It is estimated that women are exposed to 168 chemicals every day through their beauty and personal products. “Skin Deep” by Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) and “Think Dirty” are two mobile Apps that can help us figure out if these products contain harmful ingredients and allergens.
Similarities between the Apps
What do the Apps do?
Using the Apps on your phone, you can scan the product barcodes on your personal products and makeup to check whether they contain ingredients associated with potential health risks. You can also check out individual ingredients, rather than a product. So if you want to avoid chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and certain fragrances, etc., this will guide you. Both Apps will give you a rating score for each product and chemical.
You can use the apps at home for products you are already using, and also at the grocery store/drug store to check a product before you buy it.
What products can I check?
The Apps are for cosmetics and personal products, and they include items like:
- perfumes and fragrances
- shower/bath products
- toothpaste and oral care
- nail polish and care
- eye care products
- men’s products
- mother and baby products.
Differences between the Apps
- This App is available for Android and iPhones.
- Skin Deep uses a dual rating system based on both a hazard rating and data availability rating.
- The hazard rating system includes categories such as carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity, as well as endocrine disruption, allergens, neurotoxins, ecotoxicity, irritation and more.
- The data availability looks at how much scientists know or don’t know about an ingredient. This is important as not all cosmetic chemicals have been thoroughly studied. Some might rank low purely because little research has been conducted on them, so this is factored into the rating.
- The App has recently added an “EWG verified” standard which goes beyond just ingredient labels, also taking into account factors such as ensuring full disclosure from manufacturers regarding contaminants, manufacturing processes, and preserving techniques. This information is not included on product labels. An EWG verified status is considered the gold standard for products.
- Skin Deep states that they include 2,061 brands and 64,471 products.
- Think Dirty is only available for iPhones.
- The rating system for Think Dirty appears to only consider hazard rating and not data availability.
- Hazard rating is evaluated for evidence of carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies/immunotoxicity.
- Think Dirty considers their ratings exclusively on the chemical content of products rather than using the process they refer to as “greenwashing,” which includes taking into account environmental and social responsibility.
- Think Dirty states that they include over 3,600 brands and 350,000 products.
It is important to bear in mind that the ratings are based on extensive databases, but they are still personal opinions. Thus the two Apps might not always be in agreement. However, they can be an excellent guide for our selection of products. Whichever one you choose, it will be better than staying in the dark about what our products contain.
Both Apps also suggest alternative products so you can make a more informed decision and choose a product with less toxic ingredients.
So download one of the free Apps and open up your make-up drawer or check the products in your shower and see if you need to buy some alternatives.
To download EWG Skin Deep App, visit here.
To download Think Dirty iPhone App, visit here.