Mankind always has employed mother nature as a source of compounds to take care of skin, to sooth, protect and underline the natural beauty of it. Since neither synthetic pesticides nor artificial fertilizers were known in the old days, these traditional cosmetic applications can be called the first organic and natural cosmetics ever.
Approved natural substances and their cosmetic application methods conveyed from generation to generation in the course of the centuries. Knowledge about efficacious and safe natural skin care survived that way. By this natural evolution mankind gathered a valuable knowledge to our disposal nowadays. We use the best from nature as traditional organic and natural skin and body care. This is the basis of modern and future oriented organic and natural cosmetics.
The knowledge turned forgotten when at the end of 19th century synthetic chemistry and its industrial application techniques were available. Cosmetic industry producing in big scale became state of the art and cosmetic products were formulated with these new synthetic materials because of technical advantages and less efforts to be invested. Natural cosmetics attitude was celebrated afterwards only by minor companies and in some philosophical movements. A renaissance started in the late 60s, when the young generation orientated itself towards nature again and modern civilization-tired people claimed the “back to nature”-movement. “Natural cosmetics” was reborn.
Around the turn of the millennium German natural cosmetics companies were invited to a round table and first time in Europe formulated the criteria of a natural cosmetics standard as a mirror image of the real market situation concerning serious natural cosmetic products and the technical opportunities to come as close to nature as possible. ICADA continues in the spirit of those round-table-days to formulate both the natural cosmetics and the organic criteria into joined perspectives for a state of the art organic and natural cosmetics standard. This standard-development was driven only by companies, which had practised the natural and organic approach in their company`s culture traditionally. The original round-table-reason to establish a natural cosmetic standard in the late 90th, i.e. to differ serious natural cosmetics-producers from companies just trend-surfing and jumping on the train, was picked up again and declared to the central mission. Thus serious organic and natural cosmetic industry finds its very own platform differentiated from the conventional market again, where the organic and natural spirit is practised and not abused as another marketing gimmick. The formulated standard demonstrates the return to the roots of the traditional organic and natural cosmetics and their initial values. One resulting advantage is the premium concept, which one seldom finds in the company`s tradition of discounters, low price sellers or trademark-launchers. This tradition-obliged “back to the roots”-standard became necessary in the opinion of many natural cosmetics companies after other standards drifted away from differentiating traditional producers from low price trend surfers, the essential reason for standardizing. The objective of the ICADA standard, its necessity and its claims are easy to be perceived by the market-outlets, sophisticated consumers, press and colleagues at natural cosmetics companies.
The label informs the consumer, that exclusively raw materials which comply with the strict specifications of the standard were used for the production of these organic and natural cosmetics product, at least 80 % of a brand has to be in compliance with. Plants are used from certified organic cultivation or wild collection as far as possible. Animal protection is taken into strict considerations. Ethoxylated raw materials, silicones, mineral oil and other mineral oil based raw materials, synthetic organic colours, as well as synthetic fragrances are not permitted. Most raw materials usually originate from plants and product-formulas are completed by minerals and animal raw materials from food- or any other traditional use. Modern consumers expect sophisticated organoleptic properties. For these purposes and consumer protection some indispensable substances are permitted.
ICADA does not restrict its efforts to administration of the standard, but acts progressively to satisfy modern consumers like lohas and to open new markets for ICADA-member-companies, if state of the art enables cosmetic industry to progress. The ICADA traditional organic and natural cosmetics standard is the platform to incorporate new-ethics-criteria and turn these into an independent entrepreneur “better-world”-standard very soon to come up: the fair competition of manufacturers and distributors to each other is monitored on the platform of the traditional organic and natural cosmetics manufacturers. Global ethics/better world-concerns are: no GMO (no genetically modified organisms), waste-management including rework, specified packaging, natural substitutions for synthetic solvents, selected environment friendly catalysts, fair trade, 3rd world projects, social responsibility for working conditions, less environment pollution, certified sustainability, obligations to employ organic-derivatives, biodegradability in compliance to OECD 301 A-F, carbon-footprint calculation, transport versus regional sourcing-calculation, energy-yield, water-consumption, responsibility of limited resources (mica, talc, zinc….) and others. An ethical consumer interested at political correctness finds reliability in the products of ICADA-member-companies.
The standard takes into account the future development of a European organic and natural cosmetics definition. Thus products in compliance to the ICADA-standard do not need to be reformulated as the ones which have to comply with the so called “harmonization”. Conformity to legislation and requirements on safety, organoleptic properties and efficacy are obligatory. The products are of course subject to regular control by an independent certification body inspecting worldwide by the same procedure. ICADA does not compete with Natrue- or Colipa-standard.