3 Easy Skincare Ingredient checkers – Find the right skincare products using those 3 websites now!

By Aysenur Yashar

Last Updated on September 7, 2022 by Aysenur Yashar

Imagine that you have two sunscreens.

One of them says it is organic and the other is from a good pharmacy brand.

Which one would you choose?

How would you choose?

Based on the ingredients, the looks or the smell of the product? Checking the ingredients is the sensible choice, of course. Google the ingredients one by one. Too much work.

You already gave up and decided to not use sunscreen this summer. ๐Ÿ™

Or there must be another way, right? Luckily there are beautifully designed skincare ingredients checker websites. But wait so many websites, which one to chose, ohhh, this will never end.

As you can already guess from the title, this blog is about 3 easy to use skincare checkers.

Actually it is it about USING THEM TO chose the right skincare products.

In all of them I will compare my two sunscreens – Alteya Organics and Bioderma Photoderm, for an example and which one is the better product!

I know you read the title and you want to go ahead and but I have to touch on why skincare ingredients are so important.

Or rather why bad, toxic and/or naughty ingredients can be worse!

Why it is important to check your skincare ingredients?

We have all heard about toxic ingredients in skincare but how bad are they actually? Can just little cosmetics and make up really harm us. Let’s hear the doctors!

I was traveling the other day and decided to listen to a podcast by Behind Her Empire and my whole perception on skincare and cosmetics just changed!

And no. The talk was not about skincare, it was about hormones.

One singular sentence stuck with me and pounded in my head. “The average woman puts on 50 different synthetic chemicals that disrupt her hormones on her skin every day”. Let’s repeat it!

“The average woman puts on 50 different synthetic chemicals that disrupt her hormones on her skin every day”

Dr. Sara Gottfried from Behind HER EMPIRE

Wait what? 50? Hormones?

We have all heard about the toxic ingredients in skincare or cosmetics but I had no idea it could go as far as affecting the hormones, inducing cancer and affecting even reproduction. WOW!

I thought am the one in medical school, I should know, right? My lectures should have taught us?

Unfortunately I did not know!

First I wanted to do a thorough analysis and research on what are those harmful ingredients, but I realised I needed a more guided solutions.

Luckily there are many already set up skincare ingredient checkers that function as good as they sound!

So here are the 3 skincare ingredient checkers

It is going to be fun!

1. INCI Decoder

Simply told- INCIdecoder decodes your skincare ingredients.

It is one of the first skincare ingredient checkers I would go to get a general idea of the ingredients in my skincare.

Just a little background!

Inci Decoder was launched by a computer scientist – Judit Rรกcz, after her journey with dealing with terrible acne for years. During her struggle with her acne for years she experimented with different products and became obsessed with evidence based skincare. She launched a blog – and it become the number one cosmetic blog Hungary, her home country! Wow!

After reading cosmetic dermatology textbooks, thousands of blogs, books on skincare and even finishing a degree in cosmetic science, she decides to launch INCIdecoder.

This beautifully minimalist and easy to use skincare ingredient checker focuses only on the ingredients.

It has a database of various ingredients, products and brands. Most of the time it is possible to find just the product that you have.

bioderma sunscreen in inci
Here is the page of INCI after searching my bioderma sunscreen. Click here for some details
rose sunscreen inci
Alteya Organic Rose Face sunscreen found in INCI.

INCI also classifies some of the ingredients as superstars, icky, goodie and so on. It also gives them a rank on comedogenicity, irritability and every single ingredients has the what-it-does bubble.

I want to also mention the option to compare products. INCI enables you to compare two products, but comparing might not be the right word here. It displays the ingredients of one product alongside the other one.

See below.

comparison of products in inci
Click here to explore this comparison, believe me, it is fun!

I personally really like this display of ingredients, I can clearly see which product has more ingredients and which ones are more organic. But I am not sure how helpful it is when deciding which one is better.

A downside of INCIdecode

It does not really tell you directly if the ingredient is toxic, unhealthy or hazardous. Unless you decide to read the ingredient explainer for that particular ingredient, it is hard to easily figure out if it is the right skincare.

*Comedogenic means how much it clogs your pores. Don’t worry, I did not know the meaning either ๐Ÿ˜€

An easy overview of what INCI does.

  1. Gives you an overview of your ingredients
  2. Highlights the ingredients – which ones are hydrating, antioxidant and so on and so on
  3. You can skim through the ingredients – with a break down of the simple function of the ingredients, how comedogenic* they are and what is their rating
  4. Ingredients explainer – each ingredients now is explained in details with a quirky scientific and extremely easy to understand language. Here you can also click on the scientific papers to go even further into your research. I love this part, sometimes I would just go and read ingredients that I have never heard before!
  5. It can compare products! How cool is that
Skim through ingredients characteristic in INCI
Skim Through Ingredients of Alteya Organic Sunscreen, you can see most of the organic plant oils are ranked as goodies, the column next to the rating is a ranking on comedogenicity

2. EWG’s Skin Deep

First of all, EWG stands for – Environmental Working Group.

EWG’s Skin Deep is actually a star amongst the skincare ingredient checkers with a database of skincare products, brands and ingredients established in 2004. It was created with the vision to enable users to regulate the cosmetic and skincare products. Personal Care products can be manufactured with 10 500 different chemical products and some of them are suspected carcinogens, harmful to the reproductive system and can disrupt the hormonal balance.

This really goes back to what Dr. Sara Gottfried talked about. But what makes it worse is that there are hardly any regulations over these chemicals by the government.

This leaves the responsibility of mindful product choice on the consumers, themselves. Meaning me and you!

EWG landing page - skincare ingredient checker
Front page of EWG’s Skin Deep. It looks very minimalistic and trust worthy!

This is why EWG’s Skin Deep uses its database to rank ingredients, products and brands from 1-10 in their hazard scale. Let’s talk about the hazard scale a little bit. What does it mean?

The hazard scale is made by a dual system – hazard score itself and data availability. Firstly, the hazard score itself is calculated by up to date scientific evidence on the toxic, hazardous and harming effect of the ingredients. Secondly, the data availability refers to how much evidence there is at all for the ingredient in the scientific literature.

As someone with an intense medical science knowledge, I can totally support their technique. It is really thorough and valid!

Apart from having the hazard score in numbers of the product, each ingredient in that product also gets to have its hazard score. Meaning that you can learn which particular ingredient is the nasty one!

I could not found the two sunscreen products so I clicked on anti-aging and chose L’Oreal Paris product. This is shocking! Wow, hazard score of 7! Thinking twice before getting that product for sure.

L'oreal cream EWG report - EWG's is one of the skincare ingredient checkers that works very well
You can see the hazard score of the product, ingredient concerns. Check the product here for more.

EWG Verified

EWG Verified is a marker given to personal products that are 100% free of all the toxic, hazardous and dangerous chemicals. They have also passed all the scientific data and hazard scores of EWG themselves. Good manufacturing techniques and transparency in the ongredients and fragrants is also a criteria.

I was blown away by all the testimonials on EWG Verified! This is so impressive! You can check EWG Verified here and see the safest product list on the planet!

EWG verified - skincare ingredient checkers

An easy overview of what EWG’s Skin Deep can do for you.

  1. Gives a hazard score on products and ingredients.
  2. Ingredient concerns are listed under four main categories – cancer, allergies& immunotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity and use restrictions
  3. Each ingredient has the concerns and effects that the scientific world has shown, listed on the page of that ingredient
  4. Data Availability on each ingredient is a part of the score
  5. EWG Verified – marks the safest and helathiest personal care products!
  6. Very user friendly, easy to understand, minimalist design!

3. Cosmily

I stumbled upon Cosmily skincare ingredient checker due to its ad on google. So I was very skeptic about it.

But it took me 5 minutes to change my mind. Their minimalist and clean looking website is really attractive. But what really sets it apart is their visual explanations of their products. See below for example.

Cosmily is established by a group of beauty, skincare bloggers, aestheticians, youtubers and makeup artists. It is really a project with great vision!

Another great feature of Cosmily is the option to really compare products, it lists them down by health benefits, hazardous options, organic vs synthetic ingredients. Overall it gives a great comprehensive report, which helps you chose the better product.

Comparison of two products in Cosmily - skincare ingredeint checker
You can easily find your product and compare it with another one!
Postive effects of the two products ingredients checkers
Minimalistic and cute visuals helping you decide on your product.

An easy overview of what EWG’s Skin Deep can do for you

  1. Lists the benefits and the hazards of each ingredients
  2. Uses the EWG scale for credibility
  3. Enables easy comparison of products to choose the better one
  4. Uses visuals to explain the function of the ingredients

Last Words – Quick Summary

Oh well, that was a lot of information. 3 Skincare Ingredient checkers with 3 different characteristics. Although I tried to be as clear as possible, I still want to clarify what you can and cannot do with some of the websites, so here is a small bullet-list to categorize them easily!

  • Checking for hazard and toxicity level quickly and easily – EWG’s Skin Deep
  • Checking the benefits of ingredients quickly and easily – Cosmily
  • Checking for the ingredients and a through explanation of their function – INCIdecoder
  • Comparing only the ingredients of two products – INCIdecoder
  • Comparing the benefits and the hazard of two products – Cosmily

I hope this summary helps guide your search for a better product. All of the websites are pretty easy to use. Only in Cosmily you have to set up an account to use it, but it is really fast and straightforward and worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you so much for reading this blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope it was as helpful and as interesting as it was for me! Let me know what you think in the comments or you can directly email me at [email protected]

If you are using any skincare ingredient checkers – which one would you recommend?

If this was interesting to you and you are wondering what to add to your skincare routine next, maybe you can find a little hint in this blog. Or maybe you want to learn about 5 clean skincare brands you can trust – here ๐Ÿ™‚

If you are new here, let’s get to know each other here!


All of the information was taken from the ‘about’ pages of the 3 websites.