Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics, Makeup, Beauty Products

American Cosmetic Association’s Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics™ certification is the most rigorous and exclusive cosmetics certification worldwide. It incorporates the requirements of all of our individual certifications.


What is Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics™ Certification

The Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics (GSCC) symbolizes the pinnacle of excellence in the beauty industry, encapsulating stringent sustainability, ethical sourcing, and consumer safety. As a global hallmark of quality, the GSCC represents products that have rigorously adhered to meticulous guidelines concerning ingredient quality, protection of biodiversity, cruelty-free and vegan compliance, fair trade practices, sustainable packaging, and complete transparency.

Certified cosmetics certification

This cosmetics certification transcends the conventional standards, mandating a minimum of 80% certified organic plant ingredients, absolute prohibition of animal testing at any stage of product development, and a firm commitment to vegan formulations. The GSCC further demands high standards for ethical trade, sustainable farming and ecologic methods, and responsible water and waste management during manufacturing.

Why Choose Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics?

Consumers value Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics as it offers a comprehensive assurance of quality and ethical practice. By purchasing GSCC products, consumers are investing in cosmetics produced with the highest regard for human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. They are supporting brands that prioritize beauty and effectiveness in tandem with social and ecological responsibility.

The GSCC acts as a quality guarantee, ensuring that the product respects the planet, upholds human rights, and doesn’t compromise on safety and quality. Amidst a marketplace teeming with various eco-labels and certifications, GSCC shines as a definitive mark of holistic ethical and sustainable practices. By choosing GSCC certified products, consumers are making a proactive contribution to meaningful global change. See our list of best makeup products of the year.

Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics Certification Criteria:

Ingredient Quality: The Gold Standard Certified Cosmetics product must be made with at least 95% natural cosmetic ingredients. Synthetic ingredients can be used only when there is no natural alternative, and they must pose no risk to human health. GMO ingredients are not allowed.

  • A detailed list of the origin, extraction, and processing method of every ingredient must be submitted.
  • Synthetic ingredients can only account for a maximum of 5% of the product and must be proven safe for human health.
  • All GMO ingredients are banned. An affidavit or third-party certification to prove non-GMO status is required.

Organic Content: At least 80% of plant ingredients must come from organic farming, which is higher than some standards which require 95% of the agriculturally derived ingredients to be organic.

  • A minimum of 80% of plant-based ingredients must be certified organic.
  • Proof of organic certification for these ingredients must be provided.

Sustainable Farming: All ingredients must be sourced from farms that use sustainable farming practices, like regenerative agriculture, to minimize environmental impact.

  • All plant-based ingredients must come from farms following sustainable farming practices.
  • The applicant must provide third-party certification or proof of adherence to sustainable farming standards.

Biodiversity: Suppliers must demonstrate respect for biodiversity, for example, by not over-harvesting wild plants.

  • Suppliers must provide evidence of practices in place to prevent over-harvesting or endangerment of plant species.
  • An independent report verifying the protection of biodiversity is required.

Vegan: All ingredients must be vegan, i.e., not derived from animals. This is stricter than many standards which allow for certain animal-derived ingredients like honey or beeswax.

  • No animal testing is permitted at any stage of product development.
  • Signed declarations are required from all suppliers to confirm this.

Ethical Trade: All ingredients must be fairly traded, meaning that workers are paid fair wages and work in safe conditions.

  • Suppliers must prove that they pay fair wages and maintain safe working conditions, either by showing Fair Trade certification or another third-party verification.
  • If the supplier is not certified, an independent audit may be required.

Manufacturing Process: The manufacturing process must be energy efficient and should limit waste production. The company should also have a water management plan to reduce water consumption.

  • All packaging must be recyclable or biodegradable.
  • Proof of the recyclability or biodegradability of each packaging component is required.
  • A detailed plan for minimizing or eliminating plastic use should be presented.

Transparency: Full ingredient disclosure is required, including the percentages of natural and organic ingredients. All certified products must provide complete information about their supply chain.

  • The complete ingredient list, along with the percentage of natural and organic ingredients, must be clearly labeled on the product.
  • A comprehensive document detailing the supply chain of each ingredient should be provided.

Safety and Efficacy: Products must not only be safe for consumers, but also effective. Products must pass tests to confirm their claimed benefits.

  • Products must pass safety tests to ensure they don’t contain harmful levels of heavy metals, microbial contamination, or other hazardous substances.
  • Clinical trials or scientifically valid tests should be conducted to confirm the product’s effectiveness.

Continuous Improvement: Companies must show commitment to continuous improvement in terms of sustainability and social responsibility.

  • Companies should submit an annual report detailing their sustainability and social responsibility improvements.
  • They should also have a future plan outlining further potential improvements.

This comprehensive certification process ensures that only the most dedicated, ethically and environmentally conscious brands can earn the prestigious designation.

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