Jan 272014
 

The easiest and surest approach to buying natural organic cosmetics is to follow a simple rule of thumb: buy those products which are certified. While learning all the ins and outs, especially all the ingredients (here’s the list of the main, but nowhere near all the toxic ingredients to avoid) in cosmetic products can be a lengthy process, learning about organic certificates is much easier.

It’s true that obtaining an organic certificate is still, unfortunately, expensive, especially for smaller brands (and mostly, in natural organic cosmetic industry, the companies behind our favorite brands are small, as opposed to huge conglomerates behind widely known – especially due to large amounts of money they spend on advertising – conventional brands), so there are sellers of natural organic brands, who do not have organic certificates. Whether or not you will trust them, is up to you: some will trick you into buying something that is far from natural, considering the fact that more and more people are switching to natural organic products, while some truly do sell genuine natural products.

Each organic certification body listed here has its own regulatory rules, which overlap with other organic certification bodies; the standards which businesses must adhere to in order to get a certified organic stamp, are pretty much the same.

Criteria that must be met in order for a product to be organically certified are usually defined by:

% of organic ingredients/content in a product (most demand at least 70%, but usually 95% of the ingredients to be organic)
which ingredients are allowed to be used and which not
% of water
% of synthetic ingredients used and in which cases
cultivation of sources/ingredients, ingredient processing, packaging
– NO animal testing

More information on What’s the difference between organic, natural, bio, eco…

Here’s a list of organic certificates found on certified organic cosmetic products, food etc.

BDHI
COSMEBIO
COSMOS
ECOCERT
ECOGARANTIE
EU ORGANIC
ICEA
NATRUE
NASAA
SOIL ASSOCIATION
USDA ORGANIC


BDHI

BDIH, organic certificate

Country: Germany
Criteria: Organic ingredients to be used when/if possible/available.
More info: For more on guidelines of the requirement

 

COSMEBIO

cosmebioeco, organic certificate

Country: France
Criteria: – At least 95% natural ingredients or derived from natural sources
– At least 50% of plant ingredients are produced by Organic Farming
– At least 5% of product contents are produced by Organic Farming

cosmebiobio, organic certificate

Country: France
Criteria: – At least 95% natural ingredients or derived from natural sources
At least 95% of plant ingredients are produced by Organic Farming
– At least 10% of product contents are produced by Organic Farming

 

COSMOS

Cosmos, organic certificate

Country: Belgium. Founded by the standards organisations: BDHI (Germany), Cosmebio (France), Ecocert Greenlife (France), ICEA (Italy) and Soil Association (UK).
Criteria: Same as the founders’ standards.
More info: The Standard, Labeling Guide

 

ECOCERT

ecocert, organic certificate

Country: France
Criteria: – natural and organic cosmetic label: a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming
natural cosmetic label: a minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming

 

ECOGARANTIE

ecogarantie, organic certificate

Country: Belgium
Criteria: 95% organic content, in line with Soil Association and Ecocert regulations
More info: Control and labeling

 

EU ORGANIC

EU organic, organic certificate

Country: European Union
Criteria: At least 95% of organic content.
More Info: Regulates organic farming in EU. Food, processing, animal welfare, environment…

 

ICEA

ICEA, organic certificate

Country: Italy
Criteria: In line with Cosmos certification.
More info: More on natural and organic certification requirements.

 

NATRUE

natrue, organic certificate natrue, organic certificate
Country: European Union (Founded by several European manufacturers of Natural and Organic Cosmetics).
Criteria: At least 75% of your product range/brand must be Natural Cosmetics.
More info: Conditions

 

NASAA

nasaa, organic certificate

Country: Australia
Criteria: Accredited also by USDA, requires similar rules to be followed as Soil Association. Strict on the amount of synthetic content allowed.
More info: Steps to certification

 

SOIL ASSOCIATION

soil association, organic certificate

Country: UK
Criteria: 95% organic content
More info: Organic Beauty Section, Soil Association Certification and Standards.

 

USDA ORGANIC

USDA Organic, organic certificate

Country: USA
Criteria: 95% organic content, very strict on synthetic use
More info: Primarily a food certification body, which is also used for beauty and other products. More info on their National Organic Program.

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