|Everyone talks about 'organic this', 'organic that'... We have made this page about the 'Organic World' (Monde Bio) to help you understand the various organic logos and labels.
A 100% organic cosmetic is made with ingredients from organic farming, whose origin and traceabilty are known precisely, it contains no chemical preservatives or artificial dyes. No testing must have been done on animals, and no animal ingredients are allowed. Along with the strict selection of raw materials, the ecological impact of each step in the process chain is a decisive factor.
The BDIH, a federation of pharmaceutical brands and health, food and hygiene industries, was created in 1951 in Germany, the pioneer country of Organics.
BDIH's 'natural cosmetics' group was created in 1996 by a dozen laboratories, who developed guidelines. In 1996, a group of cosmetic manufacturers developed complete and strict guidelines concerning the making of natural beauty products. On this basis, an independent organism examines the composition of the products to be certified, and their methods of production.
Nowadays, the Kontrollierte Naturkosmetik has 50 members. It's equivalent in France is Ecocert, a control society authorized by the german government, which exists since 1991 and delivers the Cosmebio label. Ecocert was formed through the association of organic culture counsellors, and works based on it's own strict charter.
Cosmetics formulated with natural vegetable or mineral raw materials.
Priority is given to plants from ORGANIC farming, vegetable emulsifiers and cleansing bases obtained through 'gentle' techniques (hydrolysis, esterification).
Tests are conducted on volunteer people or cell cultures.
The restricted use of mild preservatives (benzoic acid, sorbic acid)
When used, the product must be labelled: 'preserved with...'
Artificial dyes or fragrances
Ethoxylated cleansing bases or emulsifiers
Genetically modified raw materials (GMO)
Raw materials from animal origin (vertebrates), except those from the living animal (lanolin)
Whale Spermaceti or animal collagen
The positive list:
The core of the BDIH guidelines is the 'positive list' of authorized ingredients. This list contains 690 components out of the 20 000 identified.
Even one unauthorized ingredient prevents certification of the finished product.
Control and label:
The control is carried out once a year.
The conformity certification is given individually to each product (no brand certification). It remains valid for 15 months.
The label BDIH can be applied to the product only after certification.
Ecocert is a certification organism authorized by the french government, which offers the Ecological and Organic Cosmetic certification since 2002. The certification process is the following.
The main guarantees of a certified product are:
95% minimum of total ingredients are from natural origin, obtained through environment-friendly transformation processes (the remaining 5% may be synthetic ingredients belonging to a short list in the referential: a few preservatives and buffering agents) so the manufacturers will use raw materials from agricultural resources, transformed through processes which respect the environment (listed in the referential), and no ingredients from the petrochemical industry.
10% minimum of total ingredients are from organic farming.
95% minimum of vegetable ingredients are from Organic Farming (this criterion forces the manufacturer to use as many organic ingredients as possible).
The manufacturing and conditioning steps are controlled as to guarantee the respect of traceability and protection of the immediate environment.
The label is verified by Ecocert and lists the percentages of natural ingredients and organic ingredients, to guarantee transparency to the customer, the translation of the INCI ingredient list in vernacular language is encouraged.
The following mention appears on certified products and is the only proof of certification:
COSMETIQUE ECOLOGIQUE ET BIOLOGIQUE
The ingredients from organic agriculture are marked with a star on the INCI list, and refer to the mention: '*Ingredients from organic farming'
The finished products are not tested on animals.
Artificial fragrances, artificial dyes, silicons, glycols... are prohibited. Only a few necessary artificial ingredients are authorized, and only if they are not yet available in natural form.
As to respect the referential's standards, the manufacturer is controlled twice a year by an Ecocert auditor. These controls concern the verification of the products, their making, conditioning and packaging. The certified operators receive a licence related to the company, authorizing it to manufacture and/or distribute certified cosmetics, and a certificate for the products.
All these standards are detailed in the 'Référentiel des Cosmétiques Ecologiques et Biologiques', an official referential, validated by the DGCCRF, and submitted to the ministry of Industry, it has been published in the french JO (Official Journal) in april 2003.
The certified member societies of the Cosmebio professional association may also use the 'Cosmebio' logo.
Since the Fall 2002, an Ecological and Organic Cosmetics guideline has been submitted to the french Ministry of Industry and Trade. The development of this guideline began in 2000 with a group of cosmetic companies executives, in association with the ECOCERT control organism.
The french professional association COSMEBIO was born from this action group and has opened up to companies interested in producing this type of cosmetic.
The COSMEBIO charter defines the following guidelines:
For the products: ingredient selection (products guarateed without GMO, petrochemical derivatives, artificial dyes or fragrances), selection of the manufacturing and transformation processes.
For the people: out of respect for the consumers and their well-being, the cosmetic products are released on the market with detailed information and transparency regarding all of the procedures up to the finished product.
For the environment: general respect of life (products are not tested on animals), specific measures to respect the environment (recyclable and non-polluting packaging, selective sorting...)
For economy and society: sustainable development, fair trade.
The green logo 'Cosmetique bio, charte cosmebio' guarantees that:
95% minimum of ingredients are natural or of natural origin
95% minimum of vegetable ingredients are organic
10% minimum of ingredients in the finished product are organic
The blue logo 'Cosmetique eco, charte cosmebio' guarantees that:
95% minimum of ingredients are natural or of natural origin
50% minimum of vegetable ingredients are organic
5% minimum of ingredients in the finished product are organic
The AB logo is restricted to essential oils produced within the European Union, or whose european production is not sufficient for the market. For example, an orange essential oil produced in Italy will have the AB logo, whereas an orange essential oil, even organic, produced in South America cannot carry the AB logo. All the control organisms are private, authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, and are not related to any union or commercial structure. Ecocert is the most important organism, and represents 80% of all certifications.
|Nature & Progrès|
An association of consumers and professionals gathered for an organic agriculture that respects humans, animals, plants and the planet. For a biodiverse organic agriculture, the only agriculture capable of satisfying our taste while guaranteeing our health. For an organic agriculture that preserves the rural network and values the small farmers. For an organic agriculture that supports the small farmer's knowledge and seeds. For an ethical and strict organic agriculture, that doesn't comply with market economy.