You walk into a beauty store, scan your eyes over the glossy packaging and run your fingers across the prettiest prods. You pick up a tester and try it on the back of your hand. You will have already googled the hell out of the product for online reviews and if you’re satisfied, you’ll make your way to the checkout. For most of us, that’s as extensive as makeup shopping gets, but Think Dirty, a revolutionary Canadian app, is changing that. The app helps you sort through natural beauty products that are *actually* safer versus those that are simply a marketing gimmick. Trust us, it will make you think twice about every item in your cosmetics bag.
In a recent interview with Canadian Business, Toronto-based founder Lily Tse describes her journey to creating the app and explains how to use it. Here are five things we learned about one of today’s hottest tools in natural beauty.
How exactly this wizardry works
“You scan a product barcode, or search by keyword or brand, and we present you with a rating, based on whether the ingredients in the product cause any long-term health impacts. You can judge if it’s something you want to buy. And if the product you’re looking at is rated poorly, we give you a list of alternatives with better ratings. It’s a very easy way to compare the safety of products, without having to read every ingredient on the labels yourself.”
It rates a heck of a lot of products
More than 350,000, to be precise.
There are Apple and Android versions
The app launched for iOS in 2013, and for Android in fall 2016.
It has a very meaningful backstory
As Lily tells Canadian Business: “Think Dirty traces back to when my mom’s breast cancer relapsed, more than 10 years ago. She is fine now, but her illness made me obsessed with health—not just related to food, but literally everything I used. I learned how unregulated the beauty field is, and how impossible it was to know what’s actually in products. Even as someone working in advertising, I constantly got fooled by marketing claims. It seemed so wrong. I started thinking about creating the app a few years later. The iPhone had been released, and I thought, Why can’t I use my phone to tell whether there are harmful ingredients in products? I really wanted this thing to exist. I just had to find a way to make it happen. I found a design hackathon in New York City. I’d used up all my vacation for the year, so I took a sick day and went. I didn’t win anything, but I couldn’t forget about my idea. And when I got laid off from my job a few months later, I realized it was the right time to try something new.”
She wants to change the way people shop
“My goal is to get to the point that when people want to know if something is good or bad for them, the first thing they’ll think is, What is the Think Dirty rating? I genuinely want to build something the consumer can trust.”
Read the full interview at canadianbusiness.com.