What we do that benefits you
If you want to find out about organic or natural cosmetics that you can trust, then you’re in the right place. We have created these standards over many years of careful development to represent the best that can be achieved for you, and for the environment. They are progressive, meaning that as innovation, more organic production and green technology allows, we can progress the standard to reflect this.
What the COSMOS-standard covers
The standard divides the type of ingredients used in cosmetic products into five categories and specifies the requirements for each. Here they are with some of the key standards:
- Physically processed agro-ingredients – may be plant, animal or microbial origin but no GMOs, no critically endangered species, only products of (not a part of) animals;
- Chemically processed agro-ingredients – same as above, and the chemical treatments must respect the principles of Green Chemistry with the resulting ingredients complying with strict limitations of toxicity and biodegradability;
- Water – must comply with hygienic standards;
- Minerals and ingredients of mineral origin – must be of natural origin and may be modified with simple chemical reactions;
- Other ingredients – a very limited list of preservatives and some other ingredients and petrochemical moieties are temporarily allowed and are reviewed on a regular basis, taking into account availability of acceptable alternatives.
Companies must also ensure their packaging is minimised and is environmentally friendly and they must have an environmental and waste management plan for their factories.
Finally, all the products produced to these standards have to be certified by an independently authorised certification body. This makes sure that the certification body is competent and professional. They will check everything necessary about the product to verify it complies with the standard and is labelled accurately and clearly, so you can have confidence in what you are buying.
What you should look out for on labels
You will find two types of COSMOS labels:
- ‘COSMOS ORGANIC’ on products containing the required percentages of organic ingredients;
- ‘COSMOS NATURAL’ on those that comply with the Standard in all other respects but do not have the minimum organic percentages.
‘COSMOS ORGANIC’ or ‘COSMOS NATURAL’ will always appear right below the logo/mark of the responsible certifier or association, so you will be able to recognise your already known and trusted organisation that participates in the COSMOS-standard.
In addition, you will find on the label the percentage of organic ingredients in the product. This is the per cent organic of the whole product, but as some products contain a lot of water and mineral ingredients that can never be organic, you may also see the per cent of organic less these two ingredient categories.
Finally, there are requirements for how the company describes itself and its products to make sure any associated literature and claims are accurate and not misleading.
How you can get involved
There are several ways you can get involved.
- First, the COSMOS-standard AISBL is a membership organisation.
- Second, we have created this standard to safeguard you and your interests as well as the environment. We like to hear your views – what is important to you, what you think the Standard should cover that it doesn’t at the moment, or how it should develop further.
- Lastly, we rely on you to report problems. Despite the rigorous certification process, there is nothing like the eyes and ears of consumers ‘on the ground’. You are buying and using products and you are best placed to see where the Standard is being abused or where consumers are being misled. Please let us know if you find anything wrong or suspicious.
How to report a complaint if you have one
If you do find a problem or are suspicious about a product in any way, please report it through the firstname.lastname@example.org email or use the contact us link. In order for us to make a full investigation and take any necessary action, it is vital you provide the following details:
- Your name and contact details (these will be kept confidential but we may need to contact you for more information)
- The full name of the product you are complaining about
- The company that produces it and their certification
- Where and when you saw or purchased the product
- The details of your complaint, the problem you have found – please be as specific as you can.