There are more and more cosmetic products that are declared "natural" on the market, also a term "Natural cosmetics" it is also increasingly used in society, but we know less and less what the term means.
The first thing that comes to mind is that it is a product that does not contain added color, artificial flavors, synthetic substances, petroleum products such as paraffin, vaseline, silicone. Many people will only say that something is natural if it "comes from nature". It is commonly thought that the term naturally refers to something that refers to plants. However, considering plants alone is not adequate because many people do not consider GMO plants "natural".
Natural cosmetics are cosmetics that it primarily contains ingredients of natural origin, processed to a minimum. In addition, natural cosmetics are expected to be environmentally friendly and ethical throughout the product life cycle, from ingredient harvesting to logistics.
Real natural cosmetics can be recognized from the certificate (eg Ecocert, NATRUE, BDIH) awarded by independent parties to products that meet certain criteria following an extensive evaluation process. The certificate tells the consumer that the ingredients, production processes and packaging of the product are environmentally friendly and ethical. Certified natural cosmetics are not tested on animals, but on volunteers under the supervision of a doctor.
Certified natural cosmetics guarantee the following:
- natural ingredients whose origin can be traced
- does not contain synthetic perfumes or dyes
- the product degrades as quickly and perfectly as possible
- all stages of production are carried out in an ecological, sustainable and ethical way
- the packaging material is as environmentally friendly as possible
- without animal testing
- tested on humans by dermatological tests
What ingredients does natural cosmetics contain?
What ingredients does natural cosmetics contain then - or what ingredients does it not contain? The term natural cosmetics and its meaning is not regulated internationally. Although national regulations vary, countries in the European Union are subject to EU legislation on cosmetic products that does not set specific requirements for natural cosmetics.
The fact that the concept of natural cosmetics is not legally protected has led to an unfortunate situation from a consumer perspective. As the popularity of natural cosmetics grows, some retailers try to take advantage of this trend by using phrases like “natural cosmetics” or “contains natural ingredients” in its marketing, even if the products in question do not in reality meet the criteria for natural cosmetics. For example, a product may contain a small amount of a natural ingredient, while all other ingredients are synthetic, but the product is still marketed as a natural cosmetic. This type of deceptive marketing is called greenwashing. As much as morally questionable green washing is, on the other hand, it has led to the further development of certification systems that make it easier for consumers to identify real natural cosmetics from everything available on the market.
According to the most prominent European standards for natural cosmetics, such as Ecocert and BDIH, the ingredients used in natural cosmetics should primarily come from nature.
Natural cosmetics may contain the following ingredients:
- natural vegetable oils and waxes
- plant extracts
- essential oils
- dried and ground vegetable parts
- salts and sugars
- ingredients of animal origin, such as beeswax and honey
Natural cosmetics can not contain synthetic perfumes, dyes, silicones, parabens or mineral oils that can be found in synthetic cosmetics practically without exception. These ingredients affect the shelf life, consistency, smell and appearance of the product. They also make it easier to apply the product on the skin and give it a smooth surface - thus creating an image of a nourishing effect.
The following ingredients are prohibited in natural cosmetics:
- synthetic perfumes and dyes
- parabens or allergens
- preservatives such as methylisothiazolinone and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives Polyethylene glycols (PEG) and polypropylene glycols (PPG)
- petrochemical products such as mineral oil, paraffin and vaseline silicone compounds
- synthetic UV filters (eg benzophenone compounds, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, PABA)
- alkyl sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate)
- animal collagen or ingredients of animal origin acquired in a way that causes the animal to suffer or die
- irradiated or genetically modified ingredients
Then there is the question of natural identity. There are many ingredients found in nature, but they can also be produced synthetically. Will a synthetic version of a natural material be considered natural? Some people would say yes, some would say no.
Natural cosmetics are used to care for the human body using ingredients from nature. This is made possible by natural raw materials, friendly to the skin and the environment.
Natural cosmetics should stimulate and support our natural skin functions without reducing its effect.
But we wonder what manufacturers offer under the term natural cosmetics?
Different definitions of natural cosmetic products come from different organizations, and we recognize them by their stamp or logo.
Here are some of them.
BDIH is a group from Germany that seeks to set standards for cosmetics across the EU.
Manufacturers of labeled products BDIH “Certified Natural Cosmetics” uses natural raw materials such as vegetable oils, fats and waxes, plant extracts and essential oils and aromatic materials from controlled biological culture or controlled biological collection. In addition to the careful selection of raw materials, the environmental impact of each product plays an important role.
Guidelines to help understand their logo are as follows:
1. Raw materials of plant origin
Raw materials of plant origin must come from certified organic raw materials, provided that they consist of or are derived from plants.
2. Raw materials of animal origin and animal protection
Substances produced by animals (eg milk or honey) may be used. It is not allowed to use raw materials obtained from dead vertebrates (eg kuna oil, animal fats, collagen or living cells).
It is forbidden to conduct or commission another person to conduct animal experiments - not only in the production of products, but also in the development and control of end products.
Raw materials tested on animals after 31 December 1997 may not be used. Any animal testing carried out by third parties which have not acted on behalf of or at the instigation of a producer or supplier of raw materials or a manufacturer of a finished product and which is not related to previous parties under company law shall not be taken into account.
3. Raw materials of mineral origin
The use of inorganic and mineral salts, acids and bases (eg magnesium sulphate or sodium chloride) is generally permitted, except those mentioned in point 5.
4. Permitted production processes
In addition to physical processes - including extraction with water, vegetable alcohol, carbon dioxide, vegetable fats and oils, and glycerin obtained from these - enzymatic and microbiological processes that occur in nature, the production of natural cosmetics is also allowed.
In addition, substances can be obtained from natural substances such as fats, oils and waxes, sugar, starch, cellulose, proteins, polysaccharides and vitamins, hydrolysis, hydrogenation, oxidation, reduction, esterification or other methods of cleavage and condensation.
5. Substances are not allowed
Substances from the following groups they must not be used:
- Organic-synthetic dyes
- Synthetic fragrances
- Ethoxylated raw materials
- Paraffin and other petroleum products
For the purpose of consumer protection, the following preservatives identical in nature may be used as appropriate:
-Benzoic acid and its salts
- Salicylic acid and its salts
- Sorbic acid and its salts
– Benzyl alcohol
- Dehydroacetic acid and its salts
Ako se upotrebljavaju ti konzervansi, potrebno je dodati: “konzervirano s … [naziv konzervansa]”.
Natural fragrances in accordance with ISO 9235 are allowed. Fragrances of biotechnological origin may also be used.
8. Radioactive irradiation
It is not allowed to treat raw materials of plant and animal origin or end products with ionizing radiation.
Ecocert I a set of environmental standards established by a French company that was originally designed to apply to organic farming, but has also been accepted by some in the cosmetics industry. Their standards are fairly easy to meet for most cosmetic companies which is why they are so popular with many cosmetic ingredient manufacturers.
The basic requirements for certified products are:
Raw materials must be obtained from renewable, environmentally friendly sources and handle carefully.
Products must be GMO-free (genetically modified organisms), parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicone, PEG, synthetic perfumes or dyes and products of animal origin (except when produced naturally by animals, eg honey, milk, etc.).
At least 95% of the total ingredients must come from natural sources.
Packaging must be biodegradable or recycled.
In addition, ECOCERT Organic Cosmetic differs:
At least 95% all herbal ingredients and at least 10% total ingredients are selected from organic production.
I ECOCERT Natural Cosmetic:
At least 50% of all plants and at least 5% total ingredients were selected from organic farming.
Cosmebio is French association whose members are dedicated to the use of natural and organic cosmetics and is certified by an independent control organization. It is interesting that they keep a list of certain brands of products that the group has certified. They are members of the Cosmos and primarily use it EcoCert Org. Cosmetic which has taken into account both French cosmetic laws and EU cosmetic directives.
The standard divides the type of ingredients used in cosmetic products into five categories and specifies the requirements for each. Here are some of the key standards:
Physically processed agro-ingredients - may be of plant, animal or microbial origin, but not GMOs, do not have critically endangered species, only products (not part) of animals;
Chemically processed agro-ingredients - the same as above, and chemical treatments must respect the principles of Green Chemistry, and the resulting ingredients meet strict limits of toxicity and biodegradability;
Water - must comply with hygiene standards;
Minerals and ingredients of mineral origin - must be of natural origin and may be modified by simple chemical reactions;
Other ingredients - a very limited list of preservatives and some other ingredients and petrochemical groups are temporarily allowed and regularly reviewed, taking into account the availability of acceptable alternatives.
To display the Cosmébio label on the packaging, a natural or organic cosmetic product must meet certain criteria. The guarantees offered by the Cosmébio label come in the form of 2 different logos:
Approximately 95% do 100% ingredients of the total product must be natural origin (with water and mineral or mineral constituents considered natural).
Approximately 95% to 100% of the ingredients of the total product must be of natural origin (with water and mineral or mineral ingredients considered natural).
95% do 100% ingredients must be organic (as plant material, beeswax, milk).
At least 20% of the ingredients of the total product must be organic (10% with water and mineral or mineral constituents considered inorganic because they are not derived from life form).
NaTrue seeks to set an international standard for natural and organic products. This group was founded outside Brussels and focuses on creating a natural standard for consumers of cosmetic products. They focus only on allowing herbal ingredients.
NATRUE certification identifies thirteen categories of cosmetic products. In order to be certified, the product must comply with clearly defined minimum quantities of natural ingredients and maximum levels of natural components obtained.. The NATRUE standard strictly evaluates the product using the following "natural" types of ingredients:
Natural ingredients - unchanged, available only by physical processes or fermentation.
Derived natural ingredientand - may be the result of permitted biotechnological processes or chemical reactions on exclusively natural ingredients, eg hydrolysis, saponification, neutralization or esterification.
Naturally identical ingredients - Ingredients created in the laboratory for replication of natural ingredients are limited to ingredients such as preservatives and pigments.
Certification is awarded at one of three levels:
Natural cosmetics - basic standard. It defines the ingredients that are allowed in the product and how they should be processed. Each product type has a guaranteed threshold for natural ingredients and a limit level for derived natural substances. Certified products may also contain organic ingredients.
Natural cosmetics with the organic part - must meet the above certificates s at least 70% ingredients derived from controlled organic production and / or controlled wild plant breeding. All types of products must have a higher level of all-natural ingredients and correspondingly lower levels of natural ingredients
Organic cosmetics - must meet both of the above standards s at least 95% ingredients originating from controlled organic production and / or controlled wild plant breeding. Compared to the second level, this level requires higher levels of natural ingredients and lower levels of natural ingredients.
This certificate is possessed by certain products in our store, and it has been developed at the international multinational level by the ECOGEA Institute for Quality and Innovation of Natural and Organic Products based in the EU to define common requirements and definitions for natural and organic cosmetics, cleaning products and fragrances. The objectives are to implement principles that promote and prioritize: use of ingredients of natural origin and / or organic agriculture, for the use of environmentally friendly physical and chemical processes, to focus on environmental impacts, such as good biodegradability and low ecotoxicity, and actively contribute to sustainable development.
There are three levels of certification. Special conditions must be met in order for a product to fall into one of three categories: natural (Natural), natural-organic (natural with organic content) i organic (organic). The composition of each product is checked in detail during the certification process.
Well that's right Natural:
- It is necessary at least 75% natural ingredients.
- A minimum proportion of organic processed natural ingredients from an agricultural source (physical and / or chemical) is not required, but is recommended.
- Strict restrictions on synthetic additives without natural alternatives.
- It is necessary at least 85% natural ingredients.
- Minimum 2.5% - 25% of processed natural ingredients from an organic agricultural source (physical and / or chemical), depending on the product category.
- Very strict restrictions on synthetic additives without natural alternatives.
- It is necessary at least 95% natural ingredients.
- Minimum 10% - 100% of processed natural ingredients from an organic agricultural source (physical and / or chemical), depending on the product category.
- Very strict restrictions on synthetic additives without natural alternatives.
Furthermore, what ECOgea does not allow is the use of the following ingredients:
- Ingredients derived from live or dead animals, unless naturally produced, such as honey, beeswax, milk
- Use of mineral oils and silicones in products certified as organic
- Synthetic ingredients, which can be naturally collected or produced with organic farming
- Nanomaterials (until proven safe)
- Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
- Gamma and X-rays
- Animal testing
AUSTRIA BIO GUARANTEE
Austria Bio Garantie GmbH has been operating since 1994 an environmental control body authorized by the food safety authority in all Austrian provinces, and the Austrian accreditation body has been accrediting it since 1998 in accordance with ISO 17065 standards (before EN 45011). Close cooperation with agroVet GmbH, which works in the field of conventional agricultural and processing activities, favors work with other quality standards. A branch of this company also exists in Croatia.
Austria Organic Guarantee performs independent inspections at all levels of the production chain (Manufacturers - Processors - Dealers - Importers - exporters) yes brine yes "ecological" the product in the overall control of the organic product chain really is environmentally friendly. During the inspection, a distinction is made between “certified organic products” and “pseudo-organic products” (conventional products) in terms of declaration and traceability.
The company offers various services of international supervision. Such as: the European Commission's Environmental Program (EU-Bio) which regulates the production, processing, trade, control and import of organic products; EU Environmental Regulations and Standards of Organic Production in the Republic of Croatia; verification of private environmental standards in combination with EU-Eco monitoring. Austria Bio Garantie also works closely with agroVet GmbH, which monitors and certifies companies according to various quality standards in the raw materials, food and feed sectors, as well as in the field of renewable energy sources.
At least 95% the weight of natural substances and mixtures of agricultural origin is obtained from organic production. In accordance with the provisions on organic production (Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, including implementing rules), if an organic content of 95% in the recipe is achieved, ingredients approved under this Directive may also be used normally. Total content of conventional ingredients must not exceed 5%, but the biological ingredient must not be used together with the same non - biological ingredient in the product. Components obtained by conversion from non-biological to biological production must not be included in the bio-share.
Definitions of natural products differ, although there are many similarities. All this indicates that what is considered natural differs from person to person and organization to organization. As a formulator, it will ultimately be up to you to decide which definition will naturally suit your brand story and formulation style.