Do You Know How Safe Your Products Are?
Today, we have a very special guest on the blog – the woman behind one of the biggest projects fighting for transparency in the beauty industry – Lily Tse, CEO of Think Dirty. Let’s meet her!
us a bit more about yourself and the idea behind ThinkDirty?
I learned about beauty from my mother. It was ingrained in me
early: take care of your skin and prevent aging. It was when I began
experiencing allergic reactions to certain products that all of this started.
It wasn’t until I stumbled across
Annie Leonard’s, “Story of Cosmetics,” which
examined the wide-spread use of
toxic chemicals in the beauty industry, that I
discovered the cause—phthalates, common in synthetic fragrances, were likely
triggering my allergic reactions. Appalled by the thought of using serious
chemicals on my skin, I began doing my own research.
Think Dirty was a project born out of a personal passion to find
out the truth in the beauty industry. Serious chemicals are incredibly common
in mainstream beauty products. Even worse, these chemicals show up in products
labeled “natural” and “organic.”
Think Dirty is an app that quickly scans a product’s barcode and
determines how safe it is to use. Since launching in 2013, the app’s database
has grown from 68,000 products to almost 400,000 products.
How does your day begin?
no such thing as a typical day as the CEO of Think Dirty. My daily duties range
from checking emails, dealing with development or database issues, focusing on
business development—including work through an incubator program, speaking with
mentors and advisors—participating in marketing opportunities like trade shows,
being interviewed for press, and posting on social media. I’m kind of the chief
advertorial role – people contribute, but I still have to review and make sure
they align with our brand tone and personality. It’s a lot of different
I enjoy providing information to users about the
potential harmful contents of their products.
What motivates you?
The mission of bringing health to beauty is what motivates me.
Knowing beauty is a big part of a lot of women’s (and men’s) confidence, being
able to bring transparency and shed lights to lots of confusion on labeling is
something I look forward to working on everyday.
Favorite skin care product?
Innersense Organic Beauty Pure Harmony Shampoo, Rejuva Minerals – Lengthening & Thickening Mascara and
La Mav Organic BB Crème
La Mav Organic BB Crème is the ultimate multi-tasker and must have product for your makeup bag. Apart from being the perfect colour-balancing makeup base, La Mav Organic BB Crème also provides strong anti-ageing benefits and natural protection from the sun, all whilst leaving your skin feeling smooth, radiant and hydrated.
Do you wear makeup and if yes, what’s
the makeup item you can’t live without?
These days, I don’t wear much makeup. Partly, because I’m so busy
and partly because I know how hard it is to find products without
preservatives. I wash my face with whatever clean-rated samples I have on
hand—right now, Aiona Alive, Marie Veronique, Elate Cosmetics and Province
Apothecary—I don’t use a toner (they’re usually alcohol-based) and my
moisturizer is a simple lotion from a local Toronto Spa, Pure + Simple. They
make everything themselves using all-natural ingredients.
What’s your ultimate beauty secret?
Confidence and self love. Drink water and sleep well.
Are you a fan of DIY beauty and if yes,
what are your tested-and-proven-to-work recipes?
I’m a fan of the
DIY Coffee Scrubs. It’s simple, use coffee grinds and
add olive oil.
La Mav’s Coffee Bean Body Scrub contains organic Coconut Oil, Camellia Oil and Macadamia Oil that are rich in essential fatty acids, Vitamin A, B, E and Oleic Acid. Its beautiful aroma makes it an all-time favourite of the entire family. Discover softer, firmer and healthier skin with La Mav!
What are the changes you’d like to see
in the beauty industry in the future?
I would like there to be
more transparency. Advertisement images need to include more real life women
that are: all sizes, shapes, skin colours, abled and disabled. In general, a
wide diversity. Currently, advertisements appeal to women’s insecurities.
Beauty products should be targeted to enhancing what you already have not
changing who you are.
How does your day end?
By the time I’ve finished a long day of work, I like to read a
paper book and hug my dog to unwind.
What is your mantra for happiness?
“Success is liking
yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
I am Lily, and I believe in…
hard work and humanity.
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