Natural and organic claims

The terms natural and organic are not specifically regulated under the Cosmetics Regulation but any claim must be capable of substantiation and must not be misleading.  However, if you are making a claim such as natural or organic, then this will be covered by the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.  These Regulations do not allow it to be implied, directly or indirectly, that a product has characteristics that it does not have. It applies throughout the supply chain and covers marking, advertising, price lists and misleading indications, including environmental claims.  It's a complex issue and we can only really advise not to mislead the consumer and to provide clarity around what is meant by the claim.  For example, it may be possible to apply a natural claim to an ingredient but it is more difficult to apply it to a finished product without the risk of misleading the consumer.

Cosmetic natural and/or organic standards have been developed by different certification bodies. However, none of these standards or guidelines are specifically backed by law. They are all different, although the difference may be minor. The aim is to use a high proportion of organic ingredients, natural ingredients or ingredients chemically derived from natural ingredients. They all restrict the types of chemical processes that may be used, specify which synthetic ingredients may be used and prohibit the rest.

CTPA has written a guideline to help advertisers understand more clearly the framework in which cosmetic claims appear and the way in which cosmetic claims may be substantiated.