Food for thought

App of the week : Claire

To provide clear, precise and verified answers to consumer questions about cosmetic ingredients, the Federation of Beauty Companies (Fédération des entreprises de la Beauté – FEBEA) is launching CLAIRE mobile application. Developed with the French Society of Cosmetology (SFC), CLAIRE provides information on more than 25,000 ingredients present in cosmetic products. Aimed primarily at professionals in the sector (such as sales consultants), it is also offered to consumers, to allow them to make a free and informed choice.

CLAIRE offers two functions to choose from. The first is a search engine that provides access to a file on some 25,000 cosmetic ingredients. It suffices to enter the first letters of the name of the ingredient to access a file on the ingredient, whether it is “controversial” or not: its common name, its function, its origin, and possibly toxicological data. 

The other novelty of CLAIRE is the scan, not for the product barcode, but for the list starting with “INGREDIENTS” on the packaging (the INCI list). This system makes it possible to know exactly the composition of each product, which is not the case with bar codes: when the composition of a product changes, its bar code does not change. It is therefore not relevant to use it to find out the list of ingredients present in a product. By offering this recognition of the list of ingredients, CLAIRE is therefore the application that provides the most reliable, accurate and up-to-date information.

The application does not aim to classify the product in a “good” or “bad” category, because such a classification has no scientific basis: it assumes an algorithm and therefore biases. In addition, this system can be misleading: for example, a product containing an ingredient classified as an allergen will be classified as “bad” when it is not recommended for the rare people who are actually allergic to it. Likewise, a sunscreen product is often classified as “bad” or “risky” for the simple reason that there are controversies over certain sun filters, without clear scientific opinion. 

The information provided in CLAIRE has been developed by scientific experts specializing in cosmetic ingredients, who monitor changes in regulations and available scientific data on a daily basis. By providing information on these elements, CLAIRE chooses objective and transparent information for consumers and leaves them their freedom of choice by allowing them to form their own opinion in a free and informed manner.

   Monia MERABET

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