Understanding the 4 COSMOS-Standard Certifications


 August 16, 2019

Understanding the COSMOS-Standard: The COSMetics Organic and Natural Standard 

The natural and organic beauty industry is growing. With that growth comes higher consumer expectations. One way for organic and natural brands to certify compliance and set themselves apart from the competition is by seeking certification through one of the four COSMOS-standard certifications: Organic, Natural, COSMOS Certified or COSMOS Approved. 

Responding to Wellness Economy Growth

As we’ve covered in previous articles, the definition of “clean beauty” is still open to interpretation. With claims such as ‘clean,’ ‘minimalistic,’ ‘free-from,’ and ‘sustainable,’ it can get confusing and misleading for consumers. Especially as they continue to make considered choices about what ingredients they put on their skin.

Growing at nearly twice the rate of global economic growth, the wellness economy shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, according to the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor report, the global wellness industry grew in value from $3.7 trillion in 2015 to $4.2 trillion in 2017 (an increase of 12.8%). As consumers become more aware and knowledgeable about the importance of clean ingredients, they’re looking for third-party certifications, such as the COSMOS-standard, on skincare and beauty product labels in store and online.

What is the COSMOS-Standard?

The “COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard,” known as the COSMOS-standard, was created in 2002 by a group of five major European natural and organic cosmetics standard-setting organizations. As one of the most widely used standards for organic and natural cosmetics in the world, the COSMOS-Standard certification assures consumers they are getting the highest-level of natural and organic ingredients possible.


When brands choose to become COSMOS-standard certified, every part of their product’s ingredients must comply to strict testing criteria and tightly regulated standards. This includes ensuring ingredients are sourced from organic farming and that no synthetic chemicals were used to farm those ingredients.

Understanding the COSMOS-Standard: The COSMetics Organic and Natural Standard

With the growth in natural and organic beauty comes higher consumer expectations. One way for organic and natural brands to certify compliance and set themselves apart from the competition is by seeking certification through one of the four COSMOS-standard certifications: Organic, Natural, COSMOS Certified or COSMOS Approved.

The COSMOS-standard also means brands that hold the certification must be free from the following things:


  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Parabens
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Nanoparticles
  • Silicon
  • PEG
  • Synthetic perfumes and dyes
  • Animal-derived ingredients
  • Petroleum-derived ingredients
  • Hexane
  • Gluten
  • Phthalates
  • Silicones
  • Sulfates
  • Ureas


COSMOS-standard Kinetik


4 COSMOS-Standard Certification Signatures


  • “COSMOS Organic” appears on cosmetic products containing the required percentages of organic ingredients.
  • “COSMOS Natural” is printed on products that comply with the Standard in all other respects, but do not have the minimum organic percentages.
  • “COSMOS Certified” signature can only be used on products that have ingredients with organic content (certified to the COSMOS-standard).
  • “COSMOS Approved” signature is not obligatory but if used, it must only be used with cosmetic ingredients with no organic content that are approved for use in products certified to the COSMOS-standard.


Find Natural and Organic Personal Care Ingredients Featuring COSMOS-Standard

More than 12,000 natural and organic personal care ingredients are certified and approved by the COSMOS-standard. Brands can easily select from the wide range of COSMOS-standard ingredients to offer the best to their customers. 

And Kinetik makes it easy to find the right ingredients such as:

  • Sapogel Q – Natural, saponin-based, cold process gellant for vegetable oils. Creates rich, stable and translucent gels with balm- like textures. Ideal for lip, body and hair care.
  • Kahlwax 6290 – Berry Wax, low-melting soft wax with velvet, powdery skin feel. Outstanding payoff enhancer for stick and pencil preparations. Gives O/W emulsions a whipped, mousse-like texture. MP: 48 – 54 °C
  • Kahlwax 6279L – Myrica Fruit Wax, high quality, hard wax with low melting point. Excellent performance as natural hair conditioning agent. Provides medium hold when used in hair styling products, without flaking. Provides a rich skin feel and prolongs play time to emulsions. MP: 45 – 55 °C
  • Vego Jelly 7036 Plus – Vegan petrolatum alternative with castor oil and berry wax. Unique blend of natural waxes and oils with super soft, silky lip and skin feel and high oil-binding capacity. MP: 42 – 48°C
  • Pantrofina Skin 360 – Extracted from Mediterranian marine pine, this “universal skincare” active provides superior protection. Reduces the appearance of skin aging and combats damage from daily pollution.
  • Resassol DN – Moisturizer with co-solvent properties derived from glycerin.
  • Tricorexina Hydro – Hair care active, comprised of water-soluble plant extracts, that aids in the promotion of hair growth.
  • Spiraea Exudactive – Active moisturizer and skin barrier enhancer from Meadowsweet. Extracted from the plant roots using patented and highly-sustainable “plant milking” technology. Rich in the polyphenol Agrimoniin. Provides both in-vitro and in-vivo improvements in skin hydration after 7 and 14 days.


Discover our large selection of raw materials featuring the COSMOS-standard, including antimicrobials, chelating agents, emollients, thickeners and more. From our products page, simply choose ‘advanced search’ and filter by ‘certifications’ to select all COSMOS-standard ingredients. But, we don’t just supply ingredients, we also help brands to create the formulation they need to gain trust from consumers and get ahead of the competition. Combining innovation with environmental protection and social responsibility, our team strives to support the success of our customers worldwide. 


Headquartered in the USA, Kinetik works with clients and represents suppliers worldwide. Contact us at (732) 335-5775 to speak with one of our sales representatives about the COSMOS-Standard ingredients you need to support your formulations today.