Certified Organic and Natural Beauty

By Mark Wuttke / September 4, 2013

eco cert beauty shot_stock photo

Increasingly, savvy consumers and product companies keen on promoting the authenticity of their ingredients and methods are turning to third-party organizations to certify natural, organic and/or sustainable products and processes. This is a positive trend because it provides assurance about the products’ origins and path from source to selling shelf. Currently, there are nine major organizations worldwide with certification standards. Because standards and methods differ from one to another, it is recommended that the consumer understand each organization and its distinct standards before making choices.

Close review of each organization shows the range of standards enforced. For example, in one instance, it’s possible for one product among many to be certified in order to use the certification seal for the entire brand. In another instance, the requirement is 100 percent certified pure natural and derived natural ingredients. Similarly, certain organizations exclude water in the certification process while others include it. Caveat emptor.

DEMETER USAskin cert_demeter
www.demeter-usa.org
Certification Type: Biodynamic
Demeter Association, Inc. is the United States’ representative of Demeter International, incorporated in 1985 with the mission to enable people to farm successfully in accordance with Biodynamic® practices and principles. In order for a farm to refer to itself as Biodynamic, it must have achieved certification through Demeter by adhering to the Demeter Farm Standard for a minimum of three years if conventionally farmed, or a minimum of one year if organically farmed.
The entire farm must be certified, not just a portion of land within the farm. The Demeter Biodynamic® Farm Standard reflects the Biodynamic principle of the farm as a living organism: self-contained, self-sustaining, following the cycles of nature.  It provides the legal definition of BIODYNAMIC in the US marketplace. Demeter is the owner of the trademark terms “Biodynamic®” and “Demeter®”.  In order for a commercial farm or agricultural- based product to legally use the term in reference to its farm or products, it must have obtained certification through Demeter, and be re-certified every year.
Country of Origin: Germany
Business Type: Not-for-Profit

skin cert_usdaUSDA NOP
www.ams.usda.gov
Certification Type: 100 percent Organic, Organic, and Made with Organic
USDA NOP is a food standard for organic and made with organic ingredients. “100 percent organic” must contain only organically produced ingredients. “Organic” must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. “Made with Organic Ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed in the “Organic” and “Made with Organic” standard. It excludes water and salt in calculation of organic content.
Country of Origin: USA
Business Type: Government

Soil Associationskin cert_soil assoc
www.soilassociation.org
Certification Type: Organic, and made with Organic ingredients
Soil Association is a standard for organic and made-with-organic ingredients. “Organic” must contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. “Made with Organic Ingredients” must contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients. Limited amounts of synthetic preservatives and ingredients are allowed. It excludes water in calculation of organic content.
Country of Origin: UK
Business Type: Non-Profit

skin cert_naTrueNATRUE
www.natrue.org
Certification Type: Natural, Organic, and Natural with organic portion
NATRUE is a cosmetic standard that requires 100 percent certified pure natural and derived natural (natural origin) ingredients. “Organic Cosmetics” guarantees at least 95 percent of the natural ingredients stem from controlled organic cultivation and/or controlled wild collection. “Natural Cosmetics with Organic Portion” guarantees at least 70 percent of the natural ingredients stem from controlled organic cultivation and/or controlled wild collection. It excludes water and salt in calculation of natural and organic content. NATRUE has an equivalency agreement / recognition with NSF/ANSI 305.
Country of Origin: Belgium
Business Type: Non-Profit

EcoCertskin cert_eco cert
www.ecocert.com
Certification Type: Natural and Natural/ Organic
EcoCert requires a minimum of 95 percent natural origin as a baseline entry and a minimum of 5 percent organic content for the “Natural” standard, and a minimum of 10 percent organic content for the “Natural / Organic” standard. Up to 5 percent of ingredients can be synthetic. Limited synthetic preservatives are allowed. Water can be included in its calculation of organic content.
Country of Origin: France
Business Type: For-Profit

skin cert_oregon tilthOREGON TILTH
www.tilth.org
Certification Type:  Organic
Oregon Tilth exists to support and promote biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture through education, research, advocacy, and certification. It advocates sustainable approaches to agricultural production systems and processing, handling and marketing. Oregon Tilth’s purpose is to educate gardeners, farmers, legislators, and the general public about the need to develop and use sustainable growing practices that promote soil health, conserve natural resources, and prevent environmental degradation while producing a clean and healthful food supply for humanity. Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO) is an internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity. OTCO provides a system that combines strict production standards, on-site inspections, and legally binding contracts to protect the producers and buyers of organic products.
Country of Origin: USA
Business Type: Non-profit

NSF/ANSI 305skin cert_nsf
www.nsf.org, www.ansi.org, www.qai-inc.com
Certification Type: Contains Organic
NSF ANSI 305 standard requires 70 percent organic ingredients to comply with the “contains organic” standard. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed. It excludes water and salt in calculation of organic content.
Country of Origin: USA
Business Type: Non-Profit

skin cert_bdihBDIH
www.bdih.org
Certification Type: Natural
BDIH requires 100 percent natural origin/ nature identical* to gain the “natural” standard. It does not have a standard for organic certification.
Country of Origin: Germany
Business Type: For-Profit. Membership req.

NPAskin cert_nat product
www.npainfo.org
Certification Type: Natural
NPA requires a minimum of 95 percent natural origin for the “Natural” standard. Limited amounts of synthetics are allowed. It does not have a standard for organic certification.
Country of Origin: USA
Business Type: Non-Profit. Membership required.

*Nature-identical ingredients are those that are 100 percent identical in composition to their counterparts in nature, but are created in the laboratory to ensure stability, safety, and sustainability. Nature-identical substances may only be used when natural substances cannot be recovered from nature using reasonable technical effort.

MARK WUTTKE heads Wuttke Group, a business development consultancy for natural, organic and sustainable spas and boutiques in the luxury market. He works with LOHAS, Green Spa Network and the Natural Beauty Summit in the US and Europe.

Mark Wuttke

Mark Wuttke

Principle at Wuttke Group, LLC
Mark Wuttke heads the Wuttke Group, LLC, a globally recognized business development solutions company specializing in authentic green, healthy wellness, regenerative sustainability, and conscience leadership. The Wuttke Group has partnered with many of the leading natural and organic personal care houses, overseeing brand development and global distribution strategy. Mark’s experience includes over 20 years as President/CEO in the USA and Australia within the wellness sector and over 15 years on numerous boards in green industries.
Mark Wuttke

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