COSMOS standard is a cosmetic certification that harmonises several certifications and creates an internationally recognised standard for natural and organic cosmetics..
This standard has been developed at European and international level by five members: BDIH (Germany), COSMEBIO & ECOCERT (France), ICEA (Italy) and SOIL ASSOCIATION (UK), who are the founders of the COSMOS AISBL standard (an international non-profit association registered in Belgium) to define common requirements and definitions for organic and/or natural cosmetics.
Its main objective is to establish a sustainable development that reconciles economic progress, social responsibility and the natural balance of the planet.
Basic Requirements :
• All the ingredients are from natural origin and are processed in an environmentally friendly way.
• Products must be free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicone, PEGs, synthetic perfumes or colourings and animal products (except those naturally made by animals, such as honey, milk, etc.).
• At least 95% of the total ingredients must be of natural origin.
• Packaging must be biodegradable or recyclable.
ECOCERT COSMOS NATURAL : All the ingredients are from natural origin except a restrictive approved ingredients list (including preservatives) autorized in small quantity. On average, Ecocert certifies products contain 99% ingredients of natural origin.
ECOCERT COSMOS ORGANIC : At least 95% of the plants it contains are organic and, at least 20% of the final product must be organic. By exception, for rinse-off products, non-emulsified aqueous products and products with at least 80% minerals or ingredients of mineral origin, at least 10% of the total product must be organic.
Note: water or minerals are not regarded as "organic" for they are not from agriculture. Since water is a major component of numerous cosmetic formulas, it implies a dilution of the proportion of organic ingredients out of the total of the product. Thus a massage oil which does not contain water may display up to 100% of organic ingredients.
To develop the standard, 5 categories of ingredients are distinguished:
• Water: vital and basic raw material in product development, its quality is essential.
• Mineral Ingredients: interesting and necessary, but not renewable; they require clear environmental rules in their use, and in further processing.
• Physically processed agro-ingredients: organic agriculture that reflects pure or simple processing.
• Chemically processed agro-ingredients: certifiable by using agricultural organic raw materials and manufacturing processes that are clean and authorised, all under the umbrella of “Green Chemistry”.
• Other ingredients: a very limited list of preservatives and some ingredients are allowed as long as there are no effective natural alternatives available to ensure consumer safety or product efficacy.
Products certified by ECOCERT COSMOS are labelled "COSMOS ORGANIC" or "COSMOS NATURAL", depending on their level of certification.
This standard covers in detail all aspects of sourcing, manufacturing, marketing and control of products. To this end, they inspect each of these aspects when certifying an organic or natural product.
ORIGIN AND PROCESSING OF INGREDIENTS: : Standards for water, minerals and ingredients of mineral origin, physically processed agro-ingredients, chemically processed agro-ingredients and other ingredients.
COMPOSITION OF TOTAL PRODUCT: How to calculate the organic content of complex ingredients and how much organic content is required in products under organic certification.
STORAGE, MANUFACTURING AND PACKAGING: To ensure adequate cleanliness, hygiene and traceability throughout all processes, and to ensure that packaging respects the environment.
ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: Details the requirements for care of the environment throughout the manufacturing process, and managing, minimising and recycling waste.
LABELLING AND COMMUNICATION: Defines comprehensive requirements for clear product labelling and company advertising, to ensure all necessary information for consumers and no misleading claims.
INSPECTION, CERTIFICATION AND CONTROL: The requirements for all products, their raw materials and their manufacturing to be certified by a competent body, authorised by independent accreditation.
This standard is governed by the basic principles of prevention and safety at all levels of the chain, from the production of raw materials to the distribution of finished products.
• Promoting the use of products from organic agriculture, and respecting biodiversity.
• Using natural resources responsibly, and respecting the environment.
• Using processing and manufacturing that are clean and respectful of human health and the environment.
• Integrating and developing the concept of green chemistry.
• Respect consumers who must be clearly and transparently informed.