Most dads wouldn’t pull their nine-year-old out of school for an impromptu camping trip in Mexico. But Jack Rose isn’t most dads. His son Jon, now 40, remembers “sleeping on the beach, just totally winging it and having no plan…it’s not surprising that I created a very similar lifestyle as an adult.” That nine-year-old grew up to lead a nomadic life as a pro surfer, crisscrossing the globe in pursuit of the best waves.
In 2009, Jon was hunting swells in Sumatra when a 7.6 earthquake struck, decimating the coast of Indonesia. It was by chance that Jon had brought along the vague idea for a charity—called Waves For Water—as well as ten ceramic water filters. Watching those filters in action at the Red Cross, Jon found his life’s purpose.
Before the earthquake, Jon had lived what he described as an aimless, “very self-indulgent lifestyle,” and his father had encouraged him to try giving back. Jack’s fatherly advice wasn’t idle talk: he’s a carpenter who had built rain-catchment systems in Uganda and Kenya. His passion and dedication are at the root of Waves For Water, where he works today and which helps communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Haiti, Brazil, Indonesia, and Africa.
In celebration of Father’s Day, this radical duo reflects on their love for adventure and their unshakeable bond.
Beautycounter: Jack, what’s the best Father’s Day gift you’ve ever received? Jack: The best Father’s Day [gift] I ever received was catching my son Jon when he was born at home. It was like catching a football; I crossed the finish line.
BC: What do you admire most about each other? Jack: What I most admire about Jon is his consistency and his integrity, and how strong he is for standing for what he believes. But not in a showy way. It’s more behind the scenes. It’s like the root of a tree, where it’s there, it’s solid, but he’s not trying to get any attention.
Jon: It’s really hard for me to say what I admire most about my dad because there’s a lot of things, but I think the key piece since I’ve been a kid is just to really stay adventurous. At a very young age, he was showing me a lot of unorthodox adventures and experiences. I look back now, and I can see that they were really different choices for a parent to make. I’ve carved a different path for myself as a result, and when I have a family, I will probably do the same for them.
BC: Tell us a little about your father-son work dynamic. Jack: If we have a really big decision to make in our life, we run it by each other. We don’t ask for an immediate response. It’s just like, meditate on that. We totally trust each other, so it’s great to get that reflection and feedback that perhaps is better than you can do for yourself.
Jon: Our transparency is so deep-rooted and embedded that we don’t even have a conscious system, it’s just the way we are. Like he said, we run every big decision by each other. We are partners in crime, you know—we have been forever. And that goes across the board, heavy times, light times, we’re just there to keep each other honest.
BC: Jon, what makes your dad a Counterman? Jon: My dad is definitely a Counterman. Counterculture in the best way. He has carved his own path since day one. He’s got a very special way of looking at things. It’s very creative. Very expansive. And I’ve learned a lot from that.
Want to shop for the Countermen in your own life? Click here
Entrepreneur, actress, and mom Brooklyn Decker is a big fan of clean beauty: she incorporates our Cleansing Balm into her “church routine,” (her take on washing away the day) carries our No. 3 Mist in her bag, and has sat down with Beautycounter CEO Gregg Renfrew for a Counter Conversation in Decker’s native Charlotte, N.C. She also happens to be an ardent supporter of feminist businesswomen who champion sustainability.
That’s probably because she’s one herself. Decker is a cofounder of Finery, an app that channels Clueless by bringing Cher Horowitz’s dreamy digitized closet to life, discouraging unnecessary shopping and saving its users time and money. We had to sit down and have her dish on business advice, clean beauty, and the challenges of balancing it all.
BEAUTYCOUNTER: The juggle is real. Any tips for how to balance being an entrepreneur, actress, wife, and mom?
BROOKLYN DECKER: Haha. Hahahahahaha. Balance. That makes me laugh. I currently have zero balance in my life. I think the best way to approach it is aiming for master compartmentalization. When I’m with my kids, I want to be 100% all in. The same applies to business, being on set, and being with my husband. As a mom, a large piece of yourself is always with your children, but I do my best to focus on the task at hand.
BC: What’s the one thing you thought you had figured out about being a business owner that you were totally wrong about?
BD: I didn’t go into the experience thinking I had anything figured out, and I believe that was a strength. It allowed me to have full, open communication with my team. I have learned so much from them and they, dare I say it, performed better when I approached [them] with raw honesty. The only thing I had any sort of expertise in was rejection. You hear a lot of “no’s” when you’re in start-up mode: the more I hear it (and I’ve heard it more times than I can count), the easier it gets.
BC: What’s your management style? Any suggestions for how to manage or mentor a team member?
BD: I firmly believe that if you are a confident employee (or actor!), you deliver a better product. I try to give [anyone I work with] as much autonomy as possible and let them roll. I think it’s important that your team can corroborate their decisions with real data: why do you think we should do it this way? I’m always open to being wrong, and to any team member failing, as long as those efforts are backed with hard reason. I don’t love the idea of just acting on instinct. More often than not, someone has done it before, let’s learn from both their triumphs and mistakes.
BC: Do you use Finery daily? Has it inspired you to “shop your closet” more, and therefore, shop less?
BD: I actually don’t use Finery daily, believe it or not! I use it four-ish times a week. Usually on Sunday evening, before my workweek, so I’m not spending so much time figuring out what to wear every day. And I use it religiously when I travel. There’s nothing worse than being on a work trip and realizing you forgot something as simple as a pair of jeans. What a waste of time and money!
I shop so much less now. When I first logged into Finery, all of these old clothes popped up, things I forgot I had in my closet! I get giddy with excitement when I’m in my Finery account because it looks like a shopping site, but it’s actually my stuff, beautifully displayed for my scrolling pleasure.
BC: Are you a fan of clean makeup or clean products in general?
BD: I’m a HUGE fan of clean products. I discovered Beautycounter through ewg.org. I was pregnant with my son, and all of a sudden, I became paranoid about everything he was going to be exposed to, especially anything on my skin, given he was going to be latched to me for months. So, I started doing my research and it was harrowing. The only EWG-certified brand at that time was Beautycounter.
I bought their baby products for my son, then I bought their skin products for me, then I started experimenting with their makeup. I think for so long, there was this notion that we had to sacrifice on efficacy with clean products, and I quickly learned with Beautycounter that I was wrong.
BC: Tell us your favorite Beautycounter products.
BD: The cleansing balm is the only thing that can remove a long day of “TV makeup,” which is basically a mask of foundation and powder, plus a million fake lashes. I love Dew Skin, I always get compliments when I’m wearing it. And last but not least, my favorite lipstick is [Color Intense Lipstick in Girls’ Night]. I can swipe that on with nothing else and still look put together.
BC: What are your top three most frequented places in Charlotte?
BD: SOCO Gallery. There’s a beautiful coffee shop inside and you can browse special, rare coffee table books and art that rotates monthly.
Barcelona Wine Bar. There’s a tequila drink on the menu with nutmeg, one of the best I’ve ever had. And I could spend hours in the beautiful bathroom; yes, the bathroom.
CAPITOL. A very fancy, beautifully curated store in town. It’s pricey, but it’s worth going to look at the colors, prints, hard-to-find designers (not to mention, the incredible collection of Irene Neuwirth jewelry). I have only tried on pieces, never actually splurged on them, but they sure do make you feel special.
At Beautycounter, we believe beauty should be good for you, and the ingredients we choose to use in our products back up this belief—they are clean, safe, and never harmful to your body. However, we do occasionally get asked: “Does it really matter?”
It’s a good question—and we get it. There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s hard to know who and what to trust. When you walk into a drugstore, you probably see a ton of claims on shampoos, lotions, and makeup: “clean,” “natural,” “paraben-free,” “non-toxic,” just to name a few. It’s important to understand that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually has little regulatory authority to oversee personal care products and their marketing claims. So, you’re right to feel a little suspicious.
However, we never use safety as a marketing tactic, because we know personal care products can have a meaningful impact on our health. That’s why science-backed research is so important to us. Our Never List contains over 1,500 questionable ingredients that are never used in our formulas—this is our definition of clean beauty. In addition, we rely on our five-step ingredient selection process to inform each ingredient that we choose to include in our formulations.
We rely on the research that institutions such as Mount Sinai and UCSF have published describing the endocrine-disruptive (a.k.a. hormone-disruptive) effects of chemicals found in the environment, including personal care products, cleaning products, and other consumer goods. These chemicals have been shown to increase the risks of disease later in life as well as negatively affect the human reproductive system.
Lastly, government bodies (a.k.a. organizations affiliated with the government) have proven the disparate impacts of personal care products on people of color. One of the studies also shows, however, that making a few changes can have an immediate beneficial health impact.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that women have higher levels of parabens in their bodies than men and that African-Americans have been tested to have the highest levels of parabens. The HERMOSA study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), found that switching to personal care products with lower levels of endocrine-disrupting ingredients can lead to dramatic reductions in the levels of harmful chemicals in teen girls.
So, to answer the question: “Does it really matter?” Yes, it does. We believe that everyone deserves safer personal care products and we’ll always turn to science to verify safety. If we’ve peaked your interest and you want to learn more, we recommend reading Sicker, Fatter, Poorer by Dr. Leo Trasande, a noted leader in children’s environmental health.
Follow us on social media @Beautycounter for more resources on how to limit your environmental exposure.
just around the corner and we’ve got the beach on our minds, so naturally we
reached out to the founders of MIKOH—a.k.a., the beauties behind our Countersun campaign, Oleema, Kalani, and their
mother, Charlene Miller—to talk about, well, everything under the sun.
to the beach, these California natives (now, part-time Hawaiian locals) grew up
with the ocean in their backyard and spent most of their lives in bikinis,
traveling around the world to catch the best waves. Not only are they fearless
leaders, but this female-led family company is really making waves for a
greener world and currently exploring ways in which they can make MIKOH
eco-friendlier and more sustainable. Get to know the women behind MIKOH and
learn about their best sun practices. (After all, a family who suns together,
stays together, right?)
Counter: Tell us a bit about MIKOH.
Miller: We started
the line when I was still in college. Oleema came to me with a great idea of
starting a swimwear company, and we ran with it. There was no swimwear at
the time that had the perfect fit, cuts, and styles that we were after. There
was a huge hole in the marketplace. Our audience is everyone from [newborns] to
women of all ages. We started a kids’ line which mirrors similar styles to the
MIKOH line. There really is something for everyone in our line, whether you
like a skimpy cut or a more full-coverage piece.
Miller: We started
MIKOH when I was 19 years old (11 years ago), when I was just freshly out of
high school. I had always taken the road less traveled, and I knew that
embarking on a journey of starting my own brand was exactly the direction that
was meant [for] me. The MIKOH woman is strong, confident, and cool. She loves
fashion, the outdoors, and isn’t afraid to take risks. And yet, she is humble,
hardworking, and will never take “no” for an answer. Our pieces are modern, yet
minimal, and always with a hint of fun. I design for myself, my friends, and
for the women I aspire to be more like. MIKOH pieces are meant to be
effortless, timeless, and treasured.
Fun fact: In Japanese, “miko” is a term that once meant “female prophecy.”
does having been a professional surfer inform your design sensibility?
OM: I don’t just design from a fashion perspective—I
think about functionality and how our pieces will wear in and out of the water.
I think having my background in surfing definitely plays a huge role in my
design process, and makes our collections that much more dynamic and diverse.
BC: Did your
interest in style come from your mom?
KM: My style has always come from her
lifestyle, growing up. We grew up in a small beach town in Southern California,
so, the beach, as well as our family, has constantly inspired us. My mom has a
classic style and mixes in pieces inspired by the islands and tropics.
BC:We hear you’re exploring more
sustainable production methods. What’s on the horizon?
OM: We are always moving forward and
searching for innovative methods to make our company more sustainable and more
eco-friendly. We currently manufacture in Bali and are exploring options for
our fabrications, our packaging, and production to be as green as possible.
Swimwear is so personal. How is MIKOH inclusive of body types and ages?
KM: Something that we really stress is
inclusivity within our brand. There truly is something for everyone of all
sizes and shapes and preference of coverage. We also do a full line of
ready-to-wear, so we have every aspect of the beach lifestyle covered.
the biggest perk of working with your sister?
OM: My sister, Kalani, and I are first
and foremost best friends and sisters before we are business partners. We
prioritize our relationship always and never lose sight of the importance of
it. Being able to share the experience of starting and building a brand and
travel the world with her has been something that has really made our
relationship and MIKOH that much more special. I’m so grateful for that.
KM: It is amazing to be able to go
through all of these experiences with my sister. When we are having a “pinch me
moment,” we definitely have looked at each other and been so happy to be able
to go through these amazing milestones, both professionally and personally
you give us your favorite easy summer recipe – something that works if you’re
KM: I love to start the day with a delicious and healthy smoothie. I like soaking chia seeds overnight in your preference of milk (I like coconut milk)! I add my favorite protein powder, fresh greens, berries of your choice—I like blueberries because of their strong antioxidant properties—and lately, I have been adding coconut butter to make it creamy. It is the perfect way to start your day.
or one-piece – personal preference?
OM: Bikini all the way. Way more comfy,
more options for how to mix and match, and can easily throw on anything over
and have it double as undergarments.
KM: Bikinis all the way! I try to
experiment with one-pieces but I am definitely a bikini girl at heart.
tips for staying sun safe?
OM: Biggest hat you can find, lots and lots of sunscreen (reapplying is key), seeking shade when you can, and not spending hours and hours in the sunshine.
KM: Our mom has told us to never leave the
house without a hat, and I still listen to that daily. Having coverage from the
sun as well as daily application of sunscreen will help preserve your skin.
Miller: A good hat
and a pair of sunglasses is always an essential for the beach or being
Favorite beach in the world?
OM: You can’t beat the beach in front of
my house in Hawaii, but Tavarua in Fiji is pretty magical and the sunsets are
to die for!
KM: A small heart-shaped island in Fiji
called Tavarua is home to my favorite beaches.
CM: There is nothing quite like waking up
on the beach in Hawaii. Hawaii feels like home to me as my mother grew up there,
and I have spent countless days waking up to the ocean mist. Nothing quite
the #1 song on your summer playlists?
OM: Anything from Alt-J, Lana Del Rey, or
from my favorite Hawaiian band, Hapa.
KM: “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry.
CM: Anything from Jackson Browne.
in your beach bag?
OM: Lots of sunscreen, my Hydro Flask filled with ice-cold
water with fresh lemon, my favorite straw hat from Janessa Leone, and my
Pomeranian pup, Panda.
KM: Sunscreen, a hat, my Kindle, and a reusable water bottle.
CM: A good book, a bag to collect
seashells, a pair of sunglasses, and a cute MIKOH cover-up.
are you most looking forward to this summer?
OM: Spending days beachside, hosting BBQs
in my front yard, and warm and balmy nights under my coconut trees with a glass
of wine in hand.
KM: The sun and warmth!
CM: My best memories are taking my four
kids down to the beach when they were young. As soon as summer comes along, I
head to the beach with my husband and children. The best days are spent at the
BC: Who is
your style icon?
OM: Japanese street style is always
inspiring, and I’ve completely fallen in love with visiting Tokyo. The way the
men and women (and even kids) pair together their pieces is the epitome of
KM: I gather style inspiration from my
travels. I love having basics and then adding in a piece to make it pop.
CM: I am constantly inspired by the
tropics and Hawaiian Islands. Easy, light, and breezy silhouettes are my go-to.
I love colorful dresses and anything that can remind me of the islands.
some mom-specific questions:
you always know your daughters would do something big?
CM: My husband and I have always been
supportive of our four children’s dreams regardless of what they were. We let
them discover who they are on their own and in their own time. We have always
been there to lean on, have questions answered, and offer any support that we
BC: As the
mother of four, how did you support your kids’ creativity and interests?
CM: With four children, I always believed
to have them in as many activities and try as much as they wanted. They have
done everything from karate to sailing to tennis to ice-skating and have loved
it all. We have never forced them into any activity. I have always let them
forge their own path. Naturally they were all drawn to the ocean, and that is
the root and at the core of our family.
piece of advice for moms everywhere?
CM: Let your children grow up outside and
in nature. The kids had minimal screen time as it was before technology was a
major factor. Allow your children to forge their own path.
Ever stand over your trash can or recycling bin, holding a used Beautycounter product, thinking, “What do I do with this?”
Yeah, so do we.
There’s a reason it’s confusing: the infrastructure
that handles our recycling does not always capture small items (the technical
term is “Small Format Packaging”), even if they are made from recyclable
materials. This renders many bottles, jars, compacts, and other commonly used
personal-care packaging unrecoverable —regardless of the materials used.
But even if this infrastructure is optimized,
human behavior must change. In fact in 2016, only
14 percent of Americans reported recycling bathroom items at all1.
That’s why Beautycounter is
working towards innovative sustainable packaging: so our products
can be recycled more easily—and after their first use.
You may be curious as to why we have decided
to transition to a new disposal labeling system now, and our answer is this:
when we began using our past system, it was the best option available to us.
The recycling industry is complicated and constantly evolving. It’s directly
impacted by the specific recycling facility’s infrastructure, state and federal
policies, and how much a material is worth for resale, which is always
changing. We have partnered with How2Recycle to better understand this
landscape, as well as to help pass that knowledge on to our Consultants,
Members, and Clients. We are constantly striving to evolve our sustainability practices, and will
continue to share our journey because transparency is important to us. At the
end of the day, progress and positive impact—not perfection—are our goals.
Being part of the solution:
For us, conserving natural resources is about
improving our ability to make better products, as well as protecting the places
we live and play in. That means addressing a few critical issues head-on.
Plastics are a key part of most consumer
goods packaging. They allow us to create, move, store, and use countless
things, but most of the plastics we interact with in our daily lives do not end
up getting recycled. It’s estimated that 95% of the value of plastic packaging
material is lost to the economy each year. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
estimates that this lost value translates to $80-120 billion per year2—more
than the GDP of many nations. Here’s the good news: we are working hard to
figure out ways to help.
In the coming year, Beautycounter intends
to begin the shift towards putting more products in plastics that are widely
recycled, and also to
replace plastics with alternative materials—such as glass—wherever possible.
This is an evolving process, but we are committed to making great strides in
the coming year. In the meantime, one of our biggest challenges is ensuring
that as much of our packaging as possible makes it to recycling facilities.
One of our highest priorities is figuring out
ways to minimize the environmental impacts of our products, packaging, and operations—and
it starts with each one of us. That’s why we’ve partnered with How2Recycle, a
standardized labeling system that clearly and concisely communicates disposal
instructions that everyone can understand.
By combining the most critical pieces of information
into one easy-to-interpret symbol, it makes recycling simple and precise.
Starting today, you’ll see the labels on applicable product web pages at
beautycounter.com, allowing you to check whether certain product packaging is
widely recycled, recycled only in certain communities, eligible for store
drop-off, or not yet recycled. And late this summer, we will begin phasing in
How2Recycle labels on the packaging of new product launches, as size allows. (Any
products too small to accommodate a legible label on their packaging will have
guidance on their respective product web pages.)
Each How2Recycle label includes the following
to prepare the product for recycling (e.g., before recycling, empty, rinse, and
of recyclability (widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store
and its material (e.g., plastic tube, glass bottle, metal lid)
You’ll see that some products are not yet recyclable. This means that many recycling centers will not recover the material, often for one of three reasons: it’s too small (think: lipstick), it’s made of mixed materials, or there is not a big enough market for that material in its recycled form (like dark plastics). The whole beauty industry is challenged by these limitations, and Beautycounter is committed to being a leader in getting more products recycled and recovered. And a gentle reminder: it’s important to keep non-recyclables out of the recycling stream, so please read your labels carefully.
How2Recycle labels give you all the information you need to responsibly dispose of your Beautycounter products, so they can have future lives as parts of other fantastic products. Working with How2Recycle also allows all of us to play a part in a movement towards greater stewardship of our natural resources. Thank you for your role in our journey towards #betterbeauty. It’s not only what’s on the inside that counts, but also how we package change.
As a company founded in California, Beautycounter is proud
of the groundbreaking work our state legislators have done in the area of
personal-care safety. This year, we are honored to lend our voice in support of
two bills recently introduced into the California legislature, which will
further protect consumers from harmful ingredients in the products they use
Know What’s in
The first, the Toxic Fragrance Chemicals Right to Know Act (SB 574), requires companies to report any fragrance or flavor ingredients in their products to the Safer Cosmetics Program in California. This program then makes the information public.
This bill closes the “fragrance loophole” which allows
companies to hide the ingredients used for a particular scent within the words
“parfum” or “fragrance,” even when that scent may contain chemicals of concern.
At Beautycounter, our commitment to transparency means that
we fully disclose all fragrance ingredients, and we screen and assess the
safety of each ingredient in our products. Moreover, to fragrance our products,
we use essential oils, natural products extracted from plants that are often
also beneficial to skin.
We are proof that it is possible to make safer beauty that
contains a pleasant aroma without compromising health.
Ban the Worst
The California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 495), introduced by Assembly Members Muratsuchi and Wicks, creates a list of 15 ingredients and classes of ingredients that may not be used in personal-care products sold in California.
These 15 ingredients have long been included on The Never List, of which Beautycounter has pledged never to use in our products. Given the fact that California is the fifth largest economy in the world, if passed, this bill would mean safer personal-care products across the U.S.
Both bills must move through their committees of jurisdiction before being brought to the Senate and House floors. In the meantime, if you are a California resident, you can show your support for these bills by emailing your California legislators.
Just text SAFERSCENT to 52886 to support SB 574, and TOXICFREE to 52886 to support AB 495. Live outside the state? Share the text actions with your friends and family who live within the state to make their voices heard, too. Beautycounter will keep you updated on both bills’ progress over the coming months.
When you pick up a Beautycounter product, you know that the ingredients in the moisturizer, lipstick, or shampoo you hold have been rigorously screened as part of our Five-Step Ingredient Selection Process. But did you know that your dollars are also contributing to cutting-edge research that will lead to even safer personal care products across the industry?
With the launch of our new Brilliant Brow Gel, we’ve got brows on the mind and wanted to go straight to the guru, Kristie Streicher. Kristie is a co-founder of STRIIIKE, a cult-favorite beauty salon in Beverly Hills that she runs with her sisters, Jenn and Ashley, who specialize in makeup and hair, respectively. (Talk about triple threat!) Having worked with countless celebrities, Kristie has achieved brow-guru status—she’s best known for her feathered brow and believes in the power of the hair you leave, rather than the hair you tweeze (read: waxing is a no-no in her book).
While Valentine’s Day is usually all about romance and your S.O., we also like to think of it as an opportunity to tune in and make a little time for self-love. We asked Lauren Ash, yogi and founder of Black Girl In Om, to tell us how she stays mindful and focused—even when life gets busy. (She even shared a special guided meditation to get you into the self-love mindset—enjoy!)
Brows are such a statement-making feature, and when groomed well, they can transform your face and add beautiful definition. So, in honor of the launch of our Brilliant Brow Gel, we asked our Chief Artistic Officer, Christy Coleman, to share exactly how she creates the perfect everyday brow. Watch the video to learn the two power products she uses for creating the ultimate arches, then read on for answers to all of your other burning brow Qs.