Applications that will help you detect harmful ingredients in cosmetics


Amongst many cosmetics offered on the market, it is a really tormenting process to find the ones that suit your skin, budget, are not harmful to the environment and do not contain potentially dangerous ingredients. Although nowadays there is a strict control of product composition, especially in Europe, often creams, shampoos, perfumes and other cosmetic products contain harmful ingredients that can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation and have hormonal or carcinogenic effects.

If you are a consumer who is interested in the ingredients and the way the product is produced, and you are not ready to google every time you find yourself in front of a store shelf – this is the article for you. We bring you 5 apps that will help you read small print from product labels.

The applications we found work on the principle of scanning a barcode or photographing the composition and explaining the ingredients in a way anyone can understand. It is important to note that the results should be read with understanding, because there is a big difference between a harmful ingredient and an allergen, some ingredients in the product are in the permitted amounts, and not every alcohol is harmful.

  1. Clean Beauty
    You need to log in, after which you can use the application for free. You take a photo of the list of ingredients from the product and the application immediately shows you if there are any harmful, carcinogenic or ingredients that affect the immunity and reproductive system and allergens. In addition to the scanner, the app has a dictionary with explanation for more than 800 ingredients found in cosmetic products.
  1. INCI Beauty
    The application is free. It works by photographing a barcode and immediately displays harmful substances in four categories (Good, Satisfactory, Not so good, Controversial). Those it considers questionable will explain and state why they fall into that category. Also, the app automatically offers you similar products that are less harmful than the scanned one.
  1. Think Dirty
    You need to login and it works on the principle of scanning a barcode. It is said to be the best and to have a base of more than 550,000 products, although we have not been able to find most of the new products.
  2. Scan4Chem
    An application developed by the Earth Croatia (Zelena akcija), our partner in many projects, is available in 15 European countries. Consumers scan bar codes of cosmetics, food, clothing and footwear, toys, furniture, electronic devices, etc. and send requests directly to product suppliers in just a few clicks. Suppliers are legally required to send a response within 15 days.
  1. Ingred
    This application is also free, and in addition to the composition of cosmetics, it also analyzes food. It works by taking a photo of the list of ingredients from the product and the application shows you the harmful ones. It has a large database and is one of the few apps which analyzes suspicious additives for cosmetics and food based on data from the European Union and the WHO.

Download one of the applications, try to test the products you have in your home and let us know if you have found any harmful ingredients in your cosmetics.