GS-
50

Personal Care and Cosmetic Products

This standard is for products that are intended to enhance the appearance and feel of the skin and hair and provide other personal care and hygiene functions and are left on the body. This includes lotions, moisturizers, oils, powders, creams, sun block, insect repellent, antiperspirant, and deodorant used for adults, babies, children, and professional-use.

The standard is the first standard that comprehensively addresses the health, environmental, and labeling concerns for these personal care products. For example, the standard prohibits carcinogens and other hazardous materials commonly found in these products. In addition, this standard requires labeling of ingredient for all products and defines common claims made on these products such as natural, organic, and biobased. As a result, this standard provides a way for consumers to know that their personal care and cosmetics products do not contain the harmful components they are concerned about and that any claims about these products are validated. The standard can serve as a tool to help companies begin to take action to improve their products and is available for Green Seal certification.

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standard revisions

Latest version: Edition 1.3, June 23, 2022

Recent Changes: GS-50 underwent corrections and/or clarifications and was re-published on July 29, 2022. For details on the non-substantive changes made to this standard, please see the Standard Documents Library.

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CRITERIA THAT HELP PRESERVE THE CLIMATE
Many of the standards for human health, minimizing waste, and ensuring clean water also help preserve the climate:
  • Content limits on volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Limits on phosphorus
  • Prohibition on ozone-depleting compounds
  • Prohibition on halogenated organic solvents
  • Prohibition on hazardous air pollutants
  • Reduced/recycled packaging
RESTRICTIONS TO PREVENT ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS
Acute Toxicity (Oral) LD50 > 5,000 mg/kg
Acute Toxicity (Inhalation) LC50 > 20,000 ppm/L at 1 hour, LC50 < 20,000ppmV at 1 hour (gases)
Dermal Toxicity (Skin) LD50 > 2,000mg/kg
Skin and Eye Corrosion pH of > 2.0 but less than 11.5; Must not be corrosive to skin or eyes
Skin Sensitization Must not be a skin sensitizer
Skin Irritation Must not cause skin irritation
Skin Absorption Sum of ingredients with skin notations restricted to <1%
Asthmagens Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Respiratory Sensitizers Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Ozone Depleting Compounds Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Volatile Organic Compounds Restricted to content level specified by CARB
Hazardous Air Pollutants Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Carcinogens Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Mutagens Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Reproductive Toxins Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Neurotoxins / Systemic Toxins Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Endocrine Disruptors Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Alkylphenol Ethoxylates Cannot be intentionally added at any level
2-Butoxyethanol Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Benzophenone and its derivatives Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Butylated hydroxytoluene Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Ethoxylated chemicals Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Ethylene Diaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Formaldehyde donors Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Halogenated Organic Solvents Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Methyldibromo glutaronitrile Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Mineral Oils Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Monoethanolamine, Diethanolamine, Triethanolamine Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Mercury-containing compounds Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Nitrilotriacetic Acid Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Nitro-musks Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Parabens Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Paraffin wax Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Petrolatum Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Phthalates Cannot be intentionally added at any level and must not be intentionally added to primary packaging and applicators
Polycyclic Musks Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Toxic Release Inventory Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Triclosan Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Colorants Prohibited outside makeup, nail polish, and sun tanning products
Bisphenol A Cannot be intentionally added at any level and must not be intentionally added to primary packaging and applicators
Chlorinated Materials Must not be intentionally introduced to primary packaging and applicator materials
Hexavalent Chromium Cannot be intentionally added at any level and must not be intentionally added to primary packaging and applicators
Lead Cannot be intentionally added at any level and must not be intentionally added to packaging and applicators
Mercury Must not be intentionally added to primary packaging and applicators
Selenium Cannot be intentionally added at any level
Cadmium Must not be intentionally added to primary packaging and applicators
Biocides Restricted to use only as a preservative
Nanoscale Components Must be approved for use in product by European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety
RESTRICTIONS TO PREVENT ADVERSE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
Acute Toxicity to Aquatic Life LC50 > 100mg/L for algae, daphnia, or fish
Chronic Aquatic Toxicity Ingredients prohibited above 100ppm
Aquatic Biodegradability Each organic ingredient must readily biodegrade
Bioaccumulating Compounds Prohibited above 100ppm
Eutrophication Sum of total phosphorus restricted to < 0.5%
Optical Brighteners Cannot be intentionally added at any level
REQUIREMENTS TO PREVENT WASTE
Primary and Secondary Packaging Must be either source-reduced, recyclable and contain at least 25% post-consumer material, contain 50% post-consumer material, or have a take-back program
Disposable Wipes Must be made from 100% renewable materials
Aerosol Packaging Aerosol Packaging is prohibited
Use Labelling Must have detailed instructions for proper use to minimize waste
Recycling Labelling Must be marked with the appropriate Resin Identification Code, if plastic, and have clear recycling instructions for disposal