Organic cosmetics: characteristics and certifications

In recent years, consumer demand for green cosmetics has grown exponentially. People are increasingly aware of the products they consume and the cosmetics industry is no exception. The characteristics of a natural cosmetic do not only pass through the ingredients, but also through the packaging and the entire production process. To be sure of placing organic cosmetics on the market it is necessary that these be certified by specialized companies and several contract companies have become a real point of reference in this field.

Recently, the green cosmetics industry has experienced significant growth in terms of demand. In fact, consumers are increasingly aware of their choices regarding foods and products that have an impact on health and this trend has also had a significant influence on cosmetics with a natural connotation. To be sure of placing on the market cosmetics that are truly organic it is necessary that they be certified by thirtd parties to guarantee the truthfulness of the information declared. Today, numerous contracting companies are experts in the design and production of certified organic cosmetics, recognizable by certain logos and wordings that are formulated in compliance with the regulations that provide more or less rigid rules regarding the qualitative and / or quantitative composition of ingredients of the formulation and for the entire production process.

The characteristics of a green cosmetic

Cosmetic ingredients have clear “natural” or organic nature, but green is related to production processes, packaging, the sustainable management of the supply chain and the environmental footprint of the product.

As far as packaging is concerned, for example, there is a tendency to reduce the quantity of packaging to a minimum, to promote the use of recycled, recyclable or even compostable materials, up to the solid cosmetics which today represent the most ecological choice. These cosmetics are considered "zero waste" as they do not contain any packaging, furthermore the fact that they do not contain water responds to the need to protect the water heritage, and generally these products have a reduced impact on the environment also regarding the logistics.

Not too long ago the formulations natural based, almost an herbalist channel exclusive niche, were not particularly performing in terms of textures or fragrances. This is because commercially available naturally derived ingredients (e.g. emulsifiers, oils or fragrances) were limited. Over the years, however, green cosmetics has seen a significant improvement in formulations because certified raw materials have grown exponentially and therefore also the possibility for formulator to create organic and environmentally friendly cosmetics.

Product tests and certifications play a significant role in guiding consumers' choice towards a greater use of organic cosmetics: tolerability tests, indications on biodegradability, graphic symbols that represent the identity of the product. There are numerous laboratories that perform tests on the semi-finished or finished product and on Cosmetitrovo you can find them in the database in correspondence with consultancy / services.

Organic cosmetics and the phenomenon of green washing

Today there is no single regulated definition of organic cosmetics, but many companies claim themselves sensitive to environmental issues or insert logos in their products to attract more and more consumers sensitive to environmental issues. The same adjective "green", on a marketing perspective, is synonymous with natural, organic, sustainable. This is why we hear more and more often also in the cosmetic field of “Green Washing”, a neologism composed of the words green (ecological) and whitewash (to cover up, to hide something). This term was coined in the 90s, when large American companies in the chemical and oil sector tried to divert public attention by trying to pass themselves off as eco-friendly and aimed at building a deceptively positive image.

Greenwashing is considered misleading advertising and is controlled by the Competition and Market Authority and only the most striking cases can be sanctioned pursuant to Reg. 1223/2009. Unfortunately, even in the cosmetic industry some companies, despite having completely sustainable formulations or packaging, ride the green trend and present themselves to the public as eco-friendly. They use terms / or symbols to attract customers and do everything to seem more attractive from this point of view as well. For this reason, the work carried out by certification companies is fundamental, which check the labels of certified products on the basis of clear rules and made available to careful consumers also for the production of organic cosmetics.

Natural and / or organic cosmetics

There are products characterized by graphic or textual elements (claims) that communicate their natural / biological connotation in line with its formulation composition, as the presence of a high number of organic ingredients or of natural origin. To be sure of placing organic cosmetics on the market that really comply with a specification, it is necessary they are certified by third companies to guarantee the veracity of the information declared by the manufacturer. Today many contracting companies are a point of reference because they are now experts in the design and production of certified cosmetics.

The European organic certification regulations

The best known European bio cosmetics certification regulations are AIAB, Cosmos and Natrue. The Cosmos brand was created by the collaboration of various European bodies such as BDIH, Soil Association, CosmeBio, ICEA, Ecocert, in order to have a single common International Standard of Natural and Organic Cosmetics. These specifications dictate the "rules" for the production of certifiable organic cosmetics. In order to obtain a recognized certification, a cosmetic must in fact be designed from the beginning respecting precise rules both as regards the quality and quantity of the components of the formulation, and for the correct application of the procedures during production and packaging. Even the label is regulated by precise indications and it is important in some cases to rely on expert consultants who have a thorough knowledge of this type of disciplinary or in any case the European Regulation 1223/2009.

Cosmetics with a connotation of environmental sustainability

These products are characterized by graphic or textual elements (claims) that communicate the connotation of environmental / green sustainability in areas that may concern its entire life cycle and / or the company's corporate policies towards sustainability (environmental, social , economic).

The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology is today the most used tool to evaluate the environmental performance of products, processes and services, since the identification and quantification of environmental impacts is performed according to scientific cause-effect correlations and the standardization provided by the regulations. UNI EN ISO 14040: 2006 and UNI EN ISO 14044: 2006 guarantees verifiable and reproducible results.

A database of certified ingredients for the formulator

Cosmetitrovo is a very useful tool for those involved in research and development, for formulators who give life to products, because it allows access to a large database of raw materials useful for finding the ingredients that make up the cosmetics formula of certified organic products.

The formulator will find indicated any ingredient certification (COSMOS, NATRUE for example) closed by any article and can contact the supplier directly for requests for samples, offers, documentation.

Organic cosmetics and more ethical consumption

In recent years, the green cosmetics industry has experienced significant growth in terms of demand. The reasons are simple and lie in the growing search for a more ethical consumption which is reflected in the choice of products that can make a difference even in the field of cosmetics.

Today numerous contractor companies are a reference for those who want to design a certified line as they are experts in the design and production of such type of cosmetics. On Cosmetitrovo you can find many companies able to produce certified cosmetics and consulting agencies that can support you for any aspect related to the trading: from labeling, to marketing, to communication, to the necessary obligations dictated by the European Regulation (for example for electronic notification on the CPNP portal or PIF processing). Cosmetitrovo is also a very useful tool for formulators who design products in the lab, because it allows access to a rich database of raw materials useful for finding the ingredients that make up the formula of a certifiable organic cosmetic.

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