The COSMOS standard unifies the certification criteria for natural cosmetics
The COSMOS standard was founded in 2010 with the purpose of standardizing the certification criteria for natural cosmetics and organic cosmetics. The COSMOS standard was founded by five certification bodies:
- Ecocert (France)
- BDIH (Germany)
- Cosmebio (France)
- ICEA (Italy)
- Soil Association (Great Britain)
Each certification body is committed to continuously develop and manage the COSMOS standard. The COSMOS standard has two levels of certification: natural cosmetics (COSMOS Natural) and organic cosmetics (COSMOS Organic). Since January 1 2017 each product certified by these bodies have also needed to pass the COSMOS standards. Today there are over 17 000 products which meet the COSMOS standards in over 60 countries. Over 7000 ingredients have also been granted the COSMOS certificate.
Four principles are at the heart of the COSMOS standard:
- Favoring organically produced products and respecting biodiversity
- Responsible utilisation of natural resources and respect of the environment
- Utilizing clean production methods which respect the environment and the human health
- Utilizing and developing ‘green chemistry’
The criteria of the COSMOS standard
The COSMOS standard requires that at least 95 % of the ingredients used in a product are of natural origin and that no more than 5 % are synthetic ingredients. No minimum amount for organically produced ingredients has been set in the COSMOS Natural certificate. However, the COSMOS Organic certificate for organic cosmetics requires that at least 95 % of the ingredients are organic and that at least 20 % of the end product are organic ingredients. In addition, the certificate requires that certain ingredients are always organic.
The COSMOS standard allows the following natural-identical synthetic preservatives:
- Benzyl alcohol
- Sorbic acid (salts)
- Benzoic acid (salts)
- Salicylic acid (salts)
- Dehydracetic acid (DHA)
These can cover the maximum of 5 % of the ingredients of a product. Mineral pigments and denaturants are also allowed.
The direct and indirect environmental effects need to be taken into account with the packaging of the product. The use of packaging materials should be minimal and recyclable and reusable materials should be favored.
The COSMOS standard forbids the testing of the ingredients or the end products with animals. The use of ingredients that are derived from dead animals is forbidden (for example animal collagen). The acquiring of the ingredients must be done so that it does not cause any suffering for animals.
The COSMOS standard forbis the following modification methods of the ingredients: ethoxylating, bleaching, deodorization, ionizing radiation and genetic modification.
Read more about the difference between natural cosmetics, organic cosmetics and traditional cosmetics from our blog!