Cosmos Certification - What's changed?

COSMOS is an internationally recognised Organic Certification created in 2002. COSMOS stands for "COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard", which sets certification requirements for organic and natural cosmetics products around the world.

Soil association is the body that manages the cosmos certifications in the UK. In January 2017, five international partners BDIH, Cosmebio, Ecocert, ICEA and the Soil Association came together to agree an overall COSMOS-standard.

All five certifying bodies came together to agree how organic certifications would be calculated. In order to produce the Cosmos Standard they had to agree on the differences and create a harmonised international standard to work with.

The Cosmos Certification carry two parameters dependent on how much of the product’s ingredients are Organic.

Made with Organic

  • If the product has between 20 to 95% organic ingredients, the product can be referenced as ‘made with organic’ and use the Cosmos logo.


  • If the product has 95% or above you can reference your product as ‘organic’ and use the Cosmos logo.
Person using hand cream

How is the Organic % calculated?

Previously, the five organic standards (Ecocert, QAI, Cosmos, USDA Organic and Soil Association) calculated the percentages differently. This meant there were varying inconsistencies across organic products in Europe and the rest of the world. The new guidelines only calculate the dry weight of the organic material, excluding any water from the formulation. For example;

Previously for Soil Association organic certification, the water was removed from the formulation. The remaining materials calculated up to 100% to form a dry weight formulation. The organic materials then added together gave the Soil Associations organic percentage.

The new standards for Cosmos exclude water and only calculates the input organic materials.

This is why the same formulation approved under both standards have a different organic percentage.

(This is a basic example of how it’s calculated for Soil Associate and now for Cosmos)

Certification: Previous; Soil Association:  100%  = “Organic”

Now; COSMOS:  25%  = “Made with Organic”

As the 5 international certifying bodies now work closely together is such an important and positive step in achieving a level playing field when organic standards are concerned. This not only helps customers certify products but helps customers understand how the products can be certified.

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