There’s a good chance that the last time you logged on to Facebook or Instagram, one of your connections posted about Beautycounter products that she’s selling. Maybe it was a hydrating lipstick, or she’s urging you to stock up on sunscreen for the summer. Beautycounter is a brand of nontoxic makeup and skincare products that is sold peer-to-peer, just like Rodan + Fields, Younique and Nu Skin. Here’s a closer look at Beautycounter products, its history, and whether it may work for you.
What Is Beautycounter?
Beautycounter is the brainchild of Gregg Renfrew, a former executive who sold her online startup, The Wedding List, to Martha Stewart in 2001 and was formerly the CEO of the children’s retail group Best & Co, owned by Tommy Hilfiger. Renfrew was inspired to launch Beautycounter after doing research on the ingredients in daily products such as sunscreen and lotion and discovering, as she explains, “Companies are allowed to use harmful ingredients and make their own judgments about safety.”
She launched Beautycounter in 2013 with a handful of moisturizers and exfoliators. Today the company sells a wide range of skincare, makeup and sunscreen products for women, men, adults and babies. Beautycounter also promotes its social mission, which is to be an “advocate for stricter guidelines and regulations to shift the personal-care industry away from using harmful and questionable ingredients.” The company has an SVP of Social Mission, and Beautycounter’s social media feed highlights its products as well as its advocacy outreach. For example, Beautycounter was recently in Ottawa to advocate in Parliament for more health-protective laws.
What Does Beautycounter Sell?
Beautycounter sells more than 100 products, including skincare, sunscreen, makeup and products for men and babies. Here’s a closer look.
Volumizing Mascara – A bestseller, Beautycounter claims this mascara increases volume by 385% to create fuller, more dramatic-looking lashes.
Color Intense Lipstick – Available in eight shades, Color Intense Lipstick is designed to be long lasting but also hydrating.
Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation – Beautycounter’s foundation is available in 10 shades, and offers buildable coverage.
No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil – This face oil contains a blend of seven oils, including avocado, grapeseed, blackcurrant and meadowfoam.
Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream – Beautycounter’s eye cream is formulated to hydrate the eye area and help reduce fine lines with nourishing squalene as well as betaine, which is derived from sugarbeets. The Countermatch Collection includes a cleanser, moisturizer, serum and night cream.
Overnight Resurfacing Peel – This peel contains a mix of both resurfacing and soothing acids to hydrate and replenish the skin and is formulated with AHA and BHA acids.
Cleansing Balm – More than just a cleanser, the Cleansing Balm can also double as an overnight mask.
Rejuvenation Regimen – Beautycounter’s Rejuvenation Regimen is designed to tackle the signs of aging such as fine lines and dark spots. The collection includes a cleanser, serum, toner pads and day cream.
Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 – Beautycounter’s sunscreens are physical ones – in other words, they use minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to block the sun. The waterproof formula is also available as a spray, lotion and a stick.
Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer – Available in five shades, this tinted moisturizer offers SPF 20 protection, and a dewy finish.
How Much Do Beautycounter Products Cost?
Beautycounter products are priced in line with department store prestige brands. The No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil retails for $69, and the Overnight Resurfacing Peel is $63. A jar of Cleansing Balm is $80. The four piece Countermatch Regimen is $167, while the Rejuvenating Regimen, which also contains four items, is $206.
Is Beautycounter Cruelty Free?
The company states “None of our products or ingredients are tested on animals at any stage in the product development process, nor do we ask our contract manufacturers to conduct animal testing. To ensure compliance in our supply chain, we require documentation of no animal testing from each supplier we source our raw materials (ingredients) from.”
What Ingredients Are in Beautycounter Products?
Many Beautycounter ingredients are organic, and many are naturally derived. The Dewy Tinted Moisturizercontains black currant, peony flower root extract, and vitamin C along with sodium hyaluronate, while the Volumizing Mascara contains plant-derived carnauba wax and rice bran wax, along with bataua oil. The Color Intense Lipstick is flavored with natural peppermint oil, and the Cleansing Balm hydrates with raspberry and cranberry seed oils along with vitamin C. The Charcoal Cleansing Bar is crafted with Japanese binchotan charcoal, organic green tea and organic coconut oil. The Rejuvenation Regimen is powered by pure jambu extract, a plant that is native to Brazil, which the company says works to firm, nourish, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What Is the Beautycounter Never List?
Beautycounter says it is committed to “a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the United States.” As part of that mission, the company published its Never List, which contains more than more than 1,500 ingredients that Beautycounter will never use it in its products. The company calls them “questionable or harmful chemicals” which includes over 1,400 chemicals “banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern.” The list includes hydroquinone, a controversial skin lightening chemical; formaldehyde, a preservative; and oxybenzone, a sunscreen agent.
Where Can I Buy Beautycounter Products?
Beautycounter products are available on its website as well as Goop, and through its network of sales consultants. Brick and mortar stores are located in New York, Denver and Nantucket.
Do Beautycounter Products Work?
A little trial and error, plus a deep dive into reviews, is always necessary when deciding if a product is right for you. One person’s miracle cream may do nothing for you, or could even cause a break out. Beautycounter certainly has its fan, and generated plenty of press.
The No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil received a Best of Beauty Award from Allure in 2017, and the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 received the same award in 2018, as well as a Beauty Innovator Award from Refinery29. Rachael Ray magazine declared the Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage a “beauty fave”- “It actually feels good to put this lightweight cream on. It’s thin, refreshing, and once it’s on, it sinks right in so your skin doesn’t feel greasy or cake-y. It gives you that natural, dewy look that everyone wants in the summertime and you can count on it lasting throughout the day, without any oily build-up. The thing even smells good!”
Customer reviews are available on Beautycounter’s website. The Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer gets 4.5 stars from more than 1600 reviews. Fans say “Love it! I don’t usually wear foundation, but I have worn this nonstop since receiving it. It just gives me an evenness that I love without feeling heavy or even rubbing off on my husband’s shirt! Plus, I am wearing sunscreen every day!” Those who aren’t love complained that it didn’t offer enough coverage. “This make up has almost no color or coverage. It would be better to use a good moisturizer and apply a less expensive makeup.”
The Brightening Facial gets 5 stars from nearly700 reviewers. Feedback ranged from “It instantly quenched my dry, flaky winter skin, is completely none-greasy, and smells delicious. I use it morning and night” to “Sadly I have not seen any noticeable changes to my skin. I was hoping it would reduce dark spots. The oil feels and smells good but that’s about it. Skin looks the same.”
The Countermatch Regimen has only 64 reviews and gets a 4.5 star rating. Postive feedback includes “Very hydrating but light and doesn’t leave my skin greasy” and “In a week my face already feels more hydrated and smooth. Not greasy or over moisturized!” Customers who didn’t like it complained of the fragrance, or said that the cleanser didn’t take everything off. “Most working and doing what it says but facewash doesn’t lather or seem to take off makeup/dirt. Needs a toner as part of the regimen.”
The Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 is a bestseller, and gets a 4.5 star rating from nearly 400 reviews. Customers wrote positively about the texture and feel of the spray- “We use the lotion before getting dressed then the spray for reapplying throughout the day. Last a long time & works without the gross cake-y feeling of most sunscreens” and “Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist is so easy to spread and does not leave a residue that can be seen. It has a very pleasant, slight citrus scent. I plan to buy more of this in the future.” Customers who gave it one star complained that the spray button was hard to use, and thought it was too thick. “It’s also very thick and hard to wash off (which you’d think would make it protective) but I still got a burn while wearing it. On the bright side it smells great!”
What Are Some Alternatives to Beautycounter?
Beautycounter may not be the right choice for everyone, because it may not react well with your skin or the price tag is too high. Or maybe you are put off from acquaintances trying to sell you Beautycounter products over social media. If you’re looking for skincare products, consider Formulyst and Advanced Dermatology.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup. The comprehensive line of products targets everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin.
For any eye concerns, try Formulyst’s Complete Anti-Aging Eye Cream. The multi-tasking formula contains retinyl complex and peptide technology to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract soothe and hydrate the delicate eye area.
If you like the feel of a lightweight moisturizer, try Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid helps keep skin plumped, hydrated and dewy looking. This oil free formula is packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.
Fans of skincare kits, which take all the guesswork out of creating your own regimen, should try Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.
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The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond