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Natural? Organic? Safe? How to choose genuine cosmetics

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Like food choices, many consumers are willing to a premium price for organic or natural cosmetics and personal care products, and organizations are well aware of this! As such, numerous cosmetic conglomerates use marketing and advertising loopholes to deceive shoppers into thinking their regular cosmetics are in fact, natural or organic.

In Australia, your best bet for finding genuine natural, organic cosmetics is to look for certification. Here are some of the main ones you’ll find on products:


COSMOS-certified products are produced to the highest standards for organic and natural cosmetics. Two categories include:

  1. COSMOS Organic:Contains a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients of biological (plant or animal) origin. Further requirements are that there are no genetically modified ingredients, no animal testing and the packaging has to meet certain requirements too.
  2. COSMOS Natural: This standard for natural ingredients stipulates which ingredients are permitted and how they may be processed. The product doesn’t have to be 100% natural – instead the percentage of “natural” ingredients is listed, and can include water, salts and minerals.


Australian Certified Organic has two certification categories for organic cosmetics:

  1. Certified organic: Contains a minimum of 95% certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water) and up to 5% consisting of other approved ingredients.
  2. Made with certified organic ingredients: Contains 70–95% certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water) with the remainder from approved non-organic sources.

The information for this article was extracted from a Choice article by Karina Bray which includes further information on picking genuine products; highlights some tricks and traps; and consider whether natural or organic cosmetics are actually any better.

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