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Every now and again we come across a piece of technology or an app that’s so great we feel morally obliged to share it with you. The Think Dirty app is just that and if you’ve ever felt conscious about the ingredients in the products you put onto your body then this is for you.
What is it?
Isobutylparaben, Diethanolamine , Polyethylene glycols. Even for the most beauty-conscious, it can be impossible to decipher what’s really lurking under the lexicon of our cosmetics. Think Dirty app is a mobile application that shows the truth behind the complicated labels and pretty packaging of the beauty industry.
What’s the story behind it?
Think Dirty’ is a Toronto startup, founded by entrepreneur Lily Tse who, after a history of family cancer, began to question – what exactly is it we’re putting onto our bodies when we use a beauty product? Unlike the food or pharmaceutical industries, the cosmetics industry is widely unregulated – any product can call itself ‘organic’, even when as little as 1% of its ingredients are certified as organically produced. With no strict legal regulations in place, it’s almost impossible to tell what chemicals are really being absorbed when we apply a moisturiser, face cream or even a mascara. This app aims to empower consumers to make an informed decision about the cosmetics they use on their bodies, to find the products which are potentially ‘toxic’ and make smarter choices about where to spend their money.
How does it work?
By scanning the barcode of any beauty product on your Smartphone, Think Dirty searches in a database of more than 80,000 products and generates a score on the Dirty Meter™ for how ‘clean’ it is. The score is based on information from multiple sources including NFP health organisation reports, guidelines from regulatory agencies and government lists of prohibited chemicals. Scores of 10 show the most toxic and 1 the least, with an individual rating for Carcinogenicity, Developmental and Reproductive toxicity and Allergy implications. If a product isn’t listed in the database you also have the option to submit it, allowing the app to add it to its list of products to analyse.
Why is it great?
With so much knowledge at our fingertips it seems illogical that we should still have to make a choice between the products we use and our health. Buzz words such as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ hide a multitude of ugly chemicals that are known carcinogens, allergens, irritants or reproductive toxins. This is why it is so refreshing to see an app that helps to bring the power back to the consumer and provide the knowledge needed to make an educated choice.
Anything about it not so great?
Scanning products is slightly addictive and you can receive some strange looks in Superdrug when you have to scan 40 face creams before finding one that’s ‘clean’. It can also be frustrating when you can’t find a product if you’re looking to make a quick decision but we’re sure this is something that will lessen as the database grows.
Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.
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