What is Certification?
Our symbol makes it easy to find a certified organic product
Committed to campaigning for change and giving the industry a much needed makeover, in 2002 the Soil Association launched the first standards for organic cosmetics. Soil Association Certification is independent and rigorous. We review the entire manufacturing process including sourcing of ingredients, formulation procedures and premises, as well as packaging. We now certify to international COSMOS standards so you can be sure your certified product meets strict criteria wherever it was made.
To ensure products are produced in the most sustainable and environmentally sound way, companies supply us with energy and water usage information and environmental waste management plans. We also review their marketing messages for consumer clarity.
Once a brand or business has passed the certification process they are given the 'stamp of approval' with our symbol to use across their branding. We inspect annually to ensure the certified products still meet the standards.
What is COSMOS?
As a result of the growing demand for certified organic beauty worldwide, we teamed up with 4 other organisations (BDIH in Germany, Cosmebio and Ecocert in France and ICEA in Italy) to develop a new harmonised standard for organic and natural cosmetics, known as COSMOS (Cosmetic Organic Standard).
Since January 2017 the founding partners only certify to the COSMOS standard. Other certification bodies have joined our call for harmonised global organic standards, including: Control Union and ACO.
COSMOS offers two levels of certification; organic and natural. To find out more click here
I've noticed your symbol on a lot of products but not with the COSMOS signature, why is that?
COSMOS has been mandatory for all new products since January 2017. Lots of businesses certified with us are still in the process of switching over certification to COSMOS. They don’t have to change certification until they reformulate their product, so it might be a few years before you see the COSMOS logo on some of your favourite brands.
The Soil Association Health & Beauty standards still exist for products that aren’t classed as ‘cosmetics’ which include household cleaning products, intimate health products or products intended for medical use. We define these types of products as 'wellbeing products'.
Wellbeing products take the inside-out approach, like superfoods and supplements. These products fall under our Food Standard Certification which, unlike cosmetics, is regulated.
Any food or drink product sold as ‘organic’ in the EU is legally required to comply with a set of standards and must be certified by an accreditation body. Products certified to these standards can use the EU Green Leaf organic symbol and the Soil Association organic symbol (only if certified to Soil Association organic standards) on their packaging – an assurance to customers that what they’re buying meets our higher standards and is fully traceable back to the farm. The Soil Association has higher standards than required by the EU, to guarantee the best animal welfare, health, consumer protection and safeguarding for the natural environment.