The products you buy every day can make a huge difference to our planet. The way organic cosmetics are made, how their ingredients are sourced and how they are packaged can have a significant impact on the environment. It can also affect everyone that depends on healthy water, air and soil to survive. In choosing certified organic cosmetic products you get to experience health and beauty transformations that are natural, efficient and long lasting. But what makes a beauty product organic? And, how do you identify those items that are truly certified as such?
Renewable resources, raw ingredients and recyclable packaging are some of the things we know come with organic cosmetics. Other factors that make a product organic include how the ingredients are extracted and processed and what methods are used to blend components together. Ultimately however, what makes a health and beauty item organic is how the company that makes it applies respectful and responsible policies to each step of the production process. When choosing your health and beauty products you want to look out for items that are certified as organic, carrying a label that evidences they have earned the right to be called organic. In the United States there are no government rules or regulation for natural organic cosmetics. The logo you should look for on your products is the USDA Organic Logo. The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) follows the same rules for food products when they certify organic cosmetics. This means that in order to be classified as 100% organic and use the USDA seal, a product has to consist of 100% certified organic ingredients. Products that contain 95% certified organic ingredients can also carry the USDA seal, but they must use organic components when these are available. Water and salt can be added and is not counted when assessing the percentage. In Europe it is the same as in the United States – there are no government regulations specifically for natural organic cosmetics. Instead, contracted certifying agents supervise health and beauty products and award them organic seals. French ECOCERT, one of these certifying agencies, only allow products to wear their logo if they meet incredibly strict standards. In order for products to market themselves as certified organic cosmetics according to ECOCERT, they need to have been created without harming the environment during any phase of development, manufacturing and packaging. They also need to contain ingredients that are used as they exist in nature and that are only processed using specific, allowed methods such as distillation. Unlike the USDA, ECOCERT does count added water as part of the product when assessing the percentage of organic ingredients, and any water included must be drinkable quality. In addition to the above, the finished product approved by ECOCERT cannot be tested on animals, labeling must be very clear and packaging materials must be recyclable. Products
that contain no water and use 100% certified organic ingredients are classified as 100% organic by ECOCERT. Products where 95% of the natural plant ingredients are certified organic and 10% of the total ingredients are certified organic can call themselves Ecological and Organic. If a product has 50% of the natural plant ingredients as certified organic, and 5% of the total ingredients as certified organic they can call themselves Ecological according to ECOCERT. These descriptions may sound complicated, but they are there to make sure that any company that wishes to create certified organic cosmetics have a stringent set of rules to follow. When you shop for these products you only need to look out for the USDA or ECOCERT seal, and trust in their standards. If you want to learn more about what the recent ECOCERT certification achieved by Sabon, please contact us. We are happy to share our products and their story with you.