Todays consumers are more educated, socially & environmentally conscious & aware than ever before. Coupled with the concept of clean beauty making a big push into the cosmetics market, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a focus on natural & organic products is the way of the future.
While a multitude of companies have slapped on a natural or organic tag on their products, many times only a very small percentage of a product’s ingredients were naturally & organically farmed.
This is were the COSMOS international standard comes into play.
The COSMOS standard was developed by the founders of the COSMOS-standard AISBL, an international non-profit association registered in Belgium, that is made up of organic certification bodies from Germany (BDIH), France (Cosmebio & ECOCERT), Italy (ICEA) & the UK (Soil Association). The reason for the development of the standard is to define common requirements & definitions for organic &/or natural cosmetics & provide cosmetic brands & ingredients manufacturers in Europe with a region-wide certification. The COSMOS standard presents a clear accreditation for consumers to be confident in the sourcing of the ingredients in the products they are buying. It also affords companies working in the cosmetics industry across Europe the chance to focus on a single accreditation, avoiding multiple certification costs & site inspections.
COSMOS offers two types of certification: COSMOS Organic & COSMOS Natural. The Organic certification is divided into degrees. For a final product to be considered organic it must consist of 95% organic materials. For a leave-on product to get a “made with organic” products accreditation, 20% of all ingredients must be organic, while for rinse-off products 10% of all ingredients must be organic. Products certified Natural contain ingredients from natural origin & while they may contain some organic ingredients, they do not have enough to be labelled Organic. In products with at least 80% minerals or ingredients of mineral origin, at least 10% of the total product must be organic to be labelled as such.
There are also certifications aimed at companies that supply materials to be used in COSMOS certified organic &/or natural cosmetic products: COSMOS certified ingredients, COSMOS approved base products & COSMOS raw materials. All approved materials are included in the COSMOS approved certified ingredients database on their website.
To meet the COSMOS accreditation, strict guidelines for sustainable manufacture must be followed with respect to the principles of Green Chemistry. The whole manufacturing process is audited for green credentials, including the supply chain for product manufacture or preparation, product packaging & cleaning materials used in production facilities.
ECOCERT is an organic certification organisation, founded in France in 1991. It was the first certification body to develop standards for natural & organic cosmetics in 2003. While it is based in Europe it conducts inspections in over 80 countries & supports & guides more than 1,000 companies through their certification processes, making it one of the largest organic certification organisations in the world.
The basic premise of the ECOCERT standard is to ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic product. The specification evaluates all stakeholders in the production chain from suppliers & manufacturers to distributor organisations. To obtain ECOCERT certification strict instructions outlined in the standard must be adhered to:
The ingredients used must be derived from renewable resources & manufactured by environmentally friendly processes.
To be up to ECOCERT standard, packaging must be biodegradable or recyclable & no GMOs, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEGs, synthetic perfumes & dyes or animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.) must be present.
A minimum threshold of natural ingredients must be derived from organic farming.
A minimum of 95% of the total ingredients must come from natural origin for both natural & organic certification. For the “natural & organic” cosmetic label a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula & a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic sources. For the “natural” cosmetic label a minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula & a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic sources
An ECOCERT auditor will perform an on-site audit.
MicNo®, your COSMOS ECOCERT approved ingredient
Zinc Oxide (ZnO) is a mineral ingredient commonly used as a UV filter in sunscreen formulations. It is the only sunscreen additive to provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA & UVB radiation from the sun. Entekno Materials have designed & developed an innovative MicNo® ZnO Particle Technology. MicNo provides cosmetic formulators a single ingredient that, due to its unique morphology, can overcome the disadvantages associated with micron & nano ZnO currently being used in the industry.
MicNo® is a single novel ingredient that offers high protection against UVA, UVB & Blue light as well as a high SPF ratio per % mass, which can translate to overall more cost-effective formulations. In contrast to many ZnO additives on the market, MicNo has excellent dispersion properties & offers high transparency without causing whitening. MicNo® is also environmentally friendly & a totally natural ingredient, with the COSMOS Approved Raw material & ECOCERT Natural accreditations to prove it.
MicNo® can be incorporated into many different formulations not just in sun screens, for instance daily care products such as moisturisers & lip balms or coloured cosmetics such as foundations & lip sticks. It is the perfect solution to balance the desires of cosmetics companies for cost-efficient formulations & more effective additives & end consumers looking for superior sun protection but with natural ingredients that are healthy for the environment & human health.
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