Ilcsi Beautifying Herbs received the BDIH certificate for its 'Ilcsi' and 'ilike' product range for the 5th year in a row in 2013.
BDIH is the non-profit Association of Industries and Trading Firms for pharmaceuticals, health care products, food supplements and personal hygiene products (www.bdih.de).
In 1996, working together with leading natural cosmetics producers, the BDIH developed comprehensive guidelines for certified natural cosmetics, keeping in mind the expectations of consumers. On the basis of these guidelines, an independent institute has tested more than 2.000 products for their contents and production methods and certifies that these products meet the highest criteria of natural products.
Transparency for the Consumer
During the collection and production of raw materials, nature is to be disturbed as little as possible. Particular care to protect endangered species is mandated. Genetic manipulation and modification are rejected. The transformation of raw materials into cosmetics is to be accomplished with care and with few chemical processes.
Renewable and biodegradable materials are preferred because their ecological impact is substantially lower, especially when they come from controlled biological sources or other responsible means using natural resources. With natural ingredients, one deals with substances that have been used and studied for ages, so there is a minimal toxicity potential. Natural products most easily fulfill the requirement of accountability and socially responsible production.
The choice of technical production methods is limited. Technical methods cannot be fully eliminated especially when the user's expectations for purity and performance cannot be met by raw materials in their natural state. Environmentally-friendly production methods, renewable and biodegradable materials and minimal use of packaging are expected.
The following guidelines define the concept of natural cosmetics in a sensible and clear manner, with the consumer's expectations of safe and ecologically sound products in mind.
1. Raw materials obtained from plants
As far as possible, raw materials obtained from plants should be used from:
- controlled biological cultivation, taking quality and availability into account, or
- controlled biological wild collections
2. Animal Protection
- No animal testing may be performed or commissioned when end products are manufactured, developed or tested.
- Raw materials that were not available on the market before 01.01.1998 may only be used if they have not been tested on animals. This does not include animal testing performed by third parties who neither were ordered/prompted by the ordering party to do so nor are associated to the ordering party by company law or by contract.
- It is prohibited to use raw materials obtained from dead vertebrates (e.g. spermaceti, terrapin oil, mink oil, marmot fat, animal fats, animal collagen or living cells).
3. Raw materials obtained from minerals
The use of inorganic salts and raw materials obtained from minerals is generally permitted, except for those listed in point 5.
4. Raw materials with restricted use
For the production of natural cosmetics, it is permissible to use components which are extracted through hydrolysis, hydrogenation, esterification, transesterification or other crackings and condensations from the following natural materials:
- fats, oils and waxes
- monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides
- proteins and lipoproteins
The actual raw material use is regulated by the positive list for development and production of certified natural cosmetics.
5. Deliberate rejection of
- organic-synthetic dyes
- synthetic fragrances
- ethoxylated raw materials
- paraffin and other petroleum products
The criterion which determines which aromatic substances are permitted is mainly ISO 9235.
To ensure that products are microbiologically safe, certain nature-identical preservatives are allowed in addition to natural preservatives. These are:
- benzoic acid, its salts and ethylester
- salicylic acid and its salts
- sorbic acid and its salts
- benzyl alcohol
When these preservatives are used, products must be labelled
“preserved with ... [name of preservative]”
7. No radioactive radiation
It is forbidden to disinfect organic raw materials and completed cosmetic products using radioactive radiation.
8. Certified Natural Cosmetics
A neutral control body checks that the above criteria are complied with. The association's label is used to indicate that the criteria have been complied with.
Raw material requirements
- traceable production using clear processes
- education of consumers
Disapproval of genetic engineering
Clear opposition to raw materials extracted from genetically modified plants or animals. As genetic engineering is a controversial issue in agriculture and is not justified ecologically, biological cultivation is supported and genetic engineering is actively rejected.
- only natural sources of raw materials, if possible certified by the EG-Bio-VO (EG regulation of ecological cultivation)
- environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes
- optimal degradability of raw materials and finished products
- economical, environmentally-friendly and recyclable packaging
- maintenance of natural life principles
- raw materials from fair trading and Third World projects
- use and disposal