Updated: Oct 15, 2020
If you simply can’t stomach the thought of buying yourself or you loved ones anything that contains hazardous ingredients, use these apps when shopping to help you find the cleanest products!
Cellphone Apps to find Non-Toxic Products
Think Dirty - The founder of Think Dirty, Lily Tse’s, inspiration for creating the app was similar to my own in becoming a counselor and holistic health coach–a family history of cancer. Until cancer turns life upside down, far too many people do not realize the widespread use of toxic chemicals in everyday personal care products including cosmetics, hygiene, and cleaning products. These chemicals have a massive impact on our health and are far too prevalent in the products we use each and every day.
Until cancer turns life upside down, far too many people do not realize the widespread use of toxic chemicals in everyday personal care products including cosmetics, hygiene, and cleaning products.
The Think Dirty app is designed to help you shop smarter by allowing you to easily search, browse, or scan the barcode on the product. The app then shows you an overall score from 1-10. The 1-10 “Dirty Meter” scale reveals the potential danger that a products ingredients poses in the categories of carcinogenicity, developmental & reproductive toxicity, and allergies & immunotoxicity. It also gives a color coded list of ingredients, marking which are the most “dirty,” or toxic, and which are considered “clean.”
Unlike some other apps that factor in environmental impact, Think Dirty gives scores that consider only the potential health risks associated with a products ingredients.
Other functions on this app include creating lists of dirty products that you have ruled out, clean products you love, and a “my bathroom shelf” list of products you use frequently. If you are an online shopper, the app also features a shop button on the product review page, so that you can go directly from the app to the online provider when you find a product that matches your clean standards.
Environmental Working Group - The EWG app is produced by The Environmental Working Group, whose mission is to “empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.” The app includes scores for nearly 80,000 personal care and food products, making this a go to whether you are in the cosmetics department or frozen food aisle in the grocery store.
To find products on EGW, simply scan the barcode, search by name, or browse by category.
EWG Healthy Living app is marketed as an educational tool for consumers and features a rating system that is similar to Think Dirty. It also uses a color coded 1-10 scale, with products scoring a green 1-2 being the cleanest, yellow 3-6 as moderately hazardous, and the red 7-10 scoring products being the highest hazard based on ingredients.
Like the Think Dirty app, EWG ratings are also focused on health concerns and gives individual ingredient ratings based on allergy, developmental, and cancer concern.
Where EWG goes a step further, is factoring in “data availability” in regard to ingredients. EWG acknowledges that “a product’s low score on the hazard scale doesn’t mean much if scientists know very little about the chemicals in it.” This means your best bet is to go for products that have both a low hazard rating and a high data availability rating. This means that there have been extensive studies proving that the included ingredients are truly not hazardous to your health.
The creators of Good Guide aim to provide consumers with the information they need to make better decisions while shopping. To do this, they “combine manufacturer-provided information about product ingredients with authoritative information on the health effects of chemicals.”
For environmentally conscious consumers, Good Guide used to be the best option, since its score factored in environmental impact. However, in 2016 the platform changed to consider products only from a health perspective.
Like Think Dirty and EWG, Good Guide allows consumers to search, scan, or browse for products. The app gives a color coded rating for products and individual ingredients, but the scoring system is quite different from the other two apps.
The good guide scoring system scores products from a low of 0 to a high of 10. Products with the highest rating are the most hazardous to our health and products with scores closer to 0 are considered safer. So in this way, Good Guide flipped the rating scale used by Think Dirty and EWG.
The Good Guide scoring also differs in that it does not break down scores in terms of health concern category (cancer, aller