The phenomenon of natural, sustainable or environmentally friendly cosmetics is now commonplace in different consumer spheres, from beauty and hairdressing salons, in our homes and on social media. The modern consumer is already familiar with the terms, although there are important differences in the terminology used to define them.
According to the SEQC (Spanish Society of Cosmetic Chemists), growth in products considered environmentally friendly has increased by more than 20% during the COVID-19 crisis and is forecast to continue.
For a product to be considered “sustainable”, certain requirements must be met, ranging from the raw materials and manufacturing processes to the production chain. Each step of the way must be verified to not have a negative impact on the environment and respect certain standards.
Natural, ecological, vegan, organic or eco-friendly cosmetics. Differences and definitions
Products containing 95% natural ingredients from plants, animals, microorganisms or minerals with a very simple or minimal transformation process and with a minimum intervention of additives or chemical transformations and that have used only those processes that are not harmful to the environment and to health. This group of products includes those with up to 5% of non-natural ingredients. Using the product’s INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients), will reveal the chemical compounds it includes.
Products containing natural ingredients from organic farming. In order for a product to be certified thus, 95% of the natural ingredients it contains must come from organic farming and be accompanied by a certificate of organic agriculture or livestock farming.
This term derives from the English word “Organic Farming”. The word organic has been adopted to define everything that is ecological. In this case, ecological and organic cosmetics are the same thing.
This term includes cosmetics that do not contain ingredients derived from animals, or animal by products or by an intermediate process involving animals.
Not an official denomination, but has begun to be heard in the world of cosmetics marketing. The definition includes products that are natural and organic, as well as being free of animal cruelty (according to EC regulation 1223/2009, which governs cosmetics and is mandatory. All cosmetics sold in the EU are free of animal cruelty) and packaging is as respectful as possible to the environment.