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Dear iPhone, which lippy should I buy?

January 14, 2010

These days we want our coffee to go, our groceries delivered and our experts in our pocket.  Oh, and did we mention that we want it all NOW? 

 Thank goodness for the Apple iPhone.


Now I don’t HAVE an Apple iPhone as I am not good at looking after expensive things with breakable screens BUT if I did have one I would be adding this new application thingy to it:  The Cosmetifique. This  promises to decipher the good guys from the bad with respect to the cosmetic ingredients thus making it easier for you to pick out the good stuff. 

Sounds like a pack-watchers dream? I had to find out more…..

The application has been developed by the very responsive Alfredo Delli Bovi (he answered my long-winded  e-mail rapido and was very charming to boot!)  He is not a chemist and not even a cosmetics junkie but he is somewhat of a big league Apple fan and a proficient web application developer.  What I wanted to know was how did he get so much data together?

Q)  Classifying ingredients based on the risk that they pose to human health is interesting and very useful. Who did you work with to make sure that data was correct and relevant for the exposure that consumers might face?
A) We talked to local scientific agency, who understand technical ingredient names, we also use web service as Wikipedia and others to get more specifically information.
Q) What criteria did you work through to decide if an ingredient should be “red” listed 
A) The ingredients are “red” if can give problem to consumers as Dimethicone for example, your skin can’t breathe.
Q) Is it possible that an ingredient might be classified as safe to use in say, a shampoo but not safe in a sunscreen based on your system?
A) No if an ingredient is good, it’s good everywhere is used, in our system.
Q) The cosmetics industry may well give this service a mixed review as all ingredients have been tested and deemed safe for use as intended. How would you answer this?
A) It’s sure that every ingredient MUST be safe! But if a consumer use a particular cosmetic often, and maybe that cosmetic contain some particular ingredient, it can give some problem, as Dimethicone as i said. However, we prefer, as many makeup guru, natural ingredient, so the principal way we decide to give “green” it’s that.
Q) What are your plans with regard to incorporating new scientific data that comes along?
A) We will update our software, when new data comes 🙂
Q)  Around the world many researchers are trying to quantify the impact of various commonly used chemicals on the environment. How did you quantify this for cosmetifique?
A) We just considered that chemical ingredients give problems to environment as every chemical things.
Q) Have you accounted for mixtures of ingredients or did you look at each ingredient separately?
A) We considered each ingredient separately. However Cosmetifique can tell you, using an algorithm, if the cosmetic (all ingredients) is good.

So, will this new gadget revolutionise the way we buy our cosmetics?  I don’t think so. 

Does it give the consumer  useful and accurate information?  Maybe sometimes  – I haven’t seen this application in action but from the information above would expect that not all the supporting data is scientifically robust.  However, anything that helps us become more familiar with the products that we buy is potentially useful – it encourages us ask questions.

Will this save the planet? Probably not but again, using this as a platform to make good scientific data available at your fingertips is a top idea!

Overall I think that Alfredo has shown the cosmetics industry that there is a market for this type of information and once more we can have that info delivered in a fun and sexy way.  I would have liked the science to be a bit more air tight but hey, it’s a toy and if you treat it like one you will probably enjoy having it in your life.

Just don’t take it all too seriously!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 11:51 pm

    There is nothing wrong with Dimethicone.

    The problem with this app is that they used “makeup guru”s to decide about science. IMO they should’ve asked scientists. But then it wouldn’t have been nearly as scary.

    • RealizeBeautyEd permalink
      January 15, 2010 9:51 am

      Thanks Perry. I used to feed di (or rather si) methicone to my colicy babies, worked a treat!


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