Certifications and seals explained
The seals, labels and information on our packaging give consumers lots of insight into our products and help them guide their purchasing decisions. However, sometimes they might leave people puzzled or raise more questions than they answer. That’s why we have compiled all the most important information here to help you understand our product information.
Click on the keywords you want to learn about to see a compact explanation of the term.
Certifying our products on the basis of high quality standards has always been important to us. Speick Naturkosmetik was the founding member of the first German natural cosmetics certification system (BDIH) and our first products were BDIH-certified in 2001. Since 2014, we have been certifying our newly developed products with the international COSMOS Standard. This is a joint natural cosmetics standard for Europe based on the cooperation between BDIH, Ecocert, Cosmebio, ICEA and the Soil Association.
The only products to bear this seal have been assessed as certified natural cosmetics. That means that these products are not allowed to contain any silicones, parabens, petroleum derivatives, synthetic fragrances, colourings or preservatives. COSMOS makes a further differentiation between natural cosmetics (COSMOS Natural) and organic cosmetics (COSMOS Organic). Since January 2017, the COSMOS Standard is mandatory for new developments.
All products in our Speick Natural Aktiv, Speick Men Active, Speick Thermal Sensitiv , Speick Organic 3.0, Speick Sun and Speick Pure series as well as a number of our “Made by Speick” products are subject to the international COSMOS Standard. Our products with this certification are marked with the small, round COSMOS test seal as well as labelled as such in the product claims.
At Speick Naturkosmetik, the exception proves the rule. In other words, there are a few Speick products that are not certified in accordance with the COSMOS Standard. This is primarily due to the long history of our company.
The products of the Speick Original and Speick Men series, which have been in our range for a very long time, are not certified as natural cosmetics and as such do not bear the relevant seal. This is because of our 90-year company history and the way that the definition of natural cosmetics has changed over the decades. As such, these two series contain fragrances that today would be classed as close to natural – but are no longer certifiable.
However, because these popular classics from the Speick Naturkosmetik range are so closely associated with our brand and have many fans, we continue to stock these products with their established fragrances. From today’s perspective, the fragrances are not completely natural. But let us emphasise that the fragrances do not contain any problematic ingredients such as polycyclic musk compounds.
Over 90% of products in the Speick Naturkosmetik range are vegan – with absolutely no use of animal components in the formula or packaging. We are in favour of vegan formulas in general. However, in order to produce an optimal product it can sometimes be necessary to deviate from this rule. In some cases, for instance, we may use beeswax, honey or buttermilk.
The vegan products in our range are labelled with the word “VEGAN” on the front of the products. Sometimes this label is also on the side or rear of a product – depending on how much space there is on the label, tube or box.
On our website, you can filter products according to whether or not they are vegan; we also provide an overview of all vegan products as a downloadable PDF overview.
Speick Naturkosmetik has neither performed nor commissioned any animal experiments since the company was founded in 1928. Although obvious to us from the very beginning, it is now also prohibited by law throughout the entire EU and has been since 2004. Since 2009, it is also illegal to market cosmetics in the EU that have been tested on animals.
However, other countries have different customs. For instance, cosmetics products sold in brick-and-mortar stores in China must be tested on animals. For this reason, Speick Naturkosmetik does not export any products to regions which require animal testing as a prerequisite for import.
Gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance are things we primarily associate with our diets. Sometimes even small amounts of gluten or lactose are enough to cause unpleasant reactions in sufferers. When bathing or showering, it cannot be guaranteed with any certainty that traces of shampoo, face cream or soap will not accidentally be swallowed or enter the digestive tract via the mouth. To ensure that people with intolerances have all the information they need, we follow the “clean labelling” principle, so that affected individuals can see at a glance whether a product contains any ingredients of concern to them.
Products from Speick Naturkosmetik do not provide any information on shelf life. However, we have to ensure that the products can be kept in an unopened state for at least 30 months or more after production.
The date of production can be seen in the batch number, which appears in a combination of numbers: e.g. 0102 for the first batch in 2020 or 0491 for the fourth batch in 2019.
The shelf life of a product after it is opened for the first time is designated by the PAO (period after opening), which is specified on our products in the form of an opened jar symbol labelled with the corresponding number of months. The product should be used within this period.
Of course, many products can be used long after the PAO has expired. If the PAO has expired, we recommend checking the smell and consistency of the product before using it. As such, the product does not need to be thrown away based on the PAO alone.
INCI refers to a product’s ingredients. According to the EU Cosmetics Regulation, these must be specified on every product and can be found on the label, tube and/or box. The order of the ingredients indicates how high the content of the respective ingredient is in the product.
The use of palm oil is a widely discussed issue. Many consumers demand that the use of palm oil in cosmetics be completely abolished. However, this would be very hard to achieve because many emulsifiers and surfactants are extracted from palm oil fractions. Furthermore, the yield from oil palm trees is considerably higher than that of other oil plants. For instance, the yield from sunflowers is significantly lower.
The key issue in the context of palm oil use is the clearing of existing forests to make space for large oil palm plantations. For this reason, Speick Naturkosmetik uses certified, sustainably harvested palm oil from old plantations which did not require the clearing of forests. In this context, we have for many years already been working with an Indonesian palm oil supplier who has been a member of the “Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO) since the beginning. This is a palm oil certificate created by the WWF in 2011 which stands for sustainable cultivation and sustainable, social business.
Moreover, we use only RSPO-certified palm oil of the quality "segregated". Segregated quality means that the palm oil from certified plantations is consistently separated from non-sustainably produced palm oil along the entire supply chain. And this is continuously checked along the entire supply chain.
All of our soaps have very good biodegradability according to OECD criteria. There is information on this on many boxes of our solid soap products. The OECD tests establish how quickly a product can be completely degraded under aerobic conditions.
Various testing methods are available for this purpose – depending on whether a product is easily or sparingly soluble or is a volatile substance. Our soaps achieve biodegradation of almost 90% after 5 days and, after 28 days, a degree of elimination of 98%. As such, our soaps are classed as “readily biodegradable”.
The OECD tests are not just performed on our soaps, as well: all raw materials that may be able to make their way into water bodies must be tested by OECD to determine their biodegradability. Products that achieve biodegradation of at least 60% within 28 days are considered to be “readily biodegradable”. Our shower gels, shampoos and liquid soaps which are classed as readily biodegradable fall under this category, for instance.
Many of our products have a BIO PE label on their packaging, which provides information on the percentage of organic polyethylene in that bottle or tube. This information is shown using a sugar cane symbol. The accompanying text specifies the concrete percentage of BIO PE. You can find more information on organic polyethylene in our packaging overview.
Short and simple: no Speick product contains microplastic or nano-sized particles. Speick Naturkosmetik orients its activities as a company on the dimensions of sustainability. This of course includes avoiding the use of dangerous or environmentally harmful substances in our formulas – which definitely rules out microplastic and nano particles.
The products of our Speick Thermal Sensitiv series are labelled with the logo of our partner at Schlangenbad thermal baths. There, we take silica-rich thermal water directly from the source to enrich our Thermal Sensitiv products. The water is particularly rich in silicic acid, because it flows through a quartz tunnel located 60 meters below the earth’s surface. Here, it is enriched with 40 mg/l of silicic acid.
Silicic acid is made up of 94% silica, a trace element which is necessary for the metabolism of cells. Silicon also improves the strength and elasticity of connective tissue. In this way, the thermal water from Schlangenbad supports the effect of the plant extracts in Speick Thermal Sensitiv products.
The products in our Speick Sun sun protection series are labelled according to the UVA and UVB protection they provide. There are two types of sun rays: UVA and UVB radiation. While UVB radiation makes us turn brown and can lead to sunburn, UVA radiation causes long-term damage over time.
An effective sunscreen should therefore protect you against both types of radiation. The UVA seal certifies exactly that: it confirms that the UVA protection of a product equals at least 1/3 of its UVB protection. In turn, this is specified as a light protection factor. This is the case on Speick Sun products.
A small label on the packaging of Speick Sun products indicates that the product formulas are reef- and coral-friendly. When we protect our skin with sunscreen at the beach and then go for a swim in the ocean, the sun filters wash off into the water (even with water-resistant products). Certain sun filters, in particular the chemical variety, interfere with the ecosystem of the sensitive coral reefs. However, this is not the case for mineral filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
For our Speick Sun products, we only use the protective effect of the natural filter zinc oxide, which is classed as coral and reef friendly.