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Why Soil Association certified organic?

Look for certification symbols on products, or claims of “organic” or “certified organic ingredients” on skincare products can be meaningless without a recognised certification body.

The Soil Association is one of the strictest recognised certification bodies.

 

Soil Association

Soil Association certified organic means:

1. The maximum possible amount of organic ingredients: A product that carries the Soil Association symbol and is labelled organic must contain at least 95% organic ingredients.

2. Where insufficient organically grown ingredients exist, the Soil Association will approve products that contain at least 70% organic ingredients but they cannot be labelled “organic”. The remaining ingredients, however, are also bound by strict guidelines.

3. Minimal non-organic additives and only those from a restricted list are allowed: These must be non-GM and can only be used if the organic version of that ingredient is not yet available. If a substance is suspected of being toxic to humans or the environment, the Soil Association takes a precautionary approach and they are not allowed.

There are numerous other natural and organic certification bodies in the market. The Soil Association is the main certification body in the UK, and is currently considered the strictest organic skincare certification body.

Other Organic Skin Care Symbols

The table below shows the main skin care certification bodies and some other symbols you might find on products, and explains the significant differences between them with regards to restriction on toxic ingredients, minimum organic content and the use of an independent audit.

 

Standard

Restriction on toxic ingredients

Organic            content

Independant   organic audit

Packaging

Soil AssociationUK Strict controls on ingredient biodegradability. Tightest controls on toxic substances. No GM allowed. If a substnce is suspected of being harmful to humans or the environment is it not allowed in. Min. 70% of total formula organic to qualify for the symbol & min. 95% of total formula organic for ‘organic’ label. Annual independant organic inspection of manufacturer. Biodegradable and/or recyclable where possible
Organic Food FederationUK List of ingredients not allowed.
No GM allowed.
Min.70% of agricultural or wild ingredients must be organic, but no minimum percentage of agricultural or wild ingredients in total formula. Annual organic inspection of manufacturer. Biodegradable and/or recyclable where possible
Organic Farmers & GrowersUK List of ingredients not allowed.
No GM allowed.
Min.70% of agricultural or wild ingredients must be organic, but no minimum percentage of agricultural or wild ingredients in total formula. Annual organic inspection of manufacturer. Biodegradable and/or recyclable where possible
EcocertFrance Minimum EU toxicity restrictions apply plus some additional substances banned such as SLS. No GM allowed. Min. 10% of total formula & 95% of all plant-based ingredients from organic farming. Annual organic inspection of manufacturer. Biodegradable and/or recyclable where possible
CosmebioFrance Minimum EU toxicity restrictions apply plus some additional substances banned such as SLS. No GM allowed. Min. 10% of total formula & 95% of all plant-based ingredients from organic farming. Can contain 50-80% water which cannot be certified organic. Annual organic inspection of manufacturer. Biodegradable and/or recyclable where possible
BDIHGermany Minimum EU toxicity restrictions apply plus some additional substances banned such as SLS. Organic ingredients encouraged but not mandatory – no minimum organic content.
Claims of “organic” or “certified organic ingredients” Minimum EU toxicity restrictions apply. Uncertified: No guarenteed minimum of organic content.
No organic claim or symbol Minimum EU toxicity restrictions apply. Uncertified: No guarenteed minimum of organic content.