How ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ are your favourite cosmetics?

Are your favourite brands or products are cruelty free or not?

Here, we talk about the terms ‘Natural’ & ‘Organic’.

The natural industry is booming, but because this is an unregulated sector, consumers have no way to find out whether a natural product actually contains ingredients which fit with the natural ethos.

When we talk about organic products, it’s slightly different. Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. And in regard to materials, it refers to natural fibres being grown conform organic standards:

  • NO Animal testing
  • NO GM ingredients
  • NO Chemicals or Pesticides
  • NO Parabens (synthetic preservatives)
  • NO Synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances

With all food products using the claim organic, at least 95% of all ingredients must meet the organic standard. This is strictly regulated by the European law.

Sadly, cosmetics, are not regulated and therefore a different story

Only a tiny percentage of natural or organic ingredients in cosmetics is enough to describe them as natural or organic – this is 3-5% of the whole product. It is very common for cosmetics companies to use these claims to market their products, but for the consumer it’s very misleading.

When we talk about certified natural or certified organic cosmetics, these certifications are strictly regulated, like ECOCERT-COSMOS® .

The COSMOS NATURAL certificate is most suitable for products containing natural ingredients which cannot be organic, such as water, salt or clay – for example toners, bath salts or face masks. COSMOS NATURAL products do not have to contain any organic ingredients – although in practice many do – but, they are 99% of natural origin.

A cosmetics product is COSMOS ORGANIC certified only if:

  • 99% of all ingredients are of natural origin
  • For leave on products, 95% of the plant-based ingredients must be organic and at least 20% of the total formula must be organic ingredients.
  • For rinse off products, again 95% of the plant-based ingredients must be organic, but at least 10% of the total formula must be organic ingredients.

The ECOCERT-COSMOS® standard not only evaluates the ingredients, but includes the entire manufacturing process and packaging based on the criteria of sustainability.

So, to be sure about your favourite cosmetics, we suggest to look out for the ECOCERT-COSMOS® labels on the packaging, check the websites or contact the producer directly.

Check out your bathroom and see if your favourite products are certified as Natural or Organic

I’d love to hear what you find, your thoughts or questions. Add a comment below or send me a PM or join one of our online events. Sharing your experiences will benefit all of us.

If you would like to know more, I would like to invite you to my next online informational event.

I look forward to welcoming you soon!

About COSMOS-standard

The COSMOS-standard is managed by a not-for-profit, international and independent association – the Brussels based COSMOS-standard AISBL.

The founding members (BDIH – Germany, Cosmebio – France, Ecocert – France, ICEA – Italy and the Soil Association – UK) continue to bring their combined expertise to the continuous development and management of the COSMOS-standard

The board consists of a representative from each of the founding organisations and is chaired by Harald Dittmar of BDIH. Specialist committees such as the technical and certifier committee advise the board and team.

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