behind the scenes with Beaker
How we Rate Face wash Formulas

Beaker uses real, beautiful science to help concerned or confused consumers make informed decisions about personal care products. In the spirit of democratizing science and creating new beauty standards, we’ve developed an exhaustive product audit process.

Feel free to explore Beaker’s rating template, complete with explanations of what goes into rating a face wash formula, and what those ratings mean for you. If you’re a brand and would like to see how your products stack up or you have been rated and want to learn how to promote your rating, please get in touch.


^each graphic features the first 5 ingredients

brand name, common product name

retail cost

^Beaker is in it for the science, not for the affiliate fee. Learn more below!

product type, immediate value & function

cost per use

^Not all soap is the same. Beaker has very strict rules about what makes a face wash a “face wash.” More below.

would we buy this?


^Beaker only recommends products Lizzy likes. And she’s not easily impressed.

ingredient count


^Longer isn’t always better, shorter isn’t always simpler, but the length of an ingredient list does matter!






The science behind the numbers: value and unique metrics represent this product’s rank within Beaker’s pool of vetted face wash formulas. The higher the value rank, the lower the cost per use. The higher the unique rank, the less likely you can substitute this product for a comparable formula.

Beaker uses chemistry to read ingredient labels for you. Here’s what’s in a formula, and what it does in the bottle and on your skin.

ingredients by name

Ingredients are listed as they appear on the back label ingredients list. Some names have been slightly altered or shortened to their more common form.

ingredients by function

The most likely function of an ingredient in the face wash formula, listed in parallel to the ingredient list by common name.

How do ingredients “function” in face wash?

How are these metrics calculated?
Beaker has developed proprietary chemical analyses and audit processes with which to grade the honesty of a consumer chemical product with respect to the physical chemistry of the formula, as represented by the stated ingredients list. We only use publicly-available data, peer-reviewed conclusions, and good ol’ chemistry. Participating brands are not involved in the calculation of metrics, though they do have an inside peek into how points are scored or lost. This means brands get to understand in detail how to make or market their products to better serve people and planet.

What is a product’s “immediate value & function?” What makes a gentle face wash a “gentle face wash?”
Part of Beaker’s special sauce is a codified way to translate quantitative chemistry into qualitative marketing, or vice versa. Think of us as Google Translate for consumer chemistry. Just as spoken language follows grammar rules and logical assembly, so does chemistry. Beaker has specific and quantitative definitions for “gentle,” “face,” and “wash,” as well as specific scenarios that qualify a “face wash” or a “gentle wash.” We’ve renamed audited products according to these rules. All in our mission to tell you exactly what’s in the bottle and how the formula serves your health & home.

Do brands pay for higher ratings?
Nope! Beaker ratings are never influenced by a brand’s participation. A brand may only sponsor Beaker Audit results or promote additional Beaker-vetted content. Nor does Beaker profit from affiliate linking. That means we’re free to focus on the chemistry, and how it may best serve you, the concerned or curious consumer.

Still curious about how this all works? Feel fee to send us your questions and concerns.