COSMOS Organic certification. Matters to us - why should it matter to you?

by Tandem Skincare on Sep 07, 2019

We’re very proud of the fact that lots of our products are COSMOS-Organic certified. But what does it mean? And why should you care?

Skincare can be a tricky landscape to navigate when you’re passionate about sustainability and trying to create punchy products that really work. The personal care industry is one of the biggest in the world and many things related to it (ingredients, packaging, freight) have a direct impact on our environment. 

To complicate matters further, it’s an industry that’s almost completely unregulated which means a lot of nasties can sneak under the radar. A product doesn’t have to be made up of a very high percentage of organic ingredients for the manufacturers to legally be allowed to slap “organic” on the packaging. 

This is where COSMOS comes in. COSMOS is a global standard in natural and organic skincare and cosmetics (represented in the UK by The Soil Association) whose ultimate objective is to safeguard the welfare of the environment through the promotion of development of skincare and cosmetics that are ever more natural and organic. Those behind the standard are also pretty keen on ensuring that you, the customer, have a crystal-clear view of what you’re buying, giving you the power to make informed decisions. 

To be COSMOS-certified, a product must guarantee “green chemistry” across all ingredients from source to end. This means no animal testing, GM ingredients, controversial chemicals, parabens, phthalates, synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances. Instead, products must be made up of sustainably sourced organic and biodegradable ingredients, use natural colours and fragrances from plants and flowers, have transparent manufacturing processes, need minimal and recyclable packaging and must not pose a threat to wildlife or biodiversity.

The Tandem products that meet this criteria are: 

These products are officially certified COSMOS ORGANIC, which is excellent and something we’re super proud of. You might be wondering, however, why not all of our products boast this certification. It’s a good question. 

Our Boosters include synthetic, lab-produced ingredients. We want every last drop of our products to be effective, so we’ve added some seriously punchy pro-grade clinical actives to these treatment serums, formulated to tackle specific skin concerns. We use clinically-produced high-strength vitamin C (ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate) in Brightening Booster and vitamin B3 (niacinamide) in Back-On-Track BoosterThey're wickedly effective ingredients which are made stable (and therefore more effective) as a result of being made in a lab. Their presence means that our Boosters cannot be COSMOS-approved.

Our More than Moisturiser Rich also misses out on the certification: it contains plant-derived bakuchiol which doesn’t make the grade. While many brands will praise this ingredient for its natural credentials, it’s actually extracted using hexane which COSMOS doesn’t allow. We’ve chosen to use bakuchiol because it works in a similar way to retinol but is much less irritating and gives exceptional results, meaning you're more likely to actually use it up and less likely to leave it languishing unfinished on the shelf. Which would be a total waste of everyone's time as well as a waste of resources. 

And that’s what we’re all about. Giving you fewer products that do more. While we endeavour in all that we do to be as environmentally responsible as possible, we like to make products that really work and make your routine simpler. We volunteer to be regulated by COSMOS to ensure that Tandem products are as friendly to the environment as they possibly can be, and you guys can be sure of that too. In a sea of greenwashing, it feels like the responsible thing to do.