ECOCERT was the very first certification body to develop standards for "natural and organic cosmetics" Introduced in 2003, the specification was drawn up in conjunction with all stakeholders in the value chain, i.e. experts, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers and development organisations. ECOCERT currently supports and guides more than 1,000 companies through their certification processes.
The basic principles of the ECOCERT standard:
To ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic product, the ECOCERT standard lays down:
1. The use of ingredients derived from renewable resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. ECOCERT therefore checks: The absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.). The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging. 2. A minimum threshold of natural ingredients from organic farming to be reached to obtain certification:
For the natural and organic cosmetic label: A minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming. For the natural cosmetic label: A minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.
Some ingredients very frequently found in cosmetics (water, salts, minerals) cannot be certified as organic because they are not sourced from farming. For example, shampoos and some creams, mostly composed of water, contain between 10% and 40% organic ingredients, and always 95% natural ingredients. An essential oil, which does not contain water, can be up to 100% organic ingredients.
BDIH (Bundesverband Deutscher Industrie-und Handelsunternehmen - GermanFederal Associationof Industry and Trade)
BDIH is the non-profit Association of Industries and Trading Firms for pharmaceuticals, health care products, food supplements and personal hygiene products The Association, located in Mannheim, Germany, has organized over 440 producers and distributors of
• Cosmetics and Natural Cosmetics
• Nutritonal Foods
• Over-the-counter Medications In 1996, working together with leading natural cosmetics producers the BDIH developed comprehensive guidelines for certified natural cosmetics, keeping in mind the expectations of consumers. On the basis of these guidelines, an independent institute has tested more than 2.000 products for their contents and production methods.
The COSMOS-standard is the only harmonised, international standard for organic and natural cosmetics. It was created by the following five leading associations and certification bodies: BDIH (Germany) / COSMEBIO (France) / ECOCERT Greenlife(France) / ICEA (Italy) / SOIL Association (United Kingdom).
They established the Brussels-based “COSMOS-standard as an independent, international, non-profit association to support and defend organic and natural cosmetics.
COSMOS NATURAL для натуральной косметики,
COSMOS ORGANIC — the organic cosmetics.
A minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 20% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.
COSMOS NATURAL — natural cosmetics with natural components with no emphasis on the organics.
The NATRUE Organisation was founded in the autumn of 2007.
NATRUE decided to focus on what is inside a product. Ingredients as well as processes are taken account of. NATRUE classified ingredients into three easy-to-understand types depending on the process they have been subjected to:
- Natural ingredients Derived natural ingredients Nature-identical ingredients Natural ingredients are unmodified and may be obtained only by physical processes or fermentation.
- Derived natural ingredients are the result of permitted chemical reaction processes on only natural ingredients.
- Nature-identical ingredients can be either pigments, minerals or preservatives. They are reproduced in the laboratory but exist in nature.
These ingredients are allowed when strictly necessary in order to ensure consumer safety (preservatives) or for purity (minerals/pigments). All of them have one essential characteristic: they can be found in nature Nothing artificial is allowed. The last ingredient is water– which does not fall into the natural ingredient category because NATRUE does not want to inflate the natural content by allowing water to be taken into account.
USDA certified Organic products are produced without the use of synthetic preservatives, petrochemicals, ionizing radiation or pesticides. The USDA has established a national standard for organic labeling.
There are 3 classifications based on the percentage of organic ingredients in the products:
- 100 % Organic: Must contain only organically produced ingredients. (The USDA seal may appear on the package.)
- Organic: Must contain 95% minimum organically produced ingredients. Products cannot be produced using synthetic preservatives, petrochemicals, ionizing radiation or any other excluded methods. (The USDA seal may appear on the package.)
- Made with Organic Ingredients: Contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. (The USDA seal cannot be used anywhere on the package.)