How to Read Product Ingredient Lists

This post is going to be a Think Dirty App review, because everyone should know about this amazing tool. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed on buying a new product because I didn’t know how to read ingredient lists.


Unless the company has an explanation for each ingredient, it’s very hard to tell if your product is actually natural. With this free app, you can know for sure if you are getting the safest products. But there are some things that you should watch out for. Read on to see how Think Dirty can benefit your natural lifestyle!


Pin this image for later!
Learn what's in your home and beauty products with this handy and FREE app. Think Dirty App Review. #healthyliving #healthyingredients #cleanbeauty #naturalliving

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more here

How to Start a Clean Beauty Routine that Won't Cost an Arm and a Leg

Simplify your beauty routine with clean one-ingredient products.

Beep Boop Beep....

Thanks! Your beauty routine makeover is on its way! 

What is the Think Dirty App?

This little app is a database of products and ingredients meant to educate people wanting to learn more about what goes into their products. You can find a barcode scanner to get instant ratings of products before you buy them. There is a little explanation for each ingredient in a product on why it’s good or bad for your health. 


how to read ingredient list

The app is available for iPhone and Android, and the overall look of the app is very user-friendly and cute. Just tap the bar code button at the bottom center of the app, and you’ll be taken directly to the scanner. Hold the camera over the product’s barcode, and Think Dirty will show you the information on the product in their database.


The product will receive a rating from 0-10, with 0 being completely safe and 10 being the least safe. This is much easier to use than googling each ingredient I don’t know about. If I’m desperate, I’ll go onto EWG’s website and look up each ingredient. But let’s face it, no one has time for that!


Extra Features on the Think Dirty App

One little-talked about feature of Think Dirty that I love is you can save products you’ve scanned on your “bathroom shelf.” Then Think Dirty will evaluate the overall toxicity of your every day beauty products to give you an overall idea of how toxic or nontoxic your products are.


This Think Dirty app review wouldn’t be complete without a peek at my shelf! These are a few of my store-bought products that I love. They all have a “3” rating, which is the highest I’ll go on the scale. The only thing you can’t see is some Acure Organics shampoo that I’ve been using for years.


how to read ingredient list

The Heritage Stone Rosewater is what I use for toner. That little N/R icon means that the product isn’t in Think Dirty’s database yet. But I’ve done research on the whopping 2 ingredients, so it’s all good. You can shop all the things in my bathroom below:

If you’re wondering why my list is so short, it’s because I make most of my other daily beauty products, and use a safety razor instead of a regular razor. Switching to a safety razor was a huge game changer for my beauty routine!


You can learn how to make all of my skincare products with this free checklist below! Every natural-living lover has most of these things that last them forever!

Make Any Skincare Product with This Free Checklist of Essential Ingredients!

Solve the underlying problems in your skin's health and make your own skincare products! It's much easier than you think!

beep boop beep

Thanks! Your free checklist is flying through hyperspace to your inbox!


How to Shop from Think Dirty

You can also look at the history of products you’ve scanned, “like” products, and even save products deemed safe or unsafe. If you can’t find any decent options in your local store, you can search Think Dirty’s database for new options.


I was in the market for some new laundry detergent, so this is what came up for my search results. You can see that the top results have a little check mark. This means that Think Dirty has done a lot of research on the product’s ingredients and gets their “seal of approval.”

how to read ingredient list


Let’s take a look at the “Buckaroo Organics Soapberry Suds Organic Laundry Detergent.” If you tap the product, you’ll get an in-depth explanation of its rating and each ingredient’s rating. I love this feature because you can learn why a company uses a certain ingredient, and how it could be a threat to your health.


how to read ingredient listhow to read ingredient list


If you love the product, just tap the little “shop” icon in the upper right corner and you’ll be given a few options to buy it online. Think Dirty emphasizes that you buy products through their affiliate links to keep the app free.


You can also add this product to your bathroom shelf, “like” it, or even take a look at related products recommended by the app’s creators. Now that you have a good idea of how Think Dirty works, let’s weigh the pros and cons.


The Pros of Think Dirty


By far my favorite part about using Think Dirty is how quickly I can make decisions at the store. I used it to decide between three new deodorants in minutes. If I didn’t have the app, I probably would have tried my best to read ingredients, or left the store altogether.

Since I’ve been using Think Dirty, I’ve been able to make quick and educated decisions when I go to pick a new product at the store. The selection at the natural section of my grocery store isn’t the best, but I’m usually able to make due. I even use it at stores like Natural Grocer’s and Whole Foods, because even they don’t have the best selection!


Provides new and better optionshow to read ingredient list

I’ve discovered new brands and products that I would love to try through this app. I’ve also learned that some brands I know and love have a bigger product selection than I thought. If you think there are limited options for natural products, this app will definitely change your mind.


When I first started my natural living journey, I felt incredibly limited by the products that I thought were out there. But it turns out I was wrong! You won’t feel limited at all when you start to discover new brands and products through this app.


Learn about ingredients as you shop

Not only do you get a list of ingredients and where they rank in terms of toxicity, you get explanations too! If you tap each individual ingredient, you will get a detailed summary. You can read about its usage, why it’s considered toxic, and take a look at the sources behind Think Dirty’s reasoning.


Before you know it, you’ll have a full-blown vocabulary of what goes into the products you use every day. It’s truly amazing what goes into the things we put on our bodies! You’ll rest easier knowing exactly what’s going into your body and how it help (or hinders) your health. 


The Cons of Think Dirty

The Barcode Scanner Can be Finicky

Most of the time, the barcode scanner downloads the information immediately. Other times, it seems like the scanner can’t recognize the barcode at all. If this happens, I’ve learned to just take the barcode out of focus and put it back in the little square that captures the code.


how to read ingredient listAffiliate Links Don’t Always Show the Best Price

While I do appreciate the shop option on Think Dirty, you don’t get the cheapest buying options. What Think Dirty shows you is a few affiliate links so they can keep the app free. I try to support them as best I can, but I also have to stick to a budget. 


I always do a basic Amazon search if it’s not one of the link options to make sure I can get the absolute cheapest price. Besides, as long as you use Think Dirty’s Amazon link, they’ll still get the credit!


Not Always Reliable Information

One of the biggest things to look out for in this app is the amount of information you get with each rating. Think Dirty’s database is still quite small, which means that not all ingredients are rated in a product.


You can see this in the “All Free and Clear Laundry Detergent” that was on the list from our previous laundry detergent search. Only the first four ingredients have been properly documented by Think Dirty’s database.

how to read ingredient list


What the rest of the ingredients are, who knows? The research would be left up to you, or you can use your best judgement. I can tell you right off the bat that “ethoxylated lauryl alcohol” is a no-no because it’s a sulfate, and that has been proven to be toxic. 


Try your best to use products with as many ingredient ratings as possible. I’ve found an article right here that outlines the problem and how you can work around it. Once you build your ingredient vocabulary, you’ll be able to fill in the gaps no problem!


Think Dirty App Review: Is it Legit?

Learn what's in your home and beauty products with this handy and FREE app. Think Dirty App Review. #healthyliving #healthyingredients #cleanbeauty #naturallivingYes! This app is completely legit and can help you tremendously with your shopping choices. I love it for its convenience when I want to make quick decisions at the store. I also love how I can learn more about products that I’ve been using for years, and rate the overall toxicity of my everyday bathroom products.


If you’re just starting out with your natural lifestyle, or just want to be more informed on your household products, this app is a must-have. I’ve learned so much about my own products, and it’s been quite surprising! 


Although Think Dirty’s database is still growing, there are plenty of options to choose from. And if you want a certain product evaluated, let them know! It’s people like you that are giving this app more knowledge and power. I always end up submitting a few products every time I go shopping. 


Did you like this Think Dirty app review? Do you use Think Dirty? Let me know in the comments below!


Articles Related to Think Dirty:

  • Why Your Cat Needs a Combination of Wet and Dry Cat Food
  • I Tried Dryer Balls for the First Time, Do They Really Work?
  • 5 Things No One Will Tell You About Going Chemical-Free
  • The Absolute Easiest Way to Switch to Natural Living
  • 5 Reasons You Should Ditch Harmful Chemicals and Try Healthy Living
  • Rocky Mountain Oils Review | Ditch Your Low-Quality Essential Oils!
  • The Dangers of Melatonin |Why You Shouldn’t Take it Long-Term


Natural Ingredients in Products