Certified organic by Ecocert Greenlife
Ecocert is an organic certification organization, founded in France in 1991. It is based in Europe but conducts inspections in over 80 countries, making it one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world.
Ecocert primarily certifies food and food products, but also certifies cosmetics, detergents, perfumes, and textiles. The company inspects about 70% of the organic food industry in France and about 30% worldwide.
Ecocert was the very first certification body to develop standards for "natural and organic cosmetics". Introduced in 2003, the specification was drawn up in conjunction with all stakeholders in the value chain, i.e. experts, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers and development organisations.
Ecocert currently supports and guides more than 1,000 companies through their certification processes.
The basic principles of the Ecocert standard
To ensure an environmentally friendly cosmetic product, the Ecocert standard lays down:
||The use of ingredients derived from renewable
resources, manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. Ecocert
The absence of GMO, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon,
PEG, synthetic perfumes and dyes, animal-derived ingredients (unless
naturally produced by them: milk, honey, etc.).
||The biodegradable or recyclable nature of packaging.
||A minimum threshold of natural ingredients from organic
farming to be reached to obtain certification.
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.
Some ingredients very frequently found in cosmetics (water, salts,
minerals) cannot be certified as organic because they are not sourced
from farming. For example, shampoos and some creams, mostly composed of
water, contain between 10% and 40% organic ingredients, and always 95%
natural ingredients. An essential oil, which does not contain water, can
be up to 100% organic ingredients.
||On site audit is performed by an Ecocert auditor
Why are some chemical preservatives allowed in organic products?
Organic beauty products that contain oils and oil-based ingredients such as balms and body butters can be made using 100% organic ingredients and do not require the addition of preservatives. Sometimes they may use a mild antioxidant such as tocopherol or ascorbic acid which are permitted under organic food standards (both the EU regulation and Soil Association standards) and naturally derived. However, products that contain water, and water and oil based ingredients such as creams, lotions and shampoos need to have some kind of preservative system so that they are safe to use. In addition they may need an emulsifier which mixes together the oil and water ingredients and stops them separating.
Sometimes organic preservatives can be used such as organic grapefruit seed extract, or naturally derived anti-oxidants as above, but if these are not effective then a preservative that meets strict toxicological and biodegradibility requirements can be used. The toxicity and biodegradibility criteria ensure that the ingredient is not harmful to health and has minimum environmental impact. In addition emulsifiers must meet the same requirements, and are often naturally derived. For example decyl glucoside which can be made from corn starch, but is not yet available in an organic format.
Information taken from Ecocert and Soil Association guidelines.