Many things are unclear to the general population about what makes a cosmetic product organic. One of these things is the minimum percentage levels of certified organic ingredients. There are 3 figures to understand and remember:
1° the percentage of natural ingredients;
2° the percentage of agriculture-derived ingredients;
3° the percentage of organic ingredients in the formula.
1° Natural Ingredients
These are the ones that are derived from natural sources, either directly (like oils) or transformed (glycerin, plant extracts, some waxes, etc.). But also water and minerals (clays, micas, etc). Basically, any ingredient that is not synthetic.
There must be at least 95% of these ingredients in the formula.
2° Ingredients sourced from agriculture
These are all the ingredients obtainable through planting and farming: any plant or animal derived ingredient. This excludes water and minerals, which can be present in large amounts in formulas.
There is no set minimum of how much of these ingredients should be included. However, whatever the amount of these vegetable and animal derived ingredients, at least 95% of these must be certified organic.
3° Organic ingredients
In order to guarantee that opportunistic companies do not fill up their products with water and only sprinkle in insignificant amounts of organic ingredients, it has been decided that in the overall total, at least 10% of the ingredients should be certified organic (20% in 2017).