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NATRUE Label: requirements to be met by natural and organic cosmetics
Version 3.8 – 01.06.2019
Updated text passages (in comparison to Version 3.7) are highlighted in yellow.
1. Preface
This document represents the criteria by which cosmetics products certified to the NATRUE standard must comply.
Complete background information (criteria, lists of approved substances, a list of certified products and raw materials, FAQs) concerning the NATRUE Label is freely available on the Internet, for consumers and manufacturers, at www.natrue.org.
1.1 Background
Recent developments, particularly in the food sector but also in other industries, have highlighted the growing importance of “naturalness” for consumers. Consumers have changed their habits and are paying increasing attention to “natural” aspects when buying cosmetics, too.
However, the assessment of the “naturalness” of food on the one hand and cosmetics on the other is not directly comparable. The most important aspects of “naturalness” in food include its occurrence in nature, forms of cultivation and traceability of production, as reflected in the multitude of “natural” and “organic” labels. Natural cosmetics, by contrast, are usually complex compositions of natural, mostly processed raw materials. Hence, they have to be evaluated differently.
A number of definitions and corresponding labels for natural cosmetics have existed for some time now; both at national and international level. This raises the question: Is another definition needed? The biggest challenge facing the production of natural cosmetics, in addition to the selection of adequate raw materials, is to be able to offer consumers safe, effective, efficient and sensory appealing high-quality products. However, products of this kind cannot always be manufactured exclusively from pure natural ingredients. Aspects of sustainable development must also be taken into account along the entire value chain, under respect of biodiversity (submission of a sustainability report or an environmental impact assessment by the manufacturers).
For natural cosmetics the question arises as to which natural ingredients can be used without modification, where (physico)chemical modifications seem to be necessary within a clearly defined framework, and how substances which are “close to natural substances” are to be evaluated. Compromises of this kind are necessary to a certain extent. Consequently, care must be taken to ensure that they are transparent and comprehensible for the consumer and that the consumer is sufficiently informed. The definition of “natural cosmetics” must not be rendered implausible by a multitude of seemingly arbitrary exceptions, and any compromises should be limited to the absolutely necessary within a clearly defined framework. The proposed criteria for the NATRUE Label goes further than any definition of “natural cosmetics” so far established in Europe in terms of consistency and complete transparency. Only natural, some nature-identical and derived natural raw materials may be used in line with the requirements listed below.
1.2 Regulations (EU and International standards)
1.2.1 Cosmetics Products: Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009
Independently of the formulation of a natural cosmetic product, all products must comply first and foremost with the basic requirements of Cosmetics Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, particularly with regard to their composition, safety, efficacy and labelling requirements. Furthermore, animal testing is fundamentally against NATRUE’s underlying values and ethics.
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