Yes, there are plenty of beauty products out there with toxic ingredients, so you'll want to check this app before buying a new lipstick. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated February 13, 2018
Illustration: Makeup on white background
Credit: dashadima/Getty Images

Yesterday, while scrolling through Instagram, I came across a post by design blogger Lauren Kelp that caught my eye. On an account that typically covers all things home, DIY, and entertaining, I was surprised to see a lineup of lipsticks, and after reading the caption, was struck by Kelp's take on a new kind of spring cleaning. While we often think to clean up our homes and detox our cleaning supplies in preparation for the new season, the designer also recommends spring-cleaning your makeup collection. And there's an app that makes it easy.

On a quest to get rid of everything toxic in her life (relationships, habits, and products included), Kelp decided to sort through her makeup bag to see what toxic ingredients might be lurking within the tubes and bottles. Deciphering the long and confusing list of ingredients on most beauty products would probably require a chemistry degree, but the designer recommends an easy way to see what toxins your beauty products contain: an app called Think Dirty.

Here's how it works: empty your makeup bag and search for each product by name in the Think Dirty app, or use the barcode scanner feature to look up each product. Once you find the product in the app's giant database (it has more than 860,000 products!), it will show you the ingredients list and provide a rating (from neutral to "dirty") on carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity (so pregnant woman can choose safer products), and allergies. Not only will this rating system help you choose healthier makeup, but it can also help those with sensitive skin find safer options. Once you've found the safest products possible, you can add them to your curated list and the app will show you where to buy them online.

Even though it's only February, it's never too early to start spring-cleaning your beauty routine. Checking your favorite products on this app is the easiest way to start.