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ECOCERT's Cosmetic Labelling Explained

Brian Harrison

Posted on October 15 2018

Trust is essential in assessing the integrity of a product i.e. knowing what’s in and what’s not in a product, especially when label claims are made on products. There are many 'eco' related certification bodies but when it comes to cosmetics ECOCERT set the global standard. They were the first certification body to develop standards for 'natural and organic cosmetics' and all claims on packaging and promotional materials are required to be have been validated and approved by them.


The ECOCERT standard ensures sustainability, environmentally friendly processes and products formulated without GMO, Parabens, Phenoxyethanol, Nanoparticles, Silicon, PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes or animal-derived ingredients (unless naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.) as well as the biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging.

But what's the difference between the ECOCERT 'Natural Cosmetic' and the 'Natural and Organic Cosmetic' label?

First off, we need to be aware that some ingredients frequently found in cosmetics (e.g. water, salts, minerals) simply cannot be certified as organic because they are not sourced from farming. For example, shampoos and some creams are mostly composed of water hence the minimum amount of organic ingredients required to meet the certification threshold cannot be set at an unrealistically high level.

So what ECOCERT has done is ensured that for both type of labels a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients come from natural origin but set a low threshold for organically farmed ingredients by weight for both labels (5% & 10% respectively). However, the plant-based ingredients that are required to come from organic farming are subject to high thresholds (50% and 95% respectively). The differences between the two labels are as below:

Ecocert natural cosmetic label

For the natural cosmetic label: a minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

Ecocert organic cosmetic label

For the natural and organic cosmetic label a minimum of 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and a minimum of 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

So there you have it, both labels ensure an environmentally friendly product and a natural seal of approval but the percentage threshold for both plant based ingredients and ingredients derived from organic farming differ.

For further information on ECOCERT's services watch the Ecocert Video

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