Let's Think Dirty! Not like in the gutter dirty, but dirty as in the added toxins, chemicals and numbers that fill the ingredient lists of the products that we use on a daily basis.
In much the same way we consider what is going into our food, considering what our favourite lotions, potions, creams and pastes are comprised of is something that we need to take responsibility of for ourselves. Why? Don't governing bodies ban dangerous chemicals and ingredients?
Well! Let's start in Europe, their regulation relating to cosmetic products puts the onus on the person or company who places the cosmetic product on the market to ensure that the product is safe and meets all the requirements of the Cosmetics Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council) before the product is sold on the market and the consumer must be appropriately informed as to the ingredients. The EU Cosmetics Regulation proactively researches ingredients to determine whether or not they are safe for human use and as a result, the EU Regulation bans over 1,300 chemicals from cosmetics that are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutation, reproductive harm or birth defects.
The US in comparison, takes an 'innocent until proven guilty' approach, with a current restriction of 11 chemicals for use in cosmetics. Whilst Canada and Australia are stricter than the US, we are not quite at the level of the EU as yet and for this reason, seeking out products that are truly safe, may be safe or are not safe at all can be difficult.
Our skin is our first line of defence against pathogens so it is important not to compromise its resilience by using toxic, hormone disrupting chemicals that are easily absorbed into the body via the skin. But how do we know what's good for us and what could be a little suspect? The bathroom can be a minefield when first 'going natural' or avoiding potentially harmful ingredients. Enter Think Dirty the app.
Think Dirty is an initiative by Lily Tse, which was born out of a personal journey to understand the truths in the beauty industry. With a family history of cancer, she decided to research into the many causes behind breast cancer, including ‘toxic’ ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products. After watching Annie Leonard’s “Story of Cosmetics”, which examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products and realising the impact cosmetics has on our health she set about finding better alternatives but quickly realised that there was no real tool out there for consumers to find information easily.
Think Dirty empowers and educates the consumer on the cosmetics industry by allowing them to make an informed decision on what products to purchase. Available free for both iPhone and Android, it takes the guesswork out of what is in each item in your bathroom and gives it a 'Clean' or 'Dirty' rating based on the ingredients. With over 350,000 products in the database to date, checking items whilst at the supermarket takes a mere second by scanning the product barcode to enable the app to find the item in its database and instantly give you all of the information and its rating. For items without a barcode simply search the item by typing in the company and product. For 'dirty' products, the app provides suggestions for cleaner products to enable you to have a cleaner choice next time you are replacing that item.
I remember back to when I first began 'detoxifying' my bathroom and the time I spent looking up ingredients, chemicals and numbers that I had no idea about and trying to weigh up whether it was safe or not to use. Nowadays having Think Dirty in my back pocket when considering a new purchase has been an amazing time saver and I no longer have to wonder 'what's hiding in my bathroom'?! I know whats in there and love the alternatives for the products that I did end up replacing.
I would love to hear about your own detoxifying bathroom journey!
Note: All judgements are my own and I am not endorsed by any mentioned companies.