Our art director turned us all on to the Think Dirty app several months ago. Since then, we’ve been scanning like crazy and comparing notes. We polled the team to get everyone’s must-have beauty buys—and then we ran the app to see which products come up clean, according to Think Dirty. Lily Tse, the creative mind behind the app, developed the clever system to operate like so: scan a barcode or type in your product by hand. If your product is one of the almost-300,000 products in the Think Dirty database, you will receive a rating of 0 (clean!) to 10 (dirty) with the option to view an in-depth analysis of the ingredient list. The quick snapshot is a yay or nay for some but if you, like us, are deeply attached to your products, you can scroll through the ingredients to see why your product got flagged and evaluate for yourself if it's an issue. Case in point, our graphic designer's beloved Caudalié Beauty Elixir is rated a 9, but it's because it has parfum—an ingredient that commonly contains phthalates. The other 21 ingredients are all rated clean, so she's keeping it on her shelf (and at her desk, and in her bag).
It’s no surprise that Tata Harper's Purifying Cleanser and Pai's Hydrating Cleanser came in as the cleanest products on the shelf (pun intended). Both brands emphasize organic ingredients—much of what Tata uses in her line is actually grown on her personal farm in Vermont, while London-based Pai Skincare is ultra-pure and has undergone an intense certification process to prove they’re all-organic.
Shampoo and Body Wash
Most of the moms on #TeamIvanka use Honest Co. Shampoo + Body Wash on our little ones, so we breathed a collective sigh of relief that it came up clean as a whistle. Likewise, Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap is an olive oil-based cleanser that gets its fragrance from essential oils as opposed to synthetic ingredients.
L’Occitane’s Pure Shea Butter is the perfect spot treatment for dry anything. In fact, the beauty brand’s Facebook page offers 50 ways to put it to good use. Following the shea butter is Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer. The beauty brand is relatively new to the scene, but its founder, Emily Weiss, has made obsessing over beauty brands her business—you may have heard of her blog, Into the Gloss. Ah, now it all makes sense.
Glossier's Perfecting Skin Tint gets the prize when it comes to face tints and foundation. The brand takes a "skincare-like makeup" approach. This tint is free of parabens, fragrance and alcohol, making it super-safe, according to Think Dirty.
RMS Beauty was created by a makeup artist who was concerned by the chemicals she came across in many mainstream cosmetic brands; her Lip2Cheek Stains are quickly becoming cult favorites. EOS lip balm is one of our frequent impulse drugstore buys—and it doesn’t hurt that it comes in colorful little orbs. Ilia, one of our art director’s go-to brands, came in as a close second with their Tinted Lip Conditioner. It’s also a must for Shen Beauty founder, Jess Richards.
It is really hard to find "clean" eye makeup—the same ingredients that get flagged are frequently the ones that preserve the product and protect it from burning the eyes. This is one area where even the most picky amongst us are willing to look the other way (so to speak).
Three cheers for virgin coconut oil—we’ve been slathering this stuff all over ourselves all winter. If you want a beauty product that looks like a beauty product, opt for One Love’s Vitamin B cleansing oil and makeup remover. For a mini spa ritual at home, apply the cleanser, then press a warm washcloth against your face. It gives you an instant deep clean that’s mildly reminiscent of a facial.
Nothing beats Evian’s pure mineral water spray. The only reason it ranks a 2 is because the aerosol application requires nitrogen gas. Our other low-scoring facial mists include Tata Harper’s deliciously natural Hydrating Floral Essence and Glossier’s Soothing Facial Mist.