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Organic & Natural Certification

Ingredients’ manufacturers who belong to UNITIS have started to deal with the problem of the multiplicity of existing standards and labels a long time ago by writing their own referential for cosmetic ingredients (2011). They were determined to have a common language when speaking of organic and natural cosmetics at the international level to avoid confusion as well for consumers as for themselves. Proof of this with its 2008 Plenary Meeting dedicated to this topic: ORGANIC & NATURAL : How to get out of the jungle at the ingredients level in the presence of BDIH, COSMEBIO and Cosmetic Industry Representatives.

It was therefore normal for UNITIS to be deeply involved in the preparation of international guidelines aiming at the harmonization of the worldwide natural and organic market.
At present, the work resulted in the publication of the ISO 16128 standard in two parts:

  • Part 1 (ISO 16128-1:2016) provides guidelines on technical definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and finished products ;
  • Part 2 (ISO 16128-2:2017) provides rules to calculate the various indexes of extracts: natural index, natural origin index, organic index and organic origin index.

This standard is the result of discussions with many foreign countries on different continents. As such, it represents a consensus.
It leaves room for private labels to add further requirements and to continue certifying products according their specifications.

Technical reports were also developed to give details on the way to implement the ISO 16128 standard:

  • ISO/TR 23199:2019 - Calculation of organic indexes of hydrolates. It clarifies the method of determining the organic index in the absence of measurement of the quantity of water introduced.
  • ISO/TR 22582:2019 - Methods of extract evaporation and calculation of organic indexes. The aim of this document is to set industry best practices regarding the extraction process and the calculation of extracts organic indexes.
  • ISO/TR 23750:2021 - Cosmetics – Answers to frequently asked questions on ingredients and product characterization in accordance with ISO 16128-1:2016 and 16128-2:2017.

In order to help UNITIS members to calculate the ISO indexes of their botanical extracts – whether they are made from fresh or dry plants – a calculation tool was elaborated by our Scientific Advisor, Laurent SOUSSELIER.

ISO 16128 standard - Raw material sheet:

A raw material sheet (October 2019) has been jointly elaborated by ASPA INGRECOS, FEBEA and UNITIS.

This sheet is to facilitate the exchange of information on naturality and organicness according to the ISO 16128 standard between suppliers of raw materials intended for use as an ingredient and cosmetic manufacturers.
It is recommended to use it even if some information is unavailable or irrelevant. French cosmetic manufacturers may ask additional questions but should not use a different sheet.

Contact us for more information: welcome@unitis.org

Last update : 24/05/24

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