Eco-Friendly Personal Care

Judaism teaches us to be sensitive as to how we treat the Earth and all of Earth’s creatures. When choosing personal care items, keeping this principle in mind can truly make a difference. It also can benefit your health to use natural rather than chemical ingredients whose long-term effects may not be known .

Below are some tips for eco-friendly ideas for the purchase and use of personal care items. Many thanks to Jewish Environmental Initiative (JEI) Teen Group member Dena Selig for her contributions to this blog.

1. Make your own beauty treatments. This saves money and uses natural ingredients. You'll know exactly what you are using and won't have to worry about ingredients that may be harmful to your skin or your health. For example, simple and healthy facials can be made out of a mixture of ½ cup oatmeal, 2 tablespoons of honey and ¼ cup buttermilk. Recipes such as these can be found online and in health and beauty magazines.

2. Look at the label. Research what ingredients to look out for, and if you see any on a beauty product label, don't buy it. You can find out more about potentially harmful chemicals in your personal care products by going to the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics database at

3. Look for Certified Organic Products. Make sure products have certified organic labels such as Eco-Cert and USDA Organic.

4. Choose petroleum-free products. Try to avoid using products that contain fossil fuels. Excessive use of fossil fuels is harmful to the planet and increases global warming.

5. Avoid products tested on animals. Avoid products that were tested on animals by looking for the Humane Cosmetic Standard (HCS) on the label.

6. Other tips related to your personal care:
• If you use a hair dryer or flat iron, try using it for a shorter amount of time to conserve electricity. Always remember to turn it off and unplug it when finished.
• Consider purchasing a rechargeable razor rather than a disposable one. Two billion disposable razors end up in U.S. landfills each year.

By being pro-active in the use of personal care items, you can keep yourself looking good while also helping Planet Earth.

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