Recently I was shopping with a friend, a busy Mum of three, and she needed a lipstick in a hurry. We walked over to the MAC counter and I mentioned to her how I threw out all of my MAC lipsticks because of the ingredients. Buyer Beware – Cosmetics with extra Costs! I explained that I knew of some good mobile apps for checking cosmetics ingredients for toxicity and she was very interested to look at them. She was also keen in exploring alternative brands and asked me what they are.
This got me thinking that I needed to share this information with my readers, so you too can look up products whilst out shopping BEFORE you make the purchase.
Why would I be concerned about certain ingredients in cosmetics? Significant research has shown that ingredients in cosmetics can cause allergy, reproductive and developmental toxicities and CANCER. Most lipsticks, for example, have over 40 ingredients and as a general rule of thumb it is the colours in them that are of greatest concern; lead is still being found in some brands. I discuss the ‘lead scenario’ in more detail in the ‘Body’ section of the website. There has been poor government regulation of the cosmetic and personal care companies in Australia and USA, some products have been on the market since the 60s but have still not been fully tested for human safety.
The Story of Cosmetics is a short video overviewing this topic and is well worth the time to watch it.
Now, let me tell you more about the databases and Apps you can use to make your purchases safer…. …
The first was called ‘SkinDeep’ and it was available from the Apple App store, it was created in 2004 and was set up by an independent group (Environmental Working Group). EWG was not interested in selling you products or making money from the recommendations, they just wanted to provide unbiased information. The core of Skin Deep is an electronic product database that contains ingredients > 69,000 products. EWG obtained detailed information on these products from online retailers, manufacturers, product packaging. In most cases, the information included a brand name, product name, directions for use, warnings, ingredients, package/advertising text, and indications (cosmeceuticals). You could look up a product and also you could scan a barcode into the database. Which has now been superseded by ThinkDirty App.
THINKDIRTY – Shop Clean
Think Dirty app was created by San Francisco founder Lily Tse, motivated by her own experience of her family members affected by breast cancer. In collaboration with the Breast Cancer Fund and the Campaign for Safer Cosmetics ThinkDirty’s goal is to teach consumers about the potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products. By scanning the product barcode, if it is not already in their database, it gets uploaded and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-understand information on the product, its ingredients, and shop cleaner options. This App is more recently created than SkinDeep is more user-friendly.
The output from Think Dirty is quite useful. The score out 10 (10 is bad and less than 5 good) is helpful, and you get a graph or ‘Dirty Meter’ of which of the three areas of concern score highly and there is a tab that highlights which ingredients are problematic.
The ThinkDirty app can also provide an ingredient list which can be useful to see which ingredients are the most toxic for future reference.
Download them both and have a play, I certainly have found them both useful. I continue to use LifeVantage skin and hair care and Miessence cosmetics and Inika as my preferences and I am always on the lookout for other good clean brands. The great thing is that these databases are being populated worldwide with data from people like you and me. Hopefully, we can together, through knowledge and consumer buying pressure, convince the big cosmetics companies to give us cleaner and non-toxic products to buy!
If you find this information useful share it with your friends and family, the more people that know the better.
Yours in good health,
#DrRachel #HEF #safecosmetics #healthequalsfreedom #certifiedorganic #thinkdirty