Cosmetics Certifications

In recent years, consumer attention is increasingly shifting towards the purchase of cosmetic products defined as natural and organic, driven by an increased interest in environmental protection and the biodegradability of ingredients and packaging materials.

Organic certification in cosmetics relies on various bodies whose purpose is to issue the conformity of cosmetic products to specifications that meet the characteristics of natural or organic.

The best known European organic cosmetics certification specifications are Cosmos, Natrue and AIAB.

Certified natural or organic cosmetics?

Certified natural cosmetics and certified organic cosmetics, although in the consumer’s imagination they are identified as interchangeable, are actually two different types of products. A cosmetic may be natural but not have a predominance of ingredients from organic farming, whereas a certified organic cosmetic does not contain ingredients obtained by synthetic processes or from GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Thus, organic certification excludes the presence of substances such as GMOs, but also pesticides and fertilisers in the cultivation of plant raw materials.

Certified organic cosmetics

Let us start with the fact that the definition of organic in the cosmetics sector stems from that of the agri-food sector, differing in that an organic cosmetic can and often does contain raw materials that have undergone transformation processes. Consumers are then often erroneously led, also due to unregulated and often misleading communication, to confuse the term ‘organic’ with the term ‘natural’.

In this panorama, the certification of cosmetics has led to a kind of regulation, establishing (voluntary) specifications to which it is possible to adhere in order to obtain the certification mark from the private body. In this way, the company demonstrates to consumers that it has voluntarily undergone a third-party verification process regarding the organic origin of the cosmetic’s ingredients and all other requirements of the specifications.

•	cosmetici biologici certificati

What are the official certifications?

Since the regulations for certified organic cosmetics do not exist to date (there is only the ISO 16128 standard that defines what an organic cosmetic is and the technical criteria for considering it as such, as well as the methods for defining the indices of organic and natural in a cosmetic product), cosmetic companies, in order to demonstrate to the consumer that the cosmetic product they are proposing is organic, turn to Private Bodies.. In the vast panorama of Certification Bodies, it is correct for the consumer to carefully observe the label and verify that the cosmetic has been certified by one of the authoritative bodies in the sector. Here are the main ones:

  • COSMOS

Standard supported, among others in Europe, by Ecocert and Icea, which aims to provide a specification that can be adopted by various certifying bodies to make it easier for consumers in the EU market to recognise an organic cosmetic.

  • ECOCERT

French organisation that deals with the certification of cosmetic products based on natural and organic ingredients.

The specifications allow the use of ingredients of natural origin and a restrictive list of synthetic ingredients, including preservatives, which are permitted in reduced concentrations. The use of synthetic perfumes, synthetic organic dyes, ethoxylates, petroleum products and other synthetic raw materials is also prohibited. The required percentage of ingredients from organic farming depends on the type of label, and therefore certification, desired.

  • ICEA

(Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification) in the cosmetics sector provides the possibility of obtaining the ICEA eco bio cosmetics certificate, which declares compliance with the specifications for products that favour the use of organic raw materials and ingredients of natural origin based on criteria of environmental sustainability and biodegradability.

  • NATRUE

Specification followed by several national certification bodies, including in Italy CCPB (Consortium for the control of organic products). The specification envisages three stages that correspond to three different levels of naturalness of the finished product and therefore aims to guide the consumer towards the evaluation and selection of a cosmetic based on its “index” of naturalness.

  • AIAB

Disciplinary which, in addition to defining the requirements of Bio Eco Cosmesi for the issue of the mark, pursues objectives to reduce environmental impact by eliminating superfluous packaging, using recyclable packaging and promoting a culture of using raw materials from certified organic farming or spontaneous harvesting.

  • VEGAN OK

A widespread label for vegan products, not only in the cosmetics sector. It is a voluntary organic cosmetic certification, with a deeply ethical purpose, which serves to communicate to consumers that the company in question has chosen completely vegan cosmetics, even in the composition of the final product packaging.

  • LEAPING BUNNY

Certification that aims to guarantee respect for animals in the cosmetics and detergents sector. Companies that follow this type of certification must not only not use raw materials derived from parts of live or slaughtered animals or from animals that have undergone suppression and suffering, but must guarantee a “Cruelty Free” system at all levels of organisation, company policy and commercial choices. It goes without saying that the selection of cosmetic ingredients that obviously must not have been subjected to animal testing is a fundamental requirement. In Italy, bodies such as ICEA act as inspectors for LAV-Lega Anti Vivisection, which has shared the certification criteria with other associations.

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Cosmoderma supports you in achieving certification for cosmetics

Cosmoderma, a contract manufacturer of cosmetics, provides product development support for certified organic cosmetics, including Cosmos cosmetics.

As mentioned above, the Cosmos label was created through the collaboration of several European bodies such as BDIH, Soil Association, CosmeBio, ICEA and Ecocert, in order to have one common International Standard for Natural and Organic Cosmetics.

Cosmoderma accompanies customers in obtaining the desired certification first and foremost through the selection of ingredients allowed by the specification in a formulation that is pleasant and effective for the consumer but with the required content of ingredients of organic origin.

At Cosmoderma, manufacturing, storage and packaging operations also follow what is required by the specifications (and in general in a company quality management system) to achieve complete traceability of raw materials, recycled packaging, hygiene and cleaning plans, and environmental management.

People are often led to believe that the quality of a product or its adherence to a specific certification only concerns the selection of raw materials, but it is a process that is built throughout the company’s supply chain and requires the presence of a company that is ready and receptive to supplying the desired cosmetic, suitable for certification, with the quality standards required by the customer. Cosmoderma also manages relations with the Certification Body and the logistical organisation (in agreement with the Body) of inspection visits.