Organic Beauty Passage Cosmetics Laboratory

Organic Beauty

The definition of cosmetics according to the Cosmetic Directive 76/768/EEC, Article 1, is as follows:

A “cosmetic product” shall mean any substance or preparation intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips and external genital organs) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance and/or correcting body odours and/or protecting them or keeping them in good condition.

Although the definition of natural cosmetics is not included in this document, it does not mean that such cosmetics do not have to comply with the requirements stated by the Council Directive 76/768/EEC.

In 2000 the Committee of Experts on Cosmetic Products at the Public Health Committee of The Council of Europe established guidelines for manufacturing, marketing and labelling of natural cosmetics. It is not a legal document, however, it was created in order to standardize the definition and rules for production of such cosmetics.

According to the guidelines, a natural cosmetic product is a product that consists of natural ingredients (substances of botanical, animal or mineral origin), obtained and processed by means of physical methods (e.g. extrusion, extraction, filtration, distillation, drying etc.), microbiological or enzymatic methods.

The plants should come from controlled cultivations and the permitted substances of animal origin should be obtained without any harm to the animals.

The basic and the most important principle in natural cosmetology is the prohibition to use substances harmful to human health, such as:

  • petroleum derivatives – vaseline, paraffin, and mineral oil;
  • ethoxylated substances, with names beginning with PEG;
  • silicones;
  • carbomers,
  • synthetic dyes and fragrances,
  • preservatives that are non-identical to natural ones (e.g. parabens).

With regards to the lack of legal regulations concerning natural cosmetics, independent certification bodies became a standard. They impose on the manufacturers many requirements that have to be fulfilled if the products are to be offered as organic ones.

Nowadays the most popular organizations in the world which standardize natural and organic cosmetics are, inter alia:

  • Ecocert
  • Soil Association
  • BDIH
  • NaTrue
  • Organic Monitor
  • Organic Trade Association