Intertek's Assurance in Action Podcast Network

Sustainable Cosmetics – Episode 1 on Naturalness

October 14, 2021 Intertek Season 5 Episode 1
Intertek's Assurance in Action Podcast Network
Sustainable Cosmetics – Episode 1 on Naturalness
Show Notes Transcript

From the mass market to luxury cosmetics, brands are changing their commitments to go green. The natural market is therefore taking up more and more space in cosmetics and on our shelves. But while the natural and organic cosmetics market is booming, there were no regulations, no standards, and no text that could define what that meant until ISO 16128 was established in 2017. ISO 16128 sets the definitions of what natural and organic means within cosmetics. 

Join our Intertek experts as they discuss ISO 16128, how it changed the cosmetics industry, and what terms like ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ actually mean.

Speaker 1: 00:19
Green, naturality, upcycling, sustainability, responsible, transparency. These are some new words frequently used to define cosmetics today. My name is Maeva Duchateau and I'm here with Juliane Coursol.

Speaker 2: 00:36
Hi everyone.

Speaker 1: 00:38
And Emmeline WATIER.

Speaker 3:  00:40

Speaker 1: 00:41
We are regulatory affairs specialist at Intertek, France. Welcome to our special Podcast series aimed at discussing green topics within the cosmetics industry.

Speaker 1: 00:55 
Considered a niche sector, the natural and organic cosmetics market is booming. A study conducted by Cosmébio show that one in two French people buy organic cosmetics in 2021. Another study conducted by research and market’s analysis in 2021 shows that the international natural product market is expected to reach $32.7 billion in 2027, with an 8% growth between 2020 and 2027. We are at the heart of a real transformation in this industry. From the mass market to luxury cosmetics brand are making their commitment to go green. The natural market is therefore taking up more and more space in so-called conventional cosmetics. In our shelves across our stores. But what is a natural cosmetic product? This is our topic today.

Speaker 2: 02:24
This is such an interesting question Maeva. Let's start with an historic overview before 2017 there were no regulations, no standards and no text defining naturalness in the cosmetics field. However, natural products were already very present in the markets. Several labels already had their own specifications, such as COSMOS, a label widely used in Europe to define natural and organic cosmetics. In 2017, an international standard appeared and gave a definition to naturalness : the ISO 16128.

 Speaker 1: 03:11
This standard is the result of the joint reflection by the main player in the world of cosmetics such as raw material manufacturer, Association, Labels, Labs, University and, of course, brand cosmetics. So my first question is what are the definition given by the standard ?

Speaker 3: 03:28
The first part of the standard makes it possible to define 4 categories of ingredients, natural ingredients, ingredients of natural origin, ingredients of mineral origin and non-natural ingredients.

Speaker 1: 03:42
So you talk about natural and natural origin, and I'm not sure that everybody knows the difference. So what is the difference between these two categories?


Speaker 2: 00:03:50
Yes, my, it's important to clarify this point. Natural ingredients are processed physically or by processes that don't intentionally change the chemical composition. On the contrary, ingredients of natural origin are intentionally chemically transformed, respecting the principles of green chemistry. The twelve principles of green chemistry were defined by Paul T. Anastas and John Warner in 1997 and are now a world benchmark for Chemistry.

Speaker 3: 00:04:27
Thank you Juliane. Also, I think it's important to mention that certain highly denaturing chemical reactions involving natural ingredients can lead to the production of ingredients considered unnatural.

Speaker 1: 00:04:42
OK, so the process is very important and also how to distinguish a natural ingredient from an organic ingredient ?

Speaker 3: 04:54
Natural ingredients are obtained from plants, animals, microorganisms, or even minerals regarding organic ingredients. They meet with same definition of natural ingredients are also from organic farming or wild are vesting respecting local legislation. Juliane, do you want to add something?

Speaker 2: 05:22
Yes, we can add that the second part of ISO 16128 allows the calculation that the naturalness content in a cosmetic formula and makes it possible to make a link between this definition and the natural index. The organic natural origin and the Organic Origin index of the raw materials.

Speaker 1: 05:43
You explain the standard permit to calculate content in indexes, but how does it works, does the calculation include water ?

Speaker 2: 06:03
Well, the index is calculated from the origin of the ingredients and the processing of obtaining it's. Since water is considered a natural ingredient calculation may include it or exclude it depending on the choice of the supplier or brands.

Speaker 1: 06:15
Uhm, concerning the supplier. The raw material supplier, is it an obligation to calculate the naturalness index according this standard ?

Speaker 3: 06:46
This international standard can be calculated volountary by manufacturers who aren’t obligated to communicate the naturalness index. However, since this standard has become the standard benchmark for naturalness in the cosmetics sector, the index is now very widely requested by brands from their suppliers and suppliers increasingly anticipate the request to meet the growing demand.

Speaker 1: 06:52
It's not an obligation, but it's highly recommended.

Speaker 3: 06:53

Speaker 1: 07:04
OK, and what about communication? Does the ISO 16128 have a role in communication or not?

Speaker 2: 07:23
This standard is not intended to legislate but to regulate the claims of products related to natural cosmetics. This standard doesn’t prohibit the use of any ingredient and doesn’t require any minimum natural or organic content in formula. However, it allows companies to base their claimson calculated percentages.

Speaker 1: 07:45
OK, that's interesting. There are a lot of natural and organic labels, and what are the differences between this standard and these labels?

Speaker 3: 08:02
Labels such as Cosmos, and Natrue for example, aim to communicate the natural or organic character of the finished product. They are based on defined specifications which may, for example, restrict the use of ingredients.

Speaker 1: 08:17
OK, nice, thank you very much Juliane and Emmeline, we talked about many elements about Naturality. How could we resume naturality in cosmetics in few words?

Speaker 2: 08:27
I'd say naturalness in cosmetics is now well defined by means of the standard ISO 16128. Using the information provided by their raw material suppliers, it's up to brands to calculate the naturalness percentage of their formulas. The ISO 16128 framework doesn't prevent brands from going further in their requirements of naturalness. And on top of that, I'd like to mention that the technical guide has just been published. It helps clarify some points, especially on process to obtain raw materials.

Speaker 1: 09:20 
So with that said, a good news for your information to whether you are a supplier of raw materials, small or large cosmetic brands, Intertek pool of experts is able to support you in your naturalness calculation. In addition to naturalness, some brands also claim the “vegan” character of their formula. However, did you know that a vegan product is not necessarily natural? 

We invite you to learn why in a new episode of this podcast series coming soon. Thank you for your listening and see you soon.

Speaker 3: 09:53
Thank you bye.

Speaker 2: 09:54
Thank you Maeva.