Pretty Poison

This scientist is developing the cutest new shades of lipstick!

iOS app Think Dirty is cleaning up the toxic cosmetics industry

In ancient Greece both men and woman covered their face in makeup made from white lead – needless to say they were poisoning themselves. Unfortunately, when it comes to the beauty industry, it seems not much has changed in the course of two millennia.

Think Dirty is an app that tracks potentially toxic ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products.

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer,” founder and CEO Lily Tse told us, “and I began to learn about the environmental causes behind it. And the carcinogens in cosmetics are a big factor – it’s something we don’t think twice about putting on our bodies, but it’s barely regulated. [Think Dirty] was something I wished existed when I shopped for cosmetics, so I decided to make it.”

Tse launched the app in August 2013, and since then the app has grown to a database of more than 120,000 products.

But how is the $426 billion beauty industry (seriously) responding to the app?

“Sometimes a company will tell us their ingredient list isn’t updated, but I think they realize they have to embrace it,” Tse said. “Even mainstream beauty magazines are covering us – these are publications that are covered in advertising from beauty products.”

You can download Think Dirty for iOS here.

Now go forth (and keep it clean).


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