The Cosmos label, for certified organic and natural cosmetics

29/01/23
O'Naturalis : Blog article The Cosmos label, for certified organic and natural cosmetics

Do you also worry about what’s in the products you apply to your skin or hair? Are you also aware of the environmental impact of these products? The Cosmos label was created to help you make informed choices. It guarantees that cosmetic products meet the highest quality criteria, for the benefit of your body, and also in terms of the environment and sustainability. Find out what Cosmos is and why we wanted to certify O’Naturalis products.

The origins of the Cosmos label

The Cosmos label was created by five founding members, BDIH (Germany), Cosmébio (France), ECOCERT Greenlife SAS (France), ICEA (Italy) and Soil Association (Great Britain), united in AISBL, an international association based in Brussels. Their aim was to provide consumers with a simple way of recognizing cosmetic products that are genuinely respectful of bodies and the environment, without greenwashing. The label was designed to be a quality standard for natural and organic cosmetics, guaranteeing the quality, transparency and sustainability of certified products.

The label sets standards and rules for the certification of certified organic and natural cosmetics. Certification is guaranteed by independent certification bodies approved by the Cosmos association.

What are the benefits for cosmetics users?

Cosmos-certified products offer many advantages for their users. Firstly, they guarantee a formulation that respects people and nature, with no ingredients harmful to health or the environment. What’s more, Cosmos-certified products undergo rigorous testing to ensure their quality and effectiveness. Finally, Cosmos-certified products are regularly monitored to ensure they comply with the latest standards.

Brands wishing to have their products certified must adhere to strict specifications, keep up to date with updates, and undergo regular audits (at least once a year), at the end of which their product’s certification may be confirmed… or withdrawn.

Cosmos Organic or Cosmos Natural: what’s the difference?

The Cosmos label offers two levels of certification: Cosmos Natural and Cosmos Organic.

O'Naturalis - label cosmos natural

Cosmos Natural is dedicated to natural cosmetics. Cosmos Natural certified products must contain at least 95% certified ingredients of natural origin, and may not contain ingredients harmful to health or the environment (such as silicones, PEGs, and many other products prohibited by Cosmos specifications). Finished products must be certified by a Cosmos-approved certification body. The percentage of ingredients of certified natural origin must be stated on the product label.

Certified organic, Cosmos Organic, according to the Cosmébio charter

Cosmos Organic is dedicated to certified organic cosmetics. Cosmos Organic certified products must meet the same criteria as Cosmos Natural products, and must also contain a minimum percentage of organic ingredients. The percentage of organic ingredients must be indicated on the product label.

Water and minerals can’t be considered organic, because we don’t grow them (yes, we find that strange too, but that’s the way it is). So it’s normal for cosmetics not to be 100% organic, because they often contain water and, for example, clay. At the time of writing, therefore, the rule is that the finished product must contain a minimum of 20% organic ingredients (10% for rinsed products, such as soap or shampoo).

Only 20% organic ingredients? Is your label bullshit?

No, of course not. Take our O’Fredouille soap, with jojoba oil and green clay.

O’Fredouille has just been certified COSMOS ORGANIC by Cosmécert, the Cosmos-accredited organization to which we have chosen to entrust the certification of our products. Cosmécert certifies that 100% of O’Fredouille’s ingredients are of natural origin, and that 78.52% of the total is organically grown.

But then, what is the remaining 21.48%, you may ask? Well, it’s water and minerals, including green clay, which we’ve chosen for the properties it brings to your skin.

But just because these ingredients can’t be organic doesn’t mean we’re doing anything: they have to meet COSMOS specifications and be certified as being of natural origin for our soap to be certified. In particular, the certification body ensures that the ingredients are produced or extracted with respect for man and nature, excluding manufacturing or extraction processes defined as harmful. It also checks that their composition (of the water used, for example) complies with its very strict specifications.

Why has O’Naturalis chosen the Cosmos label for its products?

In addition to adhering to the highest environmental and sustainability standards, O’Naturalis is committed to using the highest quality natural ingredients in its products. The O’Naturalis brand is also committed to never using ingredients that are harmful to health or the environment, guaranteeing a safe product that respects nature. The decision to certify O’Naturalis brand products to the Cosmos standard was therefore an obvious one.

We consider the Cosmos label to be a wise choice for consumers concerned about their environmental impact. Cosmos-certified products are subject to strict, rigorous standards to guarantee their quality, effectiveness and respect for the environment. By choosing a Cosmos-certified product, you can be sure you’re making an informed choice for yourself and our planet.

Are all O’Naturalis products certified?

We want all our products to be certified. Their formulas and choice of raw materials are designed with this in mind. Products that are not yet Cosmos-certified are in the process of being certified or will be shortly (certification involves many stages and takes time, and we regularly create new products: 29 in 2022 alone). If need be (it hasn’t happened yet), formulas and ingredient choices will be adapted, until the precious label is obtained.

We want the COSMOS ORGANIC label for all our products. With the exception of products containing honey, which we have deliberately chosen to have COSMOS NATURAL certified.

Why? Because when a raw material exists in organic form, we cannot use it in a non-organic (also called “conventional”) version in a Cosmos Organic certified product. Organic honey does exist… but not in Belgium (at least, not to our knowledge). You’ll find a clear explanation here.
As we prefer local produce and short distances, there’s no question of us buying our honey from hundreds (or thousands) of kilometers away, when there are serious beekeepers in the Ardennes who produce excellent quality honey in a totally natural way.

Our O’Melia soap is Cosmos Natural certified, even though it contains 80.13% organic ingredients. The honey we use is produced by a beekeeper in our region, whom we know and whose work we appreciate, respecting the bees and the natural environment in which they forage. The honey undergoes regular analysis and has been certified for use in Cosmos Natural by Cosmécert according to the Cosmos standard.

Some links to learn more…

Website (in French) of the Cosmos association:
https://www.cosmos-standard.org/fr/

Organic cosmetics according to Cosmébio :
https://www.cosmebio.org/fr/la-cosmetique-bio/

The Cosmécert certification body website:
https://www.cosmecert.fr/

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