Version 3.9 of the NATRUE Label Criteria will come into force on 01.01.2021

The NATRUE Standard is an internationally applicable benchmark for the formulation of natural and organic cosmetics. With this latest update, the NATRUE Label Criteria (Version 3.9) enable producers to develop new and innovative natural and organic cosmetics whilst continuing to meet strict requirements that ensure defined and maximum natural and organic content for each certified product.

NATRUE’s Standard Version 3.9 is already available for download here

What’s new?
This latest update maintains NATRUE’s core principles and strictness, while further expanding the capacity of producers to innovate and develop natural and organic cosmetics aligned with the principles of green chemistry. Sustainability is no longer a policy choice but an inevitability, and NATRUE has incorporated additional requirements to ensure that respect for people, the environment and biodiversity are addressed, and transparent claims are observed in the formulation of cosmetics carrying the NATRUE Label.

More sustainable raw materials
Sustainable sourcing of natural and organic raw materials is essential to reduce the environmental impact of their cultivation. Robust chain of custody, transparency and traceability schemes are key to validate the raw materials used in the formulation of cosmetics. Following the association’s membership of RSPO, NATRUE requires that, wherever possible and available, natural or derived natural raw materials from palm oil and palm kernel oil must come from RSPO or other certified sustainable supply chains and mass balance (MB) quality as a minimum requirement, and ideally Segregated and Identity Preserved qualities. Qualities that are unavailable as certified RSPO or other certified sustainable supply chains (minimum MB) are allowed unless there is indication on Annex 3 that there is supply in MB quality. Derived natural substances with INCIs available in MB quality or greater are listed in Annex 3 for ease of reference. Only certified organic quality is a derogation to the RSPO certification requirement under the NATRUE criteria.

Evaluated Sustainable Practices: UN Sustainable Development Goals
NATRUE has evaluated its standard against the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 6 SDGs were identified and allocated to the NATRUE standard: 3 (Good Health and Well-Being); 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure); 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production); 13 (Climate Change); 14 (Life Below Water); 15 (Life on Land).

In October 2019, NATRUE collaborated in the project “Testing the Applicability of the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information”, conducted by One Planet Network in collaboration with UN Environment as part of the road testing of the Guidelines for Providing Product Sustainability Information. NATRUE’s case study provides feedback on principles that aim to establish minimum requirements (“fundamental principles”: reliability, relevance, transparency, clarity and accessibility) when providing product sustainability information to consumers in the cosmetics sector. NATRUE’s case study is publicly accessible here.

Present and future of NATRUE’s Raw Materials Scheme
Since the new approval scheme was launched last February 2020, over 150 raw materials have been NATRUE approved. All raw materials presently used in NATRUE certified finished products will have a transitional period of 24 months (until 31st January 2022) to be either certified or approved (subject to their qualities). As for finished products, producers have until 31st January 2024 to formulate their products using NATRUE approved or NATRUE certified raw materials. More details about NATRUE’s Raw Materials Scheme can be found here.

Simplification and innovation
To ease and enhance consumers informed decision-making, NATRUE has decided to simplify its three certification levels to two: natural or organic. Hand-in-hand with this decision, NATRUE has introduced adaptations to modernise the formulation requirements in the standard to facilitate the needs of new innovative product development, while staying true to the association’s long-term policy of ensuring that natural and organic product claims reflect authenticity, sincerity and meet consumer expectations.

As of 01.01.2021, NATRUE new certified finished cosmetic products will be certified either as “natural” or “organic”. Products already certified under the phased-out certification level “natural with organic portion” can still be identified as such in the market and in NATRUE’s database until the product’s certificate expires. Upon recertification, a product meeting the requirements of level “natural with organic portion” will be recertified either as “natural” or “organic”, subject to its compliance with the set requirements for each category.

Clearer claims for consumers
Labelling, claims and communication about the natural and organic qualities of a product must align and be clear to avoid misleading or confusing consumers. NATRUE highlights the importance of clear, transparent information in its latest Standard update, as well as in the latest update of its Label Usage Guidelines, the reference document with the requirements and recommendations linked to the use of the NATRUE Label on certified products.

The latest update of the NATRUE Usage Guidelines (Version 2) is available for download here, and will also come into force on 01.01.2021.

A rigorous standard for natural and organic cosmetics
The NATRUE Label sets a high benchmark to guarantee consumers maximum levels of natural and organic content in NATRUE certified cosmetics. Through its rigorous set of criteria, which includes requirements not only linked to the formulation of products but also to animal welfare, environmental protection, sustainability and packaging, the NATRUE Label actively contributes to combatting greenwashing and misleading claims in the cosmetics sector, and helps consumers to identify cosmetics that align with their expectations of “natural” and “organic”.

Staying close to nature
NATRUE’s certified products are made up of only 100% natural, derived natural (only recovered from processing of natural substances) and nature-identical (an approved list of pigments, minerals and preservatives originally found in nature) substances. No substances from GMOs, silicones, parabens, mineral oils or synthetic fragrances are permitted in the formulation of products carrying the NATRUE Label, and only certain nature-identical preservatives are allowed (listed in the Annexes to the NATRUE Criteria).

All the NATRUE Criteria guidelines and Annexes updated to the NATRUE Standard Version 3.9 will be available for consultation from December 2020 on here.

For any other enquiries about the NATRUE Standard update, the Annexes to the NATRUE Standard or the Label Usage Guidelines update, please contact NATRUE’s Secretariat (