Think Dirty app saves women from harmful makeup

By Jenna Iacurci, Parent Herald April 03, 11:49 am

The Think Dirty phone app can save women from harmful makeup containing chemicals such as phthalates, parabens and polysorbates.

Toronto entrepreneur Lily Tse designed the new app, which recognizes nearly 70,000 different products and rates them on a "dirty meter" from 1, meaning least toxic, to 10, most toxic.

"To get information, you scan a barcode or search from a product list," Fast Company's Ben Schiller wrote. "The app will give a rating and suggest a cleaner product if the one before you is on the dirty side. You can also make product lists, and get an average dirtiness score for items in your bathroom cabinet."

Think Dirty is similar to GoodGuide, another app that examines the health and environmental impacts of common household products.

Beauty doesn't have to be painful, but a 2012 analysis revealed that 400 different shades of lipstick contained trace amounts of lead, The Washington Post said.

"Lead builds in the body over time, and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels," Mark Mitchell, co-chairman of the Environmental Health Task Force for the National Medical Association, said in a statement.

One well-trusted cosmetics line, L'Oreal, is among the culprits. It's felt tip eyeliner contains propylparaben, a component that the Environmental Working Group says can cause reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption, The Atlantic reported.

And Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Crème scored a surprising nine out of 10 on the app due to its "fragrance" ingredient.

Five lipsticks made by L'Oreal and Maybelline, owned by L'Oreal USA, ranked among the top 10 most contaminated cosmetics lines, alongside two Cover Girl and two NARS lipsticks, the Food and Drug Administration reported.

The 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act only requires testing for a small percentage of chemicals that are deemed an unreasonable risk, meaning other harmful substances are able to slip through the cracks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned only 11 chemicals from makeup.

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