Green Tip of the Month: Choosing Personal Care Products

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Safer for the body
Only 10% of the hundreds of chemical ingredients the average person encounters while grooming each day are tested by the FDA for safety. So, stock homes, offices and labs with soaps, lotions and other personal care products derived from plant-based ingredients, fragranced with pure essential oils and containing minimal preservatives. Check the safety of over 69,000 products in Environmental Working Group's Cosmetics Database.

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Better for the environment
Choose plant-derived products with few chemicals, which leach fewer toxins into ground and surface waters and oceans when washed off. Buy products created from organic and fair trade sources which support systems beneficial to farmers and the environment. Also, choose products with minimal packaging and recyclable containers. And, refill soap and hand sanitizer dispensers from larger bags or bottles, like those available in the Rockefeller Storeroom.

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Analyze label claims
Ratings and certifications on skin care products are largely unregulated. Be skeptical of labels proclaiming "natural," "hypoallergenic" or "organic." And, "unscented" or "fragrance-free" only mean that the product either has no odor or no added fragrance. Also, the USDA organic seal only applies to plant- and animal-based agricultural products, to the exclusion of minerals, found in most cosmetics.

Did You Know?

Skin Care

Did You Know?
Beauty products account for almost one-third of all landfill waste.

For more information on the university's green initiatives, visit rockefeller.edu/sustainability.