The story behind BeautyCounter
Beautycounter was founded in 2013 by Gregg Renfrew after she learned that the ingredients used in personal care products are not regulated, and most contain toxic ingredients that can lead to a variety of health problems. Beautycounter’s mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone.
The top 10 BeautyCounter skincare products
Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum
One of the most popular BeautyCounter products is an anti-aging serum called Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum. It is said to visibly increase skin firmness and elasticity, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil
BeautyCounter Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil is a lightweight cleansing oil that was inspired by Asian beauty rituals. It is said to gently yet effectively remove makeup and other impurities without stripping essential lipids from the skin.
Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence
Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence is a lightweight, milky moisturizing essence that is said to instantly boost hydration and radiance while delivering vital nutrients to the skin’s moisture barrier.
Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream
Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream is a face cream that is said to improve the skin’s barrier function and boost hydration in order to help protect it from daily environmental stressors.
Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream
Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream is a rich cream that supports elasticity and visibly firms while smoothing skin texture to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream
The Ultra Renewal Eye Cream is said to revitalize the eye area and reduce the appearance of under-eye shadows and crow’s feet for a smooth, firmed look.
Countersun Mineral Sunscreen
This BeautyCounter sunscreen lotion is formulated with non-nano zinc to provide broad spectrum SPF 30 protection while being gentle and pleasant on the skin. The smooth, nourishing formula is said to blend evenly onto skin with limited white residue.
Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer
BeautyCounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer is a sheer-coverage tinted moisturizer that’s available in 6 shades. It is said to help even skin tone as it protects against sun’s damaging rays with SPF 20 mineral sunscreen.
Counter+ All Bright C Serum
This BeautyCounter vitamin C serum contains a 10% blend of two forms of vitamin C. It is said to instantly brighten skin and help reduce the appearance of existing dark spots, while also helping protect against new ones
Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm
The Beautycounter Cleansing Balm can be used both day and night in order to remove makeup and impurities with nourishing ingredients that won’t strip away your skin’s natural moisture. The brand also explains that the cleansing balm can be used as a mask for a hydrating overnight facial.
BeautyCounter skincare key ingredients
What’s not in Beautycounter formulations is just as important as what is. The brand has a list of over 1,500 questionable ingredients that are never used in their formulations, which they call The Never List™. The ingredients that are used in Beautycounter products are organic, natural, and sustainable. The brand does use some synthetic ingredients, as long as they meet their standards. Beautycounter is cruelty free and does not test on animals.
All products in the Beautycounter Countertime collection include bakuchiol, an east asian plant seed extract that provides many of the same benefits as retinol, including the ability to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and reduce the effects of sun damage (including uneven skin tone). One of the main benefits of bakuchiol is that it provides retinol-like effects without irritation.
Despite “lipid defense” being in the product’s name, Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil will probably do more harm than good to your skin’s lipid barrier (which consists of cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids). This is because there’s so many fragrant plant oils used in this cleaning oil, such as lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, bergamot fruit oil, and sandalwood oil (just to name a few). These oils do not help improve the skin’s lipid barrier. In fact, they are well known to cause skin irritation and damage due to their volatile fragrance components.
Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence includes biosaccharide gum-1 as a key ingredient. Biosaccharide gum-1 is a polysaccharide that functions as a moisturizing and skin soothing ingredient. It binds water to the upper layers of skin, which helps give the skin a soft, smooth feeling. Biosachharide gum-1 also functions as an anti-irritant, which is good because there are plenty of irritating plant oils used in this essence (many of the same used in the Cleansing Oil).
Fortunately, Beautycounter left out the fragrant plant oils in the formulation of Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum. In addition to bakuchiol, this serum contains an anti-aging peptide called N-Prolyl Palmitoyl Tripeptide-56 Acetate, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. Another beneficial ingredient in this serum is squalane. Squalane helps to replenish the skin’s lipid barrier. A strong, intact barrier is important to keep moisture in and keep things like allergens, bacteria, and irritants out. When the barrier is weakened, these intruders can pass through the top layer of skin, causing damage that ultimately leads to common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, sensitive skin, and even signs of aging. Squalane helps to prevent and address these problems.
Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream contains many of the key ingredients we’ve already discussed in other products, such as squalane, bakuchiol, and biosaccharide gum-1. Even though it is called an antioxidant cream, there aren’t many antioxidants in this formula. The antioxidants that are present include vitamin E, phytic acid, and a few botanical extracts.
Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream has a rich texture thanks to shea butter and cocoa seed butter. However, cocoa seed butter is comedogenic, so those with acne-prone skin should be cautious when using this product. The cream contains an anti-aging peptide called tetrapeptide-21, which works by signaling to skin cells to produce new collagen, hyaluronic acid, and fibronectin. Over time, this will help to smooth and minimize lines and wrinkles.
Ultra Renewal Eye Cream contains many of the same ingredients we’ve already discussed, such as shea butter, squalane, bakuchiol, phytic acid, and vitamin E. One unique ingredient in this eye cream is Albizia Julibrissin (silk tree) bark extract, which can counteract the noxious effect of glycation. Glycation occurs when sugars enter the circulation and attach themselves to the amino groups of tissue proteins, such as collagen, rearranging their structure into advanced glycation end products (AGEs). As a result, AGEs cause once healthy collagen and elastin fibers to lose their elasticity, thereby becoming rigid, more brittle, and prone to breakage. Albizia Julibrissin bark extract can also neutralize or detoxify the products as they are leading up to glycation, resulting in a reparative effect on tired skin, in particular a loss of radiance and suppleness.
The BeautyCounter sunscreen includes 19% zinc oxide as the active ingredient. Zinc oxide protects your skin by using physical UV filters to block or deflect UV light. The rest of the formula mostly consists of synthetic emollients.
Similar to the BeautyCounter sunscreen, the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer contains zinc oxide as the active ingredient to provide broad spectrum UV protection. The rest of the formula mostly consists of silicones and emollients. The majority of these emollients are synthetic, however, there are some natural emollients like beeswax and hydrogenated castor oil.
The BeautyCounter vitamin C serum contains a 10% blend of two stable forms of vitamin C: tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate and bis-glyceryl ascorbate. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage. In addition, vitamin C is known to brighten the complexion, fade dark spots, and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles by stimulating new collagen production.
The Beautycounter Cleansing Balm contains several natural oils and butters, such as apricot kernel oil, shea butter, avocado oil, jojoba seed oil, and mango seed butter. Using these oils and butters in a cleansing balm helps to remove oily makeup and sebum because of the chemical principle called “like dissolves like.” Basically, this means that oils will dissolve other materials that have a similar chemical structure. In addition, the lipids in these oils help to restore the skin’s barrier function.
Where is BeautyCounter sold?
BeautyCounter products are sold on the brand’s website, at some brick and mortar stores (like Target), and through a consultant.
What is the BeautyCounter return policy?
The BeautyCounter return policy states, “Beautycounter is confident that you’ll love everything you purchase from us. However, if you aren’t satisfied with a product for any reason, simply return the unused portion within 60 days from the ship date. We will happily refund the purchase price (excluding the original shipping and handling fees) of the returned item(s) to the original form of payment.”
Is BeautyCounter cruelty free?
BeautyCounter is cruelty free. None of the BeautyCounter products are tested on animals, and the brand requires that all their contract manufacturers confirm that they do not test on animals.
BeautyCounter reviews on the brand’s website are very positive. There are many products that have thousands of customer reviews, and nearly all products have received either four or five star ratings. With that being said, it’s important to take note of the negative BeautyCounter reviews, too. For example, there are quite a few reviews for the BeautyCounter Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer that mention how the texture is sticky and that the shades don’t match skin tone very well. There are also some BeautyCounter reviews from customers who did not see the results they were looking for after using BeautyCounter skincare products.
What are some alternatives to BeautyCounter?
Overall, we like that BeautyCounter is creating safer skincare products that can help customers reduce the toxic burden in their lives. One problem with BeautyCounter skincare products is that many are packed with fragrant plant oils. While these are better than synthetic fragrances, they can still cause skin irritation for some people. If you’re looking for a brand of fragrance free, anti-aging skin care products, we’d like to recommend Formulyst.
One Formulyst product that we particularly love is the Nourishing Oil, an anti-aging face oil made with 100% pure ingredients. This facial oil contains numerous non-fragrant botanical oils that can help to nourish, moisturize, and protect the skin. For example, Formulyst Nourishing Oil includes plenty of omega-rich oils – including amaranth, olive, macadamia and avocado – which provide the skin with omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. Additional moisturizing oils include safflower seed oil, argan oil, jojoba seed oil, and coconut oil, just to name a few.