Premium Beauty News - Demand for naturalness has been a basic trend for several years in the cosmetics industry. And it seems it has further strengthened with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ana Ledesma - Absolutely. There is a huge need for transparency in our industry, a demand for information about ingredients, their origins, manufacturing processes… Consumers want safe, environmentally friendly and fair products. The need for safety that emerged during the pandemic and the growing concern about our planet’s condition have just strengthened expectations.

No one can say sustainability is a trend now. It has become a real lifestyle, a particular way to shop - and it is booming. Consumers want multipurpose, sustainable products in line with their beliefs.

Premium Beauty News - Labels are also used to inform consumers. But NATRUE remains little known in France and the UK, whereas it is widely recognized in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Ana Ledesma - Today, over 7,000 products are NATRUE-certified, mainly in Europe, which is the area that is most aware of labels, but also in North and South America, and in the Asia-Pacific area. We aim to further develop our label on the global level. More than 300 natural and organic cosmetics brands in the world already trust the NATRUE label as a product certification.

The Cosmebio and COSMOS labels have been present in Western and Southern Europe for a long time. NATRUE is more widely known in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, which is the country of origin of several founding members of the association. To develop the label’s presence on the French market, we have attended the Natexpo show in France for several years. This year, we shared our stand with French organic cosmetics brand Beauty Garden.

A label like NATRUE guarantees the same requirements and transparency for consumers all over the world.

Premium Beauty News - NATRUE has announced the label has been simplified: there will now be two levels instead of three.

Ana Ledesma - We tried to make our label easier to understand for consumers. Starting from January 1st, 2021, the standard will no longer include three, but two product levels: natural cosmetics and organic cosmetics. The products labelled as “natural cosmetics with an organic portion” will keep this designation on the market until their two-year certificate expires. But we paid attention not to reduce our level of requirements: on the contrary, we have introduced new criteria, in particular as regards environmental protection and raw material sourcing.

Premium Beauty News - As a label, what do you think about the naturalness claims related to standard ISO 16128 or to the notion of clean beauty?

Ana Ledesma - We had great hopes when we heard about an ISO standard on cosmetics naturalness. But clearly, the guarantees and assurances are quite low compared to what a label like NATRUE can offer.

As regards clean beauty, our stance is most probably the same as other labels’. It cannot be denied that this notion involves positive changes and compels brands to give up on certain ingredients. It is a broad concept that is beyond the organic and natural notions. But, for us, it is a claim which lacks clarity and can be misleading. Today, brands can have much different interpretations of the notion of clean beauty. Without common criteria and independent certification, there is definitely a risk of greenwashing and of certain criteria not being more demanding than what basic compliance with current regulations demand.

Labels’ specifications are made public and involve known criteria which can be verified and - as for NATRUE - are controlled by independent bodies. In addition, natural and organic cosmetic labels are not just formulations that avoid certain substances undesired by consumers: they include many environmental criteria.

Premium Beauty News - Do applications which mark products not contribute to offering more transparency?

Ana Ledesma - Applications may be an interesting reference for consumers if the information provided is objective and comprehensive. But some of them are actually incomplete and their assessments lack objectivity and scientific rigour. Not all applications use the same criteria, so not all of them offer reliable information! Overall, most tend to play on the fear of certain ingredients.

NATRUE’s mission is to offer consumers as many guarantees as possible regarding natural and organic cosmetics. It is a way to increase trust in products, and we keep working on increasing the level of information and transparency for the mutual benefit of manufacturers and consumers, in particular through our public database of NATRUE-certified products and raw materials.