Think Dirty® is committed to helping consumers identify the potential risks associated with the personal care products they use every day. Unlike other ingredient databases, we focus exclusively on the chemical content of the products in question. We have consciously avoided the widely-used practice of “greenwashing”, whereby the environmental or social responsibility of a product’s manufacturer is factored into the assessment allowing a product to receive an artificially low toxicity rating. We remain an independent company with no affiliate to any other third parties. We are solely concerned about the possible impact of a given product on an individual’s health, and our ratings methodology reflects that singular commitment.
Our ratings are determined based on publicly available data released by non-profit and government agencies in North America regarding the health and safety of the individual components found in your personal care products. A list of our data sources can be found in Appendix A.
We assess the overall risk of a given product based on the potential health impacts of its published ingredients. Each ingredient listed on the product label or manufacturer’s website is evaluated for documented evidence of Carcinogenicity, Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity and/or Allergenicity & Immunotoxicity, as show in the table below.
Evaluations are performed by Chemistry Team and Advisory Board, all of whom have extensive experience in relevant fields such as Medicine, Biochemistry, Biology, Physiology, Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Health & Safety and Chemical Engineering, and a track record of working with Health Canada, the US Food & Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency, Environment Canada, the US Environmental Protection Agency and other related government and not-for-profit agencies.
Think Dirty® is a project born out of a personal journey to understand the truths in the beauty industry. Due to family history of cancer, I decided to research into the many causes behind breast cancer, including ‘toxic’ ingredients in cosmetic and personal care products.
I never realized the environmental impact cosmetics had on our health, until I watched Annie Leonard’s “Story of Cosmetics”, which examined the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products.
There are hormone disruptor chemicals in many products that have been possibly linked to breast cancer. I was shocked the cosmetics industry was not regulated like the food and drug sectors. And like most women, my lipgloss and shampoo are products I would never think to describe as “toxic” or could contain cancer-causing chemicals.
Finding safer alternatives for myself was a huge challenge. Although many products are labeled “all-natural” or “organic”, there is little transparency in labeling cosmetics. There was also no real tool out there for consumers to find information easily. With my background in design and marketing, I wanted to develop and create something not only for myself but for others as well, and that’s how Think Dirty® was founded.
Think Dirty® empowers and educates the consumer on the cosmetics industry by allowing them to make an informed decision on what products to purchase. In 2012, Think Dirty® won the It’s a Start Competition Grand Prize by Digifest Toronto. The mobile app launched in Summer 2013 with more than 68,300 products listed.
As someone who has been touched by cancer in my family, I was a huge supporter of several pink ribbon-related events and fundraising efforts. I really wanted Think Dirty® to be a champion of non-partisan breast cancer awareness initiatives. This September, we partnered with the Breast Cancer Fund and their Campaign for Safe Cosmetics to promote safer cosmetics and personal products through daily habits.
However, Think Dirty® is more than just a mobile app – it’s a consumer revolution for safer cosmetics by learning one ingredient at a time, changing to cleaner options, one product at a time.
Join me to take back our power to vote for products that are safe, clean, and not “Dirty”. The time is now.