For several years now, organic has been booming and constitutes an important criterion of choice for everyday products, whether in terms of food, home maintenance or beauty products. More and more brands, specialized or not in this field, have understood the new expectations and concerns of consumers and tend to offer more ecological, economical and sustainable solutions. However, faced with the multiple options now available on the organic cosmetics market, it can be difficult to find your way around and to favor products that comply with the specifications and directives in force. Pharma GDD gives you all the keys to choosing the right organic cosmetics,
What is organic ?
Today, the term organic is affixed to many products. It gradually came out of specialized stores to find its way onto the shelves of large retailers, without anyone really knowing what it refers to. The word organic, when associated with the logos of the Bio Europe and AB labels, refers to a product from organic farming. This method of production does not involve any synthetic chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, growth hormones) and respects the qualities of the raw materials by limiting their transformation as much as possible.
organic farmingis the result of initiatives led by agronomists, doctors, farmers and consumer associations, with the aim of respecting the environment and biodiversity. In France, it was recognized by the public authorities in 1980, then officially baptized in 1985. Since 1991, it has been governed by European regulations.
Organic, natural: what are the differences?
Some confusion still persists between the terms “organic” and “natural”, which does not really facilitate consumer choices and can sometimes mislead them. Most organic products are certified by a label. This is based on strict specifications involving in particular a high percentage (around 90%) of ingredients of natural origin. A product bearing only the designation “natural” does not have this constraint and does not follow any regulations. A so-called conventional brand can thus present a beauty product as being natural when it contains at least 0.1% of ingredients of natural origin.
Practiced by large multinationals seeking to improve their image and attract new customers, but also by more modest brands, greenwashing(greenwashing) is a term that refers to marketing and communication actions that direct a range or an entire brand towards an a priori ecological and organic positioning. The goal is to play on appearances in order to pass off as organic products that are not. In general, this involves packaging worked in order to correspond to the idea of naturalness: dominant green color, visuals of plants, material used (kraft for example), expression “natural origin” highlighted, etc. Many people can find themselves lost in the face of these products, and not knowing how to disentangle the true from the false.
What to do in case of doubt?
To sort through cosmetics, you can rely on organic labels , which follow very strict specifications and quality charters. The certifications are, moreover, issued by independent bodies in order to avoid any conflict of interest. Many ingredients are excluded from organic beauty products:
Some organic labels go even further in the constraints and ban GMOs, synthetic fragrances (phthalates for example), synthetic dyes and pigments, artificial preservatives, mercury-based substances, as well as ingredients from processes that do not respect the environment. They also prohibit raw materials of animal origin, animal testing and actions that go against animal welfare.
When choosing a beauty product, start by checking the list of ingredients (INCI). You can possibly consult the site The truth about cosmetics, which will allow you to more easily decipher the INCI list and quickly obtain information on the components that you do not know. Finally, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a professional (pharmacy assistant, beautician), who can accompany you and guide you in choosing the right organic cosmetics .
Identify and understand organic labels
Symbolized by logos appearing directly on the products, organic labels are reliable benchmarks for consumers. They allow them to see more clearly among the various marketing claims. We have chosen to present to you the 4 main organic labels that you can find on beauty products.
Ecocert is both an organic label and a certification body. It was founded in France in 1991 and is considered the specialist in the certification of products from organic farming. In addition, Ecocert took part in the drafting of French and European regulations. He ensures compliance with specifications by producers and manufacturers. For this, teams regularly go to the field for inspections, audit reports, sampling and annual surveillance checks. Ecocert issues 2 labels:
Created in 2002 in France, the Cosmebio label originally brought together around ten laboratories. Today, hundreds of brands are labeled. The Cosmebio charter and specifications guarantee the composition of the products and the origin of the raw materials used. There are 3 levels of labeling, and therefore 3 different logos:
Organic cosmetics (original Cosmebio logo, corresponding to the first specifications): at least 95% ingredients of natural origin and 10% ingredients from organic farming;
Cosmetics NAT Cosmos Natural (natural product according to Cosmos specifications): at least 95% ingredients of natural origin;
Cosmetics BIO Cosmos Organic (Cosmos specifications): at least 95% ingredients of natural origin and 20% ingredients from organic farming.
NaTrue is a European organization founded in 2008 by German and Swiss industrialists, including Weleda, Dr Hauschka and Lavera. NaTrue is present in more than 30 countries, and nearly 300 brands are certified, representing more than 6,000 products. Very strict evaluation criteria guarantee the highest possible quality in terms of organic cosmetics. There are 3 levels of certification at NaTrue:
Natural Cosmetics : minimum level of natural substances and maximum level of derivatives of natural substances (variable percentages, indicated on the products);
Natural cosmetics with a share of organic : at least 70% of natural ingredients come from organic farming or wild harvesting;
Cosmos Organic is a private standard that became a European label in 2011. 5 national labels are behind its creation: BDIH (Germany), Cosmebio (France), Ecocert (France), ICEA (Italy) and Soil Association (Greater Brittany). Cosmos Organic relies on the Ecocert standard , ie at least 95% ingredients of natural origin and 10% ingredients from organic farming. In addition, the packaging of certified Cosmos Organic beauty products must be recyclable or even biodegradable.
9 brands of organic cosmetics to get started with your eyes closed
At Pharma GDD, we are committed to offering you many brands of organic cosmetics to help you find the one that suits you. Each of these brands defends strong commitments and offers treatments that are both effective and sensory. We have selected 10 brands, along with their flagship products, to help you go organic in your bathroom.
In France, the Cattier brand is one of the pioneers of organic cosmetics. It was created in 1968 by Pierre Cattier, convinced of the benefits of clay, which became the flagship active ingredient. The products are formulated and manufactured in France, and bear 2 organic labels: Cosmebio and Ecocert. Cattier is aimed at the whole family , including babies and young children. The brand offers care for the face, body and hair and hygiene products, especially oral hygiene. It also devotes a complete range to men, with shaving products and a moisturizer. In addition, Cattier has developed a line of natural, clay-based, semi-permanent, tone-on-tone hair dyes that camouflage white hair while taking care of the hair.