This Standard has been developed at the European and international level by BDIH (Germany), COSMEBIO & ECOCERT (France), ICEA (Italy) and SOIL ASSOCIATION (UK), who are the founders of the COSMOS-standard AISBL (an international non-profit association registered in Belgium) in order to define common requirements and definitions for organic and/or natural cosmetics.
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”.
The Standard covers all aspects of the sourcing, manufacture, marketing and control of cosmetic products in 12 chapters:
Origin and processing of ingredients – describes five categories, 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
- Other ingredients – a very limited list of preservatives and some other ingredients and petrochemical moieties are temporarily allowed and are reviewed on a regular basis, taking into account availability of acceptable alternatives
Annexes at the end of the Standard give further details of the precise ingredients, treatments, chemical reactions, etc. that may be used.
- 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
ADDtex products with Cosmos certification: