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 Beautycounter Countertime collection includes six skin care products that are all designed to visibly firm, brighten, and plump the skin. We’ll discuss what each of these Beautycounter skin care products are used for, as well as their formulation details in the next section.
First up is Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil, 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 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.
The anti-aging serum in this collection is called Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum. It is said to visibly increases skin firmness and elasticity, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
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.
Another face cream in the Countertime collection is the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream. It is a rich cream that supports elasticity and visibly firms while smoothing skin texture to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
The final product in the Beautycounter Countertime collection is the Ultra Renewal Eye Cream. It is said to revitalize the eye area and reduce the appearance of under-eye shadows and crow’s feet for a smooth, firmed look.
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. Recent clinical studies have found that users experience the benefits of this ingredient in as little as 7 days.
Beautycounter Countertime reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive, with the collection receiving an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars after 530 customer reviews.