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 ItsNaturallyPure - Know your Cosmetic Labels                                             



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INCI Ingredients Labeling

INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names are used in the United States, the European Union, Japan, Canada and many other countries, for listing ingredients on cosmetic product labels. 
INCI names are mandated on the ingredient statement of every consumer personal care product. The INCI system allows the consumer to identify the ingredient content.  With few exceptions, the INCI labeling names in all countries are the same.


In the United States, under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, certain accurate information is a requirement to appear on labels of cosmetic products USA Cosmetic Regulations.


In Canada cosmetics are subject to the provisions of the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) of Health Canada, the regulatory agency, which outlines general safety, labeling and notification requirements. 


In Japan, the Japanese government regulates the cosmetics industry through its Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare according to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (Law No. 145) established August 10, 1960. Japan has adopted a list of prohibited ingredients, a list of restricted ingredients, a positive list of UV filters and a positive list of preservatives.


The European Union Member States have transposed the European Union Cosmetics Directive, enacted in 1976, into national law. Each Member State has health authorities which then regulate cosmetics within their respective national boundaries according to the law.


USDA Organic Label

Here is the definition of the term "organic," as it appears on beauty labels (USDA National Organic Program):

Not regulated:
Plant-derived ingredients and essential oils.

Ingredients like honey, cinnamon, avocado and other foods.

100% organic: According to USDA’s national organic standard, products labeled  as “100 percent organic” can only contain organically produced ingredients. Products containing 100% organic ingredients can display the USDA Organic logo and / or the certifying agent's logo.  

Organic: To be labeled as "organic," 95% of the ingredients must be organically grown and the remaining 5% must come from non-organic ingredients that have been approved on the National List. These products can also display the USDA organic logo and/or the certifier’s logo. 


Made With Organic Ingredient:. The product must contain at least 70% organically produced food ingredients. While the front of the product can list up to three organic ingredients or one organic food group, the remaining 30% of the non-organic ingredients must approved on the National List. These products may display the certifier’s logo but not the USDA organic logo.


Organic Ingredients: Products which contain less than 70% organically produced food ingredients can only include organic ingredients on its ingredients list, but these products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.


Natural Product Association Natural Label

Natural Products Association (NPA) has developed a standard for personal and home care products (The Natural Seal).  The standard is a set of guidelines that dictates which ingredients can be considered natural and ultimately, whether a product can be deemed truly “natural”.  Under the standard, any product labeled “natural” must meet the following criteria:


Purity: Product must be made up of at least 95 percent truly natural ingredients or ingredients that are derived from natural sources, excluding water.



Natural: A product labeled “natural” should be made up of natural ingredients (flora, fauna, mineral) and be manufactured with appropriate processes to maintain ingredient purity. 


Non-natural: ingredients only when no viable natural alternative ingredient is available and only when there are absolutely no suspected potential human health risks


Mineral: Processes that are minimal and don't use synthetic/harsh chemicals


Safety: A product labeled “natural” should avoid any ingredient that research shows may have a suspected human health risk.


Responsibility: A product labeled “natural” should use no animal testing in its development.


Sustainability: A product labeled “natural” should use (bio) degradable ingredients and the most environmentally sensitive packaging.


NIRC Natural Label:

The Natural Ingredient Resource Center (NIRC) Guidelines mirror those established by the USDA for organic food.  In order to display the Natural Ingredient Resource Center "Truth in Labeling" Pledge Seal, participants must voluntarily pledge to follow the NIRC Criteria for labeling natural ingredients and products.  This is a voluntary program which is free of charge.  The NIRC does not certify ingredients, products or police compliance.


NIRC Natural Soap:

The NIRC has made an exception for "True Soap" that fits the following criteria;

"True Soap" may be labeled as "natural soap" ONLY if the ingredients that go into the soap are lye plus 100% natural ingredients, according to the NIRC Criteria for natural ingredients. 

"True Soap" may be labeled as "natural soap" ONLY if all of the ingredients are listed. We require that "True Soap", labeled as "natural soap", have ingredient labeling in order to help prevent the misuse of the "natural soap" label. 


Soaps labeled as "natural soap" may not contain any synthetic or artificial ingredients including but not limited to artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, man-made vitamins, solvent extracted oils or additional glycerin. 


IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic Standard

In 2008, independent certification company Certech Registration Inc. introduced natural and organic certification for cosmetic products in North America.

The IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic certification requires that all food ingredients be organic and that the company follow a strict set of eco-friendly guidelines, including use of recycled and fair trade materials and production methods with small environmental impact. 

BDIH Certified Natural Cosmetics

is an independent German certification association (Association of German Industries and Trading Firm) that regulates health care products, food supplements and personal hygiene products, including cosmetics.

To gain BDIH certification, brands must use natural – not synthetic – raw materials (plant oils, herbal extracts, essential oils, fats and waxes). The ecological impact of each product also plays an important role in certification.


The biodynamic movement is holistic in its approach to farming and food production. No artificial fertilizers or pesticides are used. Instead, farmers seek to achieve a natural harmony with the earth through an acute awareness of how weather and climate patterns and elements of nature (like the sun, earth, and air) work together to create a harmonious balance.  Product must use biodynamic ingredients in order to be certified by the Demeter International Association.

Whole Foods Premium Body Care Seal 

Whole Foods regulates their own self-certification of cosmetic products that contain safe, gentle ingredients and are free from synthetic dyes and fragrances and harsh chemicals.