How To Choose Certified Organic, Natural & Vegan Beauty Products?

What are Certifications in organic natural skincare products? What all these marks stand for?

Natural skin care products organic beauty brands vegan society ewg-verified korean skin care k beauty world
photo Freepik 

1. EWG VERIFIED™ 

EWG stands for Environmental Working Group, founded in 1992. EWG VERIFIED™ recognizes products that meet EWG's strictest standards for your health. This means they use safe ingredients without any harmful "unacceptable" and "restricted" ingredients and they work full transparency that we can trust.

  • Products must score a "green" in EWG's Skin Deep® database.
  • Products cannot contain any ingredients on EWG's "Unacceptable" list, meaning ingredients with health, ecotoxicity and/or contamination concerns.
  • Products cannot contain any ingredients on EWG's "Restricted" list, which do not meet the restriction set by authoritative bodies and industry institutions.
  • Products must follow standard ingredient naming guidelines.
  • Products must fully disclose all ingredients on the label, including ingredients used in fragrance.
  • Product manufacturers must develop and follow current good manufacturing practices.
  • Products must follow the European Union's requirements for labeling fragrance allergens.
  • Products must follow the European Union's labeling guidelines for nanomaterials used in cosmetics.
  • Product labels must indicate an expiration date or a "period of time after opening."
  • * Criteria do not concern sun protection efficacy.

For more information, you can refer here.

2. COSMOS

The COSMOS-standard is a new cosmetic certification developed to harmonize various certifications and labels in order to create one standard that is internationally recognized for natural and organic cosmetics. COSMOS-certified products are produced to the highest standards for organic and natural cosmetics and are safe, effective and good to use. 

  • 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 the availability of acceptable alternatives.

**The COSMOS-standard association consists of five founding members who now authorize and oversee the certification, including the Soil Association (UK), Ecocert (France), Cosmebio (France), BDIH (Germany) and AIAB/ICEA (Italy)

    For more information, you can refer here.

    3. ECOCERT

    ECOCERT specialized in the certification of organic agricultural products and was the very first certification body to develop standards for "natural and organic cosmetics. It's a rigorous process that consists of an independent and impartial certification body assessing the conformity of a product, service or system with environmental and social requirements specified in a standard.

    • Environmentally-friendly production and processing processes respecting also human health.
    • Development of the concept of green chemicals
    • Responsible use of natural resources
    • Respect of biodiversity
    • Absence of petrochemical ingredients (except for authorized preservatives): parabens, phenoxyethanol, perfumes, and synthetic colorants
    • Absence of GMO
    • Recyclable packaging

    Natural 
    All the ingredients are from natural origin except a restrictive approved ingredients list (including preservatives) authorized in small quantities. A minimum of 50% of all plant-based ingredients and a minimum of 5% of all ingredients by weight must be organically produced. On average, Ecocert certified products contain 99% ingredients of natural origin. 

    Organic
    A beauty care product is COSMOS ORGANIC certified only if:

    • 95% minimum of the plants it contains are organic
    • At least 20% of organic ingredients are present in the total formula (10% for rinse-off products)

    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 that does not contain water may display up to 100% of organic ingredients.

    For more information, you can refer here.

     

    4. USDA Organic

    The National Organic Program (NOP) develops the rules & regulations for the production, handling, labeling, and enforcement of all USDA organic products. The organic standards describe the specific requirements that must be verified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent before products can be labeled USDA organic.

    For an outright “Organic” claim, the products must contain 95% minimum organic content. 70% content required for "made with Organic" claims. Water and salt are not included in the calculation. The remaining 5% of ingredients are governed by the “National List” of approved ingredients.

    *Please note that the USDA organic seal does not specifically test for GMOs. In Europe, GMO’s are not allowed and the BDIH rules against its use.

    For more information, you can refer here.

     

    5. BDIH 

    BDIH is the non-profit Association of Industries and Trading Firms for pharmaceuticals, health care products, food supplements, and personal hygiene products. The criteria in the BDIH label are very strict—they must use high-quality ingredients obtained from controlled organic cultivation or controlled organic wild collection as well as meet regulated packaging and production standards. 

    • Raw materials of plant origin: Raw materials of plant origin must originate from certified organic raw material, provided they consist of or are obtained from plants
    • Raw materials of animal origin and animal protection: It is allowed to use substances that are produced by animals (e.g. milk or honey). It is not allowed to use raw materials obtained from dead vertebrates (e.g. emu oil, mink oil, marmot fat, animal fats, collagen or living cells). It is prohibited to carry out or commission another party to carry out animal testing – not only when manufacturing products, but also when developing and controlling the end products.
    • Animal testing and raw materials: Raw materials that were tested on animals after December 31, 1997 must not be used.
    • Raw materials of mineral origin: The use of inorganic and mineral salts, acids and bases (e.g. magnesium sulphate or sodium chloride) is generally allowed.
    • Production processes allowed: Alongside physical processes – including extraction with water, vegetable alcohol, carbon dioxide, vegetable fats and oils, and glycerine obtained from these – enzymatic and microbiological processes as they occur in nature are also allowed for the production of natural cosmetics.
    • Substances not allowed: Organic-synthetic dyes, Synthetic fragrances, Ethoxylated raw materials, Silicones, Paraffin, and other petroleum-derived products
    • Preservation: For the purpose of consumer protection, the following nature-identical preservatives may be used if required: Benzoic acid and its salts, Salicylic acid and its salts, Sorbic acid and its salts, Benzyl alcohol, Dehydroacetic acid, and its salts
    • Fragrances: Natural fragrances that comply with ISO 9235 are allowed. Fragrances of biotechnological origin may also be used.
    • Radioactive irradiation: It is not allowed to treat raw materials of plant and animal origin or end products with ionizing radiation.

    For more information, you can refer here

    6. Soil Association

    Soil Association Certification is the UK’s leading organic certification body – certifying over 70% of the growing organic market, covering everything from organic food & drink, to textiles and organic health and beauty products. Soil Association is now working with the COSMOS-standard association to harmonize organic standards globally therefore, all products need to be certified to the COSMOS standards.

    For more information, you can refer here.

     

    7. The Vegan Society

    the vegan society cosmetics makeup skin care natural plant based

    In 1944, The Vegan Society created the word 'vegan' and their trademark is the authentic international vegan standard. All products must pass the following criteria to be eligible for registration.

    • Animal: The Vegan Society understands the word ‘animal’ to refer to the entire animal kingdom, which is all vertebrates and all multicellular invertebrates. 
    • Animal ingredients: The manufacture and/or development of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative.
    • Animal Testing: The development and/or manufacture of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, must not involve or have involved, testing of any sort on animals conducted at the initiative of the company or on its behalf, or by parties over whom the company has effective control.
    • Genetically Modified Organisms:  The development and/or production of genetically modified organisms (GMO) must not have involved animal genes or animal-derived substances. Products put forward for registration which contains or may contain any GMOs must be labeled as such.

    For more information, you can refer here.

     

    8. PETA

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is the largest animal rights organization in the world. Companies that added to their cruelty-free list(s) are required to sign a statement of assurance verifying that they do not conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future.

    For more information, you can refer here.

     

    We Pick Some of K-Beauty Brands & Products!

    1. Aromatica

    aromatica Organic NAtural vegan Cruelty-free Korean skincare K Beauty World

    1. Aromatica Natural Coconut Cleansing Oil: This cleanser contains certified-organic virgin cold-pressed coconut oil to gently dissolves makeup and impurities, without over-drying or tightness. This hypoallergenic cleanser is made with natural oils to replenish tired skin and leave skin silky soft and refreshed. It made with 10% of organic ingredients and 96.7% of natural ingredients.

    2. Aromatica 95% Natural Aloe Aqua Cream: This is an organic moisturizing cream formulated with USDA approved Organic Aloe Extract to calm and replenish irritated, damaged skin caused by exposure to the sun or free radicals. Made with Ceramide and naturally derived ingredients such as organic rosemary and lavender hydrosol. Made with 85.9% of organic ingredients and 95.1% of natural ingredients.

    3. Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum: Ths serum is enriched with Bulgarian damask rose oil and USDA approved organic aloe vera to protect skin with antioxidants and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving uneven skin tone. This anti-aging serum smoothes and hydrates exhausted skin. Made with 80.4% of organic ingredients and 97.3% natural ingredients.

     

    2. Benton

    Benton Vegan cruelty free korean skincare acne brand natural k beauty world

    1. Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Gel: This is a soothing gel that calms and reduces redness, irritation, and inflammation on sensitive, problematic skin. Formulated with Centella Asiatica extract which helps enhance collagen synthesis and skin elasticity to heal acne and blemishes and prevent scarring and future breakouts.

    2. Benton Fermentation Essence: This is a skin-friendly essence that containing 500ppm Ceramide Np and Galactomyces to protect skin and retain moisture. Powered with fermented ingredients Galactomyces, sh-Oligopeptide-1, Ceramide, Hyaluronic Acid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

    3. Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water: This cleanser gently removes makeup, impurities, and excess sebum using 70% tea tree leaf water and tea tree extract leaf oil to help calm acne, blemishes, redness, and irritation.

     

    3. Chobs

    Chobs organic natural halal vegan cruelty free korean skincare k beauty world

    1. Chobs Oganic Tea Tree Cleansing Water: This is an organic, plant-based cleanser that refreshes, brightens and rejuvenates fatigued skin while naturally removing makeup, dirt, and dead skin cells without feeling dried out. This versatile, natural cleanser can be used as a cleanser or as a toner.

    2. Chobs Organic Rice Bran Face Mask Pack: This mask is formulated with organic rice bran extract, organic chamomile flower water, and organic rose extract. Rice bran extract is very rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which hydrates the skin and helps it retain moisture while chamomile flower water soothes sensitive and dry skin. The organic rose extract works as a natural astringent to help tighten pores, restore the suppleness for a glowing complexion.

    3. Chobs Organic Aloe Vera Peeling Lotion: This is an ultra-gentle exfoliator that contains organic aloe vera leaf extract, organic lemon leaf exact, organic sweet almond oil to smooth, calm, and nourish dull skin while gently exfoliating dead skin cells without stripping skin of natural oils.

     

    4. Olivarrier

    olivarrier organic vegan natural cruelty free korean skincare k beauty world brand

    1. Olivarrier Emollient Extra Comfort Cream: This gentle cream helps create the skin's barrier to protect the skin against the harmful factors caused by stress or free radicals while hydrating and nourishing for smooth and soft skin. USDA-approved 20% organic shea butter, olive squalane oil and 5% vitamin B5(Pantothenic acid) promote the reduction of inflammation, breakouts and skin roughness while balancing oil production.

    2. Olivarrier Fluid Oil: 100% Natural EWG green grade verified Olive Squalane oil which strengthens the skin barrier with excellent hydration to prevent dryness and roughness. softens and smoothes the skin without clogging pores or oily sticky residue. 

    3. Olivarrier pH 5.5 Dual Moist Toning Lotion: This toning lotion is formulated with only plant-derived ingredients including olive squalane and micro Hyaluronic Acid to strengthen and hydrate skin, boost elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines while the mildly acidic formula aids in restoring the skin's natural pH balance and reduce irritation and redness. 

     

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