Healthy Living

Best Apps for Decoding your Products

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Best Apps for Decoding your Products

As I first started to make the switch to a safer home with less toxic products when my son was born nearly 5 years ago I was completely overwhelmed! Even though I was already in school working to obtain my Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology, I really didn’t even know where to start. I knew there were many things that could affect our health that weren’t all tied to genetic factors. There are a host of factors in our environments that can potentially affect our health that we may not even know about. Sure, there are some things that are common sense, smoking is associated with lung cancer, eating too much processed food and sugar is bad for your health, but what about the things that aren’t obvious? Have you ever looked at a food label or the label on your beauty products and thought, “I can’t even pronounce half of these words!”.  If you’re like me and don’t know all of the fancy scientific terms listed on the back of your products I have a list of apps to help you decode what’s really in your products! Try not to get overwhelmed, we’re still making changes slowly but surely. Each small change can potentially make a big impact so take it one step at a time and utilize these apps to help you as you shop.

Think Dirty:

This app is an easy way to learn about the potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. It allows you to compare products as you shop by scanning the barcode. The app will give you easy-to-understand info on the product, track dirty ingredients and shop for cleaner options.

Additional features: Dirty Meter – a comprehensive rating, shopping lists, buy it now options via Amazon, track your progress with “my bathroom rating”

Database Size: Over 350,000

Cost: Free


Developed using the methodologies that are grounded in the sciences of informatics and health risk assessment, this app lets you scan or search food, personal care, and cleaning products across multiple categories. Get a 10-point rating based on health, environmental, and social impact based on scientific ratings.

Additional Features: Identify highest rated products on the market, find out the health hazards of personal care and household cleaning products, get informed about potential health effects of different chemicals

Database Size: Over 250,000

Cost: Free

EWG Healthy Living App

Mobile access to Food Scores and Skin Deep guides with tens of thousands of foods and more than 72,000 personal care products. Each product gets an overall rating of how much of a health threat it’s considered to be, 0 (harmless) to 10 (serious concern). You can also view specific concerns marked as low, moderate, and high, for Overall Hazard, Cancer, Developmental & reproductive toxicity, and Allergies & immunotoxicity.

Additional Features: Description of other high, moderate, and low concern ingredients in each product, a breakdown of the score for each single ingredient, information on animal testing policies, links to Amazon to purchase products

Database Size: Personal Care over 72,000, and over 80,000 foods

Cost: Free

Chemical Maze

This app includes a full updated listing of food additives and cosmetic ingredients based on the international best selling researcher Bill Statham. Over 8 years of research have been put into this list. Identify risk levels of ingredients and which body system they could affect.

Additional Features: filter by symptoms and ailments (acne, asthma, depression, gastrointestinal, etc), filter by dietary restrictions, filter by Effects on your body  (carcinogenic, endocrine, cardiovaslcular, etc.), and filter by what they are derived from

Database size: Not Listed

Cost: $7.00


I hope this helps you in your daily life when you’re shopping or checking your own products! If you already have one of these apps which one do you love?

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