Naturkosmetik-Siegel - zertifizierte Naturkosmetik sofort erkennen

Organic Cosmetics Labels – How To Easily Recognize Certified Natural Cosmetics

Labels for Natural and Organic cosmetics can be used to reliably recognize certified natural cosmetic products. Behind every label of approval for natural cosmetics stands the regular certification according to a recognized natural and organic cosmetics standard, carried out by an accredited certifying organization.

All company-independent natural cosmetics labels pursue similar goals. The ingredients of certified natural cosmetics should be as organic as possible. Controlled organic farming is particularly encouraged. The entire manufacturing process must be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Animal experiments are excluded. Only a few animal ingredients are allowed, that are well defined. In the production of a product, animals must not be harmed. Compliance with the CITES Convention (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ) is one of the basic rules to which almost all standard providers also pay attention. Following the latest trends, the observance of the principles of green chemistry is required for some natural and organic cosmetics labels. Palm oil is only to be used if it has a RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certification. The use of GMO or GMOs – genetically modified organisms – is not allowed with any label. Micro-plastics are not allowed.

The following overview shows the currently relevant labels for certified natural and organic cosmetics on the European market and explains their main criteria.

COSMOS-Standard: the Label for Certified Natural and Organic Cosmetics

The COSMOS standard for natural and organic cosmetics is developed by the 5 most important European certification companies in the organic and natural industry.

Cosmos Standard Siegel für Naturkosmetik und Biokosmetik
© COSMOS

The standard that defines the criteria of the COSMOS label was developed jointly by Ecocert and Cosmebio from France, the BDIH in Germany, ICEA in Italy and the SOIL Association in the UK over many years. Since the beginning of 2017, all of these certifying organizations certify new products exclusively according to the COSMOS standard. The COSMOS natural and organic cosmetics labels are therefore made up of two components: the logo of the certifying organization who performs the inspection (Ecocert, BDIH, ICEA, Soil or Cosmebio) and the level of the COSMOS standard: "COSMOS-natural" for natural cosmetics or "COSMOS-organic" for organic cosmetics. In addition to the 5 founding members, other certifying organizations have now been granted authorization for COSMOS certification, for example, ACO (Australian Certified Organic). Below is an explanation….

COSMOS-Natural: the Label for Certified Natural Cosmetics

  • There is no minimum amount of organic ingredients required. All ingredients used, however, must comply with the requirements of the COSMOS standard. Their compliance must be checked.
  • Special feature: There should be no misleading reference to "Organic" on the front label of the product.
Cosmos Standard Natural Siegel für Naturkosmetik und Biokosmetik
© COSMOS – Ecocert, BDIH, SOIL, ICEA, Cosmoebio, ACO

COSMOS-Organic: the Label for Certified Organic Cosmetics

  • 95% organic: at least 95% of the ingredients of agricultural origin must come from controlled organic farming. Any processing of these ingredients must be solely physical. Chemically processed ingredients are not counted here, even if they have a bio fraction (organic parts of molecules). Water and minerals are considered non-bio-certifiable.
  • 20% organic: at least 20% of the ingredients throughout the product must come from controlled organic farming.
  • 10% organic: at least 10% of the ingredients throughout the product must come from controlled organic farming. This rule applies to "rinse-off" products that are washed off after application, like shampoo or shower gel. Powders, aqueous or non-emulsified products are covered by this provision.
  • List of ingredients that must be used in organic certified quality.
Cosmos Standard Organic Siegel für Naturkosmetik und Biokosmetik
© COSMOS – Ecocert, BDIH, SOIL, ICEA, Cosmoebio, ACO

Further Specifications of the COSMOS Standard for Certified Natural and Organic Cosmetics:

  • GMO – genetically modified organisms – may not be used.
  • Some ingredients used must be of certified organic quality, such as sunflower oil, shea butter, argan oil, chamomile, honey, etc. (Cosmos Standard Appendix: VI) and ethyl alcohol (Appendix VII)
  • Maximum 2% ingredients with synthetic molecular proportions are allowed throughout the product.
  • Compliance with the principles of Green Chemistry and the CITES Convention must be ensured.
  • Packaging will be approved for sustainability.
  • There are requirements for certification information to appear on the product labels, such as which standard was certified by whom, the percentages by weight of organic ingredients in COSMOS organic, and the exact identification of the organic-ingredients in the ingredient information.
  • Animal testing is not allowed unless required by law. In Germany and the EU this is basically not the case, except for the addition of new chemical substances. Since these are usually of chemical-synthetic origin, they must not be used in natural cosmetics.
  • Palm oil must be RSPO certified.
  • Cleaning agents used before and after production for cleaning the production equipment must comply with COSMOS specifications.
  • An environmental management plan must exist and be managed, optimized and applied.

This information and further details can be found on the website and the documents available there from the COSMOS association: https://cosmos-standard.org

NATRUE standard: Label for Certified Natural and Organic Cosmetics

The NATRUE standard for certified natural and organic cosmetics, wich was founded by European natural cosmetics companies in the DACH-countries of Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Natrue Standard Siegel für Naturkosmetik und Biokosmetik
© NATRUE

The founding members of NATRUE include Weleda, Dr. Ing. Hauschka, Logocos, Primavera and Laverana. The certification according to the NATRUE standard is carried out by various accredited certification companies. The NATRUE standard differentiates between the three levels: "natural cosmetics", "natural cosmetics with organic ingredients" and "organic cosmetics". On the product labels, these three levels are currently no longer reported.

NATRUE Certified Natural Cosmetics

  • The proportion of natural substances (physically processed ingredients of agricultural origin) must be between 0,1% and 80%. A maximum of 99% derived natural substances (chemically processed ingredients of agricultural origin) – may be used, depending on the product category.

NATRUECertified Natural Cosmetics with Organic Content

  • The proportion of natural substances (physically processed ingredients of agricultural origin) must be between 1% and 90%. A maximum of 99% derived natural substances (chemically processed ingredients of agricultural origin) – may be used, depending on the product category..
  • 70% of natural and near-natural ingredients must be produced by controlled organic farming or must come from controlled wild harvesting.

NATRUE – Certified Organic Cosmetics

  • The proportion of natural substances (physically processed ingredients of agricultural origin) must be between 1% and 90%. A maximum of 99% derived natural substances (chemically processed ingredients of agricultural origin) – may be used, depending on the product category.
  • 95% of the natural and near-natural ingredients must be produced by controlled organic farming or must come from controlled wild harvesting.

Further Rules of the NATRUE Standard:

  • Sustainable packaging is sought, as well as environmentally friendly packaging management
  • No use of genetically modified organisms
  • Compliance with the principles of the CITES Convention
  • Animal testing is not allowed

The information according which level of the NATRUE standard a product is certified usually cannot be seen at the product label.

Further details can be found on the website of NATRUE and the documents provided there: https://www.natrue.org

NCS standard: Label for Certified Natural and Organic Cosmetics, Vegan or with Checked Animal Ingredients

The Natural Cosmetics Standard of the Society for Applied Business Ethics GfaW. Certified by external authorized companies. The NC standard distinguishes four levels: natural cosmetics, natural vegan cosmetics, organic cosmetics and vegan organic cosmetics.

NCS Standard Siegel für Naturkosmetik und Biokosmetik, vegan und normal
© Society for Applied Business Ethics GfaW

NCS Standard – Certified Natural Cosmetics

  • Only ingredients that meet the criteria of the NCs standard and have been tested are used. The highest possible natural origin is required.
  • There is no minimum amount of certified organic ingredients. Ingredients from certified organic cultivation may be listed.
  • List of ingredients that must be used in organic certified quality.

NCS Standard – Certified Vegan & Natural Cosmetics

  • No ingredients of animal origin may be used.

NCS Standard – Certified Organic Cosmetics

  • At least 95% organic: this means that 95% of the ingredients of agricultural origin must come from certified organic farming and controlled wild-harvesting practices.
  • The packaging must show the percentage of organic matter in relation to total ingredients.

NCS Standard – Certified Vegan & Organic Cosmetics

  • At least 95% organic: this means that 95% of the ingredients of agricultural origin must come from certified organic farming and wild-crafting practices.
  • No ingredients of animal origin may be used.
  • The packaging must show the percentage of organic matter in relation to total ingredients.

Further Rules of the NC Standard for Certified Natural Cosmetics:

  • The used packaging must be recyclable.
  • The use of GMO – genetically modified organisms – is not permitted.
  • Palm oil must be RSPO certified.
  • Animal experiments are not allowed.
  • This information and further details can be found on the website and the documents available there from the Society for Applied Business Ethics: https://gfaw.eu/ncs

DEMETER Standard: the Label for Demeter Cosmetics

The specifications for cosmetics and personal care products of the biodynamic cultivation association, demeter e.V., are regulated under point 8.12. of the product-specific processing guidelines. Cosmetic products can be certified by external authorized companies according the Demeter standard.

Demeter Standard Siegel für Naturkosmetik und Biokosmetik
© Demeter

Demeter Natural and Organic Cosmetics

  • At least 90% of the ingredients of agricultural origin and the eponymous ingredient of the product must come from demeter cultivation.
  • Less than 90% and at least 66% of the ingredients and eponymous ingredient of the product have demeter quality.
  • The organic or demeter origin of each ingredient must be identified on the product.

Further rules of the Demeter standard:

  • Preference is given to ingredients that have undergone a rhythmic procession.
  • Electromagnetic fields during processing must be avoided.
  • Negative effects of processing must be kept to a minimum: reduction of waste, energy consumption, wastewater.
  • Packaging materials must comply with the Demeter Directive.
  • Experiments on animals are prohibited.

This information and further details can be found on the website and the documents of the Demeter Association available there: https://www.demeter.de/naturkosmetik

AUSTRIA-Bio Biocosmetics: the Label for Organic Cosmetics

Austria defined an official framework for organic cosmetics. The Biological Production Directive (RL_0003_3) regulates the requirements for organic cosmetics in paragraph 6. The certification is conducted by Austria-Bio-Garantie. The requirements for natural cosmetics are defined in the food book section on cosmetic products. This certification is conducted by AgroVet.

Austria Bio Standard Siegel für Biokosmetik
© Austria Bio

Austria Organic Certified Organic Cosmetics:

  • At least 95% organic: this means that 95% of the ingredients of agricultural origin must come from certified organic farming.
  • At least 20% organic in the total product: this means that 20% of the ingredients of agricultural origin in the whole product must come from controlled organic farming.
  • Compliance with the principles of the CITES Convention
  • The use of genetically modified organisms – GMOs – is not allowed.

This information and further details can be found, for example, on the website and the documents available from the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH: https://www.ages.at/themen/kosmetik/spezifische-themen/bio-und-naturkosmetik/ tab / 2 /

USDA-Organic Cosmetics

In the National Organic Program-NOP of the USA, the specifications for organic cosmetics are defined in the section on cosmetics and personal care products. If cosmetic products meet the USDA / NOP organic cultivation, processing, handling and labelling guidelines, they can be certified organic. For the claim to be valid the same levels apply as for all other agricultural products.

USDA Organic Standard Siegel für Biokosmetik
© USDA

USDA – 100% Organic

The product must contain 100% certified organic ingredients, excluding water and salts. In addition to the organic label, the certifying body must be provided, with its name and address.

USDA – Organic

The product must contain at least 95% certified organic ingredients, excluding water and salts. The remaining ingredients must meet the requirements of the standard. In addition to the organic label, the certifying organization must be indicated, including name and address.

USDA – made with Organic Ingredients

The product must contain at least 70% of organically grown ingredients, excluding water and salts. The product name may also contain 3 bio-ingredients. The remaining ingredients must comply with the requirements of the standard. The USDA Bio-Label must not be used. The name and address of the certifying organization must be provided.

This information and further details can be found on the website and the USDA documents available there: http://usdaorganicskincare.com/

ICADA Natural Cosmetics

This label is awarded by the ICADA society. The certification is provided by external certifying organizations. A part of the guidelines are publicly available.

ICADA Siegel für Naturkosmetik
© Icada
  • List of ingredients that must be used that are of organic quality
  • Use of ingredients that meet the requirements of the standard
  • No defined minimum content of bio-ingredients
  • No use of genetically modified organisms
  • No animal experiments.

This information and further details are on the Internet site and the documents of the ICADA available there: http://zertifizierte-naturkosmetik.eu/zertifizierte-naturkosmetik

What makes a Natural and Organic Cosmetics Standard?

In our internationally and digitally connected world, the certification of natural and organic cosmetics guarantees that all the specifications defined in a natural and organic cosmetics standard are complied with by the certified brand. Only then their products can earn the corresponding natural or organic cosmetics label. A serious natural cosmetics standard is publicly available at any time. Its compliance is confirmed by ongoing controls in all companies involved in the manufacturing process. Optimally, this happens every year – as required by ISO standard 17065 for certifying organizations and companies.

Since service providers such as contract manufacturers do not bring their own products to the market, they receive confirmation that their performance complies with the respective standard.

A certified natural cosmetics label ensures that a product has truly fulfilled the natural characteristics promised by its packaging. Greenwashing is not possible with certified natural cosmetics.

Do not miss Authentic-Eco News?
Please subscribe:

All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their property of their respective owners.

About the author

Elke Hockauf

M.A., MBA – Organic Cosmetics Expert

I show natural & organic cosmetics companies how they can be certified efficiently and build visibility and reach as a certified natural cosmetics brand.

Leave a Reply

Please feel free to get in touch with me!
Elke Hockauf Authentic Eco
Get Your free natural and organic cosmetics label guide now!
Get an overview of the current natural and organic cosmetics labels and their most important criteria – and stay up to date and “authentic eco”with our monthly news!