What She Wants

What Does 'Certified Organic' Mean in Skincare?

And believe us, not all brands that claim to be organic are actually organic.
IMAGE Courtesy of Susanne Kaufmann

In countries where labeling a product “organic” requires rigorous tests and compliance to strict standards, only items with certifications or seals make it to the organic beauty counters. Usually, certification requires between 70 to 95 percent of a product’s ingredients to be organically derived. Each ingredient’s source is traced to its grower or farm, which should also be accredited organic by a certifying company across the globe. So you can imagine the work if there are 15 ingredients sourced from 15 farms apart from the final accreditation of the product alone.

For Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, ingredients in its range of organic skincare products are sourced from farms in the Bregenz Forest in the Alps, “where traditional farming structures are maintained and where nature is preserved,” says Bea von Thurn und Taxis, Susanne Kaufmann co-owner and marketing head, who recently flew to Manila to launch its summer line. The brand began in Kaufmann’s family-owned hotel, Hotel Post, also located in Bezau in Bregenz Forest, Austria, where she also runs a spa that uses organic products and natural ingredients for treatments. “Soon, we were able to develop products that address various aging and skin concerns, which we have now begun distributing across the globe,” she adds.

Today, the brand has over 60 certified organic products, ranging from body oils, scrubs, and moisturizers to facial serums, creams, and masks. “Our Anti-Aging Line A uses high quality silk proteins from silk worms, bioflavanoid for collagen stimulation, and a fermented flower extract of white lupin for moisturization and preventing wrinkles,” says von Thurn und Taxis. All Susanne Kaufmann products contain only natural preservatives and emulsifiers derived from plants, have passed organic standards of Germany and Austria, and last for two and half years after manufacturing. “We may not be such a big brand, but what we offer is quality—we are honest about our products,” says von Thurn und Taxis. “And you’ll see the difference in effect as quick as the first use.”


Best for: Dry and sensitive skin
Organic ingredients:
St. Johns wort flowers, chamomile, sage, rosehip oil
Features: Cleanses without stripping moisture; removes eye makeup; pH neutral. 

Best for: Sensitive and thin skin
Organic ingredients: Kiwi, apple, and papaya fruit acids, aloe vera, menthol
Features: Gently exfoliates dead skin cells and calms and nourishes the skin.

Best for: Combination skin
Organic ingredients: Wild yam root extracts, witch hazel, chamomile, hyaluron from aloe vera, olive fruit oil, sunflower oil
Features: Improves skin tone around the eyes, delivers moisture, and reduces lines.

Best for: Normal to combination skin
Organic ingredients: Fireweed flower essences, cucumber, fine corn oil, aloe vera, and willow herb extracts
Features: Removes impurities from pores, refines skin texture, and balances oil production.

Best for: Normal to combination skin
Organic ingredients: Sunflower oil, squalene, jojoba oil, tomato fruit extract, citric acid, broccoli seed oil
Features: Provides waterproof SPF25 and UVA/UVB protection while allowing the skin to absorb Vitamin D from the sun, and repairs skin damage.

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Best for: Dry and wrinkled skin
Organic ingredients: St. Johns wort flowers, chamomile, yarrow, and marshmallow extracts, sage, rosehip oil, honey
Features: Reduces appearance of blotches and lines, moisturizes, and protects while working well as a makeup base.

Susanne Kaufmann is available at Univers, One Rockwell East Tower, Makati.


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About The Author
Nicole Limos Morales
Nicole is the former managing editor of Town & Country Philippines. After working as features editor and beauty editor of the title’s print edition for 6 years, she helped launch Townandcountry.ph in 2016, creating new concepts and story formats, analyzing data, and mastering digital audiences—establishing the title to become the Philippines’ leading luxury lifestyle website. She left her full-time position in 2019 to focus on family life, while carrying on writing beauty content for T&C as a contributing editor. “I think what’s amazing about beauty is that in its arena, you can really only be a skeptic for so long,” she says. “There will always be a product that will make you believe.”
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