Living a healthy and toxic-free lifestyle can be challenging in a world filled with GMOs and chemical ingredients, especially when brands are not forthcoming with what’s actually in their products.
Many people are making the change to a more natural and cleaner lifestyle. The first step is finding out the risk factors for some of the products we use daily, from the food we eat to the things we use to clean.
The interest in clean living has become increasingly popular over the years, and technology keeps up with what the people want! In the App Store, you can find food and cosmetics apps that help switch to a cleaner lifestyle.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the most popular food and cosmetic apps for a toxic-free lifestyle.
- 1 Yuka: easy to use with free and paid plans
- 2 Think Dirty: solid search tools
- 3 Detox Me: evidence-based research and free!
- 4 Clearya: great if you shop at Target, Amazon, or Walmart
- 5 EWG Healthy Living: comprehensive and free!
- 6 Good Face: superb choice for skincare and beauty product decisions
- 7 Ingredients Scanner
- 8 Inci Beauty: best for checking for ingredients that cause allergic reactions
- 9 Taking Stock: a unique study looking at how diverse women use products and the impacts of that use
- 10 Final thoughts
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Yuka: easy to use with free and paid plans
Yuka is an independent app that focuses on helping its users choose the right products for a clean lifestyle.
You use the app to scan the products you use, and the app analyzes the product based on its ingredients. The app scans everything from food and beauty products with some exceptions like alcohol and supplements.
- When the app scans your product, it will rank it as Excellent, Good, Bad, or Poor.
- It also tells you which ingredients are good and bad. Their database is pretty extensive too, just about everything I scanned was listed.
- If a product you scan gets a bad or poor rating, Yuka provides some suggestions on similar products with a better rating you can get instead.
Once you scan something, it is added to your Overview charts. There are two charts in the app, one for food and the other for beauty.
Overall it’s a great app! It is super user-friendly and easy to use. The only con is that you can’t search for products if you are a free user.
However, if you want the search option, you can purchase a premium Yuka membership. The membership gives you access to offline mode, the search feature, and options for preferences.
For a Yuka membership, you can technically pick how much you want to pay. The app gives you a choice from $8.99 to up to $18.49 per year.
Think Dirty: solid search tools
Think Dirty is another ingredient scanning app focusing on beauty, health, and home products. In this app, not only can you scan for free, but you can also search for free too.
The app itself has a lot more going on, and you’ll find a lot of product suggestions on the homepage, plus product categories and guides. The layout is really busy and has a lot going on.
One major con about this app is that it is sponsored-heavy, so it feels more like a shopping app rather than a resource.
One great thing about this app is that it has recommendations based on your personal preferences like inclusivity, veganism, cruelty-free, and more. However, some of these preferences are blocked behind a paywall with its premium service.
Talk Dirty Premium gives users unlimited access to their entire ingredient analysis, specialized product categories, search by ingredients feature, and pre-select allergies/preferences feature.
Premium costs $2.99 per month, $15.99 for six months, and $27.99 annually. If you select the year subscription, you get a two-week free trial.
Detox Me: evidence-based research and free!
Do you want to avoid or minimize your family’s exposure to toxic chemicals in products you use daily? Give this app a try!
Detox Me helps users identify potential sources of toxic chemicals in their daily products. The app offers tips on how to limit your exposure to harmful ingredients.
This free app is maintained by the Silent Spring Institute, a leading scientific research organization dedicated to uncovering the links between chemicals in our everyday environment and women’s health (in particular, breast cancer prevention.)
So one thing that sets this app apart from some of the others is that the app is backed by solid science and research. It offers you thoroughly researched tips on reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in all aspects of your life, from what you eat to what you wear to where you live and work.
The Detox app allows you to:
- Track your progress for toxic-free living and get reminders with personalized guidance.
- Scan barcodes on products and learn about them.
- Access to their Buying Guides to understand product labels and find non-toxic alternatives.
- Set reminders for toxic reduction, look up recipes, and get extra tips.
- Share tips with friends and family.
When you first download the app, you fill out a questionnaire so the app can tailor recommendations for you based on your lifestyle.
Once you fill that out, you can start scanning all sorts of products like food, drinks, cleaning, home, personal care, children’s items, and clothing.
The major con of this app is that its database is VERY limited. Most of the items I scanned did not register. But for the few items that the app did scan, all the app does is offer tips on different things you could do instead.
Clearya: great if you shop at Target, Amazon, or Walmart
Want to shop normally at stores like Target or Amazon but get an alert if something you’re looking at or in your cart has toxic ingredients? Then the Clearya app might be the best fit for you!
If you like Honey’s coupon and cashback app, you’ll probably like this app. You need to use the Clearya app to do your shopping to get the alerts!
With Clearya, you search for products directly on a supported store’s website and get a synopsis and notification when there are unsafe ingredients in makeup, personal care, baby care, cleaning, and other products.
So you get to see what the products you usually buy are made of! And maybe start swapping them for safer, less toxic alternatives.
In particular, Clearya looks for ingredients that are:
- Carcinogens: may cause cancer
- Hormone disruptors
- Reproductive toxicants: may harm fertility or cause birth defects
- Developmental toxicants: may harm the baby’s development
- Allergens: may cause an allergic reaction
- Any ingredients currently banned in Europe, Japan, the US, or other regions
The app also helps you find safe alternatives to toxic products sold by the same store, making it easy to swap a toxic product for a safer one.
The Clearya app is easy to use too.
The app integrates online shopping with informative product tips and guides in the same window.
When you open the app, you’ll see a search bar where you can type in a product, and below that, you’ll see five different shopping website options, you can choose from like, Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, iHerb, and Sephora.
We only wish more stores were supported!
- When you search for a product, you can look it up at a specific store or search all the stores.
- Then, tap a shop to see the results. Once you search a shop, choose an individual product from the shop results.
- The product page on the website appears, and at the top, in the background, you can select to see the app’s alerts. Tap the Review the alerts to see all the warnings.
- In the alerts section, you see a list of potential toxins with the product ingredients, as well as alerts to chemicals that are used with restrictions.
- To see all the product’s ingredients, tap the top middle tab for Ingredients. And to see safer alternatives that the store offers, tap the Discover tab.
For me, the app’s design is a little wonky since it’s an internet browser inside an app. And I am not a huge fan of having to search for a product on a website and then look for the information in the app’s background.
But for folks who don’t mind switching back and forth, it’s a good resource to keep you informed of what’s in all those products you regularly buy.
EWG Healthy Living: comprehensive and free!
The EWG Healthy Living app aims to make healthy living easier for its users. In the app, you can search, scan, and browse through EWG’s food, household cleaners, and personal care products databases (Skin Deep®, sunscreen, and Food Scores, including the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 ) and learn about the product’s risks.
Like the Detox Me app, this app is maintained by the Environmental Working Group. This leading organization works to reduce risks to our health and the health of our environment through changing legislation, harmful agricultural practices, and working with industry.
The app’s database has more than 130,000 different food, beauty, and cleaning products listed. To use the app, you follow three key steps:
- Scan a product’s barcode into the app, search by the product’s name, or browse by category.
- Review its overall rating on a scale from low (a score of 1) to high hazard (10) scores based on ingredient transparency and health/safety regulations.
- Pick a safer, better choice for you and your family.
So how does the scoring work? It is based on a 1-10 scale. The higher the number, the riskier the product. So a 7-10 is high and risky, moderate is from 3-6, low is 1-2, and a zero is EWG verified.
While the app gives the product an overall rating, you can also scroll down to see the individual rating for each listed ingredient.
The app is pretty good!
The database has a lot of variety. It also has a lot of product guides too. Sometimes the scoring is a little confusing and unclear at first, but it just takes some getting used to.
Good Face: superb choice for skincare and beauty product decisions
Now, if you want an app that focuses primarily on clean and toxic-free skincare, then you’ll love Good Face.
The Good Face app helps users create a skincare routine based on their skin type, face needs, and lifestyle.
When you first open the app, you fill out a questionnaire about your skin type, lifestyle, and concerns. Once that’s filled out, the app gives you some product suggestions and recommendations.
If you have products you like but want to swap for a cleaner option, you can also do that.
While there isn’t a scanning feature on this app, the search database is excellent. You can search by product type or by brand! Plus, the app has a library of over 80,000 different ingredients.
The app is about giving you different product suggestions and skincare tips based on your current environment!
There is also a community aspect where you can share your thoughts on products and see what other users have to say too!
If you feel like you need a dictionary or an advanced degree in chemistry to figure out what all those ingredients and chemicals are in your beauty products, you aren’t alone!
And that’s where the Ingredients Scanner app comes in. The app helps you learn what’s in your cosmetics in simple and easy-to-understand language and saves you from having to look up those ingredients elsewhere.
- To use the app, start from the home tab and point your phone’s camera at the ingredients label’s text, not the UPC.
- Make sure the ingredient text is in focus inside the camera window–this helps the app scan and read it.
- Wait for the app to read the ingredients–you should see the top pie chart change its percentages.
- Tap the chart to seesee a list of different colors. When you scan a product, the ingredients pop up along with a hazard score for each ingredient.
- Red means that the ingredient is potentially dangerous.
- Orange meansdoesn’tis some information for possible irritations or problems.
- Green means it’s a green light and safe to use.
- Tap a listed ingredient to learn more about that item.
We did find that the scanning feature can be a little laggy and doesn’t always register right away. Also, for this app you scan the text of the ingredients and not the code, we found it’s easy to forget this!
One annoying thing about this app is that it wants you to save the product and name it, although you can look up specific ingredients to see what their risk level is, which is nice.
Additonally, the app’s database isn’t as comprehensive as many of the other apps listed here, like the EWG Healthy Living app, and currently includes information for about 10,000 different beauty products.
The app also has ads including on the scanner itself, which may be the cause of the lag. But if you want to remove ads, you can do so with a one-time payment of 99 cents.
Inci Beauty: best for checking for ingredients that cause allergic reactions
Inci Beauty is an independent French app with no commercial afapp’stions thatisn’ts and searches cosmetics for harmful ingredients.
The app takes a scientific approach when scanning beauty products and has a partnership with engineers and engineering students at the Clermont-Ferrad Sigma School of Chemistry.
Inci Beauty app’s approach is simple and easy to understand and use.
- Scan a product’s barcode or search for a product. Registered users can also view their history and set up favorite products.
- The app analyzes the complete composition of products by ingredient and scores them on a color-coded risk scale from controversial/at risk (red) to good (green.) Tap on each category to see the list of ingredients in that risk group and learn more.
- Tapping the large “i” button also informs you about any ingredients that cause known allergic reactions.
- To find safer alternatives, tap the alternatives icon.
- You can also add in your own comment about the product by tapping the questions icon.
Another awesome feature of thellows you to add products that aren’t in the database yet (premium members only feature.)
The app’s database isn’t as comprehensive as other apps,can’tcially for people outside of Europe. We noticed a lot of products outside of France are unknown or have missing information like their names.
But one unique feature this app does offer is its community aspect. The app has discussion boards where you can communicate with users all over the world.
The app offers a free version with ads or you can subscribe as a Premium Member for $14.99/year.
Taking Stock: a unique study looking at how diverse women use products and the impacts of that use
The Taking Stock app is a community-based research project that follows women of color to learn more about the products they use and understand if those products might harm their health.
In particular, the study looks at the impacts of beauty products on Black and Latina women in California and how these products contribute to exposure and health inequities.
Since this is an ongoing clinical study, to use this app you need an access code and invitation to use it. However, they have published some of their findings.
Additonally, the study team recommends the following to reduce exposure to potentially harmful products:
- Reduce your use of fragranced products–these may contain dozens of undisclosed and unregulated chemicals.
- Reduce your overall product use.
- Try to find and use products without parabens and phthalates. Look up your products on one of the apps below
- Shop local, small batch product lines.
- get involved and advocate for policy reform to make our products safer.
If you have used this app, please share in the comments what you think!
Changing to a cleaner lifestyle is easier than ever, thanks to the introduction of these apps.
After trying these apps out, I can say I am inspired to make changes to my daily life so I can live a cleaner toxic-free life. I am planning on continuing to use some of these apps every day!
Overall, I think Yuka is the best app hands down. It is so user-friendly and fun to use. I also really love that it has both food and cosmetics scanning available. The app is convenient, and it has an extensive database, so you can’t go wrong with it!
EWG Healthy Living was also an excellent option. It had a decent database as well, I wish the scoring was clearer.
For beauty products specifically, I enjoyed Good Face a lot. If you are a beginner when it comes clean beauty products and cultivating a skincare routine, this is a really good app for you.
Have you dabbled in the world of food and cosmetic apps that encourage clean and toxic-free lifestyles? Let us know your thoughts!