Meet the Counteract Coalition

This collective of more than 20 clean, high-performance beauty brands made its debut in Washington, D.C., in 2017, led by Beautycounter founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew. We’re thrilled to stand alongside some of the top leaders in our industry to push for safer cosmetic ingredient laws. While many may balk at the idea of working with “competitors,” we know that collaboration is key to moving the beauty industry forward.

Our members agree. “We are delighted by the work of the coalition and embrace working with this alliance of brands who understand this critical moment in human and environmental health,” says Kristine Keheley, co-founder and formulator at Vapour Organic Beauty. Adds Jenefer Palmer, founder of OSEA: “Safe cosmetics are a consumer’s right and our earth’s rightful due…we are thrilled to partner with Beautycounter to create meaningful change.”

“As consumers, we assume our government is looking out for us and making sure that the products sold in this country are non-toxic and safe for us and our families,” says Johanna Peet, founder of Peet Rivko. “The time for this type of smart regulation is long overdue.”

Counteract Coalition members will be a unified front sharing the unique and important perspectives of the rapidly growing safer and natural beauty industry. Our work will always remain non-partisan—just like Beautycounter’s solo advocacy efforts—since we realize that Americans from all political affiliations want more health-protective laws regulating their personal-care products.

At the end of the day, we want to make it as easy as possible for safer personal-care brands to join the fight for ingredient reform, eventually bringing the U.S. in line with Europe and Canada. Clean skin care and cosmetics companies are outpacing traditional beauty brands in terms of growth—and if we work together on the legislative front, there’s no doubt we’ll be just as unstoppable.

Brands in the Counteract Coalition:

• Annmarie Gianni Skin Care
• Biossance
• Côte
• Credo
• Follain
• Goddess Garden
• Innersense Organic Beauty
• Josie Maran
• May Lindstrom
• OSEA
• Peet Rivko
• Primal Pit Paste
• Rahua Hair Care
• rms beauty
• Seventh Generation
• Silk Therapeutics
• SkinOwl
• S.W. Basics
• tenoverten
• the detox market
• Vapour Organic Beauty

Countermen Making Waves: Meet Jack and Jon Rose

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

What Does “Clean” Really Mean?

 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 created this process because scientific evidence told us we could make better beauty products. Noted medical organizations and academic institutions have highlighted the link between the chemicals found in our environment—including personal care products—and public health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Endocrine Society all recognize the link between exposure to environmental agents and health and have endorsed the Personal Care Products Safety Act which empowers the FDA to begin reviewing ingredients used frequently in beauty products.  

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.  

Beautycounter Launches A New Green Initiative

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: 

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 information: 

●      How to prepare the product for recycling (e.g., before recycling, empty, rinse, and discard cap) 

●      Degree of recyclability (widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store drop-off) 

●      Component 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. 

— 
   
Unilever, J&J Campaigns Aim to “End Bottle Bias”, Boost Bathroom Recycling. Sustainable Brands. Link
   
The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics. World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and McKinsey & Company. 2016. Link

California Leads the Way in Protecting Consumers

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 every day.

Know What’s in “Fragrance”

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 Offenders

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.

The chemicals listed in the ban include: asbestos, lead, diethylhexyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, mercury and related compounds, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, toluene, triclosan, carbon black, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

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.

Beautycounter’s Groundbreaking Collaboration with Researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine

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?

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A Conversation on Brows with Kristie Streicher

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).   

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How To Practice Self-Love: A Conversation with Lauren Ash

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!)  

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How to Master the Perfect Brow

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.  

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How to Apply Flawless in Five Like a Pro

Our Flawless in Five makeup kit is designed to be easy, but we all know that certain tricks of the trade can take an everyday look to the next level. Watch our video to learn how Christy Coleman, our very own in-house Celebrity Makeup Artist—a.k.a., Chief Artistic Officer—achieves that polished look we all covet in a quick five minutes (it was actually four, but who’s counting?). 

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