Hi everybody…..a bit cold today but the sun is shining and we’re on our balcony.

The last time we talked about how to find out, whether your favourite brands or products are cruelty free or not.

Our today’s topic is bit more complex, we will highlight the terms ‘Natural’ & ‘Organic’.

The natural industry is booming, but because this is an unregulated sector, consumers have no way to find out whether a natural product actually contains ingredients which fit with the natural ethos.

When we talk about organic products, it’s slightly different. Organic refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. And in regard to materials, it refers to natural fibres being grown conform organic standards:

  • NO Animal testing
  • NO GM ingredients
  • NO Chemicals or Pesticides
  • NO Parabens (synthetic preservatives)
  • NO Synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances

With all food products using the claim organic, at least 95% of all ingredients must meet the organic standard. This is strictly regulated by the European law.

But, for cosmetics, it’s not regulated and therefore a different story:

Only a minuscule percentage of natural or organic ingredients in cosmetics is enough to describe them as natural or organic – this is 3-5% of the whole product. It is very common for cosmetics companies to use these claims to market their products, but for the consumer it’s very misleading.

When we talk about certified natural or certified organic cosmetics, these certifications are strictly regulated, like ECOCERT-COSMOS® e.g.

The COSMOS NATURAL certificate is most suitable for products containing natural ingredients which cannot be organic, such as water, salt or clay – for example toners, bath salts or face masks. COSMOS NATURAL products do not have to contain any organic ingredients – although in practice many do – but, they are 99% of natural origin.

A cosmetics product is COSMOS ORGANIC certified only if:

  • 99% of all ingredients are of natural origin
  • For leave on products, 95% of the plant-based ingredients must be organic and at least 20% of the total formula must be organic ingredients.
  • For rinse off products, again 95% of the plant-based ingredients must be organic, but at least 10% of the total formula must be organic ingredients.

The ECOCERT-COSMOS® standard does not only evaluate the ingredients, but also the entire manufacturing process and packaging on the basis of sustainability criteria.

So, to be sure about your favourite cosmetics, we suggest to look out for the ECOCERT-COSMOS® labels on the packaging, check the websites or contact the producer directly.


Have another look in your bathroom and see if your favourite product is certified as Natural or Organic?

Please share your findings, thoughts or questions with us, by simply adding a note underneath, sending us a PM or join one of our online events. Because sharing your experiences will help us all. We would love to hear from you.

Next time we talk about the meaning of ‘Fairtrade’ and ‘Direct Trade’, so, stay tuned and until next time.

If you would like to know more, we invite you to our next online info event.

Looking forward to welcoming you, Pimm + Marcel.