What Is Certified Organic Beauty?

What Is Certified Organic Beauty?

At Blomma Beauty we're experts in conscious beauty and wellbeing which covers the whole spectrum of natural, organic, ethical and sustainable products. There's lots of different terms that are used to describe conscious beauty and our customers often ask us about the difference between organic and organically certified products. Read on for all the details...

Organic beauty products

Put simply, organic beauty products are made with organically farmed ingredients which means the crops have been grown without the use of genetic modification, herbicides or artificial pesticides. This is different to purely natural formulations where ingredients could be grown using pesticides on the crops. 

There are of course shades of grey within the organic beauty industry and the products on offer. Alessandra from certified organic beauty brand Terre Verdi says:

'You still need to pay particular attention then to the percentage of organic content in an organic skincare product, as well as the certification in place.'

Benefits of organic beauty products 

There are many benefits of using organic moisturisers and bath products on your skin. By refusing to use artificial pesticides and herbicides, organically grown ingredients have no toxic pesticide and chemical residue which won't make their way into your products. There are also benefits to the environment and wildlife.

But crucially, Alessandra adds, 'there is a study that proves that organic ingredients are 1.5 times more nutritious than non-organic ones. In skincare, you then have a more nourishing product that brings more vitamins and minerals to the skin, so more healing properties to help several skin conditions. The antioxidant level of organic ingredients is much higher than non-organic ones. And higher anti-oxidants means a higher anti-ageing factor.". So if you're looking to retain you youthful looks for as long as possible and feel confident you're shopping ethically and sustainably too, look no further than organic beauty products. 

Certified organic beauty products

There can be benefits to choosing organic beauty products that have been certified by an independent body, namely the piece of mind you get that someone that has no commercial interest in the product has verified its conscious credentials. This is particularly important when you consider that terms like natural and organic aren't regulated so the difference in quality of these claims on a product can differ vastly. 

At Blomma Beauty we carefully check each and every product that's listed on our website and at our events whether it's organic, natural or certified organic but if you're looking for additional reassurance then opting for certified organic brands is a good way to go. There are strict checks that certifiers will undertake and it doesn't stop at just the ingredients. Alessandra tells us more about this:

'Ingredients in the products can be traced all the way to the source, and certified brands are rigorously checked every year to make sure they are following the standards. From the very beginning, before a brand is certified, the certifier looks at and needs to approve: packaging used to make sure it can be recycled; the cleaning products used before and after manufacturing, to make sure they also follow the strict guidelines and don’t contain harmful ingredients that could leak into the products; the chain of ingredient provenance, to make sure this is traceable back to the source; and also environmental chain management plan, therefore how the company operates its recycling, and what program it has in place'

Certifiers of organic beauty products

There are several bodies who certify beauty products as organic. In the UK the most well known certifier for organic beauty products is The Soil Association who work to COSMOS standards which is a joint European and international standard shared across the main European certifiers (BDIH (Germany), COSMEBIO & ECOCERT (France), ICEA (Italy) and SOIL ASSOCIATION (UK).

What the organic certification means in organic beauty products

For beauty products to be certified there must be a certain amount of organic ingredients used. This is expressed in percentages which you may see on the product packaging and varies by product. The Soil Association stipulates that:

  • For a product to be labelled organic e.g 'Organic facial oil' 95% of ALL ingredients must be organic
  • Leave on products, like organic moisturisers or facial oils require 95% of all physically processed agro-ingredients (which includes herbs, oils, water or oil-based extracts, certified organic essential oils and carrier oils) must be organic and at least 20% of the total ingredients must be organic.
  • Rinse off products, 95% of all physically processed agro-ingredients must be organic and at least 10% of the total ingredients must be organic.

The percentages are applied because not all ingredients can be sourced organically, but are still natural and safe to use in skincare formulations. This includes ingredients like clay or water. 

How to spot a certified organic beauty product

Alessandra advises that 'There will always be a logo on each product you are buying that is organic. For food, there are no misrepresentations, as by law, a product cannot be called organic if it is not certified, but for beauty products, unfortunately there are no such laws yet, so you must be careful when you read the words organic and natural all over products that are not certified. A minimal content of even 1% of organic ingredients, unfortunately allows brands to call their products organic, believe it or not. So, you really must look for that logo.' 

Be careful to check the logo carefully as there are two types of COSMOS logos. 

certified organic and certified natural beauty logo

'COSMOS organic ensures that there are stricter rules in place for that product, and a high percentage of organic content is needed. COSMOS natural on the other hand, ensures that the COSMOS standards are followed in every way, nonetheless, but it does not require the organic content, as the natural content is sufficient'

Some certified organic products may have the Soil Association logo but won't include the words COSMOS. This is because they were certified prior to the COSMOS joint standard which became mandatory in 2017. There is a period of transition so soon all Soil Association certified products will contain COSMOS in the logo but this depends when the brand chooses to reformulate that particular product.  

Don't be scared though, there are still lots of high quality products on the market that are organic but don't have the certification and therefore the traceability. You just need to be careful and check the INCI (ingredients) list carefully or buy your products from a trusted source with a clear product policy who have checked the products for you and are transparent about its credentials.

At Blomma Beauty we stock both organic and organically certified products, have carefully checked the ingredients, list them for you to read about and list the organic, vegan and sustainable credentials of all our products so you can shop you own values. It is a little more difficult to fully trace the ingredients from the soil to your skin without the certification so if you'd like to have that peace of mind then opt for certified products where possible.

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