5 Important Natural and Organic Cosmetics Certifications For Your Private Label Brand

Updated on July 15, 2022
In this article
In this article

As we witness a steady surge in demand for natural and organic alternatives to conventional cosmetics, a rising number of consumers are now choosing natural soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, and organic hygiene products. This trend aligns with the increasing awareness of ecological issues and climate change; individuals are integrating practices like recycling, waste reduction, and other sustainable actions into their daily routines.

For retailers or D2C brands looking to expand their range, organic cosmetic products present a lucrative opportunity. However, transparency is critical in gaining consumers’ trust. To achieve this, understanding the important cosmetics regulations for natural and organic products is essential when launching your private label organic cosmetic line.

Understanding the Importance of Cosmetics Certifications

In today’s competitive beauty market, authenticity and credibility are two key aspects that separate successful brands from the rest. Obtaining cosmetics certifications is a crucial step towards achieving these objectives. These certifications validate that your products meet high-quality standards, are safe for use, and adhere to ethical practices. This not only helps in establishing your brand’s reputation but also facilitates entry into international markets that have strict regulatory requirements.

Why Certifications Matter for Natural and Organic Cosmetics

With an increasing number of consumers gravitating towards natural and organic cosmetics, the demand for certified products has never been higher. Certifications provide a stamp of authenticity, assuring consumers that the product they’re purchasing is genuinely natural or organic. They ensure that the ingredients used in the product are sourced responsibly, are free from harmful chemicals, and that the manufacturing process adheres to environmentally friendly practices. In a market where terms like ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are often loosely used, certifications bring clarity and build consumer confidence.

The Role of Certifications in Building Consumer Trust

Certifications play a significant role in building consumer trust. In an industry where false claims are common, certified cosmetics stand out as trustworthy options. They assure the consumer that the product has undergone rigorous testing and adheres to strict quality standards. Certifications also speak to a brand’s commitment towards transparency and ethical practices, further strengthening consumer trust. A certified product also communicates a brand’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, values that modern consumers highly appreciate.


The COSMOS Organic Signature Standard is an international certification for cosmetics managed by a not-for-profit and independent association in Brussels. The COSMOS standard is one of the most frequently used certifications for organic cosmetics in the European Union. More than 50.000 products and ingredients are labeled with the COSMOS certification. COSMOS certification bodies in Europe, Australia and Asia offer the certification of cosmetic products. The certifications for cosmetic products include the COSMOS organic and the COSMOS neutral label. Ingredients and raw materials are certified with the COSMOS certified and COSMOS approved label.

The certification guarantees:

  • environmentally friendly production and processing
  • responsible use of natural resources & respect of biodiversity
  • development of the concept of green chemicals
  • no use of petrochemical ingredients
  • recyclable packaging


NATRUE has made it its mission to protect and promote natural and organic cosmetics. It is an international non-profit association based in Brussels. NATRUE is an international benchmark for natural and organic cosmetic products and has built strict requirements for the production, packaging and product formulations of organic cosmetic products. The NATRUE Standard is developed by the NATRUE Scientific Committee Criteria and Label.

The NATRUE certification only allows ingredients that are either natural, derived natural or nature identical and prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). NATRUE also emphasizes the importance of following the Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, particularly with regard to their composition, safety, efficacy and labelling requirements.

Natural cosmetics

Depending on the specific product natural cosmetics have to follow a minimum percentage content of natural substances and a maximum percentage of derived natural substances.

Organic cosmetics

NATRUE has defined that at least 95% of the natural substances of plant and animal origin and of derived natural substances contained in the product must come from controlled organic farming and/or wild collection, certified by a duly recognized certification body or authority to an organic standard or regulation approved in the IFOAM Family of Standards, or to the NATRUE Standard.

EU Ecolabel

The EU Ecolabel is the official label for environmental excellence by the European Union. It is recognized in Europe and worldwide and provides certifications for products with a guaranteed low environmental impact. In order to earn the EU Ecolabel products have to meet strict environmental standards throughout their whole life cycle – from the extraction of the raw materials to the production, distribution and disposal. Additionally, Ecolabel also encourages companies to create durable and recyclable products.

ISO 16128

Part 1 of the ISO 16128 certification, provides guidelines on definitions for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients. In addition to natural and organic ingredients, other ingredient categories which may be necessary for natural and organic product development are also defined with certain restrictions.

Part 2 of the ISO 16128 defines approaches to calculate natural, natural origin, organic and organic origin indexes for the ingredient categories in ISO 16128 Part 1. It provides a framework to determine the natural, natural origin, organic and organic origin content of products based on the ingredients.


The BDIH is a non-profit association based in Germany and amongst other things, has developed guidelines for certified natural cosmetics. We will break them down for you:

Raw materials derived from plants

Raw materials derived from plants must originate from certified organic raw material consisting of or are obtained from plants approved by the BDIH.

Raw materials derived from animals

BDIH allows substances that are produced by animals such as milk or honey but prohibits the use of raw materials from dead vertebrates such as animal fat, collagen or cells. Additionally, animal testing of natural and organic cosmetic products is forbidden.

Prohibited substances

  • Organic-synthetic dyes
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Ethoxylated raw materials
  • Silicones
  • Paraffin and other petroleum derived products

Allowed substances

  • Benzoic acid and its salts
  • Salicylic acid and its salts
  • Sorbic acid and its salts
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Dehydroacetic acid and its salts

Note: These need to be pointed out by adding “preserved with… [name of the preservative]”.


Natural fragrances in line with the ISO 9235 as well as fragrances of biotechnological origin can be used in organic cosmetics.

Production processes

The BDIH allows physical processes such as extracting with water, vegetable alcohol, carbon dioxide, vegetable fats and oils and glycerine as well as natural microbiological processes for the natural cosmetics production. In addition, substances may be obtained from natural substances such as fats, oils and waxes, sugar, starch, cellulose, proteins, polysaccharides and vitamins by means of hydrolysis, hydrogenation, oxidation, reduction, esterification, or other methods of cleavage and condensation

Conclusion: Leveraging Cosmetics Certifications for Your Private Label Brand

In conclusion, cosmetics certifications are much more than just seals of approval. They are a testament to your brand’s commitment to quality, authenticity, and sustainability. As a private label brand, adopting natural and organic cosmetics certifications can significantly enhance your brand’s credibility and pave the way for increased consumer trust and market success. In a world where consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of their choices, being certified provides a competitive advantage that could potentially translate into better brand recognition and sales. Remember, it’s not just about meeting the standards but about demonstrating your brand’s commitment to the well-being of your customers and the environment.

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About the author
Adriana Schatz
Adriana Schatz is an Austrian-born author with a passion for product sourcing and market trends. She earned her Masters's degree from the Leopold Franzens Universität Innsbruck and has since focused on educating others about the intricacies of product sourcing. Her unique perspective and insights into market trends make her a valuable resource for businesses seeking to improve their sourcing strategies. When she's not writing, Adriana enjoys exploring new cultures and cuisines.
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