With so many titles around skincare like natural, organic and certified organic, it’s hard to keep up with the guidelines and certifications that qualify what these claims actually mean. The term ‘certified organic’ usually sets minds at ease, meaning the brand or certain specified ingredients have been assessed and verified under guidelines by the Australian Certified Organic Australian Standard. But there is a new certification from overseas that is making waves in the industry, and ranks even higher than that of the AOC. It’s called COSMOS. Australian skincare range SCOUT is one of the first brands in the country to receive the stringent new COSMOS certification, and founder Sylvie Hutchings explains why it’s such a big deal.
What are the main differences between an ACO certification and a COSMOS one?
The ACO certification was developed to ensure organic labelled products sold in Australia are compliant with the guidelines of organic production. As one of the most rigorous standards in the world for organic production which also requires a review every year, the ACO standard has long been the peak certification for organic brands in Australia.
The new COSMOS certification is an internationally recognised collaborative initiative between five leading European certification bodies, establishing global Organic and Natural Cosmetics Standard. Relatively new to Australia, the COSMOS certification requires products to have no genetically modified or irradiated ingredients, no nanoparticles and no animal testing, with product packaging also needing to meet sustainability requirements.
Like ACO, more certification bodies are seeking accreditation under the COSMOS global standard with the COSMOS logo being introduced in conjunction with the logos of one of the other certifying bodies to offer increased gravity.
Is this accreditation new to Australia? When was it introduced?
The COSMOS certification was first developed in Europe in 2010, and officially launched as the ‘COSMetic Organic Standard’ globally in February of 2017. SCOUT Organic Active Beauty is one of the first Australian cosmetic brands that has earned both the ACO & COSMOS certifications.
Do you believe more organic brands will be striving to secure this accreditation in the near future?
COSMOS will be the leading international cosmetics certification standard. As a global standard for natural and organic products, l believe more brands will be looking to hold this certification to ensure their products are compliant with these internationally recognised guidelines.
Why is it important that they do?
Considering the growth of the natural cosmetics industry and the sheer number of governing bodies and certifications available at home and overseas, the COSMOS certification provides a globally recognised standard and a level of uniformity across the industry. I think it is important for organic brands, particularly Australian brands such as ours to have this level of recognition as they look to expand internationally.