Meeting growing demands from suppliers for all natural and organic cosmetic formulations, the company announced yesterday that it had been awarded National Organic Program (NOP) Certified Organic status for its Sea Buckthorn, SBT Seed and Berry oils. The SBT oils, which are marketed as highly beneficial for use in skin care formulations, are higher in essential fatty acids, beta-carotenes, tocotrienols and vitamins than any other oil - all of which is said to benefit skin health, and in particular conditions such as rosacea and eczema. Janine Phariss, president of Arizona-based Blue Sage Naturals, says that the oils are also added to cosmetic products to help speed up healing of scar tissue from cuts, scrapes and burns. NOP certification gives greater assurance After waiting for the NOP certification for several months, Phariss stated that the award now means that US-based customers are now assured of the quality and consistency of the oils for formulation in cosmetic applications. In recent years the development of natural and organic personal care products has been a driving force behind new product launches and overall market growth. Mirroring the trend that is already well established in the food and drink industry, an increasingly discerning consumer is looking for products that are free from preservatives and harsh chemicals as a means of obtaining an increased sense of general health and well-being. A recent market report by Colorado-based Natural Foods Merchandiser recently put the value of the natural and organic personal care market at $2.78bn, with growth in excess of 18 percent per annum. Range available in four forms Blue Saga Naturals' NOP certified Sea Buckthorn range is currently available in seed oil, berry oil, juice powder and capsules form. Sea Buckthorn is a deciduous shrub that has become very popular in the food, supplements and cosmetic industries because of its high anti-oxidant and nutrient levels. Since 2005 the US has become the chief producer of Sea Buckthorn extracts, off the back of scientific studies that have highlighted its nutritional and health-giving properties.