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With its strict criteria, 13 product categories and clearly defined procedures, NATRUE offers industry and consumers a valuable and transparent way to differentiate truly natural and organic cosmetic products from those which only pretend to be so.

What is the benefit of NATRUE to your consumers?

NATRUE aims to help consumers identify products that have undergone effective and thorough assessment of their natural/organic status. Unlike its competitors, NATRUE splits cosmetics into 13 very specific categories. To display the NATRUE logo on a range of cosmetic products, at least 75% of all individual products must be NATRUE certified.

Certification of individual products is not allowed in order to avoid greenwashing. This means that consumers can trust that a NATRUE certified product is truly natural/organic and it is not a claim based on just one product in a series.

What does NATRUE consider an allowable ingredient?

Dependent on the type of product and the level of certification, NATRUE clearly defines minimum amounts of natural ingredients and a maximum of derived-natural components in order to obtain a NATRUE license. The NATRUE standard differentiates the following types of ingredients:

  • NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Unmodified, obtainable only by physical processes or fermentation.
  • DERIVED NATURAL INGREDIENTS: These may be the result of permitted biotechnological processes or chemical reactions such as hydrolysis, saponification, neutralisation or esterification on exclusively natural ingredients.
  • NATURE-IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS: The use of nature-identical ingredients, that occur in nature but have been reproduced in a laboratory, is strictly limited to ingredients such as preservatives and pigments that are listed in Annex 2 of the NATRUE criteria.

What about water?

Perhaps surprisingly, water does not fall into any of the above categories. In a scheme designed to focus on the veracity of natural/organic claims the inclusion of water would significantly inflate the proportion of natural content. For that reason it is not included.

Three certification levels

There are three levels of NATRUE certification:

  • NATURAL COSMETICS: Natural cosmetics certification, NATRUE’s foundation standard, defines which ingredients are permitted in a product, and how they may be processed. Per product type, there is a guaranteed threshold for natural ingredients and a cut- off level for derived natural substances.  Products certified to this level may also contain organic ingredients.
  • NATURAL COSMETICS WITH AN ORGANIC PORTION: Products in this category must meet natural cosmetics certification requirements. In addition, at least 70% of ingredients must originate from controlled organic production and /or controlled wild collection.  This certification standard requires each product to contain higher levels of wholly natural ingredients and correspondingly lower levels of derived natural ingredients.
  • ORGANIC COSMETICS: In addition to meeting the requirements of both of the above categories, to achieve certification, organic cosmetics must be composed of at least 95% ingredients that originate from controlled organic production and/or controlled wild collection. Compared to the second level, higher levels of natural ingredients and levels of derived natural ingredients are required.

What is the certification process?

NATRUE has a two-phase certification process. Applicants may choose their certification body from NATRUE’s list of Approved Certifiers, of which SGS is one.

Phase 1: Verifying Your Documentation

The certifier verifies your product formulation’s compliance with the criteria on the basis of documentation provided by the applicant, this must include, amongst other documentation:

  • Product and brand name
  • Information about the production site
  • Quantitative formulation
  • Raw material documentation including proof of origin, production process, confirmation of no irradiation and non-GMO confirmation
  • Envisaged export countries

Phase 2: Production Audit

A certifier’s audit, at the production site, must be completed within three months after finalising the document check. It will verify the certified products’ compliance and the complete traceability of the raw materials. Within one year of the audit date, additional products may be certified, without a new production audit.

Certification is valid for two years, after which recertification (following the above process) is required.

NATRUE certification services

SGS is NATRUE’s approved certifier and can help obtain the NATRUE label. SGS can offer product safety testing and ensure compliance to market specific requirements, such as the EU Cosmetics Regulation, US FD&C Act and ASEAN Cosmetics Directive, enabling you to reach wider markets and new customers.

Regulatory framework

NATRUE certification is private certification standard. All cosmetics products, NATRUE certified or not, must comply with EU Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009, or other applicable legislation depending on the market where they are placed, ensuring they are safe, effective and efficient without exception.

For more information contact your local SGS representative, or our global team and visit Cosmetics and Personal Care.

Dr. Katja Tischler
Project Leader Personal & Homecare
t +43 5332 77203 19