Consumer behaviour is changing. More and more of us are choosing natural and organic products because we don't want to harm the environment and its health. The best example is food. Very few people thought about pesticides, artificial flavours or preservatives in the 1950s. Today we think differently. We want less chemicals, not only in our nutrition, but also in fashion and cosmetics. This is why more and more cosmetics companies are giving their products a green coat of paint. But often appearances are deceptive: green plants and misleading inscriptions are increasingly found on products made from synthetic recipes in which a few natural ingredients have been incorporated, so that it is sufficient for the advertising text and beautiful plant images. So how can genuine natural cosmetics be identified?
How to identify genuine natural cosmetics
The best way to identify genuine natural cosmetics is looking at natural cosmetic seals. The pure designation "natural cosmetics" or “organic skin care” is not legally protected and therefore no guarantee for "genuine" natural cosmetics. However, there are several seals and no worldwide uniform one. In addition, there is no seal obligation, so that manufacturers can talk their way out of it by saying that certification is too complicated and expensive for them, but that they would easily meet all the requirements.
The most important natural cosmetics sealsThe world's strictest seal for certified natural cosmetics is NATRUE. Then follows BDIH/COSMOS. The ECOCERT seal is also very well-known and widespread, but it allows too many exceptions and extras for our requirements, e.g. the use of synthetic preservatives without any indication. Without a seal the consumer has no certainty whether buying a natural cosmetic product or not.
What is organic cosmetics?
Organic cosmetics means that the ingredients are not only natural, but have also been certified organically grown and processed.
Difference in qualityThis can be absolutely essential for the quality of some plants, such as our aloe vera. In organic cultivation, genetic engineering as well as synthetic herbicides and pesticides are forbidden and many of the usual technical additives such as solvents are not allowed to be used in processing. In addition, only natural fertilisers are used and monocultures are avoided. The result is a much purer and more vitality-rich quality, which also has a better effect on our skin.
NATRUE offers securityThe NATRUE label, for example, specifies bindingly how much "organic" must be contained in natural cosmetics. NATRUE defines three levels of certification: "natural cosmetics" meets the basic standard. The two higher levels indicate how high the proportion of natural ingredients from organic cultivation is: in the case of "natural cosmetics with organic ingredients", at least 70 percent of the natural ingredients must come from certified organic cultivation and/or certified wild collection. In the case of "organic cosmetics" the figure is as high as 95 percent. In addition, the lower limits for natural ingredients are higher and the upper limits for near-natural ingredients are lower.
Organic at Santaverde
We are particularly proud of the fact that all our products, with the exception of age protect fluid, are "organic skin care". The age protect fluid is "natural cosmetics with organic content", as pigments (of natural origin) are used for tinting and the sun protection factor. These can generally not be described as "organically grown" because pigments cannot be grown. This is how they are found in nature.
What is the difference to near-natural cosmetic?
Natural cosmetics contain only ingredients of natural origin. If a synthetic substance is added, the product is called “near-natural". Such ingredients are, for example, preservatives or surfactants. Often non-certified companies take advantage of this proximity to carry out "greenwashing" and mislead us with labels such as "natural", "free from..." or "with vegetable ingredients".
Is natural cosmetics always vegan?
In natural cosmetics, mainly active plant ingredients are used, but partly also ingredients of animal origin. Therefore, natural cosmetics are not always a guarantee for vegan products.
Animal ingredients in cosmeticsBeeswax is often used in lip balm for a protective film or honey for its anti-inflammatory and soothing effect on the skin. The ingredients of animal origin can, however, cause animal suffering, as there are no species-appropriate or tormenting procedures for its extraction. Examples are the rabiate shearing of sheep for the production of lanolin or the smoking of the beehive with the honey production.
Vegan alternatives to animal ingredients
Many cosmetic manufacturers do not want to do without the properties of animal raw materials. But there are effective vegan alternatives that are used in Santaverde formulations, for example: The colourless oil squalane, which protects the skin from moisture loss, is partly extracted from shark liver. In the meantime, however, synthetic - and especially in natural cosmetics - herbal alternatives have established themselves. Santaverde uses vegetable squalane from olives. In natural cosmetic products, lactic acid is no longer obtained from animal milk, but is replaced by vegetable lactic acid, which is fermented from sugar. For amino acids and glycerine, which are partly produced from animal fats, there are at least as effective plant alternatives.
100 % vegan - the seal of the Vegan SocietyTherefore pay attention to seals like the V-label or the vegan flower of the UK Vegan Society. The vegan flower has been around for over 70 years. The seal proves that the certified product contains only raw materials of plant or mineral origin and that both the end product and the production process are free from animal ingredients. Since the certification of the official seal involves licensing costs and a lot of effort, many companies have developed their own vegan logos or advertise the product with a vegan lettering. However, this does not give you 100% certainty as a consumer. However, the seal of the Vegan Society is by far the best known and strictest seal and recognised worldwide for food and cosmetic products. Santaverde has produced without animal ingredients from the very beginning.
Does vegan mean environmentally friendly?If a product is vegan, this name alone does not guarantee healthy or environmentally friendly cosmetics. Chemical-synthetic ingredients such as paraffins or silicone oils, which are obtained from highly processed crude oil, are also vegan because they do not originate from animals.
Does vegan mean that no animal experiments were carried out?
If a product is vegan, it does not mean that it is also free from animal testing. And beware: In cosmetics with animal welfare seals, ingredients that have been tested on animals are banned. However, ingredients from living animals, such as honey, are allowed, provided the animal does not suffer.
Against animal testing - the Leaping Bunny sealWith our company's view of ecology and ethics, the welfare of animals is close to our heart. Cosmetic products and raw materials tested on animals and their distribution have been banned by law within the EU - but this law does not apply outside the EU. We support the worldwide fight against animal testing. Therefore, all Santaverde cosmetic products carry the recognised Leaping Bunny seal of approval (www.crueltyfreeinternational.org).
Only a few brands bear all of the three seals together – NATRUE, the Vegan Flower and Leaping Bunny - one of them is Santaverde.