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Natural Cosmetics Standard

Developed by GfaW Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftsethik (Society of Applied Ethics in

Business) in cooperation with EcoControl GmbH


Version 03.1/2015

Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftsethik (GfaW)

Table of contents








2.1.1 Vegetable Natural raw Material

2.1.2 Animal Natural raw Material

2.1.3 Mineral Natural raw Material

2.1.4 Fragrances

2.1.5 Water










–  –  –

1. INTRODUCTION The Natural Cosmetics Standard NCS regulates the requirements of certified natural cosmetics.

Natural cosmetic is conceived as a cosmetic product, which ingredients are untreated resp. arise from natural raw materials. In case of a successful certification of the declared products, the NCS label can be used for marketing purpose.

The NCS Standard regulates the quality of the products ingredients but not the composition of the product itself. A certification is not bound by a membership of any institution. Hence the certification is possible for manufacturers who do not want to associate any organisation and just seek to get their organic ingredients certified.

The NCS Standard serves as the basis for the design of customised natural cosmetic products. It assures the quality of ingredients according to the generally valid definition of natural cosmetics.

Furthermore it enables a simplified access into the first manufacturing of natural cosmetics.

Requirements that are already covered through Cosmetics Regulation, waste disposal regulations, labour law, etc. are not part of this standard.

The NCS is composed of criteria and annex. The annex consists of a whitelist which complements the criteria. It is a whitelist which can be expanded on request.

The NCS label for marking products provides a sound guidance for customers. Users of the NCS trademark as a label can additionally claim the ingredients with certified organic quality.


The NCS refers to all cosmetic products intended for humans and animals. In this context cosmetic products are defined as substances or mixtures, that are intended to come into external contact with parts of the human body or with teeth and oral mucosa, for the sole purpose to clean them, to perfume them, to change their appearance, to protect them, to keep them in good condition or to impact body odours.


If the manufacturer offers cosmetic products which are not in compliance with the natural cosmetics directive, these products have to be clearly differentiated by appropriate appearance resp. marking.

It is only possible to apply for NCS Standard if the products of the natural product assortment make at least 60% share, with reference to the number of products in the assortment. That induces that all necessary testing records of the natural cosmetics assortment have to be provided, irrespective of the number of natural products to be certified.

Version vom: 25.03.2015 Seite 3 von 7 Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftsethik (GfaW)

4. CRITERIA NCS certified products are composed only of raw materials and processes named in the NCS Standard. The Annex contains a whitelist of modified raw materials and nature-identical inorganic pigments and minerals. Qualities of raw materials are described in the criteria.

Animal-testing in correlation with production and distribution of NCS certified products are forbidden.


Cosmetical ingredients referred to NCS are classified in raw material groups as follows:

 Natural raw material: chemical unmodified raw material of vegetable, inorganic-mineral or animal origin as well as their mixtures and reaction-products with each other.

 Modified raw material: Raw material obtained of natural material as defined above by permitted chemical reactions.

 Nature-identical inorganic pigments and minerals: Raw material whose chemical composition is identical with natural pigments and minerals.

 Nature-identical preservatives: Raw material whose chemical composition is identical with natural substances and used as a preservative.


For production of NCS certified products the following raw materials and processes are permitted:

2.1 NATURAL RAW MATERIAL Natural raw materials are obtained only by physical processes using extraction and auxiliary agents listed in point 2.5. Furthermore enzymatic and microbiological methods are allowed as long as naturally occurring enzymes and microorganisms are used.

2.1.1 VEGETABLE NATURAL RAW MATERIAL Vegetable natural raw material preferably originates from certified organic primary material. With regard to the GMO the final products and raw materials used, must comply with the criteria laid down in the EC Eco-Regulation [Regulation (EC) No 834/2007, former (until 31 December 2008) Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91]. As long as there is no continuous verification system for GMO-free the NCR-method is accepted. The threshold lies for accidential and technically unavoidable at 0,9%.

The use of chemically unmodified vegetable raw materials (essential oils, fatty oils in extracts etc.) is basically permitted. Plants are not subject to the approval process for the whitelist and need not be listed in it. The EC Cosmetics Regulation, in particular for the protection of human health, has to be taken into account. It is the manufacturer´s responsibility to use only harmless raw materials.

Raw materials, gained from fermentation or biotechnological processes are also permitted in so far as they exclusively occur in nature. They are not subject to the approval process for the whitelist and need not be listed in it, too.

2.1.2 ANIMAL NATURAL RAW MATERIAL The use of raw materials produced by animals (e.g. milk, honey) is permitted. The use of raw materials derived from dead vertebrates (e.g. emu oil, mink oil, marmot oil animal fats, collagen and living cells) is not allowed.

–  –  –

2.1.3 MINERAL NATURAL RAW MATERIAL Mineral natural raw material is permitted as long as it is chemically unmodified and was obtained by physical processes. Mineral salts as magnesium sulphate or sodium chloride are allowed in NCS certified products. Exceptions can be found under point 3 “Non-permitted Raw Material”.

2.1.4 FRAGRANCES Natural fragrances which comply with ISO Standard 9235 are permitted. Furthermore biotechnologically produced fragrances can be used.

Fragrances are not included in the whitelist and do not have to be registered. A declaration of ISO 9235 compliance by the manufacturer is sufficient.

2.1.5 WATER Water is classifyed as natural raw material as long as it originates from plants. As long as the origin is proven certified organic it can be declared as such.

2.2 MODIFIED RAW MATERIAL Modified raw material may obtain from natural raw materials as defined above by using following chemical reactions: hydrolysis (including saponification), neutralisation, condensation with elamination of water, esterification, transesterification, hydrogenation, hydrogenolysis, dehydrogenation, glycosidation, phosphorylation, sulphatation, acylation, amidation, oxidation (with oxygen, ozone and peroxides) and pyrolysis.

The application of Halogenated Organic Compounds for the modification of natural raw materials is not allowed.


Permitted nature-identical minerals and pigments are listet in the white list. (Annex white list)


If necessary for the general product safety the follwing nature-identical preservatives are permitted

in NCS certified products:

– benzoic acid and its salts – salicylic acid and its salts – sorbic acid and its salts – benzyl alcohol – formic acid and its sodium salts – dehydroacetic acid and its sodium salts* – propionic acid and its sodium salts When these preservatives are used, the additional phrase "preserved using... [Name of the preservative]" is required.

* As far as in accordance with directive 76/768/EWG, excluded from this are ethanolamine salts.


Permitted extraction agents for natural materials are: water, ethanol of plant origin, carbon dioxid, fats and oil of platn origin, glycerin of plant origin. Beyond that naturally occurred enzymatic and microbiological processes are allowed. If there is no alternative extract, extraction agents not complying with the NCS Standard are allowed. In that case the extraction agent has to be reduced Version vom: 25.03.2015 Seite 5 von 7 Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftsethik (GfaW) down to the limit of detection which is listed in the analytical method according to § 5e of EC Cosmetics Regulation.

Pretreatment with preservatives and processing aids have to meet the requirements of the directive as soon as they remain in the final product. The only exception is made for used auxiliary agents who are removed as far as possible due state of the art (example: solvents) All raw materials and processing aids, particularly preservatives and processing aids, which are in the final product, have to be reported by their INCI title. This requirement applies irrespective of whether they legally constitute “ingredients” by § 1 EC Cosmetic Regulation or not. For reporting the composition the sentence 2 §1 EC Cosmetic Regulation does not apply.

2.6 AEROSOL Aerosols are ingredients of the product. NCS certified products may contain: CO2, nitrogen, compressed air.


NCS certified products must not contain following material groups:

– EDTA complexing agent, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde or formaldehyd releaser – Halogenic organic compounds – Synthetic fats, oil, waxes or silicones – Aromatic amines, ethanolamin and –derivates – Synthetic fragrances – Ethoxylated raw materials – Artificial musk compounds – Phtalates – PEG and PEG-Derivates

8. 4. RADIOACTIVE RADIATON The treatment of vegetable and animal raw materials and the end products with ionising rays is not permitted.

9. 5. REQUIREMENTS FOR LABELING Products may be labeled as „certified natural cosmetics” and are allowed to bear the NCS mark.

A product certified by the NCS Standard may be labeled “organic cosmetic”, if at least 95% of the ingredients are obtained from certified organic cultivation. In this case the percentage of the ingredients in certified organic quality has to be declared.

The ingredients of all NCS certified products have to be declared on the packaging via INCI register.

In case ingredients in certified organic quality are included in the product, they may be characterised

as follows:

Details concerning the certified organic origin of used ingredients are only receivable if they are unmistakable and precise relatable. Hereby the declaration “bio” refers to the certified organic origin of the primary material. Exemplary the precise declaration with “*” can be used. This arrangement applies accordingly to all synonyms like “bio”, “organic” or “eco”. The language is irrelevant.

1. The amount of ingredients in bio-quality is specified by its percentage and declared in whole numbers. Fractional numbers are rounded up to the next whole number.

Version vom: 25.03.2015 Seite 6 von 7 Gesellschaft für angewandte Wirtschaftsethik (GfaW) A permitted declaration for example is: 100% of all ingredients which can be organic are organic, share of organic ingredients in the product: 70%

2. For calculation of percentage regarding point 5.2 the following needs to be considered:

Ingredients in bio-quality are covered with their whole weight proportion, e.g. parts of plants, pressed juices, pressed oils and essential oils.

Plant extracts can be covered in their whole weight proportion if the final product does not include extraction agents (e.g. CO2 extraction) or the remaining extraction agent itself has bio-quality.

Following formula may be used:

X = P/(P+E) x 100 X = Bio amount in extract P = mass of used plant raw material E = mass of used extraction agent

3. Concentrates need no calculation of the weight of the primary material. The water added to concentrates does not find consideration.

10. 6. SUPPLIER CHANGES Changing the raw material supplier is possible without change message if the respective raw material is not subject to any restriction.

In case the raw material is subject to limitations, it is required to prove the compliance with the restrictions in the course of the next audit.

–  –  –

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