Organic products and lifestyle have gained immense popularity in the last couple of years. It lets you take good care of yourself as well as the planet , The environment for a sustainable future. The amount of eco-friendly and certified products has also increased to join this incredible sustainable movement, and it is absolutely important to understand what it means when a product stated to be certified.
Our products are COSMOS certified, this is an international recognized certification that validates the organic nature of the ingredients used in a product . It guarantee you, the consumer, a product that is truly environmentally friendly, safe for the skin, and produced with the highest standards of sustainably and fare trade. With the cosmos certification, every product certified goes through a rigorous process of validation of the origin , the methods of extraction and content of organic ingredients before getting certified to grant the highest and safest quality.
THE PROCCESS OF CERTIFICATION:
The COSMOS certification process is indeed strict and remarkably lengthy. The first step a company must take is choosing a certifying body like Ecocert, for example, which provides them with forms to complete as well as access to the COSMOS approved raw material database. The laboratoratory needs to also be certified during which a group of auditors from the certification body make regular visits, both planned and unplanned, to confirm the conformity of systems, practices, and products to the desired COSMOS standards.
TYPES OF CERTIFICATIONS:
In general, the COSMOS organic certification target both the raw materials as well as the finish product, with two types of certifications for raw material and another two types for the end products.
The raw material certification can either be COSMOS CERTIFIED or COSMOS APPROVED. The COSMOS CERTIFIED signature concerns “processed agro-ingredients whose organic content complies with the COSMOS standard”; an agro-ingredient being “any plants, animal or microbial material derived from agriculture or wild harvesting/collection.” The COSMOS APPROVED signature is available for “organic raw materials that are permitted for use in COSMOS-certified cosmetic products.” In other words, COSMOS CERTIFIED ingredients are certified independently of the finished product in which they are found, whereas COSMOS APPROVED raw materials are authorized under certain conditions, depending on the finished product or method used to extract in which they are found.
The same principle goes for finished or end products. The distinction is made, however, between COSMOS ORGANIC certified products (more commonly called certified organic) and COSMOS NATURAL certified products (more commonly called certified natural). The COSMOS ORGANIC certification is for “products that comply in all respects with the requirements of the COSMOS standard and contain the required percentages of organic ingredients, as specified in the COSMOS standard.” The COSMOS NATURAL certification is for “products that comply in all respects with the COSMOS standards but do not meet the minimum organic percentages required, as specified in the COSMOS standards”.
In other words, the difference between COSMOS ORGANIC certified products and COSMOS NATURAL certified products is the percentage of organic ingredients, i.e., signed and verified by COSMOS CERTIFIED.
The ingredients used in production must all meet COSMOS standards. They must all be COSMOS CERTIFIED or COSMOS APPROVED. The following are some of the ingredients which their use is either limited or completely prohibited:
- Ingredients of animal origin (very limited use): they must be obtained in a responsible and sustainable manner. Some ingredients, such as animal fat and gelatin are completely prohibited.
- Synthetic ingredients such as parabens, silicones and sulfates are completely prohibited.
- Petrochemical ingredients, such as mineral oils and petroleum jelly is prohibited.
- Synthetic dyes is prohibited.
- GMO ingredients is prohibited.
- Irradiated or controversial ingredients such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, perfumes or nanoparticles, found mainly in mineral sunscreens, for example are all prohibited.
The number of organic ingredients in each formula depends on several factors including the type of formula and its certification. COSMOS NATURAL products require that all ingredients used are of natural origin (with the exception of a restrictive list of approved ingredients ). Ecocert confirms that, on average, the products it certifies contain 99% of ingredients of natural origin. COSMOS ORGANIC products require a minimum percentage of certified organic ingredients in the formula to be certified.
The requirements vary by product type. For example, beauty products are COSMOS ORGANIC certified meet the following criteria:
- In cases of a non-rinse-off product (a serum or cream for example), at least 20% of the finished product must be organic.
- If it is a rinse-off product (a gel or a shampoo for example), a non-emulsified aqueous product or a product containing at least 80% minerals or ingredients of mineral origin, at least 10% of the finished product must be organic.
Important note: water and minerals are not considered organic ingredients because they are not derived from agriculture. Since water is the main compound in most products because it is used as a solvent in many formulations, the proportion of organic ingredients is diluted. It is also important to note that the percentage of organic ingredients is only one aspect of COSMOS certification. Thus, some ingredients may be certified in a formula without the final formula being certified.
The manufacturing process for COSMOS certified products must adhere to strict regulation to ensure that none of the processes are negatively affecting the environment in any manner, nor are they contaminating the natural or organic ingredients.
Extractions methods are highly controlled, and COSMOS certification encourages the use of extraction methods that preserve the quality and integrity of natural ingredients. The following are examples of such ingredients extraction methods:
- Cold pressing: this method is often used to extract vegetable oils from seeds, nuts and other fat-rich plant parts. It consists of cold pressing the raw materials to obtain the oil without using solvents or chemicals.
- Steam distillation: this method is often used to extract essential oils from aromatic plants. It consists of heating the plants in a steam distillation apparatus, which releases the essential oils from the plant cells. The essential oils are then recovered in a condenser.
- Maceration: this method is often used to extract the active principles of medicinal plants. It consists in macerating the parts of the plant in a natural solvent, such as olive oil or alcohol, for several weeks, to extract the active ingredients. The mixture is then filtered to eliminate the solids.
- Supercritical CO2: this method works in a closed circuit with pressure (pumps) and temperature (exchangers) to bring the CO2 above its critical point. The product to be treated is placed in an extractor through which the flow of supercritical CO2 passes.
For plants’ extract to be certified, the plants used must first be certified. If the plants used have been grown using pesticides or are located near a farm that uses pesticides, then these cannot be certified due to the high risk of contamination.
QUALITY CONTROL AND REGULATIONS:
For the COSMOS standard committee to ensure the quality and standards of products, access to the following information must be granted:
- Traceability of ingredients.
- Manufacturing procedures at all stages.
- Testing of ingredients and finished products.
- Recording of analysis, manufacturing and storage control data.
From a regulatory point of view, it is very important to keep invoices and proofs of payment for the raw materials used during the production in the certified formulas because the certifying bodies may require these documents to verify the purchase of the raw materials and to prove that the raw materials used are those declared in the documents provided officially , they also validate the date of expiry has these ingredients are fragile.
Important note: animal testing is completely prohibited, whether it is for raw material or finished products.
Prior to packaging, both certified raw material and finished products must meet at least 2 of the 4 following principles, and at least 3 indicators per principle:
- Packaging and reduction of wastes (appropriate volume or weight ratio of packaging to product/ no secondary packaging/ sell products in bulk/ no single-use products such as samples).
- Reusable (refillable or reusable packaging / glass and other returnable materials).
- Renewable (renewable materials / biodegradable and compostable packaging material/ environmental certification / use of natural inks and adhesives on labels).
- Recyclable (use of at least 20% recycled content in primary packaging / use of mono-materials for primary packaging / use of packaging materials that cannot be separated according to local instructions / organize collection and disposal of empty packaging / use of recyclable label materials).
Several materials are therefore totally prohibited, such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polystyrene and its derivatives.
OUR LABORATORIES AND COSMOS CERTIFICATION:
Our laboratories are certified by Health Canada, providing an extra guarantee for the veracity of all the information , ingredients found on the labels.
We also strive to work with the Ecocert organization, and make sure we purchase COSMOS ORGANIC certified raw materials to manufacture our products and we also sources our own plants extracts using COSMOS approved extractions methods. This is part of our responsibility towards our clients, our environment, and the entire globe. We are always keen on finding innovative and creative responsible ways through which we can deliver the highest quality and standards possible to our much-appreciated clientele.