Have you heard about Clearya?
Clearya is a year-old free Chrome extension and mobile app that notifies you when there are unsafe ingredients in products plan to purchase. These products could be in the following categories: baby care, personal care, makeup, cleaning and a wealth of others (including cookwear). And Clearya helps you find safe alternatives.
The extension and mobile app work while you are shopping at Amazon, Sephora, Wal-mart, iHerb, Target and more, (The founders are working to add additional retailers.) Clearya sends alerts of banned or toxic ingredients, potentially toxic ingredients, and potential allergens. It flags things that are known to be carcinogen, developmental toxicants (as in may harm a baby’s development), reproductive toxicants (may harm fertility or cause birth defects), hormone disruptor, or ingredients that are banned in Europe and other countries (but are permitted in the United States.)
The sources of their information come from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Government of Canada, the California Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Health, UN Environment, the EU Commission, and ChemSec and SIN List—all combined these are the top scientists and regulators around the world.
Clearya was started by Amit and Chen Rosner after Chen got breast cancer and wanted to make sure they were buying less-toxic products, but couldn’t find a single source for that information. As their website says, “Turns out in order to avoid endocrine disruptors in a soap bar or developmental toxicants in a deodorant you need to a Chemist working around the clock on deciphering product ingredient names and reading medical articles.”
So they decided to create an automated way to that knowledge and after two years of research and software development, they have. The company’s mission is “to build a digital protective shield that keeps toxic ingredients away by automatically alerting online shoppers of ingredients of concern, and helping you find safe products instead.” They also harness their technology to support environmental health nonprofit and governmental organizations and scientists.
Clearya has no ads and is not affiliated with brands. They are funded by donations, mainly from foundations. Their partners include BlueGreen Alliance, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Department of Public Health’s Safe Cosmetics Program, California EPA’s Safer Consumer Products Program, Cancer Free Economy Network, Center for Environmental Health, ChemSec The International Chemical Secretariat a Swedish nonprofit, Clean Production Action, Michigan-based Ecology Center, Green Science Policy Institute, Silent Spring Institute, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and U.S. PIRG (which stands for Public Interest Research Groups).
Clearya in Action
In order to see how this works, I downloaded the Clearya Chrome app to my browser and went to Sephora to see what would happen. I typed in Dior, since I figured it was a company that did not make clean or chemical-free beauty products.
Dior Lip Glow Oil was the first product that popped up in the search so I checked the alerts on that product. When I clicked the alert, I immediately see Clearya’s disclaimer that manufacturers don’t always provide full ingredient lists.
But the service has clearly flagged potential toxins, two potential allergens, eight ingredients that are permitted but only with restrictions and then the ingredient of “fragrance” which is too vague to know what that is made from.
The tab after the ALERTS is the INGREDIENTS and you can see it is color coded for convenience. Orange is potentially toxic. Yellow is potential allergen. Light blue is restricted ingredient. Middle blue is generic ingredient, and green is no alerts.
The third tab, DISCOVER, posits alternative, safer products. In this case, it suggests ILIA Lip Wrap Reviving Balm, which comes with the alert of two potential allergens: limonene and linalool.
The whole process of using Clearya super simple, and it helped me interpret the ingredients so that I could quickly understand what I might be buying if I chose the Dior product…or any of the others.