7 Best Health Apps to Check Items for Harmful Ingredients

Many of the products we use in our homes today – from the food we eat to the beauty products we use – are mass-produced. All kinds of ingredients and chemicals are added to these items in order to mass-produce them and keep them shelf stable for crazy amounts of time. But what exactly is in the food you eat and in the products you put on your body? Are they safe? Are they harmful to your pets or your children?

It is not always easy to know the good ingredients from the bad ingredients. But as they say, there’s an app for that! If you are unsure what is safe and what is not, there are a number of easy-to-use health apps that you can use to screen the everyday items in your home to protect your family from harmful ingredients. 

7 Health Apps for Screening Everyday Items

Think Dirty

Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

The free Think Dirty health app makes learning about potentially toxic chemicals in your beauty products easy. Their motto is: Think Dirty, Shop Clean. One of the most used health apps for scanning ingredients, Think Dirty allows users to compare products as you shop. Think Dirty has over 1.4 million beauty and personal care products in its database, and you can submit products that are missing. Scan a product’s barcode and Think Dirty will give you easy-to-use information on the product, its ingredients, and the product’s health impacts. 

Users can also keep track of what they already have in their bathroom at home, learn their current ratings, and track your progress of “cleaning” it up. Not only does the app let you keep a shopping list to make shopping faster and easier, but it also has a shop now feature that allows you to buy products directly from Amazon and Sephora. 

Detox Me

Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

The Detox Me health app draws on more than 20 years of research on the health risks associated with toxic chemicals in our everyday lives and turns all this knowledge into practical, user-friendly advice to help you live healthier. Detox Me arms users with knowledge about the dangers of certain chemicals commonly found in everyday products in six categories: home, food and drink, clothing, personal care, cleaning, and children.

One of the most useful free health apps, Detox Me lets you track your progress and get reminders with a personalized guide. Scan barcodes on products to find relevant tips. Use the buying guides in each of the six categories to decode product labels and find non-toxic alternatives. It also features recipes to replace commercial products that contain toxic ingredients. 

EWG’s Healthy Living

Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

The EWG app’s motto is: Scan a Product. Review its Rating. Pick the Better Choice. What used to be two separate health apps for food and beauty products has been combined into one for easier access to the products you use. The database in this app includes ratings for more than 120,000 food and personal care products. Scan a product’s barcode, search it by name, or browse by category and get an easy-to-understand score of 1 to 10 (1 being the best) that’s backed by science. 

Plus, their website has a downloadable list of the Clean Fifteen (15 fruit and vegetables that have the lowest amount of pesticide residue) and Dirty Dozen (the 12 crops that farmers typically use the most pesticides on) that is updated annually.  


Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

The CosmEthics app analyzes a product when you scan the bar code and gives you quick, easy-to-use information. If a healthier alternative exists, CosmEthics will tell you. Like the other health apps in this list, CosmEthics has an extensive database of products. With over 140,000 products, the app has a 77% product scanning hit rate. 

You can also personalize the app for your shopping and product preferences. Do you have allergies? Want to find products suitable for vegans? Add ingredients you would like to avoid to your profile alerts, and the app will screen for those, making this one of the best health apps for your personalized beauty and personal care product needs. CosmEthics also offers several ready-made lists that can be added to your alerts. Whether added by you or loaded from a pre-made list in the app, products that contain ingredients you want to avoid will trigger a personal alert. 

Chemical Maze

Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

The Chemical Maze Shopping Companion app makes it simpler and easier to recognize food additives and cosmetic ingredients that have the potential to cause discomfort and ill-health. This app specializes in decoding those hard-to-pronounce chemicals on your food and beauty product labels, explaining which are safe and which ones you should avoid. 

The Chemical Maze health app is easy to use. Easily browse through food additives or cosmetic ingredients, or search for ingredients by name or INS number (621 or E621 – MSG). Users then get user-friendly rating codes – a smiley, neutral, or sad face – for those ingredients. You can sort results by name, number, or risk level. Users can also discover ingredients they want to avoid based on dietary restrictions or identify things that may cause various symptoms or ailments. 

Although the only one of the health apps in this list that is not free, it is definitely worth considering as it is easy-to-use, full of great information, and backed by 15 years of science.

Ingredients Scanner

Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

Ingredients Scanner is another free app that lets users scan products and check ingredients to verify for any potentially harmful or hazardous substances. You no longer need to have a degree in chemistry in order to read the labels. Point the camera at the ingredients text, wait for a few seconds, then you will get an ingredients list with different colors indicating each item’s safety. Red means that the ingredient is potentially dangerous, orange means there is some information for possible irritations or problems, and green means it is safe to use. The app also allows you to add or edit custom ingredients.

The color-coded system of Ingredients Scanner makes this one of the most user-friendly health apps on the list.


Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

1Source lets users see if ingredients in products are dangerous to you, your family, your pets, or the environment. Scan a barcode, review the product analysis and ingredient safety ratings, and find a safe alternative when something does contain harmful ingredients. The 1Source app also allows users to create a personal health profile. Once you have scanned a barcode or ingredient label, the app will alert you to ingredients that have adverse health effects specific to your health conditions. Users can also save and track a product’s expiration date and 1Source will alert you when any products are about to expire. 

This health app is perfect for busy parents looking to find the safest baby products or baby foods, for shopping for makeup to ensure that the ingredients are safe to put on your skin, and for anyone looking to make the world a safer place by helping eliminate toxic ingredients and promoting safe products. 

Whether you are looking to eliminate toxic or potentially harmful chemicals from your food or from the products you put on your skin, these seven health apps have what you need to get the job done. Not only can you feel better about what you are putting in and on your body, but you can also feel good about eliminating potentially harmful chemicals from the environment as well. These days we, unfortunately, have to be careful about what products we eat, use and bring into our homes. Luckily, there is always an app for everything.

Check out this article on 7 Natural Cleaning Recipes.

Health Apps To Screen Everyday Items For Harmful Ingredients

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Michelle Frick
Michelle Frick
Born in Massachusetts, Michelle currently lives in North Carolina. She has two teenage boys who are growing up way too fast. Besides her love of writing, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, watching hockey, and cheering on the Boston Red Sox.
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