by Anne

3 facts about certified natural cosmetics:good or unnecessary?

No wonder that natural and organic cosmetics are trendy: We are awa...
naturkosmetik zertifizierungen

No wonder that natural and organic cosmetics are trendy: We are aware that our consumption affects the environment and our own health. But is natural cosmetics automatically better? We would like to confirm that, but we have to take a closer look. We have summarized three aspects about natural cosmetics that you should be aware of. 

Fact 1: Not all natural cosmetics are created equal

Good to know: The term natural cosmetics is not legally protected. The same applies to the labeling of cosmetics as organic, unlike in the case of”. 

This means that suppliers can describe almost any product as natural cosmetics as long as the consumer is not deceived.

An example of such a deception from 2012 is described by themirrors: A care range advertised pure & natural even though it contained chemical ingredients. They were only able to enforce the judicial prohibition because the responsible product inspection bodies noticed it. It's a bit like the saying: where there is no plaintiff, there is no judge.r.” 

Since 2017, an ISO standard has also been describing guidelines for natural and organic cosmetics, but is not binding. According to the standard, products can be described as natural cosmetics if they contain 95 percent natural ingredients. Just  

  • The joke: water is also considered a natural ingredient.
  • The consequence: cosmetic products can literally be diluted in order to be mistakenly considered natural cosmetics.

So if you really want real natural cosmetics, you shouldf certified natural cosmeticsset.

But it's not that easy with the natural cosmetic seals either:

Fact 2: You have to look carefully at the seals for natural cosmetics

The most important question is what natural cosmetics are about for you. Would you like to have a care product that is good for your skin or would you prefer one that minimizes the damage to animals and the environment? 

The problem is that there are different natural cosmetic seals with different properties.And they are privately run.In case of doubt, you can also represent more economic interests and / or be profit-oriented. That doesn't make things easy.

We reach the top with those seals who only want to do business with a good feeling and who have very low standards. These pure marketing seals don't end up being much better than anythings green color on the cosmetic packaging (Greenwashing).

Come in addition:

The seals are of varying severity and scope. For example, some take animal welfare into account and are vegan, while others only pay attention to a comparatively low minimum proportion of organic ingredients.

So which seals can you trust? 

Generally recognized and trustworthy are the following certifiers for natural cosmetics:

  • theBDIH-Seal from the Federal Association of Industry and Trading Companies for Medicinal Products, Health Products, Dietary Supplements and Cosmetics e.V.
  • theNatrue-Siegel, which comes from Belgium and was launched by the cosmetics industry on its own initiative
  • evenDemeter certifies cosmetics according to very strict criteria
  • Cosmos, divided into Cosmos Organic and Cosmos Natural, is an international seal that the natural cosmetics sealgel BDIH (Germany),Cosmebio &Ecocert(France),ICEA (Italy) and theSoil Association (Great Britain) initiated jointly

With the common seals you can at least determine the following similarities:

  • Synthetic colors, fragrances and silicones are not included
  • No preservatives such as parabens
  • No ingredients based on petroleum
  • No genetically modified ingredients and a (varying) minimum proportion of organically grown ingredients
  • Ingredients must be natural or at least nature-identical
  • Production and packaging are as environmentally friendly as possible

Ideally, there would be a state or European sponsored seal to reduce the chaos. But we're not that far yet, unfortunately.

In addition, a general seal for natural cosmetics would not necessarily solve another current problem:

Fact 3: Certified natural cosmetics do not guarantee skin tolerance

Despite all the requirements (or precisely because of them), natural cosmetics can also sensitize, irritate or irritate the skin.


  • In natural cosmetic shampoos, manufacturers rely on preservatives that conform to certification. Often it is benzyl alcohol, for example, which can irritate your skin.
  • Plant-based surfactants, e.g. in shower gels, can dry out the skin.
  • Some natural fragrances, as well as some natural essential oils, can cause allergic reactions.
  • The shelf life of face creams is often limited to six to twelve months because the common preservatives that can be certified are often no longer available.
  • Worse still: the restrictions on preservatives increase the risk of germ infestation in natural cosmetic products.

Another problem is that certain synthetically produced but harmless ingredients are taboo on many seals. A good example of this isurea: The active ingredient is one of the most important against dry and stressed skin and therefore an important component in the fight against wrinkles. Only: You will usually not find urea in natural cosmetics. 

Good cosmetics must be certified 

How nice it would be if there was an official seal that stands for good compatibility for people and the environment as well as animal welfare. We would probably take a closer look at sober .

The thing is: even if we at sober on natural ingredients, we made a conscious decision against certification.


When we produce cosmetics, we have high standards for that

  • Tolerance for the skin
  • Compatibility with the environment
  • Compatibility with wildlife

That is also the reason why we only formulate our creams, lotions and shampoos under pharmacological and toxicological guidance.

And that is the reason why we go beyond climate neutrality in packaging and shipping: Withour clean care philosophy we are that oneclimate positive Cosmetics company in the world.

Although we like the basic idea behind some natural cosmetic seals, in practice the labels prove to be problematic:

The difficulty with the common natural cosmetics seals is that they prohibit skin and environmentally friendly ingredients as well as some relevant effective ingredients because they are produced synthetically. Urea is an example of this. Instead, they allow environmentally friendly ingredients such as benzyl alcohol, which can, however, damage the skin.

This contradiction would be incompatible with our concept for clean care:

We want you to do something good for yourself and your skin with our products, without harming the environment. This would not be possible for us with the current seals.

As long as the appropriate seal is not (yet) available, we will sharetwo recommendations with you for good and natural cosmetics:

  1. Check out our notes on oursClean Care Mission on and
  2. Check out cosmetic products before buying withCode check. This will tell you whether they are safe for you and the environment.

Take a close look and #TreatYourself


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