How can we know when products are truly natural?
Weleda was already making natural and organic cosmetics long before the terms were invented. All our cosmetic products now bear the NATRUE seal.
Natural cosmetics are more in demand than ever. However, there are still no legal definitions for what is “natural” or “organic”. For consumers, this can be confusing and misleading. The terms “natural cosmetics” and “organic cosmetics” are not yet protected by law. Seals for certified quality, such as NATRUE, help provide clarity. Not only is it among the best known, it also has the strictest standards. The NATRUE seal guarantees the use of natural and organic ingredients and environmentally friendly production.
Ingredients: Only three categories allowed by NATRUE
NATRUE certified products must be made of 100% substances from three categories: natural, derived natural and nature-identical substances.
- Natural substances are substances obtained using physical methods from nature (plants, animals, minerals) or from microbiological processes (e.g. fermentation), and which remain chemically unchanged.
- Derived natural substances are derived from natural substances through defined chemical reactions or biotechnological processes. For example, vegetable glycerine can be produced from plant oils by means of chemical processing – this chemical reaction is called saponification or hydrolysis.
- Nature-identical substances are produced in the laboratory, but the same substances also occur in nature. Certain nature-identical preservatives, inorganic pigments and minerals are permitted.
What makes the NATRUE label unique is its guarantee of naturalness. It ensures that a product is as natural as possible.
Less is more
What NATRUE-certified products do not contain
- Synthetic fragrances and dyes
- Microplastics and nanoplastics
- Synthetic fats
- Genetically modified ingredients
- Raw materials from dead vertebrates
What is NATRUE doing against greenwashing?
As consumers, we encounter products on a nearly daily basis that try to convince us they are natural. It is hard to know who to trust when many claims are exaggerated or misleading – a tactic also known as “greenwashing”. Greenwashing also poses a threat to certified natural and organic cosmetics. In the jungle of labels, the NATRUE seal provides a point of reliable reference.
Only manufacturers who are committed to genuine natural and organic cosmetics can have their products NATRUE certified. For a cosmetic product to carry the NATRUE seal, at least 75 % of a brand or sub-brand must be NATRUE certified. Individual products cannot receive the NATRUE seal.
Who issues the NATRUE seal?
While NATRUE develops the standards and criteria for its seal, it does not carry out the certifications itself. External, accredited, independent certifiers examine whether the criteria are met, including through on-site visits.
NATRUE defines two levels of certification:
- Natural cosmetics: The ingredients are of natural origin or nature-identical, but not necessarily from controlled organic cultivation.
- Organic cosmetics: In addition to the requirements for natural cosmetics, at least 95 % of the plant and animal raw materials must be natural substances from certified organic cultivation and/or certified wild collection.
All NATRUE certified products are listed with their certification level and ingredients in the NATRUE Online Database.
What other requirements must products meet?
To qualify for the NATRUE seal, products must also meet further requirements. Strict guidelines apply to manufacturing processes for raw materials, sustainable packaging materials, demonstrated commitment to biodiversity and environmental protection, and the use of biodegradable substances.
NATRUE certified cosmetic products are not necessarily vegan. They may also contain substances of animal origin – such as milk, honey or beeswax. Products free of animal ingredients often carry a vegan seal. Animal testing for cosmetics violates NATRUE’s underlying values and ethics and is prohibited by law in the European Union.
Values and goals of the worldwide NATRUE seal
NATRUE is an international, non-profit association. Its mission is to promote and protect natural skincare and beauty and foster awareness of natural cosmetics. At the heart of its engagement is a commitment to highest quality and genuine natural ingredients.
From the beginning, NATRUE has supported legal regulation of natural and organic cosmetics (NOCs) and advocated for a binding definition of natural and organic cosmetics – to counter greenwashing and misleading claims.
Why Weleda natural and organic cosmetics bear the NATRUE seal
NATRUE was founded in 2007 on the initiative of Weleda and other pioneering European companies in the organic and natural cosmetics industry. Its ongoing aim is to guarantee consumers the authenticity and quality they expect from natural and organic cosmetics. All 170 Weleda natural and organic cosmetic products bear the NATRUE seal.
“We see it as our responsibility to set standards and provide orientation for our customers: with the NATRUE seal for our natural and organic cosmetics, with the UEBT seal for our raw material supply chains, and with B Corp certification for the entire company. This is how we show what it means to be an authentically sustainable company.”Nataliya Yarmolenko, member of the Weleda Executive Board
Facts and milestones
- The association has 70 members worldwide.
- NATRUE provides publicly accessible information about NATRUE brands and certified products in its online database.
- NATRUE participates in relevant regulatory decision-making bodies and groups at the international level.
- The headquarters of the association is in Brussels.
NATRUE in figures
What sustainability means to us
Sustainability is part of our identity. Our pharmaceuticals and natural skin care are not only good for you. We are striving to make our business even more future-proof and sustainable and care for biodiversity and healthy soils.
Our raw materials are sourced ethically and sustainably
We are committed to ensuring that our raw materials are ethically sourced. That’s why we have been certified since 2018 by the Union for Ethical BioTrade.
We strive to continuously improve our packaging
Why do we use plastic packaging? Because so far, there’s no perfect solution for all our products. But we are working hard to make our packaging even better, to reduce its impact on the environment.
We care for biodiversity around the world
In producing our natural skin care and pharmaceutical products, we treat the earth’s resources with care at every step – starting with the seeds that we plant. In doing so, we are protecting biodiversity and nurturing healthy soils around the world.