What Do The Ingredients In Your Skin Care Products Mean?

When you're on a mission to find the best non-toxic skin care products, there are a few common words and phrases highlighted in advertisements, packaging, and commercials.

Ads tout phrases like "all natural” and “clinically proven.”

"Formulated with clean ingredients" appears on packaging.

Commercials constantly sell us on "paraben free” and “no toxins, sulfates or artificial fragrance.”

But, what does it all mean?

There's something major missing from this messaging. And that's a spotlight on the proven, high-quality ingredients in each formula specially curated to activate the regeneration of healthy skin cells.

Alluring words and phrases like organic and paraben-free imply that non-toxic formulas are adequate to reverse the signs of aging. It shouldn't stop there. To deliver your desired results, your skin care has to be produced with a mindful technique designed to preserve the whole power of nature’s best ingredients.

That’s what we do at Whole Story. Our ingredients are wild-harvested, cold pressed and sourced globally. Our formulas are botanically based with non-toxic ingredients. When we use the word natural, we are referring to our nature-forward approach to skin care. Our botanical ingredients are proven to work in harmony with the skin’s natural restoration process to produce long-term benefits without the use of chemicals.

Whole Story Founder Alison Keith breaks down what this means for our products so you never have to question what’s in your non-toxic skin care. Consider this your handy Whole Story Glossary.


This is a good place to start because “organic” seems to be on most packaging these days! The word organic is loosely used in cosmetics and open for interpretation by the manufacturer and the consumer. The FDA regulates the cosmetic industry and does not define organic ingredients when it comes to skin care products.

Sometimes the words organic and natural are used synonymously with plant-based. But, they are not one-in-the-same. t is a misuse of the word. The FDA also states, “An ingredient's source doesn’t determine its safety.” So, many skin care products can claim “organically sourced ingredients” in their products, though this does not mean every ingredient in the formula is organically harvested.


Botanicals are plant extracts and oils derived from flowers, herbs, nuts, and seeds. They contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for your skin with therapeutic benefits to naturally reduce the signs of aging. Scientific research suggests that botanical ingredients have a better impact on the skin than synthetic. Why? Because the vitamins and minerals from nature mimic the body’s natural substances.

According to the National Institute of Health, "Botanicals in skin care products offer anti-inflammatory benefits and may prove beneficial for photoaging (premature aging). The reduction of inflammation is one of the best and practical reasons to include botanicals in skin care protocols."


Whole Story uses ingredients that have been cold pressed at the time of harvest because it is the only way to keep the integrity of the nutrients during the extraction process. This means you get the optimum, purest form of therapeutic benefits in your skin care.

It’s just like cooking. When you add heat to fruits and vegetables you reduce the nutrients found in their raw state. By boiling spinach or broccoli, you reduce vitamin C in the serving by 50%. The same is true for skin care ingredients. Many brands use heat during the extraction process because it’s cheaper and faster. As a result, you may not see the results you expect because these ingredients are now diluted and lower grade.


Products manufactured with synthetic ingredients don’t smell good. During the formulation process, artificial fragrance is added to the synthetic ingredients to disguise the poor-smelling product. Added fragrance can irritate the skin and can be toxic once absorbed into the body. The words “added fragrance” usually means there are chemicals in the product.

This is another reason why we use botanical ingredients. We love the therapeutic benefits from plants such as chamomile, lavender and rosewater, and their lovely, natural scent. The Whole Story Calming Cleanser with Blue Chamomile simply smells just like that: chamomile.

By understanding what’s in the products you use on your skin, you can make educated decisions that work best for your skin care needs. You can trust Whole Story to only use holistic ingredients that will help you reverse the signs of premature aging so you can love the skin you’re in. Click here to start shopping our plant-based products.