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Summer · May 30, 2017

Beauty Term to Know: ECOCERT

A few words come to mind when we think of beauty products that are free of harmful ingredients: Natural, clean, eco-friendly, organicthe list goes on. The problem is, without clear guidelines for what constitutes each one, they don't really mean much. So what's a green-loving beauty gal to do? One label you can turn to is ECOCERT.

What is ECOCERT?

Established in 2003, ECOCERT was the first organization to develop a clear product certification that standardizes the meaning of "natural" and "organic" beauty (believe it or not!). The company tapped suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, consumers, and developers of the products that line beauty shelves to create guidelines that must be adhered to in order for a formula to be labeled ECOCERT.

What are the guidelines?

To be classified as ECOCERT, a formula can't contain any of the following types of ingredients:
- GMOs
- Parabens
- Phenoxyethanol
- Nanoparticles
- Silicon
- PEG
- Synthetic perfumes and dyes
- Animal-derived ingredients (save for those naturally produced from animals, like milk or honey)

Plus, a minimum of 95% of the total ingredients in the formula must come from natural, organic origin. ECOCERT products' packaging must also be biodegradable or recyclable.

How do I identify the ECOCERT label?

There are three different ECOCERT labels to look out for. The natural and organic label (which will read "Organic Cosmetic") requires that 95% of all plant-based ingredients in the formula and 10% of all ingredients by weight come from organic farming. The natural label (which will read "Natural Cosmetic") is a bit more lenient, requiring 50% and 5%, respectively.

The third, COSMOS, was formed by ECOCERT and four other organic and natural cosmetics companies from across Europe (including France, Germany, Italy, and the UK) with the goal of standardizing beauty certification on a global level. This label signifies that a product is certified by not just one, but five organizationsand makes use of the principles in the ECOCERT standard.

Are there any exceptions?

Although ECOCERT is stringent about their requirements, some cosmetic ingredients can't be certified as organic because they aren't sourced from farming (think: water, salts, and minerals).

Sign me up! Where can I find ECOCERT products?

In the Birchbox Shop, of course! For a healthy, UV ray-free bronze, try COOLA's Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum. We consider it our multi-tasking must-have for its ability to act as a self-tanner and a daily serum with anti-aging benefits (it contains wrinkle-reducing hyaluronic acid). The best part? The formula comes in an easy-to-use body mist, too.

And there's moreevery product from lines like husband-and-wife run One Love Organics, Vermont-sourced Tata Harper, and Valencia, Spain-based Naobay have the ECOCERT label. We love this miracle cleansing oil that easily sweeps away makeup, this cult-favorite purifying mask, and this supple skin-inducing face cream.

ECOCERT piqued your interest? Learn about other important beauty certifications and labels.

Author

Alexis Bridenbaugh