How can I distinguish real natural cosmetics from greenwashing?

What makes natural cosmetics? How can I distinguish genuine natural cosmetics from greenwashing ? In this article we will guide you through the jungle of terms and answer important questions about natural cosmetics.  

We have founded minimals with the firm belief that we can make a difference by making small, more conscious decisions in our everyday lives. Our mission is to eliminate plastic waste from the beauty routine. With the decision to use sustainable refill packaging, we are setting a new standard in the field of premium cosmetics. 

The system is very simple:
But: the top priority for us is the quality of our body care - because the most beautiful and sustainable packaging is worth nothing if the content is not good.

That is why we attach great importance to the selection and composition of our ingredients. It was clear to us from the beginning: Our products must be just as sustainable as our packaging. That's why our body care is vegan, not tested on animals and free from parabens, silicones, microplastics, synthetic fragrances, paraffin and other mineral oil-based ingredients. And the most important thing: all our products are natural cosmetics. 

What are natural cosmetics actually?

What does the term natural cosmetics say about a product? In the worst case: nothing. Because natural cosmetics is not a protected term. This means that every product can be described as natural, regardless of how much natural ingredients is actually in it. Many companies take advantage of this fact and advertise as natural. Unfortunately, like any kind of greenwashing, this leads to consumer uncertainty and poor purchasing decisions. 

What does natural cosmetics actually mean? Generally speaking, it can be said that natural cosmetics are cosmetic products with ingredients of predominantly natural origin.* In order to create a uniform standard for natural cosmetics, the international ISO 16128 guideline for natural and organic cosmetics was published in 2016/2017, a standard for cosmetic ingredients and cosmetic products . Among other things, it presents definitions for natural ingredients and formulas for calculating the natural and organic proportions in cosmetic products. 

And how do you recognize whether a product is natural cosmetics and how good the quality of the product is? Probably not at all if you are not a cosmetics expert and can correctly classify all INCI designations! In addition, few manufacturers provide information on the above guideline, so even if you know the ingredients, you cannot know exactly what the proportion of natural ingredients actually is. 

Due to the lack of transparency on the subject of natural cosmetics in Germany, some quality seals have been established for labeling natural cosmetics, for example COSMO Natural, Natrue, ICADA Natural. These define criteria that companies must meet to ensure that the ingredients and often also the manufacturing practices meet the requirements of natural cosmetics. Compliance with these standards is usually checked by independent certification bodies. 

Even if the criteria of the individual quality seals differ in some cases, it can still be said that they guarantee independent testing and offer consumers security for compliance with natural cosmetics standards and protection against greenwashing. 

Accordingly, the consumer advice center also advises: “ Anyone who prefers ingredients of natural origin should not rely on advertising, but should orientate themselves on natural cosmetics seals.”**   

And for this reason we have also decided to have our products certified as natural cosmetics and thus give you an extra guarantee for the quality of our products. 

For the certification, we have chosen the label " ICADA Natural " from the Germany-based cosmetics association ICADA eV.

In accordance with our basic values, this label offers a particularly high level of transparency, because all rules, in particular the positive list with the permitted ingredients, are freely accessible on the website . The ICADA label is based on the same rules as the big labels COSMOS Natural and Natrue, but according to the association it is a bit stricter because the positive list (list of accepted ingredients) is short and only authentic natural cosmetics companies with high ethical standards are approved. 

Is that it? We don't think so! Because high-quality natural cosmetics are much more than the sum of their plant-based components. It is about the selection, quality and effect!

In one of our next articles you will find out how the process of a new minimals creation works, according to which criteria we select our partners,  ingredients and develop new fragrance creations.


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