There is currently no official regulatory definition for the cosmetic product claims ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ in the EU. While these claims of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are highly appealing to consumers, the lack of a precise regulatory definition runs the risk of exposing the consumer to misleading claims and malpractices known as greenwashing. In order to ensure trust through transparency when it comes to such claims, quality needs assurance. On the basis of the existing regulatory framework for cosmetics in Europe, third-party certification to voluntary private standards offers a means to substantiate such claims. Understandably, the compound costs of only using natural (non-GMO) or certified-organic raw materials that conform with the standards, as well as the need to certify the finished cosmetic product, may influence the price the consumer pays depending on the formulation, product category and brand positioning.
Of course, producing authentic organic or natural cosmetics is more expensive and more challenging, because of the price of ingredients and the limitations on the ingredient range that can be used. In addition to the certification cost, all these are factors that favour greenwashing. Nowadays, greenwashing in cosmetics takes various forms. For example,
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