Price of beauty could mean long-term health issues

You could easily get lost in cosmetic aisles and stores. Shelf after shelf of amazing red lipsticks, un-ending mascaras with different wands and colors and more eye shadow palettes than most girls know what to do with. With one glance, it can be exhausting — but some have their makeup routine down to an exact science, knowing the particular brand and shade of the item(s) to achieve “beauty.”

And speaking of science, what goes into these beauty products anyway? With simply a smart phone and an app, now you can know.

Think Dirty is an app from Toronto-based entrepreneur Lily Tse. The app scans and analyzes ingredients of the cosmetics in your bathroom; it is currently able to recognize over 85,000  products on its “dirty meter.”

Simply scan a beauty product’s barcode, or search from a product list, to see the rating of the product. If there is a cleaner, similar product available, the app will suggest it for you.

Think Dirty app, available for free in the Apple app store.

Additionally, the app can help create lists for you to buy on your next makeup binge and help figure out the average “dirty” score of your bathroom.

Dirtiness is based on a 0-10 point scale. A score of 0-3 declares that the product doesn’t contain any known controversial/harmful ingredients, products with a 4-7 rating may have moderate long-term health impacts. Any product with an 8-10 score is the dirtiest of all, with ingredients that can have serious long-term health impacts.

Don’t take our word for it: one analysis with the app, according to an article in The Atlantic, says 400 shades of lipstick contained trace amounts of lead. How beautiful is that?

To be clear, studies linking some ingredients in makeup to the long-term illnesses the app warns about aren’t conclusive — especially because it depends on how often you use products containing these ingredients.

The app isn’t conclusive either, with some products and/or ingredients not rated yet. But, Think Dirty does bring to light what lies behind the red veneer on your lips … and what it might (potentially) be doing to your health.

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