News Release | Apr 4, 2018

BASF provides guidance according to ISO 16128 standard for personal care portfolio

  • More than 250 BASF products defined as natural or derived natural ingredients according to the ISO standard
  • Leaves index indicates the degree of natural origin

Düsseldorf, Germany – April 5, 2018 – BASF has reviewed its complete personal care portfolio according to the ISO standard criteria and calculating rules, providing manufacturers of cosmetic products guidance and information on the degree of natural origin of the ingredients. The ISO 16128 standard of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) comprises guidelines on definitions for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and offers a framework to determine the natural content of ingredients as well as formulations. It is an addition to existing standards, e.g. COSMOS (COSMetic Organic Standard) or NATRUE. A harmonized definition for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients increases transparency for manufacturers and consumers alike.

“We offer a large selection of ingredients for manufacturers who want to formulate their products according to the ISO 16128 standard,” says Ute Griesbach, Senior Marketing Manager Personal Care Europe. The BASF portfolio for natural and organic cosmetics ranges from basic raw materials, surfactants and emollients to additives and active ingredients.

Leaves index shows degree of a product’s natural origin

Already years ago, BASF has started to categorize its complete portfolio of cosmetic ingredients with a comprehensible “leaves index”. The number of leaves – one to four – indicates the degree of a product’s natural origin calculated by the share of regenerative carbon atoms in relation to the total share of carbon in the ingredient. As the calculation method corresponds with one described in the ISO standard, the leaves system also gives an indication for the suitability of an ingredient in a formulation intended to be developed according to the ISO requirements. “From our calculations we can say that more than 250 of our personal care ingredients meet the ISO definition as natural or derived natural with a share of at least 50 percent natural carbon atoms,” explains Ute Griesbach. Based on the ingredient characterization, the natural or natural origin content of a formulation can be determined.

Comprehensive offer meets natural and organic cosmetics standards

While COSMOS and NATRUE are the most important standards for natural and organic cosmetics today, the ISO 16128 norm is a new international standard. BASF supports their customers with all necessary information and data for all three standards. Around 130 ingredients developed by BASF for personal care applications have already been registered with COSMOS and more than 50 of the products are evaluated according to the NATRUE criteria. That makes BASF the largest provider of raw materials that are suitable for natural and organic cosmetic products under the COSMOS and NATRUE standards.

About the Care Chemicals division at BASF 
The BASF division Care Chemicals offers a broad range of ingredients for personal care, hygiene, home care, industrial & institutional cleaning, and technical applications. We are the global leading supplier for the cosmetics industry as well as the detergents and cleaners industry, and support our customers with innovative and sustainable products, solutions and concepts. The division’s high-performance product portfolio includes surfactants, emulsifiers, polymers, emollients, chelating agents, cosmetic active ingredients and UV filters. Superabsorbent polymers developed for the full spectrum of hygiene applications complete the range. We have production and development sites in all regions and are expanding our presence in emerging markets. Further information is available online at  

About BASF 
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of €64.5 billion in 2017. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at  

Related Contacts

Annika Müller
Communications Personal Care Europe
Phone:+49 2173 4995 446