Last week, we discussed the increased use of skin care products in skilled nursing facilities as a method to ease the suffering of residents living with incontinence and pressure ulcers.
In addition to this growing trend of skin product therapy, there is a focus on environmentally safe skin care products that has been strong for many years, and continues to grow.
This “green” movement has manufacturers in the healthcare supply chain evaluating ways to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment. Manufacturers are integrating more therapeutic and aesthetic ingredients into their products to meet the demands of their customers. 
“More often than not, customers are buying a product that has been third-party certified, doesn’t use additives harmful to the environment and reduces the use of fragrances or dyes in an effort to reduce the overall environmental impact,” said Cheryl Smith, manager at SCA Tork, a skin care product manufacturer. “We’ve found that customers are much more open and aware [of] green options and may buy based on ‘green’ qualities.”
Practice Greenhealth is a partnership of healthcare providers, manufacturers and affiliated service firms. The partnership conjoined last fall and released the Standardized Environmental Questions for Medical Products, a guide to help healthcare providers identify, request and purchase environmentally safe medical products. The guide covers topics such as chemicals of concern, recyclability and other environmental issues. 
Susan Vickers, vice president of community health for Catholic Healthcare West, believes the guide is a helpful tool for providers looking to purchase environmentally safe products.
“The search for alternative products is often difficult because of limited supply and little knowledge about product makeup,” she noted. “If manufacturers now know they will be asked about product sustainability, we feel they will become better informed and more responsive to requests for safer, more sustainable products.”