COSMOS-certified products are produced to the highest standards for organic and natural cosmetics. They are safe, effective and good to use.
What does it contain?
The COSMOS-standard applies to cosmetic products that are marketed as organic or natural. Its guiding principles are to:
- Promote the use of products from organic agriculture, and respect biodiversity
- Use natural resources responsibly, and respect the environment
- Use processing and manufacturing that are clean and respectful of human health and the environment
- Integrate and develop the concept of “Green Chemistry”.
- Origin and processing of ingredients, their origin requirements and how they may or may not be treated:
- 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
- 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
- Composition of total product – including how to calculate the organic content of complex ingredients (eg water based and other composite ingredients) and how much organic content is required in products under organic certification (specific percentage limits for physically processed agro-ingredients, chemically processed agro-ingredients, and the total product).
- Storage, manufacturing and packaging – to ensure adequate cleanliness, hygiene and traceability throughout all processes, and to ensure that packaging respects the environment.
- Environmental management – details the requirements for care of the environment throughout the manufacturing process, and managing, minimising and recycling waste.
- Labelling and communication – defines comprehensive requirements for clear product labelling and company advertising, to ensure all necessary information for consumers and no misleading claims.
- Inspection, certification and control – the requirements for all products, their ingredients and their manufacturing to be certified by a competent body, authorised by independent accreditation. The process is repeated annually to ensure on-going compliance.
Who can use the Standard?
The COSMOS-standard can be used by any company or manufacturer that wishes to produce and market organic or natural cosmetics to the highest standards, demonstrating their integrity and probity. To do this, they must apply to an authorised certification body which will conduct a thorough audit of their operation to ensure all the requirements of the Standard are met.
The Standard can also be used by authorised certification bodies to offer certification to their clients. To do this, they must apply to the COSMOS-standard AISBL, a process that involves joining as an associate member, and also applying to their nominated accreditation body to be accredited for the scopes they want to certify.