Natural Beauty Certification: What Does It Really Mean?

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Weleda, as a benchmark company and global market leader for certified natural and organic cosmetics, reads like a poster child for legitimate natural beauty. Let’s look at how this is reflected in the certification and labels it uses and how sustainability is at the core of it all.


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NATRUE Certification

Every cosmetic product by Weleda is certified by NATRUE. As the first internationally recognized quality seal for organic and natural cosmetics, this label is meant to create transparency in the sea of labels. With the NATRUE label you can be sure that the products offer:

  • Natural and organic ingredients
  • Sustainable production process
  • Environmentally-friendly practices
  • No synthetic fragrances or dyes
  • No silicone oils, No ingredients from petrochemicals
  • No animal testing
  • No irradiation of end products or herbal ingredients


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These strict standards, set by the non-profit organization NATRUE, are regularly checked by independent certification teams. The process is described as follows on NATRUE’s website:

  • “NATRUE defines its Label Criteria through an independent Scientific Committee – which ingredients are or are not accepted, minimum and maximum thresholds guaranteeing maximum naturalness and minimum derived natural ingredients are set
  • NATRUE Approved Certifiers – independent bodies in charge of certification activities (food, cosmetics, textile, sustainability standards etc.)
  • The verification of whether the products comply with the NATRUE Criteria or not by the NATRUE Approved Certifiers – a two-phase process – a formulation and ingredients audit followed by an on-site production inspection. Re-certification takes place every two years
  • IOAS – inspect the certification bodies on a four-yearly cycle, making sure that the NATRUE Approved Certifiers are competent enough to perform NATRUE’s certification activities.” Source

This process ensures that there are legitimate checks and balances at every stage of the certification and that transparency is a fundamental value at all times.


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Weleda’s 120 natural cosmetic products are either NATRUE certified natural or organic. There are three different levels of NATRUE certification with different degrees of organic ingredients: Natural cosmetics, natural cosmetics with an organic portion (at least 70%), and organic cosmetics (at least 95%). Weleda is making sure that only the purest, wild-harvested, biodynamic or organically grown ingredients are used and that they are GMO-free. NATRUE then goes beyond just the naturalness of the ingredients used in cosmetics, it ensures that products are “responsibly and sustainably sourced, free from genetically-modified ingredients, paraffin oils or petroleum-derived ingredients and silicone oils, and cruelty-free.”, Certifications and Labels


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Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

Weleda, then, does not test any of its products or individual ingredients on animals. The reason why Weleda products do not carry the bunny symbol is that NATRUE is an international certification that ensures the products have not been tested on animals. Each and every single Weleda product carries this seal.


Vegan and The Butterfly Mark

Weleda uses an in-house Vegan Label to label its vegan products. It also boasts The Butterfly Mark, which stands for trustworthy luxury lifestyle brands with regards to five areas: governance, social framework, environmental framework, philanthropy and innovation.



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Sustainability As the Leading Force

Weleda is consistently aiming for a holistic approach and staying true to its motto – in harmony with nature and the human being. The Annual and Sustainability Report 2016 offers some impressive data to back up the environmental claims: 82% of plant-based raw materials are organic, 96% of the waste is recycled and 90 % of the the energy used is renewable. Weleda’s target vision for sustainability is to be mindful, fair and courageous, i.e. to set an example in society (p.24.)


In my own experience of having used natural and organic products for over ten years now, the NATRUE certification is the most trustworthy label I have encountered. This, coupled with some of the more complex aspects such as relying on biodynamic agriculture, not using micro beads, using sustainable palm oil, implementing sustainable packaging and constantly improving it, positions Weleda as a true trailblazer among green brands.

There is, of course, always room to grow. How do you feel about Weleda’s certifications? Is there something else you would like them to work towards? What labels do you rely on when buying natural and organic cosmetics? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

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On September 8, 2017
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