Ask the Experts: On Steering Clear of Harmful Chemicals

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—and while we can’t prevent all breast cancer, we can reduce our exposure to chemicals that are linked to the disease. As clean beauty advocates, we believe we can all play an active role in our own health by steering clear of toxic ingredients—and that includes making health-conscious adjustments to our everyday beauty routines.  

That’s why in addition to our in-house team of scientists, we surround ourselves with leading doctors, researchers, and organizations who help guide and inform us about ingredient safety as we strive to make the beauty industry a safer place. 

Read on for actionable advice from top researchers, members of our Science Advisory Council, and the President and CEO of the trusted non-profit, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), an organization spreading the word about prevention. Their tips for avoiding hormone-disrupting chemicals highlight easy steps we can all take to live safer lives. 

Here’s some food for thought.  

“Hormone-disrupting chemicals negatively impact our health and economy through increased health-care costs. Avoid food packaging and to-go containers to reduce exposure to known toxic chemicals like PFAS.” 

—Dr. Leo Trasande, MD, MPP, NYU School of Medicine  
 

Support companies with a clean mission. 

“Use clean products and support companies that go above and beyond to research ingredients. Chemicals in our daily products can impact fertility.”  

—Dr. Lora Shahine, MD, FACOG, University of Washington in Seattle   
 

Choose quality, chemical- and fragrance-free products. 

“Go minimal and choose quality safe products without fragrances whenever possible. We are proud to partner with Beautycounter to advocate for stronger regulation and updated policies.”   

— Amanda Heier, President and CEO, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners  
  

Make the clean beauty swap, and check those labels. 

“Beauty products can be a critical source of reproductive harm and environmental injustice. Support companies that provide full ingredient transparency and develop healthy products for diverse communities.” 

—Ami Zota, ScD, MS, George Washington University 

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER PREVENTION MONTH

OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER PREVENTION MONTH

Typically, October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We at Beautycounter like to refer to it as ‘Prevention’ month, because we believe we can play an active role in our own health by making a few changes to our everyday routines.

Did you know that around 85% of breast cancers are not linked to family history? This means that there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to environmental factors linked to the disease. With this encouraging fact in mind, we’ve teamed up with an organization spreading the word about prevention: Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP).

Continue reading “OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER PREVENTION MONTH”

Meet the Counteract Coalition

We are proud to lead the movement to a future where all beauty is clean beauty—but there is power in numbers. In 2017, we founded the Counteract Coalition, a collective of like-minded businesses in the personal-care and beauty industries that are eager to see more health-protective laws passed in Washington, DC. Today, the Coalition has grown to 29 leaders (and counting) in the clean personal-care sector. Together, we’re using our collective voices to advocate for stricter guidelines and regulations to shift the personal-care industry away from using harmful and questionable ingredients.    

While some may balk at the idea of working with “competitors,” we know that collaboration is key to moving the beauty industry forward, and our unified front is made up of a diverse range of perspectives from the rapidly growing safer and natural beauty industry. Just like Beautycounter’s solo advocacy efforts, the work of our Coalition will always remain nonpartisan, 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 brands to join the fight for ingredient reform, eventually bringing the US industry 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.  

Read on to see what some of our incredible partners have to say about their part in the Counteract Coalition: 

“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.” —Kristine Keheley, Co-Founder and Formulator, Vapour Organic Beauty 

“Safe cosmetics are a consumer’s right and our earth’s rightful due… We are thrilled to partner with Beautycounter to create meaningful change.” Jenefer Palmer, Founder, OSEA 

“Clean beauty and protecting the health of consumers is important to our brand because we believe clean beauty should be accessible to everyone. We focus on nail strength over length, so protecting the health of our customer’s nails is essential to our business to continue to grow and be successful. Healthy nails make us proud!” Jacqueline Carrington, Founder, People of Color 

“We believe everyone has a right to effective skincare that doesn’t compromise health. The need for cleaner alternatives in this industry really hit home for me personally when I was diagnosed with cancer in my late 20’s and had to critically evaluate my skincare routine. I had a hard time finding products with ingredients that didn’t irritate my sensitive skin but were effective. This experience inspired me to start Silk Therapeutics, a line of clean, minimal-ingredient formulas that can be used with confidence by anyone, in any stage of health.” Dr. Rebecca Lacoture, Co-Founder and COO, Silk Therapeutics 

“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. The time for this type of smart regulation is long overdue.” —Johanna Peet, Founder, Peet Rivko 

“Credo exists to provide a platform for brand founders conscientiously formulating products that are safer for humans and the planet.  As it should be.” Annie Jackson, Co-Founder & COO, Credo 

“Clean beauty is about safer ingredients, more sustainable practices, smarter, more ethical sourcing, and of course—transparency. This holistic definition of ‘clean’ protects the health of people and the planet—which is Credo’s MO.”   

—Mia Davis, head of Environmental & Social Responsibility, Credo 

Brands in the Counteract Coalition:  

  • Annmarie Gianni Skin Care  
  • Beebe Lab/Eighteen B  
  • Biossance   
  • Côte   
  • Credo   
  • Follain   
  • Goddess Garden  
  • Grove Collaborative  
  • I+I Botanicals   
  • Innersense Organic Beauty   
  • Josie Maran   
  • KORA Organics   
  • May Lindstrom   
  • ONDA Beauty   
  • OSEA   
  • Peet Rivko  
  • People of Color   
  • Primal Pit Paste   
  • Rahua Hair Care   
  • rms beauty  
  • Seventh Generation    
  • Sienna Naturals  
  • Silk Therapeutics   
  • SkinOwl   
  • S.W. Basics   
  • tenoverten   
  • the detox market  
  • The Honey Pot Co.     
  • Vapour Organic Beauty   

In Support of Racial Equality, Here’s Where We Are Donating

Over the past few weeks, we have been listening, processing, considering, and discussing the injustices impacting our BIPOC friends, family members, Associates, and community at large. In this moment, change is paramount, and we want to do that collectively as one community. We are holding ourselves accountable and reflecting on how we can use our platform to amplify Black voices. We’re doing the work to support our Black community, and we’re taking action in support of true change. (Learn more on that here.)

After much consideration and due diligence in researching where to donate funds in support of this change, we’ve chosen organizations that truly align with our mission and quest for safer products. We selected community-led groups that are working to eliminate systemic racism, have a history of leadership on these issues, and have Black leadership and/or founders. We have chosen these organizations because we believe that fighting for racial and environmental justice involves supporting those that directly impact and improve the lives of Black individuals and their communities. Keep in mind that by choosing to donate to these organizations, Beautycounter recognizes the important work they do, but does not automatically endorse the organizations’ past or present policy positions. We support their programs specific to removing toxic chemicals from beauty products for BIPOC and investing in the education of the next generation of leaders.

Today, we are proud to announce a commitment of $100,000 to Black Women for Wellness and the Visible Men Academy, while continuing to invest more resources into organizations and internal staffing. We also matched all HQ associate contributions to the organizations fighting racism of their choice for the month of June.

What Is Black Women for Wellness?

Black Women for Wellness (BWW) is a Los Angeles-based organization that promotes the health and well-being of Black women and girls through research, education, advocacy, and access to affordable health services. The organization is particularly focused on reducing the harmful ingredients often used in hair-care products marketed to Black women.

For years, Beautycounter has worked with BWW on advocacy initiatives to make personal-care products safer for our health. This year, we’re joining BWW again to support the California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, which would ban harmful ingredients, like formaldehyde and parabens (often found in hair relaxers), from products sold in the state.

What Is Visible Men Academy?

Visible Men Academy (VMA) is a tuition-free school for boys in Bradenton, FL. The mission of VMA is to deliver a high-quality educational experience that meets the specific needs of at-risk elementary school boys through the collaborative efforts of administrators, teachers, parents, the broader community, and the students themselves.

Neil Phillips, CEO of Visible Men Academy, is regarded as a national thought-leader on Black male achievement, minority education, and youth empowerment. He is a member of Beautycounter’s expert advisory group focused on Community Expansion.

Shifting the Beautycounter Paradigm

Today, we are taking the next step in shifting Beautycounter into a new paradigm, by partnering with Paradigm to design and implement a comprehensive, data-driven diversity and inclusion strategy. We are proud to have Paradigm’s interdisciplinary experts leading the way, along with our internal Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Hub at HQ, to build a stronger, more inclusive Beautycounter.  

Our goal has always been to create a movement to protect the health and safety of people by getting safer, high-quality products to everyone. We cannot achieve our goal without making sure that we are doing our part to address the health and safety of a key part of our community: our BIPOC Associates, Consultants, and customers.

While we have grown our community and made progress toward that goal, we know that there is much more to be done. We recognize the road to change is not always smooth; however, we are committed to making a difference, and we are grateful to have Paradigm to guide us along the way. We strive to cultivate a community in which Associates, Consultants, and customers—regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity—truly feel that they belong.

As a brand with a unique voice and audience, we are not only utilizing our platform to take a stand, but we are learning how Beautycounter as an organization—and we as individuals—can become active allies to the BIPOC community in all that we do. We want to make sure all voices are heard, and we will ensure that there will be opportunities to engage in this work. Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Hub will work with Paradigm to help us facilitate a streamlined and efficient way for everyone to get involved.

Our partnership with Paradigm marks a first step on what we know is an incredibly important journey. We are committed to sharing news and developments with you along the way. Watch this space for more information about the work we will be doing. 

Unequal Exposures to Toxic Chemicals

Beautycounter’s mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, which is why our advocacy work is so important. Beauty regulations must change in order for all people—regardless of where they shop or what brands they buy—to have access to safer personal-care products. This advocacy work is especially critical when it comes to protecting communities of color.

BIPOC face higher incidence of disease linked to chemical exposure

Research tells an upsetting story: Black, Indigenous,and People of Color (BIPOC) suffer from a higher incidence of chronic disease linked to toxic chemical exposure.[1] While various factors contribute to this statistic, personal-care products play a role and—importantly—create an opportunity for prevention.[2]

One reason for this higher risk is that the hair products, skin lighteners, and nail polishes marketed to this population contain ingredients that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors.[3][4] A December 2019 study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that women who used hair dye or chemical straighteners were at higher risk of developing breast cancer.[5] This link was notably higher among Black women who regularly use products such as relaxers that contain formaldehyde, a preservative that is linked to certain cancers, and feminine hygiene products which often contain phthalates, a known hormone disruptor. [6]

Another study from UC Berkeley found that when Latinx teenagers switched to clean beauty products, the levels of parabens and phthalates in their bodies dropped significantly within three days.[7]

These findings show us two things: BIPOC have higher exposure to harmful chemicals in personal-care products, and switching to safer products can reduce one’s exposure within a short period of time.

We actively advocate to address racial disparities—and we won’t stop.

Our advocacy for safer products has resulted in tangible steps forward for consumers, especially communities of color. Our efforts so far have included the following:

●    Two laws we helped pass: the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act and the Safer Salon bill protect vulnerable populations like cleaners, hotel workers, and salon professionals by arming them with information to make safer choices. These professions are dominated by women (often women of color) who are exposed to dangerous chemicals for long periods of time in poorly ventilated areas.[8][9]

●   Partnerships with our friends at Black Women for Wellness, a LA-based, leading environmental justice organization, and the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, which organizes and advocates for salon workers, a demographic that is composed of predominantly women—a majority of whom are foreign-born, of Vietnamese and Hmong heritage.[10]

●   Holding two high-profile Congressional briefings highlighting the disparate impacts of harmful ingredients for people of color for Members of Congress and their staff. The briefings were sponsored by leaders of the Congressional Hispanic and Black caucuses who recognize the importance of these issues to communities of color.

We believe that access to products without harmful ingredients is a human right. By passing legislation to move the whole market forward, many industry players will be forced to innovate and create safer products for women of color.

Meanwhile, at Beautycounter HQ…

In tandem with our federal reform efforts, we’ve been working hard to offer more clean beauty products for women of color, including 18 new foundation shades and more pigmented blushes, lipsticks, and eye shadows. According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database, fewer than 25 percent of products marketed to Black women score low in potentially hazardous ingredients. We want to change this and we are committed to creating more beauty options for women of color.

We will continue to place environmental justice at the forefront of our advocacy efforts, so Beautycounter can have a meaningful impact on eliminating the gap in racial health disparities. We know we must do more—and this is just the beginning.

[1] Maningding E, Dall’Era M, Trupin L, Murphy LB, Yazdany J. Racial/Ethnic Differences in Prevalence of and Time to Onset of SLE Manifestations: The California Lupus Surveillance Project (CLSP). Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/acr.23887

[2] Adamkiewicz G, Zota AR, Fabian MP, Chahine T, Julien R, Spengler JD, et al. Moving environmental justice indoors: understanding structural influences on residential exposure patterns in low-income communities. Am J Public Health 2011;101(suppl 1): S238–45 www.pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21836112/

[3] James-Todd, Tamara, African American and African-Caribbean women are more likely to use hair products that contain hormonally active chemicals (placenta, estrogen, endocrine disrupting chemicals), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21626298

[4] Zota, Ami, Women of color are disproportionately affected by environmental toxins such as beauty-product related environmental chemicals. This is independent of socioeconomic status, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28822238

[5] Eberle, Sandler, Taylor, White, Hair dye and chemical straightener use and breast cancer risk in a large US population of black and white women. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijc.32738

[6] Zota, Ami, Vaginal douching increases exposure to certain phthalates and contributes to the racial disparities in phthalate exposure, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26174070

[7] Harley, Kim et al. Reducing Phthalate, Paraben, and Phenol Exposure From Personal Care Products in Adolescent Girls: Findings From the HERMOSA Intervention Study, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26947464/

[8] Economic Snapshot of the Salon and Spa Industry, Senate Finance Archive, https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Professional%20Beauty%20Association-%202014%20Economic%20Snapshot%20of%20the%20Salon%20Industry.pdf

[9] Nail Files: A Study of Nail Salon Workers and Industry in the United States, UCLA Labor Center, www.labor.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/NAILFILES_FINAL.pdf

[10] Ibid.


WE WILL DO BETTER

We want to thank the @pullupforchange campaign for calling on companies to share the number of Black full-time associates on their corporate team and in leadership roles. Accountability is key—and because we stand for transparency, we want to share our numbers, too.

Beautycounter has 235 full-time associates on our corporate team:

79% are women
21% are men
63% are White
30% are non-Black POC 
7% are Black


On our executive leadership team (made up of seven people):

6 women
1 man
58% are White
42% are non-Black POC
0% are Black 


On our leadership team (director level or above):

75% are White
12% are Asian
5% are Hispanic or Latinx
4% are Black
4% are two or more races

We recognize our shortcomings—we need stronger Black representation. Here’s how we’re taking action:

We will continue to ensure that we have a diverse slate of candidates for each open position, including leadership roles.

We will continue Unconscious Bias training for associates, a program that is part of our ongoing education series to raise awareness about the issue. To date, 100% of our associates have completed the training.

We are adding mandatory Diversity training for all associates.

We will have managers and above receive training on creating Psychological Safety with their teams and fellow associates.

We have created Associate Resource Groups to support and create action plans for our Black, Asian, Latinx, and LGBTQ communities.

We will continue to check in and have transparent conversations about anti-racism both at HQ and in our community (that includes anyone reading this).

We are donating funds to support anti-racist organizations. (More on that coming soon. We are identifying platforms that will get to the root of the issue, and we spent last week listening, as promised. We don’t take these decisions lightly and want to take our time to get it right.) We are also matching all HQ associate contributions to the organizations fighting racism of their choice for the month of June.

We are showing up for our Black Consultants and Clients and increasing representation throughout our social media, marketing efforts, and the products we sell—while re-examining our HQ corporate policies and diversity programs to ensure that they’re equitable and reflect our values.

We are listening to all of you. Understanding our own role in racism is uncomfortable—but necessary. Let us know how you think we could be doing a better job. We’re paying attention.

We are advocating for ongoing policy change and mobilizing our community to vote in November’s election. (As a non-partisan organization, we’ll never tell you who to vote for, but we believe voting is empowering. Register to vote if you haven’t here.)

We believe that if we stay committed to fighting racism within our organization and beyond, we will uphold our promise of creating a safer future for all.


We WILL do better.


#pulluporshutup


TIME TO STEP UP FOR EQUALITY: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO TAKE ACTION NOW.

We will do better.  Our country’s racial inequality has been made gravely clear. As a brand with a unique voice and an audience of millions, we’re utilizing our platform to take a stand. Black lives matter. We are committed to fighting for justice, and for speaking up for what we know is right.  

We’ve carefully compiled a list of resources to educate non-Black individuals, because knowledge is power and therefore crucial to effect meaningful change. This is an ever-evolving list, so be sure to check back for new ways to support anti-racism. What are we doing here at Beautycounter? That’s in here too.

LEARN & DONATE

We have compiled a list of resources. While we do not endorse the policy positions of these organizations, in the spirit of our pillar of education, we would like to provide you with a list to learn from and choose whose work resonates with you the most.

Campaign Zero Dedicated to ending policy violence by focusing on policy solutions. The organization’s work specifically urges policy makers to take deliberate action to limit police intervention, improve community interactions, and ensure accountability at every level of government.

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund The United States’ first and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization is dedicated to creating change through legal action to ensure the health and well-being of all people.

ACLU This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization upholds the United States Constitution for all by fighting government abuse and defending individual freedoms. The ACLU’s vital work focuses on change through legal action.

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights The largest and most diverse civil and human rights coalition in the U.S., strives for change through policy.

Equal Justice Initiative Led by Bryan Stevenson, author of “Just Mercy,” this organization is committed to ending mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality in the U.S. with a focus on change through legal action.

National Movement for Black Lives Matter This coalition of groups across the United States represents the interests of Black communities, seeking to mobilize, organize, and strategize to protect Black lives. Founded on the idea that we can achieve more together, this movement is geared towards change through policy.

Black Lives Matter Founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murder, #BlackLivesMatter is a global organization focused on community building and ending white supremacy.

Visible Men Academy: Established as a tuition-free, public charter school, the Visible Men Academy is on a mission to provide an educational experience that meets the specific needs of at-risk elementary school boys through the collaborative efforts of teachers, parents and the broader community. The organization was founded by Neil Phillips who has previously appeared as a guest speaker at Beautycounter’s Leadership Summit. 

Black Women for Wellness: BWW is committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment and advocacy. By advocating for legislation that reduces toxic chemical exposures and in particular, the harmful chemicals in hair care products marketed to BIPOC, BWW’s advocacy reaches beyond California to communities of color around the country.  

WE ACT for Environmental Justice: On a mission to build healthy communities by ensuring that people of color and/or low income residents participate meaningfully in the creation of sound and fair environmental health and protection policies and practices. They are a nationally recognized leader in environmental justice with a long history of working to address toxic chemicals in products.

REGISTER TO VOTE

Voting is essential to changing our country’s laws. Register here, and encourage everyone you know to do the same.


GET EDUCATED

Here’s some recommend reading for non-Black individuals.


SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES

Vote with your dollars—this tool will help you discover Black-owned businesses in your area. In LA like us? The LA Times and TimeOut both offer extensive lists.

SHOP BLACK-OWNED BRANDS

Here are a few we love.

84Gem

Aba Love Apothecary

Anne’s Apothecary

Aqua Equity Water Co.

Black Girl Sunscreen

BLK & BOLD

BLK + GRN

Briogeo

Brooklyn Blooms NYC

Clare

Dr Locs

Ellie Bianca

Epi.logic

FORM

Galerie.LA

Golde

Hanahana Beauty

Herb’n Beauty

Hyper Skin

I+I Botanicals

LAMIK

LOOM

Melanin Essentials

Mented

Meraki

Minimo Skin Essentials

Mischo Beauty

Movita

NaturAll Club

Naturally London

Obia Naturals

Ooli

OrganiGrowHairCo

Oui the People

People of Color

Shani Darden

Sienna Naturals

TCTLE

The Foundry

The Glowercy

The Honey Pot Co

Unsun

Vegan Skin

Whit Hazen

For a more comprehensive round-up of Southern California local businesses, take a look at LA Magazine’s list.

WHAT ARE WE DOING AT BEAUTYCOUNTER?

We’re putting in the work. Here’s how:

  1. By donating funds to support anti-racist organizations. (More on that coming soon. We are identifying platforms that will get to the root of the issue.) We are also matching all HQ Associate contributions to the organizations of their choice for the month of June.
  2. By showing up for our Black Consultants and Clients and increasing representation throughout our social media, marketing efforts, and the products we sell—while re-examining our HQ corporate policies and diversity programs to ensure that they’re equitable and reflect our values.
  3. By listening to all of you. Understanding our own role in racism is uncomfortable—but necessary. Let us know how you think we could be doing a better job. We’re paying attention.
  4. By advocating for ongoing policy change and mobilizing our community to vote in November’s election. 
  5. By sharing these helpful resources. The evolving list, above, is designed to help inform and educate non-Black individuals, because we know that learning is an essential step towards meaningful change.  

Remember: keep checking back. We will continue to update this list. Because Black Lives Matter.



Good (Clean) Scents for All: Our Sacramento Safer-Fragrance Lobby Day

Between allergens and harmful chemicals, the term ‘fragrance’ can be frightening. In the personal care industry, companies can use this umbrella term to hide the ingredients behind their scents, meaning the public never has to know what is truly making up their favorite perfume. This is known as the “fragrance loophole.”

The truth is, many fragrances may contain harmful ingredients and chemicals—like those found on our Never List™.  (Luckily, we put all our ingredients through our rigorous ingredient selection process—so you can enjoy safer scents with plenty of clean benefits.)

Here’s more good news: companies like Beautycounter are moving the beauty industry forward by proactively listing our fragrance ingredients on our product labels. For example, we fully disclose EU allergens in our Countertime line, and we have always been fully transparent in disclosing the essential oils and natural fragrances we use to scent our products.

Our Day in Sacramento

On August 14, Beautycounter, along with 15 Consultants, participated in a lobby day in Sacramento, CA, urging legislators to support the Safer Fragrance bill (SB 574). This bill requires manufacturers to disclose any fragrance ingredient in personal care products sold in California if they are identified as harmful to health and present on one of 23 authoritative lists referenced in the bill (for example, Prop 65).

To give this bill its best shot at being passed, more than 70 participants spent the day walking the halls of the California state legislature, meeting with more than 80 member offices and asking them to vote “yes” when the bill reaches the Assembly Floor.

Passing this bill would be huge.

SB 574 would be the first bill ever in the US to require the disclosure of fragrance ingredients. Consumers today are rightly demanding more transparency in the products they purchase for themselves and their families. The Safer Fragrance bill would empower consumers to make healthier choices and more informed decisions.

We are also working with other like-minded organizations we love, like Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Women’s Voices for the Earth, Black Women for Wellness, as well as breast cancer survivors and salon professionals. We came out in numbers and our presence was definitely felt.

Friends, the work never stops. Here’s what you can do.

Take our text action. Text SAFERSCENT to 52886 to urge California legislators to close the fragrance loophole and support the passing of the bill.

Follow our progress. Be sure to check out @beautycounter on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest on the bill!


We’re Thinking Outside the Box

As the leader in the clean beauty movement, we pride ourselves on caring about every single ingredient that goes into our products. Jojoba, green tea, avocado, apricot, beeswax—you’ll find many naturally derived ingredients in our #betterbeauty supply, as well as carefully crafted safer synthetics. We’ve even gone so far as to ban 1,500 ingredients that are known to be potentially harmful or questionable—we call this The Never List™.

But it doesn’t end there: we also care about the impact our products have on the environment. Bottom line: our packaging has high standards, too. Here are five ways our sustainable packaging initiatives are making clean beauty look even better.

Never List: Packaging Edition

Similar to our ingredient Never List, we have certain materials we prohibit or restrict in our packaging. BPA is one of them, as it may leach into the products when heated, thus contaminating formulas. We also do not use vinyl, as it can release phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors.

Here’s what else you won’t find in our packaging:

  • Polycarbonate
  • Polymethylmethacrylate (Acrylic)
  • Polyurethane
  • Polyvinyl Chloride
  • Polyvinyl Siloxane
  • Styrene Acrylonitrile
  • Styrene Butadiene
  • Styrene Butadiene Rubber
  • Styrene Butadiene Styrene
  • Thermoplastic Urethane
  • BPA/BPS
  • Plastic added phthalates

Just to name a few…

Reducing Our Footprint

If you are a long-time customer, you may start to notice a few things missing from your Beautycounter packages—such as plastic spatulas, overcaps, lid inserts, extra product literature, and cleansing cloth towels. By redesigning our packaging without additional plastic parts, we will eliminate an estimated 800,000 parts in the next year alone. *Pat on back*

We’ve also removed the secondary packaging (the box in which the product is placed) from the complete Countersun line, saving 450,000 cartons annually. Sun care never looked so good.

For the remaining secondary packaging, we use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified only. The FSC sets the gold standard for forest-sourced products and independently certifies that those standards have been met. Basically, FSC only uses materials from environmentally sound and socially responsible sources—and in an economically viable manner.

Let’s Hear it for Glass

Did you know glass is recycled more easily than plastic? Whether recycled or in a landfill, glass doesn’t release harmful toxins that contribute to greenhouse gases, and doesn’t run the risk of ending up in our waterways. We did the math and found that in terms of energy, water, and waste it was more sustainable to launch our new Countertime line in glass.

As we rethought our packaging, we also decided to move our Countertime glass supplier closer to home, saving an estimated 5,200 miles distance per product. We estimate that this transition will reduce Countertime’s fossil fuel use by nearly 35% and reduce the line’s greenhouse gas footprint by about 38%. Although glass is heavier and more expensive to ship than plastic, it is more likely to be reused—and recycled into another product—than end up in a landfill.

We’re Rethinking Recycling (as you may have heard)

Ever stand over your trash can or recycling bin, holding a used Beautycounter product and thinking, “What do I do with this?” Good news: in partnership with How2Recycle®, when you shop our products, you’ll now have clear instructions on how to recycle or dispose of them, too. Look out for How2Recycle labels on our product web pages at beautycounter.com.

Keeping Score

We’ve developed a Packaging Scorecard that helps guide packaging design decision-making around sustainability, performance, and logistics. Unique to Beautycounter, the Packaging Scorecard was developed to enable us to simultaneously consider functionality, sustainability, cost, and aesthetic appeal. The tool incorporates indicators for energy use, water use, recoverability, emissions potential, supplier quality, and more. As we fine-tune this tool it will help us make better packaging decisions. Basically, if a packaging option doesn’t meet our standards, we aim higher.

Plus, we have two exciting initiatives in the works:

Can I get a refill?

With the transition to glass, we are also exploring refillables. We are aware that one of the biggest issues facing the beauty industry is the lack of recyclability of small products, such as lipsticks and eyeshadows. Refillables could simplify your vanity, ensure freshness of product, and reduce carbon emissions. Stay tuned!

Cleaning Up Our Oceans

Get this: we’ve begun exploring the use of ocean waste and recycled plastics for potential packaging solutions. Ocean waste plastic (OWP) represents an opportunity not only to recycle previously used material, but also to help remove plastic pollution from our beloved oceans and waterways. There are still questions about the sourcing and safety of this material so we’re carefully considering our brand safety standards during our research process. Throughout this exploration we’ve had the pleasure to partner with some incredible industry leaders and academic groups who are leading the charge in plastic solutions—including Algalita and Bureo. Both companies are on a mission to protect our oceans and to educate future generations to take a stand against plastic pollution.

We are also proud to put our advocacy efforts to good work in our sunny Santa Monica hometown. Last year, we supported an ordinance that required the city’s food establishments to use marine-degradable silverware. Plastics (#1-6), and bioplastic (#7) are prohibited under this ordinance. What does this mean exactly? Plastic utensils will no longer be entering our waterways or setting up shop on our beaches.  This ordinance is one of the most progressive in the country, and we’re happy that Santa Monica is leading the charge in policy protections for our beaches and oceans. Want in on the movement? Opt out of single use food utensils and bring your own. We love 5 Gyres’s ToGoWare Set.

Want to learn more about our outside-the-box thinking? It’s what we’re all about.