When shopping for organic hair care and cosmetics, you’re likely to come across a logo reading ECOCERT. This is a trusted organic certification that you can take as confirmation that you’re making a green choice.
Ecocert has been running since 2003 and is the first certification body to have developed standards for natural and organic cosmetics.
The Ecocert Standard has the following basic principles:
Ingredients are derived from renewable sources and manufactured by environmentally friendly processes.
There may be no animal-derived ingredients (unless they are naturally produced by animals, such as milk, honey and the like.)
No GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), nanoparticles, parabens, PEG, phenoxyethanol, silicon or synthetic perfumes and dyes can be present in the products.
A minimum threshold of natural ingredients must be from sustainable organic farming. This is differentiated by the two official certifications:
- ECOCERT Organic Cosmetic: At least 95% of the ingredients in the formula must be plant-based and 10% of all ingredients must originate from organic farming.
- ECOCERT Natural Cosmetic: At least 50% of the ingredients in the formula must be plant-based and 5% of all ingredients must originate from organic farming.
Onsite audits by Ecocert Auditors must be performed and passed.
You can view a list of approved ingredients on the Ecocert website. Note that some ingredients such as water, minerals and salts cannot be certified as organic, because they are not sourced from farming.
As an example, some shampoos and creams contain mostly water and can contain between 10% and 40% organic ingredients, and always 95% natural ingredients. Meanwhile an essential oil, which does not contain water, can have up to 100% organic ingredients.
There are over 1000 companies that adhere to these standards, ensuring that their products meet the most stringent of standards in quality and sustainability.