6 Beauty Buzzwords Everyone Should Know

We’re more conscious than ever of how our habits impact our health and the health of the earth—and that includes our beauty routine. That’s why we believe transparency is so beautiful. It gives you a better understanding of the ingredients, the products, and the brands you’re supporting when you click add to cart. That said, sometimes the terms that are tossed around can be a little confusing. (Wait, does vegan automatically mean cruelty-free? Nope.) So, we’re unpacking the terms everyone is googling so you don’t have to—for beauty shopping made simpler and smarter.


The Buzzwords 


Naturally Derived

Let’s start with natural—a natural ingredient is one that comes from nature and undergoes minimal (if any) processing before it goes into the bottle. Quinoa oil, the wondergrain that powers everything we make, is a natural ingredient. A naturally derived ingredient, on the other hand, requires a little more processing to maximize its efficacy. Take corn starch. This powder is extracted from the kernel and can be used in myriad ways, including helping lotion to absorb into skin with a powdery soft finish—just like in our sublime Moisturizing Lotions


Carbon Neutral

Carbon emissions are a big contributor to climate change, and many of our daily activities—driving, eating, turning the lights on—are associated with them. Since making products emits carbon too, conscious brands are working to offset it. If a product is carbon neutral, that means that its net carbon emissions equal zero. We’re in the process of doing that right now—at the moment, 90% of our energy consumption comes from renewable sources, but we aim to reach 100% by 2025. In the meantime, we’re proud to offer carbon-neutral shipping. That means that we offset any emissions associated with getting your product to you. It’s just one step of many we’re taking toward a better planet. 



Like a vegan diet, a vegan beauty product is free from animal ingredients—and that includes byproducts. A lot of people assume beauty products are simply made without these ingredients, but they’re actually pretty common. Think honey and beeswax (from bees) and lanolin (from sheep’s wool). Just because a product says it’s vegan, however, doesn’t mean it’s cruelty-free. (But we tick both of those boxes!)


Cruelty Free

While vegan refers specifically to ingredients, cruelty-free applies to the manufacturing process of a product. If it’s cruelty-free, that means no animals were harmed or tested on at any point in the supply chain—from the ingredient level up until the finished product. The term cruelty-free is more meaningful than simply stating you don’t test on animals because brands source their ingredients from all over. Just because you don’t test on animals doesn’t mean your supplier doesn’t. That’s why we take extra care to ensure that Nativa Spa is a cruelty-free skincare brand. 



Sustainable is a catchall term that says everything about a product—the ingredients, the manufacturing process, the bottle, the ink on the packaging—is made with the health of people and the planet in mind. Arguably, the least sustainable aspect of most beauty products is the packaging. That’s why we’re so mindful of ours—all of our bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material (PCR) and can easily be recycled curbside. What’s more, we partner with TerraCycle to make sure every part of a Nativa SPA product is recyclable. Just get a shipping label here and mail in your pumps and tubes, which make a product much more effective but aren’t accepted by all local recycling programs. You can learn more about our sustainability initiatives here.