Apps That Scan Products Growing In Popularity

With the increasing demand for organic skin care products in Australia and across the world, shoppers across the world are bent on finding out what products are in the things they put on their bodies, like lipstick and skin cream.

To that end apps like Think Dirty and EWG Healthy Living, are gaining popularity, with more and more people getting apps that scan ingredients in cosmetics.

Think Dirty founder Lily Tse says that it’s not about the label or the brand, it’s about the ingredients in them. They even went so far as to take jabs at a popular celebrity figure and their cosmetics.

The beauty industry hasn’t been on the best term with these apps, saying that they give a distorted and alarmist issue of their products. Major brands like Estee Lauder, Clarins Group and the like say that their products have all been tested, are safe, and comply with regulations.

Back in the past, consumers that were concerned about the presence of potentially carcinogenic or irritating ingredients in their beauty products had to memorise long lists of compounds, some of them sesquipedalian, and squint at product labels. The extra effort needed for the verification of the ingredients of toothpaste and shampoo made this somewhat of a niche pursuit, with many opting to trust the manufacturer.

Think Dirty and similar apps have made this process easier than ever; the free apps can be used to scan a label in order to see what ingredients are in them. The apps, however, have stated that they’re monetising their services by providing consultancy for brands and charging brands that comply with their standards for an official seal of approval.

CompoScan founder Kahina Benhebri says that they want brands to become more transparent, and to make cleaner products. With the demand organic skin care products in Australia and across the world, they say that they need to change and stop with green washing.

Clarins Chairman Christian Courtin-Clarins, however, have warned that these scanning apps could just come up with their own ingredient to ban. Other major cosmetic brands state that the reality is much more complex that what these apps suggest; certain products are fine in small doses, and/or as long as they’re not ingested.

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