5 Reasons You Should Install a Cosmetic Scanner

30 Apr 2024

(Spoiler: a cosmetic scanner can transform your skin care and how you shop for beauty)

Do you feel like the world of beauty has become even more overwhelming? We’re with you on that. It seems that every label promises a breakthrough and every bottle screams “Hey! It’s me you’re looking for!” (Well, is it really?)

First, it’s okay to be confused by a gazillion cosmetic products while also getting dopamine from new-ins. But how do you navigate cosmetic noise without harming your health and budget?

Cosmetic scanners like OnSkin might be the perfect solution. Installing one means that when shopping at Sephora or just scrolling through your TikTok FYP, you have a certified skin & hair expert by your side, available 24/7. Sounds cool, right? No two-month wait, no heavy medical bills, no awkward small talk—you quickly check the product’s safety and its compatibility with your skin or hair using just your phone. 

Still on the fence about such apps? Here are the top reasons they deserve a spot on your Home Screen.

#1 You’ll Know What You Put on Your Largest Organ

Did you hear that the average American woman applies around 168 chemicals to her face and body daily? And with the cosmetic industry booming, this number might only be increasing.

No way are we demonizing chemicals—some of them are here to do good, and you’re just as likely to find dubious ones in foods and drinks. But in the grand scheme of things, the less harm cosmetics do to your health, the better.

“OK, I want safe skin care. Am I supposed to google every ingredient on the label? That’ll just be another chore!”—you might argue.

Unless you know offhand what SLS or bakuchiol are, the answer is yes. But with a cosmetic scanner, the process is 10x faster! For example, on OnSkin

  • you just snap a picture of the product, scan its barcode, or type its name;
  • right away, you see how safe the product is based on its formula and the latest research;
  • you get to learn about each ingredient’s effects on your health (an easy read even if you skipped chemistry classes). 

The cherry on top is that most skincare scanners suggest safer, non-sponsored picks in the same category, saving you a ton of time and effort you’d otherwise spend on researching and comparing.

#2 Cosmetic Scanner Helps You Invest in Effective Products That Suit YOU

Trying out a new product often feels like sending that risky text to your crush—you never know what response you’ll get. Especially if your skin is acne-prone and sensitive, it can be anything from a gorgeous glow to a ginormous zit. How do you take the guesswork out of the skin care and hair care equation? 

In a perfect world, a dermatologist could help you find the right products. In reality, their services are hardly ever covered by insurance and can be too expensive to pay out of pocket. Plus, a dermatologist is not coming to Sephora with you anyway.

A cosmetic scanner can get you sorted—many of them check if a product’s ingredients are not only safe, but are suitable for you. How does an app know? Based on the info you input about your skin type, age, skin care goal, and other “settings,” they check how well a product is tailored to your unique skin needs.

On OnSkin, for instance, your cream might be labeled as It’s a match!, Hit-or-miss, or Not a match for you. The app also detects ingredient groups such as Anti-acne, Anti-inflammatory, Moisturizes, May be drying, Comedogenic, and othersby tapping one, you see exactly what ingredients from this or that group are in the product.

So is the toner you’re eyeing up at Ulta likely to dry out your face? Does your sunscreen contain pore-clogging components? Check your cosmetic arsenal now, so you

  • don’t end up in a long, regrettable relationship with a product that was never your ideal match in the first place;
  • don’t have to experiment with your face or locks.

#3 You Get Personalized Skin and Hair Care Tips

Ever got unsolicited skin care advice from strangers or your loved ones? Like, “Maybe wash your face more,” or “My niece swears by peppermint tea for pimples—you should try it!” Ugh. For starters, don’t let those words get under your skin—no matter how well-meaning these comments are, it’s the expert opinion you should trust the most. Still, if you’re not up for pro advice, cosmetic scanners are the second-best option. 

Here’s why you should go for an app instead of your bestie’s tips. 

Most skin care scanners have an in-house dermatologist on the team. Besides supervising the product analysis, they prepare in-app skin & hair care recommendations. Their format differs from app to app—some might be part of the “skin care 101 blog”, others the result of the questionnaire you fill in.

Tips on OnSkin fall more into the second type. You share a little about your skin type, age, and unique skin care goals and concerns with the app. In a few seconds, you get your personalized dermatologist-revised tips, which list essential care steps as well as beneficial components to look for when hunting for new products. Though those points aren’t exhaustive and can’t replace a dermatologist visit, they may be a great kickoff for finally starting a substantial skin care routine or double-checking your existing one. 

#4 With a Cosmetic Scanner, Your Beauty Searches Are Saved 

While you’ll always remember that strawberry smell of the shower gel from when you were six, recalling the names and brands of every product you set your eyes on might be a challenge. A cosmetic scanner lightens your mental load by saving all the products you check in the app. So after a shopping session, you can revisit the items you’ve scanned and decide whether to make a purchase or not. On OnSkin, you can also keep a handy list of favorites!

Plus, having your products stored in digital memory may come in handy when consulting a dermatologist or cosmetologist (they usually ask to see the products you use regularly).

#5 You’ll Build Your Cosmetic Knowledge (and Self-Esteem)

Using a skin care scanner is like getting a backstage pass to the skin care world—you get to see how experts evaluate the effectiveness and safety of cosmetics (if only it depended on how cute the package is!). 

The more products you check with a cosmetic scanner, the more info you read about this or that ingredient, the more you pick up on what’s good, what’s not, and what works for you. 

Perhaps, over time, you’ll be able to detect those nasty pore-clogging ingredients on labels without even needing to check with an app (by the way, yes—OnSkin flags such components for you). As a bonus, you won’t stumble anymore when pronouncing niacinamide!


As you see, whether you’re an experienced beauty aficionado or just recently learned what retinol is, a cosmetic scanner can become your skin-savvy helper. 

What do you lose when trying one? Just a few megabytes of your mobile’s memory. And, well, a truth bomb about your favorite cream might sting a bit. 

What’s the gain? Healthy and happy skin and hair! Plus, money saved from not buying something just because that girl on TikTok said, “Go…no, RUN to Sephora to get this!”

Install OnSkin now and start giving your skin and hair what they really need.

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