As Health 2.0 gears up for Health 2.0 WinterTech, January 15th in San Francisco, their reporters sat down with Environmental Working Group Executive Director, Heather White to discuss the many pathways consumer health advocacy takes and the barriers that continue to keep many of us in the dark about the relationship between our health and our environment.
Health 2.0: To get things started, Heather, I wanted to talk with you a little bit about some of the insight you’ll be providing at WinterTech, which is in relation to the Skin Deep App. From what I’ve researched, it offers ratings on over 70,000 products. I was hoping you could share your thoughts on how you and your team envisioned this app and the way it’s changing how consumers shop for skin products, and what has been the response thus far?
Heather White: Yeah. Well, it definitely has been making waves in the market for a pretty long time. Our site was developed 10 years ago, but we launched our app last year. So far, we’ve had about 300,000 downloads on iPhone and about 95,000 on Android, so close to 400,000 consumers have downloaded the app and are able to make decisions on safer cosmetics and personal care products right at the store. So, we’ve gotten a lot of response and support from our community, but we’re also finding that our brand is reaching a much broader audience. It’s really exciting for us because EWG is all about making sure people make this connection between our health and the environment and really start thinking about the environment as something that they connect to everyday. It’s not just that place you go on vacation, but it also incorporates the chemicals that you buy and that you put on your skin and the chemicals that you buy and then you bring into your home. Skin Deep is trying to really push the market for safer cosmetics and we’ve really seen a lot of consumers make more switches to safer alternatives and we’re also seeing each day new brands coming onto the markets that are less toxic. So, there’s been a tremendous response so far. It’s a free app. It’s available both on the Android and iPhone and our supporters and people who are interested in this issue have really welcomed it.