Certificates are an important element when developing and producing cosmetic ingredients. The certificates ensure both the origin and the production of the ingredients that will end up becoming part of a cosmetic product.
But what does each certificate mean?
One of the main characteristics that cosmetic ingredients must meet is quality. To ensure quality in the development and manufacture of cosmetics, there are two ISO standards.
On the one hand, the ISO 9001 standard guarantees the requirements of a company’s quality management system to meet the quality level of the ingredient or cosmetic product. On the other hand, the ISO 22716 standard governs the guidelines for the production, control, storage, and shipment of cosmetic products .
Natural cosmetics certificates
In a previous post we saw how natural is not synonymous with ecological or organic. For this reason, the different certification bodies have established different seals depending on the nature of the ingredient.
Different European certification bodies such as the French Ecocert and CosméBio, the German BDIH, the Italian ICEA and the British Soil Association, have come together to provide a unique certificate called Cosmos-standard. This label can be either Cosmos certified for physically and chemically processed agricultural ingredients with organic content that meet the COSMOS standard, or Cosmos approved, for non-organic raw materials that are approved for use in cosmetic products certified according to the COSMOS standard [ 2].
United States of America
In the United States, the certifying entity for natural and / or organic ingredients is USDA Organic. The USDA NOP seal is based on the US Organic Production Standards (NOP-USDA) created by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture.
To obtain this certification, the cosmetic ingredient must have been produced following agricultural production practices that encourage the cycle of resources, promote ecological balance, maintain, and improve the quality of soil and water, minimize the use of synthetic materials and conserve biodiversity .
The ISO standards not only ensure the quality of the manufacturing processes, since July 2021 and following the UNE ISO 16128 standard, certifying entities such as AENOR establish the guidelines on technical definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients. With the aim of unifying the criteria on ingredients and cosmetic products and their differentiation between natural, organic and / or ecological.
Obtaining the ISO 16128 certificate guarantees the declared percentage of natural ingredients or of natural origin in a cosmetic product. Thus, this standard classifies the different active ingredients in :
- Natural: Those obtained only from plants, animals, microorganisms, or minerals.
- Natural derivatives: Those with more than 50% of natural origin calculated by molecular mass.
- Derived minerals: Those obtained through the chemical processing of inorganic substances that are found in the soil naturally.
- Non-natural: Those that have, by molecular mass, a content equal to or greater than 50% of origin in fossil fuels. This category also includes ingredients that are not included in the rest of the previous categories.
Halal cosmetics certificate
Like the situation with natural cosmetics, consumers of Halal products also demand more information regarding the ingredients used, which is why the certification of active ingredients is necessary for cosmetic use.
The Halal certification allows the traceability of the raw materials, as well as their manufacturing process, thanks to which, consumers can be sure of complying with Islamic law.
In the case of cosmetic ingredients, every manufacturer must pass the certification process by regulatory bodies, to obtain it, the ingredients must meet a series of requirements :
- The cosmetics and perfumery products will be produced using Halal raw materials. That is, those allowed by Islamic law.
- Production may not contain any prohibited matter. These are the Haram ingredients, among which we find products derived from pork or alcohol.
- All the steps of production, storage of raw materials, transportation and handling will be done in a way that ensures that there is no cross contamination with other products and that the traceability of the process is maintained.
- Products will have to undergo Haram (banned) elements DNA testing prior to market launch.
In this way, the use of cosmetic ingredients suitable to be included in Halal cosmetic products is guaranteed.
Kosher cosmetics certificate
Like Halal products, in the Jewish religion a series of standards must be met to obtain Kosher certification, be suitable for consumption and follow Jewish law.
The Kosher certificate is required, not only for food, but also for cosmetics and textile fibres from animals. To obtain this certificate, special certification bodies or rabbis decide if a product is kosher, considering the raw materials with which it is prepared, and the processes used in its manufacture.
Therefore, for a cosmetic ingredient to be Kosher it must follow Jewish dietary guidelines and follow the dictates of the Torah, such as :
- That the consumption of animals with split hooves and ruminants is only allowed.
- Pork and shellfish are strictly prohibited.
- For a fish to be kosher it must have scales and fins.
- Never mix meat with milk.
Being so focused on food rules, it is convenient to consult specialized entities to obtain the Kosher certification for cosmetic ingredients.
The importance of certifications
All these certifications are not exclusive, that is, an ingredient can be Halal and be manufactured following ISO quality standards, which would be a halal cosmetic ingredient with ISO 9001: 2015 certificate. The importance of certifications lies in providing the customer with all the information about the design, development, and manufacturing processes of cosmetic ingredients so that they can choose with greater knowledge.
Cover image from Gerd Altmann on Pixabay