Will we finally have the truth about the ingredients used in cosmetics? The Federation of Beauty Companies (Febea) is launching an application for cosmetic ingredients analysis. Called Claire, the app should inform salespeople and customers. Febea positions, implicitly, Claire as a response to a Yuka-type application.
Information on 25,000 ingredients
The application, developed by the French Society of Cosmetology (SFC), intends to provide verified answers to questions about cosmetic ingredients. Called Claire, the ingredient scanner app provides information on 25,000 ingredients present in cosmetic products. Intended primarily for professionals, it is also proposed to consumers, to enable them to make a free and informed choice.
The app allows searching for an ingredient by name or scanning the list of ingredients. The search engine gives access to a record of 25,000 cosmetic ingredients. You enter the first letters of the ingredient name to access a record on the ingredient, whether it is controversial or not: its common name, function, origin, and possibly toxicological data. The other possibility is to scan, not the barcode of the product, but the list beginning with “Ingredients” on the packaging, the INCI list (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients).
An algorithm means biases
The app Claire does not give a “grade” but the nature of the ingredients used. It does not aim to classify the product in a “good” or “bad” category. Thus, no scientific basis exists with such a classification. It assumes an algorithm and therefore biases. Moreover, this system can be misleading. For example, a product containing an ingredient classified as an allergen will be classified as bad when it is only advised against it by the federation for the few people who are actually allergic to it.
A panel of saleswomen have tested Claire for skincare ingredients analysis
Throughout France, a panel of saleswomen in cosmetics and perfumeries have already tested the app. It is available under the name CLAIRE App on the App Store and Google Play. The app completes the launch of @leLabdeClaire on Instagram, an information tool for those looking for reliable information on cosmetic products. On @LeLabdeClaire, Febea’s experts answer consumers’ questions about the composition of cosmetic products, their regulations, their effectiveness, or their links with health and the environment.
Claire formulates the information easily while borrowing Instagram’s own codes: quizzes, experts’ words, computer graphics, videos, etc. Indeed, Instagram is teeming with sometimes erroneous information on cosmetic products. With this initiative, Claire proposes a direct dialogue to consumers, to lead a process of transparency and objective information.