a synthetic nature. Our products and ingredients are natural.  It is or position and strong belief that to claim otherwise on  is a clear intent to mislead and we have no intention of ever doing so.  

That said by in the scientific school of chemistry, yes zinc oxide is matter and is a chemical compound. No different than chemical compounds our biological body is made up of.

We are very comfortable with this.

Hope this explanation offers some clear insight on our position, it can be a very confusing discussion!

Thank you!

Brian