Knowing how to read the list of ingredients: order above all else!
Distinguishing between genuine natural cosmetics and organic cosmetics and "fake naturals": let the label do the talking!
Beyond the marketing language, which is often misleading, how can we discern authentic natural or organic cosmetics? What is the difference between a natural product and an organic product? How do you decipher the list of ingredients? Écrin de Fleur gives you the keys to making an informed choice.
The ingredients of a product, whether cosmetic or food, are not listed in any fancy order. First are the ingredients present in the greatest proportion, with the list going downwards. The last on the list is present in very low concentration and the first is often water (aqua). All the additives (colourings, preservatives, flavourings and fragrances) are also at the bottom of the list.
Special case of essential oils: essential oils are so powerful that their dosage must be controlled. An excess of EO would be harmful. Thus, the low percentage of an essential oil in a product is not a sign of poor quality !
Natural cosmetics or organic cosmetics: two different levels of good products
A natural cosmetic product is essentially composed of natural ingredients from the plant kingdom (plants, fruits, etc.), minerals (clays, salts, water, etc.) or animals (honey, propolis, etc.). An organic cosmetic product is first and foremost a natural cosmetic product, in which a large proportion of the ingredients come from organic farming. This means that they have been grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
A "natural" ingredient is one that is not processed, except by traditional mechanical methods, which are essentially involved in the extraction phase of the ingredient.
All organic or not all organic?
A manufacturer may only use the term "organic" in the name of the product if 100% of the ingredients are organic. If the percentage of organic ingredients is less than 100%, this must be stated on the label. Otherwise, the term "organic" should only appear after the ingredients that merit it, so that the user is not led to believe that the cosmetic product is organic in its entirety.
The same rule applies for the designation "natural" or "of natural origin", this time with a milestone rate of 95%.
Special case of fluid products: Fluid cosmetic products such as liquid soaps contain a lot of water by nature. However, water cannot be certified organic. The overall "organic" percentage of the fluid product will therefore be considerably reduced even if all the other ingredients that give the product its power are 100% organic!
The cosmetic mass is more beautiful in Latin than in English!
Since 1999, European countries have had to follow the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), which harmonizes the naming of ingredients internationally. If you are looking for natural cosmetic products, now is the time not to get confused!
- Ingredients with Latin botanical names are natural ingredients.
- The ingredients designated by English names are synthetic.
Note: The part of the plant used (root, flower, leaf, seed, etc.) is always mentioned in English; similarly, the nature of the product is written in English: oil, butter, extract, water, etc.
Thus, for example, "Arganiaspinosa kernel oil" refers to argan oil.
No nano for my girl!
Since 2013, in EU countries, the presence of nanoparticles must be clearly indicated after the name of the ingredient concerned. It is mentioned in square brackets: ingredient name [nano].
The label tour
Various national and international labels attest to the organic nature of a brand or cosmetic product. They each have their own specifications that must be rigorously respected to obtain and maintain certification.
Control bodies, independent of the labels, are responsible for ensuring compliance with the various standards. In France, the main certifiers are Ecocert, Qualité France and Cosmécert.
An organic cosmetic product will therefore bear at least two logos: the label and the certifier.
On January 1st 2017, France abandoned the national Cosmebio standard and adopted the international Cosmos standard, which offers two certifications:
Cosmos organic, for organic cosmetics
Cosmos organic, for organic cosmetics
What about Écrin de Fleur?
Ecocert Greenlife S.A. verifies, approves and renews our Cosmos organic certification every year. You will therefore find the following double logo on our packaging:
We do not test our natural soaps on animals, firstly out of ethical considerations, but also because we do not need to. Indeed, our soaps and oleogels are made with natural ingredients and according to gentle traditional methods: they are suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive.
On the other hand, cosmetic brands that use harmful chemicals must subject their products to additional testing. Why? Because they pose a potential threat to your health.
Informed choice of natural or organic cosmetics
You are now better equipped to make the right choices! Your attention should be focused on the product label rather than on the commercial and advertising discourse. Look for labels that guarantee compliance with clear principles; read the label charters. Take the time to decipher the composition of the product. Raw materials in Latin are a sign that you have a natural hygiene or beauty product. The icing on the cake is that certain manufacturing methods that respect the properties of natural ingredients guarantee maximum effectiveness.
Leave a comment