What makes certified natural cosmetics trustworthy for me

Publish DateNov 24, 2021

Why you are on the safe side with certified natural cosmetics with a seal: for you and for the environment

Where it says natural cosmetics on it, is it also natural cosmetics in it?

I like this idea. However, the truth is frequently different. Cosmetics made from natural ingredients are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, the offer is enormous and unmanageable. Cosmetic companies aim to meet our demand for healthy and long-lasting body care in a variety of methods. Clean Beauty, Blue Beauty, Conscious and Organic Beauty, as well as Certified natural cosmetics, are all buzzwords these days. Special plant extracts, such as marigolds, aloe vera, and tiger grass, are used in some cosmetics. Others advertise with the Use of organic ingredients. Some brands put beautiful marketing concepts that work with terms such as "natural cosmetics" and "natural".. Others are committed to sustainability, fair trade or vegan ingredients. But do all these cosmetics companies really offer "natural cosmetics"?

What is natural cosmetics actually?

Natural cosmetics are, above all, a concept. We all contribute our thoughts to this concept. The essential purpose of natural cosmetics, in my opinion, is to optimally assist the skin in its natural functions using natural components while avoiding environmental harm. However, the concept of natural cosmetics can be interpreted in a variety of ways. 

When the concept of natural cosmetics is articulated, it becomes tangible. That is if it is based on norms that are clear, enforceable, and verifiable. The duty of defining such definitions has been assigned to the standard-setters in the natural cosmetics industry. They now serve as the foundation for natural cosmetics.

Goodbye greenwashing: How can I recognise certified natural cosmetics?


Natural cosmetic products that are certified according to a natural cosmetics standard receive a seal. This natural cosmetics seal makes it immediately recognisable which natural cosmetics definition, i.e. which standard, the cosmetics meet.

So you no longer have to spend ages researching every single product. But it is quite enough, to invest a little time in learning about the natural cosmetics labels.. Based on the criteria of these seals, you can quickly find out which standards meet your expectations. When buying natural cosmetics, all you have to do is look at the respective seal - that's it! In my Natural Cosmetics Seal Guide you will find an overview of the relevant natural cosmetics seals and their most important criteria. You can download it here and use it to check everywhere whether a product is certified natural cosmetics.

The Federal Association of Natural Food and Natural Products (BNN) presents fifteen natural cosmetic seals as trustworthy in its product range guideline for the natural food trade. You can trust this selection.

From my personal experience, I can comment on the Orientation in the European natural cosmetics market particularly recommend the following seals:

  • the Seal of the COSMOS standard, certified by Ecocert, the BDIH, ICEA, SOIL and Cosmebio.,

  • the NATRUE-Seal,

  • the NCS-seal for vegan or classic natural cosmetics and organic cosmetics,

  • Demeter,

  • Austria-Bio Organic cosmetics and

  • USDA

All these seals are based on recognised Natural cosmetics standards that can be viewed publicly at any time. The audit of compliance with their criteria is carried out regularly by Accredited certification companies carried out. These certification companies are also themselves certified according to the ISO standard 17021
for certifiers reviewed.

Do we need a national natural cosmetics seal?

My short answer: No.

My long answer: No. That train is gone. In the EU, Austria has the only country to have a State standard for natural cosmetics and for organic cosmetics. So if you want a legally protected seal, you can opt for the Austria-Biokosmetik seal, for example. In other European countries, private natural cosmetics standard setters have been doing very good work for three decades. Their successes cannot be caught up with by a state agency in the near future.

For the natural cosmetics brands, a Additional state certification an unnecessary extra effort. Because they would then have to implement and pay for yet another certification.

However, it would also be possible to establish a governmental natural cosmetics label that would Minimum requirements for natural cosmetics defined. Just as the EU organic food label also only defines the minimum standards for organic food. All other private organic food labels have much stricter criteria, such as Naturland, Bioland or Demeter. However, if you want to apply the lowest measurable quality benchmark for natural cosmetics and natural cosmetic raw materials, you can also turn to the ISO standard 16128 for natural cosmetics hold. To the Natural cosmetics quality, which is defined by the natural cosmetics standards, ranges. However, this ISO standard is nowhere near.


Natural cosmetics certification: orientation and support also for natural cosmetics manufacturers

It is clear that the natural cosmetics seals help us consumers to quickly recognise authentic natural cosmetics. But what hardly anyone has in mind: the seals also help the manufacturers and the natural cosmetics brands! Because:

Well meant is not necessarily well done

The decision to develop one's own natural cosmetics brand and launch it on the market is easy. Here, too, the idea is at the beginning. It becomes interesting when it comes to the question of how this idea should take shape. What needs to be considered in order to be able to offer natural cosmetic quality in the long term and in a credible manner? Unfortunately, the will to revolutionise the world of natural cosmetics with one's own brand is not enough. To implement this, one needs a credible and measurable natural cosmetics framework, i.e. a natural cosmetics standard.

For me, the best natural cosmetics, for example, are no good if they use high-quality organic ingredients but neglect the in-depth testing of the other raw materials. This means that environmentally harmful additives may be used in the production of the ingredients or that environmentally harmful cleaning agents and packaging are used. However, natural cosmetics seals are only awarded to products that also comply with certain standards in these factors.

How natural cosmetics standards make natural cosmetics quality easy to implement for companies

The recognised natural cosmetics standards give the natural cosmetics manufacturers a clear Rulebook before. The companies receive precise guidelines on documentation and points to be observed in the production of their natural cosmetics. Based on these, they know what to look for when planning and implementing their projects and how to organise compliance with the rules. Furthermore they are informed about the test criteria and the procedure of the tests. This information is important for the In-house quality management very important.

The establishment of such a comprehensive set of natural cosmetics regulations would not be feasible for one company alone. The major natural cosmetics standards have invested many years of work with experts from a wide range of disciplines to achieve this. This set of rules is continuously developed to take into account the latest scientific findings and current green technologies. When natural cosmetics manufacturers and brands choose to comply with a standard, they receive a Roadmap for your natural cosmetics and Professional support during implementation of all criteria.

Which natural cosmetics seal for which natural cosmetics brand?

Many factors determine which natural cosmetics seal is optimal for a brand. First and foremost, the seal should fit the brand concept. The region in which the products are to be offered also plays a role. COSMOS and NATRUE are currently leading in the focus on the international market. The NCS seal is also expanding its recognition beyond the German-speaking countries. Those who attach particular importance to bio-dynamic principles will like the Demeter cosmetics seal. Austria offers a state organic cosmetics seal, the Austria-Bio certification.

If you are a new brand and would like to have your products certified as natural or organic cosmetics, you can find out here what you should bear in mind right from the start: The 3 most important points to consider before starting your Natural & Organic Cosmetics Certification


Certified natural cosmetics you can trust

Is it important to you to spend your money on natural cosmetics that are good for you and the environment at the same time? Then go for certified natural cosmetics.

So you avoid endless and misleading searches on the internet, steers clear of greenwashing and can Buy cosmetics with a clear conscience.

Author: Elke Hockauf


Photo Credits: Thanks to @marishkakuroedova, @jafalk, @dannynieves, @moniquewray, @Yankasvetlankavia Twenty20

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