Cosmetic Organic Products

Understanding the green and organic beauty revolution through the ISO 16128 standards

In the last decade, consumers have become increasingly conscious about what they apply to their skin. In particular, they are shifting away from synthetic ingredients in favor of those as close to nature as possible, leading to a significant preference for organic cosmetics and beauty products. This shift is not just a passing trend but a reflection of a larger movement towards healthier and more ethical consumption.

This article delves into the factors driving this growing tendency for organic cosmetics products and provides a comprehensive look at the ISO 16128 and the Organic Index standards, which are essential to ensure transparency and authenticity in the labeling of cosmetic products that are labeled organic.

What is behind the surge in demand for organic cosmetics?

The growing demand for organic-certified cosmetics reflects increased social awareness about health and the environment. Consumers seek to avoid controversial ingredients, such as parabens and sulfates, associated with health problems and allergic reactions. Although most of these compounds have been determined safe for cosmetic use through extensive testing and regulation, a feeling of mistrust persists among consumers, who prefer using natural products, being perceived as safer and gentler on the skin. This has led to a demand for transparency in product labeling, with brands that prioritize offering products with simple, understandable ingredient lists.

Beyond personal health, cosmetic production’s environmental impact is a major concern for many consumers. The production process for organic cosmetics prioritizes sustainability at every stage, such as organic farming, which avoids synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, but also includes the use of biodegradable packaging, reduces water consumption, and minimizes overall waste. Consumers concerned about the planet’s health find these practices appealing, as they contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.

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ISO 16128 standards in organic cosmetics

As the demand for organic cosmetics is steadily growing, there is an urgent need for standardized regulations to ensure product authenticity and transparency. ISO 16128 standards provide a comprehensive framework for defining and calculating the natural and organic content in cosmetic products, promoting consistency across the industry.

ISO 16128 is an international standard that offers clear guidelines for the definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and products. It is divided into two parts, each addressing different aspects of natural and organic cosmetics.

ISO 16128-1

ISO 16128-1 focuses on the definitions of ingredients. It establishes criteria for identifying natural and organic sources and the processing methods used to obtain them. Key definitions include:

  • Natural ingredients: ingredients derived directly from plants, animals, microorganisms, or minerals, processed through physical means, fermentation, or other authorized methods.
  • Derived natural ingredients: ingredients obtained from natural sources but modified through chemical processes while retaining a significant portion of their natural molecular structure.
  • Organic ingredients: natural ingredients that come from certified organic farming.
  • Derived organic ingredients: ingredients derived from organic sources but chemically processed.

ISO 16128-2

ISO 16128-2 provides guidelines for determining the natural, natural origin, organic, and organic origin indices of cosmetic ingredients and products. These indices help quantify the natural and organic content in a product, ensuring consistency in labeling. In particular, the standard provides specific formulas to calculate these indices, which are crucial for determining whether a product meets the criteria for being labeled as natural or organic.

  • Natural index: indicates the proportion of natural content in an ingredient or product.
  • Natural origin index: reflects the content derived from natural sources, including chemically processed ingredients.
  • Organic index: measures the proportion of organic content. This index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 indicates that none of the ingredients are organic and 1 indicates that all the ingredients are organic.
  • Organic origin index: indicates the content derived from organic sources, including processed ingredients.

These calculations involve identifying the source of each ingredient, determining whether it is natural, derived natural, organic, or derived organic. And then using the provided formulas to calculate the respective indices.

Advances in production methods have expanded the range of organic products available, from skincare to makeup and haircare, making organic beauty accessible to a broader audience. Moreover, the ongoing commitment to meeting the highest organic standards in cosmetics has led to remarkable advancements in formulation technologies. These improvements cover all ingredients used in cosmetic products, particularly technological ones such as preservatives and antioxidants, which play a crucial role in maintaining product quality and shelf life.

Tocobiol® Organic for organic cosmetic formulations

BTSA’s Tocobiol® Organic is a leading example of such innovation, being the first 100 % organic tocopherol-reach extracts for cosmetic formulations. It is a technological antioxidant developed exclusively by BTSA, a company with over 30 years of expertise in natural ingredients and antioxidants.

This product exemplifies the meticulous care required to achieve an Organic Index equal to 1, which means that 100 % of the ingredients used in the product are organic according to the criteria set by the ISO 16128 standards.

This implies that every ingredient in Tocobiol® Organic has been sourced from organic farming or organic production methods, and none of the ingredients are synthetic or derived from non-organic sources. Adhering to these strict standards excludes the use of GMOs and avoids synthetic solvents, like hexane and toluene, during the extraction process.

Tocobiol® Organic meets the highest requirements of organic standards and effectiveness, making it a highly performative antioxidant that does not compromise on the commitment to sustainability.