From January 2017, the Soil Association will certify all new cosmetic products to COSMOS organic and COSMOS natural standards, representing an important step towards harmonising international cosmetic standards with a recognisable symbol shoppers can trust. The changes mean all new cosmetic products will be branded with either a COSMOS Organic or COSMOS Natural logo.
Developed in partnership between the Soil Association and four European partners, COSMOS is a framework of standards developed to address the lack of legislation and formal controls in the growing international organic and natural cosmetics market.
In the absence of legislation for organic and natural cosmetics, COSMOS standards offer three levels of certification designed to guarantee that claims made on pack about natural and organic ingredients are genuine. This will also provide more flexibility for manufacturers. These are:
- COSMOS Organic: Products based on oils and extracts must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. For a product to be able to use the COSMOS organic symbol, at least 20% of the ingredients must be organic (including water).
- COSMOS Natural: For products that contain natural ingredients and which might contain a small percentage of organic ingredients. The natural percentage is displayed on the front of the pack and the organic percentage, if applicable, can be displayed but in small print. Used in particular where organic ingredients are not available, such as clay face masks and Epsom salt-based products.
- COSMOS Made with Organic: products which clearly show the percentage of organic ingredients included.
With both organic and natural certification all ingredients must meet strict criteria and respect the principles of green chemistry. Product packaging and cleaning materials used in production facilities must also meet the standards. The entire supply chain is verified providing a guarantee of the quality and integrity of products.