Main certificates in the cosmetics and personal care industry

Every cosmetic product that reaches the market undergoes rigorous evaluation and strict compliance with quality and safety standards. Globally, renowned institutions and regulatory bodies establish, through certificates in cosmetics, the benchmarks that cosmetic brands must meet to demonstrate their commitment to quality and safety, ensuring the well-being of both people and the environment.

As industry professionals, understanding these certifications is essential to ensure that your products meet the expectations of increasingly informed consumers and adhere to regulatory demands.

In this article, we will outline the key quality requirements that apply to all cosmetics and personal care products, providing a comprehensive understanding necessary for maintaining industry standards.

Certificates in the cosmetics: not all certifications are the same

A diverse range of quality certifications exists to verify various aspects of product quality and ethical standards. These certifications can broadly be categorised into key groups:

Animal welfare certifications

These ensure that the brand adheres to cruelty-free practices, notably not testing on animals. The Leaping Bunny Program is a globally recognized example, assuring that no animal testing is performed at any stage of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.

Environmental safety certifications

These focus on the environmental impact of products, including the sustainability of sourcing practices, manufacturing processes, and packaging. The Ecocert Cosmetics certification body, for instance, assesses whether products are biodegradable or made with sustainable ingredients, helping to protect ecosystems and reduce pollution.

Legal and ethical compliance certifications

These confirm that a cosmetic brand operates within legal frameworks and adheres to ethical business practices. ISO 22716 provides guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for the cosmetics industry, ensuring that products are produced and controlled according to quality standards.

Consumer safety certifications

These are designed to ensure that cosmetics are safe for consumer use. The ‘dermatologically tested’ mark, for example, indicates that a product has been tested on human skin under the supervision of a dermatologist and is proven to be non-irritant.

Religious certifications

These specific certifications, such as Kosher and Halal, ensure cosmetics products meet the dietary and ethical standards of specific faiths.

  • Kosher certification, adhering to Jewish laws, prohibits non-Kosher animal derivatives and mandates supervised manufacturing, often involving a rabbi or certified inspector.
  • Halal certification, following Islamic guidelines, bans Haram substances like pork and alcohol and requires thorough cleanliness and proper animal slaughter practices.

These certifications build consumer trust, enhance market reach, and reflect high ethical standards in product formulation and production.

What are the main quality certificates in cosmetics and personal care products?

With the tools to understand and distinguish the function of each certification, now will closely examine the primary certifications relevant to the cosmetic and personal care products industry.

ISO 22716

ISO 22716 is the international standard for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the cosmetics industry. It provides guidelines for the production, control, storage, and shipment of cosmetic products. Certification against this standard ensures that a company is manufacturing products under controlled conditions and following quality guidelines.

It’s crucial for cosmetic companies looking to establish credibility and trust by adhering to recognized practices that guarantee product quality and safety.

Ecocert Cosmetics

Ecocert Cosmetics is a certification provided by the Ecocert organization, one of the world’s leading specialist certifiers of organic agricultural products, as well as environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices across various industries, such as the cosmetics industry.

Products under the Ecocert Cosmetics certification must be renewable and manufactured by environmentally friendly processes. GMOs, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, synthetic perfumes and dye are prohibited. For instance, to be certified as organic, 95% of the plant-based ingredients in the formula and at least 10% of all ingredients by weight must come from organic farming.

Ecocert also emphasises sustainable practices, including the management of water resources, waste, and energy consumption during manufacturing, and the biodegradability of products.


The COSMOS STANDARD is a globally recognized certification for organic and natural cosmetics that harmonises various organic standards to create a unified global standard. It was developed by five founding members: BDIH (Germany), Cosmebio (France), Ecocert (France), ICEA (Italy), and Soil Association (UK). These organisations came together to ensure more consistent and clear standards for organic and natural cosmetics across international markets.

It includes both product and ingredient certifications, covering sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, and control of cosmetic products.

COSMOS offers two signatures for cosmetic products COSMOS ORGANIC or COSMOS NATURAL, while ingredients and raw materials can be COSMOS CERTIFIED or COSMOS APPROVED.

NATRUE – Raw Material Approval

NATRUE is an international non-profit association that promotes and certifies natural and organic cosmetics, protecting them from ambiguous and misleading claims. One of its main commitments is to combat “greenwashing” by ensuring clear ingredient labelling and transparent products, backed by independent certification.

In particular, NATRUE Raw Material Approval is the process by which raw materials used in the production of natural and organic cosmetics are evaluated and approved based on NATRUE’s rigorous standards. This approval process guarantees that only truly natural and organic cosmetics earn the NATRUE label, allowing consumers to make informed choices confidently.


Based in Germany, the BDIH is a non-profit association that offers certifications for natural cosmetics. It applies to pharmaceuticals, food supplements, health care products and personal hygiene products.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Mass Balance

RSPO Mass Balance is one of the supply chain models certified by the RSPO, which aims to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products. The RSPO Mass Balance model allows the mixing of certified and non-certified palm oil in the supply chain while tracking volumes to ensure compliance. Certified and conventional palm oil can be blended at various stages, but the total certified volume sold cannot exceed the volume purchased.

This model offers supply chain flexibility, promotes sustainable practices, and encourages wider adoption. Products with the Mass Balance label assure consumers that an equivalent volume of sustainable palm oil is produced and used, supporting environmental and social responsibility.

BTSA’s commitment to certificates in the cosmetics industry

BTSA’s product lineup in cosmetic and personal care applications, including Tocobiol® C, Bioxan® T, and Bioxan® E, exemplifies the company’s commitment to excellence and quality.  By adhering to the strict requirements set by the different certifications, these natural ingredients, derived from non-GMO vegetable oils, reaffirm BTSA’s dedication to high quality and sustainable practices.

For consumers and manufacturers alike, BTSA’s adherence to these rigorous certifications assures that their products are not only safe and effective but also aligned with global efforts toward sustainability and ethical responsibility in the beauty industry.