Like millions of consumers, you have surely already tried to decipher the list of ingredients for your bathroom products.
Understanding what we use every day on our skin is essential but can often be laborious: incomprehensible list of ingredients, tiny font in the corner of a label ... Not always easy to navigate !
To overcome this, several applications offer you to scan your cosmetics to analyze for you the ingredients that compose them. Rather practical!
Yuka, INCI Beauty, Clean Beauty , etc. With them, the INCI list of your products will no longer have any secrets!
So which one to choose?
What are their advantages and limitations?
We tell you everything!
Point info: What is the INCI list?
This is simply the list of ingredients that make up a cosmetic product!
INCI actually stands for "International Nomenclature of Cosmetics Ingredients". In Europe, manufacturers have an obligation to display it on the products they market, so that any consumer can know what they are buying. Today, the INCI list is written in Latin or English.
More precisely, Latin terms refer to natural products, and English terms to chemicals.
At Les Petits Prödiges, we are aware that the INCI list can sometimes be difficult to understand: this is why we have decided to translate it into French for all our products!
So how do you navigate it?
Today, many applications exist to decipher the composition of our beauty products. Shampoo, toothpaste, cream or deodorant, anything goes! In the blink of an eye, you can scan all of your purchases in order to better understand their formulation and make the right choices. But often there are so many applications that you end up getting lost in them.
To help you find your way around, we therefore deliver our top 3 beauty applications and explain their various advantages / disadvantages.
# 1: YUKA
Probably the most famous application! Originally designed to help users scrutinize the contents of their food products, Yuka has been extended to the cosmetics field.
This new feature on the same basic principle as the power supply. After scanning the barcode of your products, Yuka analyzes their composition and delivers a detailed product sheet to you. The application also allows users to identify the impact of each product on their health, by assigning a score out of 100 and a simple color code ( Green: Excellent / good , Orange: Poor , Red: Bad ).
Yuka is one of the most used "scan apps" by consumers today.
And we understand why: The scan is very responsive and for the more "lazy" it is ideal: a score out of 100 will allow us to decide in a few seconds whether the product is right for us or not.
However, its scoring system can sometimes be controversial because it does not take into account the quantity of each ingredient in a formula.
As a precautionary principle, the application is generally stricter and decided to sanction all components with any risk, even assumed.
Thus, some scores may therefore be “relativized” since the presence in tiny quantity of products even supposedly harmful can give rise to a very low score.
For example, a product containing 0.02% of a non-dangerous essential oil (but potentially allergenic for some people) could be rated 50/100 in the same way as a product containing 50% essential oil (which there could become more risky in terms of reaction)
On the other hand, without this being necessarily voluntary, Yuka favors foreign products in terms of rating : cosmetics regulations being stricter in Europe than in the United States, the products have tend to be rated higher.
For example, a French brand is obliged to detail all the ingredients present in the perfume of its formula, which often causes a drop its note insofar as the latter are most of the time considered as allergens, whereas an American brand will just note "perfume" in its composition, without detailing the latter ...
The essential oil of lemon for example, will drop the score to around 50/100, just because it is a potentially allergenic substance for some people allergic to this essential oil… But not for everyone therefore…
In this logic: 2 identical products in terms of composition could be awarded a score of 50/100 for a French product (forced to give precise details of the composition) to 100/100 for an American product … Not very fair.
When asked about this, Yuka replied: “Regarding the products for which s it is not the European regulations that apply, we do not have a solution to date but we are thinking about it. "
While waiting for a solution to be found, therefore be vigilant and do not be fooled by the notes with your eyes closed, try to dig a little.
On a large scale, the application remains however reliable for consumers seeking to track the slightest trace of products that may have an impact on their health, and especially who do not really want to know more about them. ingredients in question but just whether it is well noted or not. Fast and convenient.
- An easy and fast application to use
- A large database: more than 100,000 products are referenced here
- A collaborative application where everyone can fill in the sheet of a new product
- No consideration of the percentage of presence of an ingredient in the total formula
- A sometimes very strict rating system with regard to components, even "supposed"
- An unfair rating difference between French and foreign products
# 2: CLEAN BEAUTY
The operation of this second application is a little different from Yuka's. Clean Beauty indeed requires scanning the INCI list of your cosmetic product, in order to decipher all the ingredients and then identify those that could be controversial. Unlike other scanning applications, Clean Beauty does not assign a score or color code to the products analyzed.
The application has indeed an educational advantage: it allows the user to understand the final aim of each ingredient, while revealing which of them may be harmful. In addition, it offers a complete glossary of ingredients, very useful for understanding the meaning of the items on the INCI list yourself.
Clearly, the application aims to inform the user but does not take a direct position on the impact of the product on his health, Clean Beauty does not assign, for example, a “good” or “not terrible” label like do its main competitors. This application is therefore not necessarily the best for consumers who are looking to compare several products with each other, or who are simply looking for a score allowing them to place their purchases on a given scale.
- Educational application that wants to inform the consumer
- The glossary helps to understand the meaning of each Latin term and the role of each ingredient
- The absence of a note prevents the consumer behavior from being influenced
- No positioning on the benefits or the overall dangerousness of a product
- Slightly longer application to use as the algorithm analyzes each ingredient captured
# 3: INCI BEAUTY
INCI Beauty also allows you to scan your cosmetics via their bar codes, in order to analyze their respective ingredient lists.
Like Clean Beauty, it has a free search engine that allows consumers to search directly for a specific product or ingredient without having to scan it.
For each item, the platform offers a summary sheet with a score out of 20 and a color code according to the classification of the product ( Satisfactory, Not Terrible, Controversial …).
So you will understand, this third and last application is therefore halfway between Yuka and Clean Beauty . Bringing together both a rating system and a glossary allowing consumers to be informed, INCI Beauty seems to be the right mix between pedagogy and tracking.
However, the application has a smaller database than its competitors, and can therefore be limited to the best known brands.
On the other hand, INCI Beauty offers its users a top 5 of the most viewed and top rated products, which are supposed to guide them in their purchasing choices.
This top can sometimes be controversial insofar as it only takes into account consumer products: the proposed top is therefore not that of the “best products for health” but that of the “best most popular products” ".
These rankings, which tend to influence consumers, should therefore be put into perspective on certain criteria.
- Proposal of alternatives to so-called controversial products
- Ability to search for a product / ingredient directly in a database
- Access to clear product sheets
- A smaller collaborative database
- Top products based on their "popularity" within the application
- There is advertising
Finally, which application to choose ?
In terms of the final choice, there is really no right or wrong decision.
It all really depends on the information you are seeking.
Applications such as Yuka will allow you to quickly access an overall sheet, with a product rated out of 100, while Clean Beauty will allow you to analyze and understand in more detail the purpose of each cosmetic ingredient
In short, whatever your choice, it is important to understand that all the scores assigned deserve some element of relativity.
It is possible that all the products you scan with these different applications do not get the same score due to the differences between the rating systems implemented.
In addition, it should be kept in mind that in Europe, all cosmetic products are subjected to strict tests before they are marketed and zero tolerance applies when it comes to dangerous products.
The right reflex is therefore to choose products which are good for you by favoring those with natural formulations, less inclined to be dangerous for your health. For example, we wrote an article on deodorants and why you have to pay special attention to their composition if you are interested!
At Les Petits Prödiges, we are therefore committed to offering 100% natural cosmetics to allow you and your whole family to adopt a healthy, green and sexy beauty routine!
And in addition, we do not hesitate to communicate about our ingredients, as in this article on the multi-purpose balm!