Respect: one of the three fundamental values of certified natural cosmetics

Publish DateNov 24, 2021

What does certified natural cosmetics have to do with values?

Part 1 of 3: Certified natural cosmetics stand for respect

You've probably also noticed that a growing number of cosmetic businesses are using a green image and making ethical commitments in their advertising. Besides the whole natural cosmetics blah-blah-blah some Brands really mean business. They demonstrate this by regularly seeking certification from one of the necessary Natural cosmetics standards, such as COSMOS, NATRUEUSDA, Austria-Bio, or Demeter. Certified natural cosmetics assist us in maintaining a healthy physique. Plant, mineral, and animal-derived raw materials are utilized. The above-mentioned Natural cosmetics mark defines the criteria that elements in natural cosmetics must meet in detail. You can find more about their requirements here.

After 30 years in the natural cosmetics sector, including as a natural cosmetics inspector, I've learned that it's no longer possible without seals. I no longer trust any brand that does not believe it is vital to test its commitment against a natural cosmetics standard regularly. No manufacturer and no laboratory alone can muster all the knowledge innumerable experts require in various fields for decades.

Even if the definitions of natural and organic cosmetics appear to be relatively dull at first glance, a closer examination reveals a wealth of information. Respect, responsibility, and honesty are three characteristics that I believe flow through all aspects of certified natural cosmetics. 

Let's look at the first of these three fundamental values in more detail. Respect in natural cosmetics refers to the treatment of humans, plants, animals, and the environment as a whole. This respect can be seen in four ways.

Certified natural cosmetics = respect for the environment

At the heart of every certified natural cosmetic are natural raw materials. Their gentle and sustainable extraction is a question of respect for the environment and for the cycles of nature. For example, respect for the environment is mentioned in the COSMOS standard as one of five guiding principles.

In addition, both the COSMOS and NATRUE standards only allow the Use of raw materials that comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).*

This requirement is also part of the next section.


Certified natural cosmetics = respect for biodiversity:

Biodiversity stands for the preservation of biological diversity on our planet. It is the basis of our life and the prerequisite for bio-based agriculture. A healthy ecosystem includes people, plants and animals in equal measure.

Respect for biodiversity plays a central role in both the COSMOS seal** and the NATRUE seal***. Both natural cosmetics standards actively promote organic farming and the protection of biodiversity. Since the majority of raw materials for natural cosmetics are of plant or animal origin, without biodiversity there would also soon be no natural skin care more.

Certified natural cosmetics = respect for the natural functions of our skin

I consider this point important in order to understand the principle of action of natural cosmetics. Our largest organ, the skin, is perfect by nature. As long as our outer shell is in balance, it regulates itself in an amazing way. It is supported by the right amount of attention and care. 

Natural cosmetics do not aim to help the skin to conform to a socially determined ideal of beauty at any price. Authentic natural cosmetics wants to support the skin in its natural functions. It wants to and can bring the individual and natural beauty of each skin to shine.

But every skin is different. Which natural cosmetic products are the right ones for the respective needs? To answer this question, one should understand the natural skin functions and familiarize oneself with different care concepts. It is worth investing a little time here and getting competent advice. Many natural cosmetics brands advise themselves. Somewhat more independent and broader in selection are to new natural and organic cosmetics, natural cosmeticians or other experts.

Competent advice on care with natural cosmetics is closely linked to respect for the people who use these cosmetics. This respect is also one of the foundations of the two major natural cosmetics standards COSMO and NATRUE.


Certified natural cosmetics = respect for consumers

Certified natural cosmetics always focus on the consumer. But unfortunately this is hard to believe for many. Too quickly, brands with natural cosmetics seals are lumped together with brands of the classic cosmetics industry. In the process, it is forgotten that the natural cosmetics seals developed from the organic movement, whose concern was and is to change business practices that are harmful to the environment. Both the COSMOS and NATRUE standards aim to provide consumers with transparent and clear information on the quality of certified natural cosmetics. Misleading and unclear product statements are taboo.

We can only make our existing business world sustainable if we define clear criteria for the necessary changes. Certified natural cosmetics are an important step in this direction. This is made possible by the ethical framework in which respect has a firm place as a fundamental value.

More on the other two core values authentic natural cosmetics you will learn in the next two parts of my natural cosmetics values triology.

Author: Elke Hockauf


*COSMOS standard 3.1., page 11, NATRUE standard 3.9., page 8,9

** COSMOS Standard Version 3.1., page 3

*** Standard version 3.9., page 8,9

**** COSMOS Standard Version 3.1., page 5, NATRUE Standard Version 3.9., page 2

COSMOS- standard Cosmetics Organic and Natural Standard Version 3.1 , 1 June 2020, found here: The COSMOS-standard document | Certification for organic and natural cosmetics


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