Chemical 101—
A range of information design for the
topic of toxic chemicals in cosmetics.

Part 1—Infographic Poster
What goes into our skin?

The unsettling truth about cosmetics products is that it contains more harm than we imagine. There are toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products: in shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, perfume, nail polish, baby powder. “Chemical 101” is an infographic that acquaints the toxicity in products and visualizes the number of toxic chemicals found in each of the cosmetic categories which may cause cancer, reproductive, or developmental harm.

Design concept

A total of 77 unique ingredients, 57,000 products, 13 different categories, 500 companies were showcased.

LINK TO HIGH RESOLUTION INFOGRAPHIC

Research & Process
Research Findings

To explore the toxicity in cosmetics, there are many categories to dive in. Among the categories I researched, which include plastic waste, carbon footprint, environmental harm, chemical waste, water waste, and human health harm. The chemical toxicity in humans has the most qualitative data that can be visualized in graphics.

Analysis—L.A.T.C.H

Once I gathered the raw dataset from the FDA website, I inserted them into Tableau and visualized it using the L.A.T.C.H system. L.A.T.C.H stands for location, alphabet, time, category, and hierarchy. Through this technique, I organized the main chart into three categories, product types, chemical names, and the numbers of chemicals found per type.

Ideation
Main Chart
Inspired by the idea of makeup pallet, each purple square is a type of product found in the data. The textured colored square stands for the type of chemical, while its size stands for the numbers found. The chemicals radiate from largest to smallest away in quantity from the main pallet.

Supporting Chart
The second chart indicates the percentage of chemicals found in cosmetics. It also includes the overall toxicity levels to humans and the type of harm, including cancer, reproduction, and allergy.

Tertiary Chart
The third level of information is showcased in a pie chart, indicating the percentage of the product types found in the data set.

Drafts & Revisions
Color System

The chemicals' color system is the most important visual language for this infographic since it acts as an individual identity for each chemical name.

Scale & Visual

To show the toxicity level on a scale of 1–10 on chart 2, I added bars to represent count, each bar meaning 1.

Part 2—3D Infographic Model
How many deaths did beauty cause?

From the year of 2014 to 2019, a series of medical incidents are reported to the FDA, all associated with the use of a cosmetic product in a patient. This include death, life-threatening, disability, ER Visit, hospital visits important medical treatment, clinic visit, intervention, other serious medical events, and other outcomes. This 3D infographic shows the amount of possible events that happened over the years caused by cosmetic consumption.

Design concept
Using triangle sizes to represent quantity, this 3d infographic portrays the numbers of correlated events that happen simultaneously in the events of chemical reactions caused by cosmetics consumption.

Data Visualization
The colors of the triangles represent the types of adverse events reported to the FDA. The more colors the triangles have, the more events happened simultaneously. To showcase the dynamic combination of events one can encounter from consuming the cosmetic product, the colors are blended in gradient. Each gradient radiates from the sharp tip of the triangle, portraying the dangerousness of cosmetics.

Part 3—Environmental Design
Beautiful Risks

Complaints of accidents related to cosmetics had gone higher within the last 15 years. Numbers increased from 575 in 2004 to the highest 9,517 in 2018.

Design concept
Placed in the heart of Hollywood, Los Angeles, consumers who are fans of cosmetics will be able to see the statistic while shopping. Consumers will be aware of the effects of cosmetics, therefore take further actions and make smarter purchase decisions.

See the numbers, unravel the risks.
Numbers of statistics are lid up during mall hours to attract visitors’ attention. As visitors pass through the installation, the dark powder will erupt from the boom of each dome to indicate the toxic and dangerous side of cosmetics usage.

Floor Plan
The Hollywood & Highland Center
Shopping Mall
2nd Floor