Meet Beautycounter, the brand determined to rid your skincare routine of all harmful sh*t
The bad news? You’ve likely been using a ton of harmful sh*t on your skin everyday. The good news? Beautycounter is here to help.
Just when you think you’ve perfected your beauty routine, it seems as though there’s something more to add to or subtract from the mix.
No doubt though, perfecting the art and craft of skincare is pretty much a lifelong endeavor. But accepting this fact begs the important and natural follow-up question of where to go to find truly healthy, good-quality, and ideally, sustainable products that we can use long term that are good for both our skin and the environment.
Meet Beautycounter, the modern answer to our health conscious, beauty conscious prayers. Beautycounter is an all-encompassing beauty brand that covers pretty much every base: from makeup to skincare to bath and body, there’s really no product you won’t find.
And with that said, the brand is also super dope — the brand’s mission is safer skincare for everyone, and they only source the best ingredients for their products. They have a strict “no fly” list in terms of harmful ingredients (otherwise known as The Never List™) including certain sulfates, PEGs and formaldehyde-releasers.
Those words seem foreign to you? No worries. We spoke to Christina Gunter, a pharmacist versed on all things Beautycounter, who gives us insight on the health side, the ethical side and of course, the beauty side of the equation (can an equation have three sides? genuinely asking for a friend, but I think it can).
Read on if you dare to learn more about the scary stuff that goes into skincare, but also what brands like Beautycounter is doing to help change that.
As a pharmacist, what was it that made you start using Beautycounter?
I’ve witnessed firsthand the growing number of patients walking in the pharmacy everyday, suffering from some sort of autoimmune issue, thyroid disorder, and other hormone related conditions.
Unfortunately, these disorders are becoming more and more common in the United States. People’s bodies are feeling under attack all the time and are living in a chronic state of inflammation. In doing some research, I realized that many chemicals in our market have limited regulations and no safety data whatsoever. As a consumer of beauty products, I wanted a safer alternative to what was out there.
You mention swapping out your beauty products for safer alternatives. What do beauty products have to do with living a cleaner lifestyle?
Our skin is our largest organ, and in the medical field we utilize it frequently to get medicine into the body.
For example, in our compounding pharmacy we compound bio-identical hormone creams and you apply them topically to get absorbed and then the body can readily utilize it. The same goes for all the other creams, lotions, soaps, sunscreen, makeup we put on our bodies every day.
The ingredients in them also get absorbed into our bodies. A lot of beauty products out there contain some ingredients that have the potential to cause harm and can lead to disrupting our hormones and can even lead to cancer.
Why do you choose to trust Beautycounter over other natural brands out there?
Well natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe, unfortunately.
For example, heavy metals are natural ingredients found in our earth, but we don’t want them in our bodies. Also, not all chemicals are unsafe. The chemical H20 is water and our bodies obviously need water. I wanted to find a company that I can trust and that I can confidently recommend to my patients and friends that were wanting to live a cleaner lifestyle.
I was spending so much time researching every beauty product and it was getting exhausting. I was tired of trying to do better and then finally picking a “cleaner” brand only to find out a year later that they weren’t honest about their ingredient list and aren’t that “clean” after all.
Currently, the United States only has partially banned 30 chemicals, where the European Union has banned nearly 1,400. Beautycounter has taken it a step further and prohibits the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful ingredients through their “Never List,” all while still making a beautiful, high performing product for the entire family.
We all deserve better and shouldn’t sacrifice safety for beauty. I love Beautycounter’s mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, and their to lobby to get stricter laws regulating what chemicals can be used in the United States.
How do you feel Beautycounter takes precaution in sourcing safe ingredients to use?
They screen every potential ingredient for information on specific hazard like cancer, developmental toxicity, hormone disruption and infertility. They also review emerging data regularly and even commission our own studies. They source responsibly by choosing the best organic, natural, sustainable, and synthetic ingredients that meet our own standards.
About 80% of their ingredients in our products actually are natural plant-derived and 20% are safe synthetic ingredients. This is why they don’t claim to be a natural beauty brand: they’re a safer high-performing beauty brand. The goal is to make a just as high performing product as any luxury brand makeup up or professional skincare line using only safe natural and synthetic ingredients.
There are a lot of luxury makeup brands on the market, how do you feel Beautycounter’s products differ?
Beautycounter is a great solution for someone that doesn’t want to sacrifice safety for performance. They just came out with new powder makeup centered around our “Four P’s of Safer Powder.” The first is Payoff, you get artist grade pigment with just one swipe. Then Precision, which is tripled milled and silky smooth. Next is Performance, where they last longer and blend seamlessly.
The last is actually my favorite: Purity! Every batch it tested for heavy metals and held to the industry leading safety standards. But that’s just their powders, and they have a full makeup line to explore and have fun with.
So which ingredients would you recommend we try to avoid?
That is a hard question, since there are unfortunately so many. Even as a pharmacist, I know chemistry, and I can’t keep track of all the long chemical names and different variations that appear on labels.
That’s honestly why I switched to Beautycounter’s products — they do the research for me. But some easy ones to spot and avoid are oxybenzone (common in our sunscreens) and fragrances. Companies use the word fragrance as a trade secret and can hide hundreds of toxic ingredients under the term. Also, in your acne products, you want to avoid benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, and retinoids they really aren’t doing your skin any long term favors.
Does Beautycounter have a product line that helps with acne that doesn’t use those type of ingredients?
Beautycounter actually just launched their new line called Countercontrol for oily and acne-prone skin. Which is fantastic because over 50% of adults between 20 and 40 years old have oily skin and experience breakouts. This is going to be a great line for teens and men too! The line consists of a Clear Pore Cleanser, Instant Matte Toner, All Over Acne Treatment, SOS Acne Spot Treatment, and Matte Effect Gel Cream.
Tell us more about the Beautycouter’s new Countercontrol Line. What does it aim to do exactly?
It helps to control oil and purify pores, all while reducing inflammation by maintaining skin’s healthy flora. You should see optimal results within four to six weeks.
What do you feel are the most important ingredients in the Countercontrol line?
A lot of traditional products on the market can kill the good bacteria along with the bad leaving the skin dry, irritated and red. Countercontrol has a skin balance complex consisting of wintergreen and rosebay willow.
The natural salicylic acid in wintergreen addresses the main causes of acne by killing blemish causing bacteria and gently exfoliates to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. The rosebay willow helps reduce the overproduction of sebum, sooth inflammation, reduce redness, and balance skin.
How about others that don’t have oily skin, should they use the line?
I think everyone probably has occasional pimples whether it is due to diet or environment, so they could benefit from the SOS acne spot treatment for the occasional pimple.
They have other lines for other types of skin though. They have the Nourishing collection, which is your basic care and hydration. They have Countermatch collection which is good for combination skin that gives advance hydration and age prevention. They also have Countertime Rejuvinating collection for dry skin and helps fight the signs of aging that already exist. With the addition of Countercontrol they now have a line for every skin type ranging from oily to dry!
How does someone know which products to choose?
They can contact me for my personal recommendations, or they can now take a new quiz on my website that will help guide which products may be beneficial to them! It’s a great new tool that will recommend a four product regimen and two accessory products specific for your skin and your major areas of concern. Plus, if you purchase the products recommended, you get 10% off the collection selected for you.
How can someone get involved with Beautycounter?
You can become a customer or you can become a member and earn product credit on every purchase along with other rewards. There is a 60 day free return policy, so it really is a worry free purchase. Consumer demand can change the market place. Hopefully it will start having an impact on other companies to stop including certain harmful ingredients. Another way to get involved is to become a consultant and share Beautycounter’s mission and products with others by direct retail sale.
I would love to have more passionate people on my team to help spread the word about safer beauty. It really can be a great full time job, or part time gig on the side, it is flexible and you can make the job your own.
If anyone wants more information about Beautycounter or how to get involved, feel free to reach out by email at email@example.com. You can also find me on Instagram at @beautycounterpharmacist. Or, you can message me through my website, www.beautycounter.com/christinagunter.
FOR MORE ON BEAUTYCOUNTER AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED, CLICK HERE.