NCS – Product Certification for Natural Cosmetics

The Natural Cosmetics Standard for Humans, Animals and the Environment

Our skin lives and breathes - it is the link between our body and our environment. Caring for it naturally soothes not only body and soul, it also serves to protect people, animals and the environment.

NCS (Natural Cosmetics Standard) stands for consistently sustainable natural cosmetics that are good for people, animals and the environment. The NCS label distinguishes your products as consistently sustainable so that consumers are able to recognize them as such. As a marketing strategy, you can promote the standard as a real added value and thus promote it directly. 

NCS-certified cosmetics meet the highest quality standards due to the thorough product testing; for example, that the ingredients are of natural origin; preferably in organic quality. Since the certification is independent of association membership, its costs are lower. 

For all those natural products that cannot be classified in the natural cosmetics category, GfaW offers the NCP product certification.

Here You can download the standard and its accompanying positive list HERE. Decisive for a certification are the criteria in the standard. Detailed information can be found under costs and procedure of certification.

The Advantages of the NCS Label

The NCS quality label identifies natural cosmetics and sets strict criteria which can be found in the standard. This concentrated marketing, that is the concentration of the versatile requirements in one label, offers you, as producer the following advantages:

Natural Cosmetics - Your Formula and Our Understanding of Naturalness

The term natural cosmetics indicates the naturalness of the cosmetic product. "Natural" in this context implies the use of substances "derived from agricultural production or earths".
This definition can be easily applied to unprocessed food. As soon as it is transferred to processed natural products, things become more complicated, because cosmetics, for instance, must meet different requirements. A cosmetic product is used for its caring, cleansing and/or beautifying effects. Once opened, it should retain its properties and effects for a certain time without being stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Due to these increased preservation requirements, it is problematic, from GfaW´s point of view, to apply the definition of “naturalness”, as we understand it for food, to cosmetics. It seems reasonable to regulate only the qualities of the ingredients and to refrain from specifications on the composition of the formulation. That way, manufacturers can also bring innovative cosmetic products to market. The manufacturing processes and ingredients are subject to our criteria, which are defined in the standard.

In the interest of sustainability, we comprehensively examine which ingredients can be covered by the term natural cosmetics. The "Ecological Raw Materials" work group is developing  transparent processes for this purpose. If you are interested in participating, don´t hesitate to contact us.


Regulatory Scope of the NCS Standard:

Raw Materials and Their Manufacturing Processes

The NCS standard defines and specifies the qualities of raw materials for natural cosmetics; there is no specification on the percentage of the composition in a product. 

For all further details, please refer to the NCS standard in the download area.

Costs and Procedure of the Certification

Costs of the Certification: 

  • Kosten beim Standardgeber: je Produkt, Marke und Jahr: 105 EUR netto für die Labelnutzung und eine Einrichtungsgebühr im ersten Jahr.
  • for the certification process (certification body): billing by time (depending on the product type, the duration of the verification varies). Please ask the certification body for a quotation.

Procedure of the Certification: 

    1. Kontaktaufnahme und Vertragsabschluss mit GfaW und Zertifizierungsstelle 
    2. Anmeldung der Produkte bei EcoControl oder der Prüfgesellschaft (bei erstmaliger Anmeldung eines Produktes werden alle Daten, die für die Zertifizierung relevant sind, erfasst)
    3. receipt of the documents you need to prove if your products are compliant with the standard
    4. verification of the products for their conformity with the standard by the certification body
    5. receipt of the certificate to use the label. Gültigkeit des Zertifikats bis 31.03. des Folgejahres
    6. subsequent annual on-site audits by the inspection body to verify and ensure the compliance with the criteria in your company 

Please note: all the information about the raw materials described in the criteria of the standard are a prerequisite for the evaluation of the products. The positive list of INCIs, which has been assessed as compliant by the certification body, is only considered as a guide in this regard. 

It is therefore not guaranteed that your raw materials comply with the standard only because they contain the INCIs listed on the positive list! 

If your product deviates from the NCS standard, you will be granted a certain amount of time to correct it. This can be 4 to 12 months, depending on the severity of the deviation. If the deviations are not corrected during this time, there will be no more conformity with the NCS, the certificate becomes invalid and the products cannot carry the label anymore. The NCS approved certification bodies operate in accordance with ISO 17065 and have many years of experience in certifying ethically oriented standards in the industry.

Die vom NCS zugelassenen Zertifizierungsstellen sind für die EU-Öko-VO nach ISO 17065 akkreditiert und verfügen über langjährige Erfahrungen im Zertifizieren von ethisch orientierten Standards der Branche.

Currently approved certification body in product certifications:

Are you interested in a certification according to the NCS? Please feel free to contact us.

Already Aboard

The following companies got their products certified according to the NCS Natural Cosmetics Standard:

Things to Know about the Certification of Natural Cosmetics

Food and unprocessed agricultural products can be labeled as "organic" products based on the EU Organic Regulation. Over time, numerous standards have been created for natural products such as natural cosmetics. As a result, numerous associations of various sizes and hierarchies emerged. These define the term natural cosmetics quite similarly. Our product certification for natural cosmetics is strongly based on the general criteria of the best-known associations.

According to the understanding and expectations of consumers, natural products should of course be produced in natural processes as far as possible. To meet this requirement, new methods must be tested continuously for their sustainability aspects. Our "Ecological Raw Materials" work group was formed exactly for this purpose. The group of experts, which currently consists of GfaW, EcoControl and INCI-Experts, develops sustainable ecological requirements for raw materials for natural and "organic" products through the mutual transfer of knowledge and ideas.

A central role plays the replacement of petrochemical starting materials with plant-, sometimes animal- or fungus-derived substances. 

This replacement is absolutely pioneering especially performed by the producers of natural cosmetics, ecological detergents and cleaning agents as well as household articles. After all, the main aim is to guarantee or even improve the functionality of the products.

If you are interested in attending the work group "Ecological Raw Materials", don´t hesitate to contact us.