Soil Association Certification

Soil Association Certification

Posted by Wendy Stirling on 6th Jan 2020

Botanicals is one of very few companies specialising in skincare to have its entire range certified by the Soil Association.

Unlike food, there is no legal requirement for the use of the term ‘organic’ in skincare. Meaning that any brand can label a product as ‘organic’ - even if it only contains tiny amounts of organic ingredients. (And even when the product contains other ingredients that are linked to health concerns - which would be prohibited under organic standards.)

We have genuine concerns about the over-use of toxic chemicals - for both human health and the natural environment. Becoming a Soil Association licensee shows our commitment to championing change for a greener and cleaner planet.

The latest study by the Soil Association proves that organic crops, fruit and vegetables have up to 60% higher levels of anti-ageing antioxidants present than their non-organic counterparts. The investigation, which looked at 343 studies, also found that organic crops contain significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals.

Soil Association standards are based on principles that require the maximum percentage of organic ingredients, minimum processing of ingredients and transparency and clarity. To comply with the standards, ingredients must be certified organic, or from sustainably produced natural sources. They must also be safe - from both a human health and environmental perspective - and be fully biodegradable and certified non-GM.

Botanicals Soil Association Organic Certification Commitment

  • No parabens, sulphates or controversial ingredients used
  • Free from pesticides, genetic modification and hormone-disrupting chemicals
  • Only certified organic ingredients, or from sustainably produced approved sources
  • Safe ingredients, both from a human and environmental perspective
  • No animal testing of product or ingredients
  • Fully biodegradable, sustainable ingredients that are also certified non-GM
  • Reassurance there is minimum processing of ingredients
  • Clear, transparent labelling
  • Packaging policy that only allows the use of recyclable and biodegradable packaging

Understanding organic labelling

The Soil Association symbol can only be applied to certified organic products. It is a symbol of trust and integrity.

For a product to be certified, each of the ingredients must meet strict criteria. Firstly, they must be certified organic - if available in organic form. Where an ingredient is not available in organic form, non-organic ingredients may be used, but only if they are on the Soil Association’s approved list. Examples of ingredients which are not available in organic form include:

  • Earth and sea minerals (salt, clay etc.)
  • Plant material which has been processed to change its form (plant waxes, vitamin E)
  • Evidence must be provided, that these ingredients are sustainably sourced and produced, and not genetically modified.
  • The word ‘organic’ can only be used in the product name where 95% or more of the ingredients are certified organic.

Certain products require the inclusion of non-organic ingredients to optimise their performance and efficacy. However, this may reduce their organic content. Provided at least 70% of the ingredients are organic they can still be certified. However, these products cannot include the word ‘organic’ in the product name, and must state the percentage of organic ingredients somewhere on the label.