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Bio, echo, organic and natural cosmetics: learn how to identify and differentiate them

Food, fashion and now also cosmetics try more and more to monopolize ethical trade and in favor of the environment.And although its existence is not new, it is still confusing the use of several terms related to these types of products.Biological, ecological, organic, natural cosmetics ... Go mess!How to identify them?Is there really a difference in each of these products?.

What is now clear to us is that the use of these different denominations can confuse consumers more.Hence, many companies take the opportunity to take advantage of these labels in the world of cosmetics.It is also true that in the body and skin care sector the "natural" and "ecological" terms are not protected by law as it happens with the term "ecological" in other areas such as food, which are subject to European regulations.

That is, there is no public regulation that clearly delimits when you can talk about natural ecological cosmetics or cosmetics.But there are private regulations ordered by this type of products and that have been developed by specialized entities in the sector.In these private regulations there is a common base, a series of criteria that, more or less, all producers comply, either percentages or the type of ingredients that are admitted or rejected in each category, “but in realityThere is no 100% homogeneous criterion, ”says Montse Lase.

It should be clarified that these norms are generally not developed by certifiers, but associations or other interested parties that collaborate with certifiers that are finally responsible for reviewing compliance with that standard and authorizing, or not, companies to useindicative of the same.This is the case of Biovidasana, Natrue, Cosmos and other standards.Therefore one of the most reliable ways when choosing these products is to look at their certification.Let's go by parts.

What is natural cosmetic?

Under this denomination all those products that use raw materials of natural origin are included, which have gone through a simple subsequent transformation process, with the minimum intervention of additives or chemical transformations, and that have only used those processes that are not harmful to theEnvironment and people's health, indicates Nuria Alonso, head of Biovidasana certification.

Natural raw materials are honey, milk or bee wax, and oils such as olive, jojoba, karité, or essential, such as lavender.In the case of olive oil or argan oil they are considered natural, although there is a physical extraction process, in this case by pressure.Likewise, there are other ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, which is also of natural origin, although its subsequent processing is somewhat more complex (it is obtained by biofermentation, with the intervention of microorganisms, which cannot be transgenic if the product iscertificate as natural).

So far it seems simple.But the reality is more complex.Technically it is very complicated to be able to elaborate a cosmetic only with natural ingredients.For example, there is no natural detergent in nature: it has to be obtained through a process, and there is another key to consider it natural or not.In addition to the ingredients, it is about knowing if that process is more or less polluting.

Let's take coconut for example.Coconut oil is a natural material, but to become soap you have to add soda or sodium hydroxic.But it would be impossible to get it.Therefore, in natural cosmetics, the ingredients have to be natural or derived from natural ingredients and obtained by the least aggressive processes possible, so that in that derivative of these natural ingredients there is no type of polluting toxic residue.That is the key, according to Corrobora Montse Lifting.

In natural cosmetics, ingredients must be natural or obtained by unat aggressive and toxic processes

Natural cosmetics will be classified according to the percentage of ecological ingredients they contain, and that they do not use certain very harmful ingredients.A certain percentage of chemical ingredients is allowed, but always choosing those who are less harmful to health and the environment, specify a lift.”All those who are more polluting or more harmful to health disqualify them so that they are admitted as natural.For example, the parabens ”, adds.

And organic cosmetics?

Cosméticos bio, eco, orgánico y natural: aprende cómo identificarlos y diferenciarlos

Organic, Bio, Eco Cosmetics...These different denominations can confuse us when choosing a product, but in theory its base is the same.According to Nuria Alonso, the three organic, "bio" or biological and "eco" or ecological are synonymous, and they can be used interchangeably from the point of view of certification, although in the dictionaries we will find nuances that differentiate them.

In the case of the organic term, this is nothing more than an English derivation, explains Alonso.In organic farming there is talk of Organic Farming, and from there the organic word has been adopted to define what is ecological.That happens especially in Latin America, where it is called organic cosmetics that is called ecological in Europe."Here is little used, but if someone uses it, it means the same," he explains.

The main characteristic of ecological cosmetics is that it uses ingredients that, in addition to being natural, have occurred following the criteria for organic farming that establishes the European regulations or other equivalent standards of other countries for ecological production."These criteria include the non -use of fertilizers, pesticides or chemical herbicides, among others," says Nuria Alonso."Ecological ingredients have to be certified to be able to recognize themselves as such," Nuria clarifies.

We are clear that ecological (echo), biological (bio) and organic, for practical purposes, are the same.The difference is in the natural term.Of course, an ecological cosmetic will always be natural, but not all natural products will be ecological.Many manufacturers use small proportions of natural ingredients to use that term but do not qualify or certify to be able to say that they are ecological.

How to know what type of cosmetic I am buying?

When buying, the simplest thing is to look.

The main cosmetics certification standards that can be found in Spain (Biovidasana, Cosmos and Natrue are the main ones) establish categories according to the percentage of ecological ingredients that the product takes.And the labeling reflects these classifications.

Thus, for example, in the biovididana norm there are three:

Category I: Ecological products containing more than 90 % of ecological ingredients.

Category II: Natural products that have between 89% and 15% of ecological ingredients (the ecological percentage should be indicated on the label).

Category III: products with less than 15 % of ecological ingredients.

Other norms of recognized trajectory that we can find are:

-Norma Natrue: with stamps of three categories (natural, natural with ecological, and ecological ingredients).

- Standard Cosmos: It is a private standard of European field developed by BDIH, Cosmebio, Ecocert, Soil Association and the Italian Icea, to harmonize criteria and generalize ecological cosmetics.It also establishes differentiated categories for natural or ecological cosmetics.

- USDA (seal nop): Certificate of the United States government for organic products, with four categories (ecological ingredients, made with ecological, ecological and 100% ecological ingredients).Although this standard is not specific to cosmetics, it is for agricultural and food products, so you can only certify cosmetic products with the NOP label if you can meet the same requirements that a food product has to meet.

The US seal.UU.It requires identical ecological cosmetics that a food product

And how can we know if a product is really certified?Knowing the stamps and indications used in each certification and recognizing which are reliable certifications.Currently, the norms and certifications for natural and ecological cosmetics are private, this means that there are no official regulations, which offers a wide variety of stamps, and not all imply the same rigor, thoroughness and study required by theCertification for this type of production, Alonso emphasizes.

Another detail to take into account is that currently cosmetics is a much more complicated sector to certify that, for example, food.Thus, the European regulation that regulates the ecological ingredients only applies to food, that is, it does not allow to certify a mineral (although in the new regulation that is in preparation the salt will be the first mineral that can be certified as ecological).

“You can only certify as ecological what you eat;Clay is not eaten, but there may be cosmetic products with a clay base, which is an ingredient that does not damage the environment, but it cannot be certified as ecological according to that regulation, ”says Montse List” ”.Hence the importance of trusting companies or entities that certify this type of cosmetics through different categories.

In addition, it is impossible that a consumer know.The ideal is to look for certified products by recognized prestige companies.Another option is to buy in trusted stores, where you know the manufacturer and you can trust their criteria to advise you.

In conclusion, the only way to be able to trust without being an expert in cosmetics and without knowing the manufacturers of the product - and, therefore, without knowing exactly how it manufactures it and what ingredients it uses - is buying certified products with recognized stamps.

Ecological and natural cosmetics versus conventional

Beyond that ecological cosmetics are fashionable, there are other weight reasons that invite them to try them.First, conventional cosmetics contains chemical substances, many of them derived from oil, which are more aggressive for the skin, in addition to polluting the environment.

A second reason, experts say, is that ecological cosmetics leaves no pollutant waste in the water when you showers you.And it will be equally effective at the hygiene level as a conventional.

Many companies that sell ecological cosmetics in Spain are women's entrepreneurship projects, and some of rural areas, so a quality, local and employment generator is being supported.

Other benefits have to do with the fact that natural cosmetics is suitable for all people, with the usual restrictions of allergies to certain compounds, Nuria Alonso replies.For example, Limonene or Linalol are components of some ingredients that can cause reactions and therefore it is mandatory to explain them on the label (in all types of cosmetics, not only in natural).As in all cosmetics, you also have to specify the reactions that can cause in groups such as pregnant or minor women.

From Freshly Cosmetic they ensure that some products of this type can be used from adolescence for proper cleaning and skin treatment, while there are others that are more directed on mature skin.They can also be of great relief in the most sensitive and atopic skins, something common in babies and children, says Elena Herrera, Brand Manager of this Spanish brand specialized in natural cosmetics.

The components of certain ingredients, being natural, can cause reactions and must appear on the label

Another benefit is that organic products respect the skin acid of the skin."In our case, the ecological and the organic also nourishes our cells to help you regenerate: it is the same as when we nourish ourselves with good internal diet, only in this case we do it on the outside," says Pilar Ruiz, a healthy skin driver, Spanish company that sells organic and organic products.In addition, Ruiz indicates, when an organ product is used "you realize that maybe you do not need to be moisturizing or nourishing you every day, but it is something to be used occasionally".

The makeup

Bio, echo, organic, natural ... In the world of makeup these terms also sneak.Although, María Moreno, a Pharmaceutical of Bioherbarium, warns that the use of "natural" adjective is usually abusive."Many times it only means that the product carries some natural ingredients, but the problem is the harmful or potentially toxic ingredients that it can also carry, as phthalates that act as hormonal or talcon disruptors ...", says Moreno.

However, bio or ecological makeup eliminates most of these ingredients and guarantees that we use a much healthier makeup.Even so, says María Moreno, there are products, such as nail polishThe most dangerous ingredients, such as formaldehyde.

And what are the qualities of this type of makeup?María Moreno replies that “the skin breathes freely since it is a type of makeup that tends to not plug the pores, and is the only one who can use people with intolerances;It is suitable for pregnant women, for example, ”says the Spanish online store holder, Bioherbarium.

In bio makeup you can find amazing textures, and a wide variety of colors in many brands.When choosing the product, it is important to take into account the INCI formula, the list of ingredients that it really carries.Do not confuse it with the composition.Only the official Ini gives validity to the exact content, except in very small makeup products where it is not obliged to label the inci.


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