COSMOS introduces new standard for sustainable palm oil and derivatives

Sustainable palm oil regulations are changing in 2019

From 1 January 2019, new COSMOS standards apply to formulations that use palm oil and/or palm oil derivatives.

Cosmetics consumers have a growing interest in organic and natural cosmetics, and are particularly interested in knowing that the products they buy are authentic and trustworthy.

COSMOS is a unified, independent global standard developed to define common requirements and definitions for organic and/or natural cosmetics. Recent research by COSMOS has focused on the availability of sustainable palm oil and palm kernel oil derivatives. This research has determined the new COSMOS standards (V3), to be implemented to new COSMOS-certified products from 1 January 2019.

Products previously formulated to COSMOS before 1 January 2019 will have to comply with this change by 1 January 2020.

Material affected by COSMOS Standards for Sustainable Palm Oil

New COSMOS-certified products must be formulated with certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) raw materials/ingredients, using, as a minimum, the mass balance supply chain model. The ingredients are as follows:

  • Palm oil (this must be organic for COSMOS Organic certification and must be CSPO for COSMOS Natural certification)
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Glycerin
  • CAPB and coco betaine
  • Fatty acids: stearic acid, palmitic acid, myristic acid, lauric acid
  • Fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, lauyrl alcohol
  • Esters made from fatty acids or fatty alcohols: cetyl palmitate, cetyl phosphate, myristyl myristate, glyceryl (mono-) stereate and glyceryl oleate
  • Triglycerides: C8-C10 caprylic/capric triglycerides and C10-C18 triglycerides

When a Commercial Reference/blend contains all ingredients that are from the list above, they have to be from CSPO. For example, if a product contains both stearic acid and palmitic acid, these both have to be from CSPO.

If all palm-derived ingredients are from CSPO, then this claim can be made on the packaging.

Further reading:

‘Notice of new standard for Sustainable Palm Oil’, COSMOS-standard AISBL. (Accessed 3 October 2018)

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