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SkinNinja: This $4.5 Million App Spots Allergens and Cancer-Causing Ingredients in Your Skin Care

If you’re having trouble navigating your way to healthy choices in skin care products, there’s an app for that, and it’s free, even though it’s a $4.5 million value to its creator. According to Forbes, SkinNinja is a smartphone app that identifies ingredients in your skin care products. All you have to do is scan a product’s barcode, and a chart pops up showing any potentially harmful ingredients in that product, including possible carcinogens.

When it comes to something you’re putting on your skin — your body’s largest organ — my advice has always been if you can’t pronounce something on the label, it’s probably not good for you. But the problem is that not all ingredients in a product are listed on the label, as there are dozens, even hundreds of possible compounds that are allowed in cosmetics and other products that don’t require labels.

Additionally, of the nearly 13,000 chemicals in personal care products on the shelves today, only 10 percent have been tested for safety. It’s only after a product has demonstrated harm, or has been misbranded or adulterated, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might take action. And since the average woman in the U.S. uses 12 personal care products each day, containing nearly 168 different chemicals, I can see why someone decided you need an app to identify which ones you don’t want to be exposed to.

For example, in a heavy metal hazard report, it was found that heavy metals you wouldn’t want to put on yourself existed in all 49 makeup items that were tested:

  • 96 percent contained lead
  • 90 percent contained beryllium
  • 61 percent contained thallium
  • 51 percent contained cadmium
  • 20 percent contained arsenic

So, yes, an app would help screen these things out. An even better idea, however, would be to ditch skin care products that you need an app for, and choose more natural ways to take care of yourself instead. Start by working from the inside, out. Increase your intake of animal-based omega-3 fats. Also consider eliminating sugars and supporting your immune system. For example, research suggests limiting sugar and supplementing your diet with fermented foods or probiotic bacteria can cut your risk of developing eczema by one-third.

Externally, coconut oil is a great alternative to factory-manufactured products, and it offers a wide variety of health benefits including improved brain function, stimulating your metabolism and providing energy, all while it benefits your skin, as the benefits are not limited to internal functions. The oil is a powerful antibacterial, too, destroying some of the common pathogens living on your skin that may contribute to the development of acne, and in your mouth (as a swish) that contribute to the development of cavities.

Coconut oil can also be used as both a facial cleanser and in lieu of deodorant, and it will soften your skin at the same time. The oil can also be used to protect your skin while shaving, and after shaving to moisturize all over your body, from your face to your toes. While scientific research is ongoing, there is some case evidence to suggest that coconut oil may help reduce the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis. And you don’t need an app for that!

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