Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most frequently asked questions received from consumers and companies are below. If you have general questions or suggestions about GoodGuide.com, our mobile apps, or our ratings, visit the contact us page to find the appropriate team to be in touch with.
Questions From Consumers
Changes to the Ratings
Long-time users of GoodGuide are certain to notice a big change with our October 2016 release. Our ratings now focus on the health impacts of products only — GoodGuide no longer includes company-level ratings of a brand's environmental or social performance.
We have removed company ratings in response to user feedback. Many consumers want to make product choices based solely on the level of health concern associated with a product's ingredients. Our original rating system made this difficult to do, because GoodGuide scores combined product-level health issues (one-third of a product's score) with company-level environmental and socials issues (two-thirds of a product's score). Our new rating system focuses on a product's health score.
We are sure that the removal of company-level ratings will be missed by some of our loyal users, because we know our audience also includes many who shared our founding goal of helping consumers make informed purchasing decisions that reflect their preferences and values, including consideration of the environmental and social performance of companies. We are interested in getting feedback on this change, so please be sure to contact us at GoodGuideFeedback@ul.com if you feel strongly about this change.
GoodGuide Rating Scale
Products are scored from a low of 0 to a high of 10. The higher the rating, the better the product from a health perspective.
Ingredient List Discrepancy Between Product Label & Goodguide
There can be occasional discrepancies in ingredient lists between products you've purchased and GoodGuide's product page. Most often, this is a result of the manufacturer's updates to the product formulation.
Animal Testing Consideration
Our health rating system does not take into consideration animal testing directly, but we always let consumers know if a product is certified animal friendly by Leaping Bunny or the PETA Animal Treatment Assessment.
Benchmark Exception Definition
The hazard level of an ingredient is dependent on many factors, including the
type of use, frequency of use, and quantity used. In situations where we know the
ingredient is being used below an applicable safety benchmark, as defined by
regulatory or public health organizations, we apply a Benchmark Exception. When a BE is applied, that specific ingredient isn't penalized by the GoodGuide ratings algorithm. In general, we use benchmarks developed by the European Union to define BEs, because the EU operates the most health-protective regulatory system for cosmetics and personal care products.
One example is when we know the type of use will lead to minimal exposure. Another example is when we know the exact % of an ingredient being used in the formulation is below an applicable regulatory benchmark for its product category.
Product Not Found, Using Search or Scanner
This could be a product coverage issue—our science team is constantly working to increase our product coverage. It could also be a search issue. Try searching for the product by name, often that yields more inclusive results.
Request New Products to Rate
We’ve made some recent changes! Now you can make product rating requests right in your account!
Adding New Categories
We aren’t adding categories to the current mix. GoodGuide's science team resources are focused on improving our ratings and coverage in our core product categories — personal care, household chemicals and food products. If you feel like there is something we are missing, email us at GoodGuideHelp@ul.com
Using Trait Filters for Better Search Results
GoodGuide's product catalog includes thousands of products. Trait filters can help narrow search results so you can find relevant products quickly. For example, if you are looking for products that are “Not Tested on Animals”:
- After you search for a product you can select "Not Tested on Animals” from the “Trait Filters” section right beneath the search bar.
- Click “Apply filters”.
On the mobile app:
- After you search for a product, scroll to the bottom and tap the “See all products” link.
- Then tap “Filter” and expand the section called “Traits.”
- From there scroll and tap on the option “Not Tested on Animals.”
- Then tap “Apply” in the upper right hand corner.
Another way to make sure that any specific product you are looking at is not tested on animals is to open up the list of Certifications on the product page. If there is a Leaping Bunny certification or a PETA Animal Treatment Assessment Certification, you can feel confident there is no animal testing.
Other Trait Filters include USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Vegan, Safe Cosmetics Pledge, Fragrance Free, and many more.
GoodGuide Mobile Apps
The iOS app can be found in Apple's App Store.
The Product Scanner for Android can be found in Google's Play Store.
International Goodguide Users
Though our product ratings currently cover U.S. based products, similar versions of the same product are available in many countries. If you live outside of the U.S., you can still use the website as thousands of consumers currently do. Just make sure to compare the ingredient lists for differences.
You can find information for a specific ingredient by using our Ingredient Index.
If you are looking for products that contain a specific ingredient, simply search for it by name using the search box on the website, then choose the ingredient by name under the filter “ingredients to include” and click apply. The product results listing will include products that contain that ingredient.
Questions from Companies
Product Data or Rating is Not Accurate
Our ratings are developed using methodologies that are grounded in the sciences of informatics and health risk assessment. We identify the issues that define health performance and select indicators that can be used to evaluate these at the ingredient and product-level. Data that we acquire for each indicator are then scored. Indicator-level scores are then rolled up into sub-scores and into the final GoodGuide Rating. You can read more about our methodologies.
If you believe a GoodGuide rating is incorrect or based on inaccurate data, we encourage you to report the issue to us for investigation. Please be sure to identify the relevant GoodGuide URL, product or company name so we can research your complaint. Please describe the apparent error and provide documentation (or URLs) that support use of different data or a revised rating. GoodGuide does not charge any fees for investigating or correcting errors. Upon written request, we can treat submissions as confidential information. To report an error, please send an email to our team at GoodGuideHelp@ul.com.
Products Rating Requests
GoodGuide has a new suite of tools available for product manufacturers to submit product data to receive a GoodGuide Rating. If you are interested in getting your product rated, please email us at GoodGuidePartnerships@ul.com. Be sure to include the name of the product, brand name and complete contact information. Someone from our science team will follow up directly.
If you have any questions, get in touch! Visit our contact us page to find the appropriate team to be in touch with.