We all use a number of products on hair and skin everyday, but do you ever wonder if there’s anything dangerous lurking in your favourite shampoo or moisturizer? Naturally, there’s an app for that. Using this app, you can determine if there is anything nasty in the products you use everyday.
The Think Dirty app is as easy to use as using the camera on your iPhone to scan the barcode on your cosmetics and personal care products. The app will show you a list of ingredients and then alert you to any ingredients that have been identified by governments and health nonprofits as harmful to humans. Plus, each item on the ingredients list has its own toxicity rating – 10 for carcinogens to 4-5 for allergens. Currently, they cover more than 2,000 brands and over 70,000 different products. Think Dirty founder, Lily Tse, has this to say about why she developed the Think Dirty app:
Finding safer alternatives for myself was a huge challenge. Although many products are labeled “all-natural” or “organic”, there is little transparency in labeling cosmetics. There was also no real tool out there for consumers to find information easily. With my background in design and marketing, I wanted to develop and create something not only for myself but for others as well, and that’s how Think Dirty® was founded.
Think Dirty® empowers and educates the consumer on the cosmetics industry by allowing them to make an informed decision on what products to purchase.
I downloaded the app, which is available in both the UK and US Apple App Stores (those are the only accounts I have and could easily check) and decided to see how scary some of my products were. First thing I noticed was that a lot of my products don’t have a barcode on the actual product, the barcodes are only on the outer packaging. That is quite unfortunate since mostly you pitch those are you start using something. I started with a product from Molton Brown, their White Mulberry hand lotion that I use quite often. Er, I think I will use it much less often now. Out of the 25 ingredients, 5 of them are in the “red zone” of carcinogen rating with ratings of 8 – 10, five are unrated (they’re not in the Think Dirty database yet), 5 are in the slightly toxic range with ratings of 4 – 7, and the other 10 ingredients are thankfully on the safe side of the rating scale with ratings of 0 – 3. Overall, the toxicity rating is 9 out of 10, with the worst toxicity in the area of development and reproductive toxins. That’s not so good. It turns out that a lot of what I use is bad for me in some way or another. The other problem I ran into was that a lot of my barcodes weren’t in their database, which is surprising to me since they say they have thousands of items listed. They do have a simple procedure that you can use to submit your items that they were unable to identify via the barcode scan.
This is a great tool if you are trying to find products that are safe, or at least safer, for you to use on a regular basis. It is very simple to use and if you sign up, you can keep track of the products you like, as well as get a rating for everything in your bathroom as a whole.