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.