This month, we’re celebrating eight years of advocacy, innovation, and transforming the beauty industry. That’s right—it’s our birthday, and we’re taking a minute to reflect on what we’ve been able to achieve since 2013.
In 2011, our Founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew, learned the United States only bans 30 ingredients from personal-care products. (For context, the European Union bans over 1,400. Canada? Over 600.) Beautycounter launched two years later with two very specific goals: first, to become the leader in clean beauty by developing safer high-performing clean skin care and makeup, and second, to advocate for stricter beauty laws—because everyone deserves access to safer products.
Despite many wins over the past eight years, we’re just getting started—there will always be more to accomplish and bigger milestones to reach. We’re constantly evolving, and dedicated to becoming more sustainable, and more innovative, more effective. Of course, we can’t help but look back and feel proud of everything we’ve achieved so far. Here’s to many more years of changing beauty forever, one innovative, game-changing product at a time.
A #BETTERBEAUTY TIMELINE
Here are some of our biggest wins—and the iconic, clean products we created along the way.
2013: A Safer Sheer Lipstick
B-Corp-certified from the very beginning, we set out with the mission of getting safer products into the hands of everyone. We debuted with an early version of our Counter+ Facial Oils and our first step into the makeup game: Sheer Lipstick. Reinventing that product in 2020 as Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick shows just how far we’ve come.
What makes Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick a game-changer?
Mindfully sourced vanilla: ECOCERT-certified organic vanilla from Madagascar is responsible for this lipstick’s signature sweet scent. Our woman-owned supplier is committed not only to sourcing the highest quality of vanilla, but also to improving the quality of life for its community of farmers.
2014: A Clean Tinted Moisturizer
Year two was kind of a big deal: we introduced our cult favorite Cleansing Balm (which, to this day, remains one of Gregg’s favorite products) and our best-selling, award-winning Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer.
What makes Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer a game-changer?
Safer SPF and skin-care benefits: Dew Skin’s SPF 20 comes courtesy of non-nano zinc oxide, an effective mineral sunscreen active ingredient that physically bounces the sun’s rays away. What’s out? Octinoxate and oxybenzone, two common sunscreen ingredients that contribute to the collapse of coral reefs. The lightweight formula is also infused with a blend of black currant seed oil and peony root extract, and is clinically proven to increase skin firmness and elasticity**.
*Based on a 32-subject consumer perception study after eight weeks of daily use.
**Based on an independent 28-women clinical evaluation study after eight weeks of daily use.
2015: A Lip Gloss That Goes Beyond
In 2015, we saw our advocacy in action. We helped pass the Oregon’s Toxic-Free Kids Act, requiring manufacturers to disclose—and eventually remove—harmful chemicals from children’s toys, clothes, and personal-care products. Another win? We supported the US government in banning plastic microbeads with the passing of the Microbead-Free Waters Act.
This was also the year we launched Lip Gloss—the first generation of what you now know as Beyond Gloss (okay, now we feel old). Reimagining these original products to improve their safety, efficacy, and shade ranges goes to show that there’s always room for clean improvement, and we won’t stop pushing ourselves to do better.
What makes Beyond Gloss a game-changer?
Next-level shine: The formula for Beyond Gloss formula features the same responsibly sourced vanilla as our Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick, plus our BeyondShine Filter Effect, a unique light-bending technology that captures a rainbow of colors and filters them for multidimensional luster and an ultra-glossy look.
2016: A New Way to Self–Care
This year, we held our first congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. It was also the year we introduced our Counter+ Charcoal Facial Mask, the perfect combo of clean ingredients and simplified self-care (because we’re big believers in an impromptu spa night).
What makes Charcoal Facial Mask a game–changer?
Its high-performing formula: Our mask is formulated with nutrient-rich kaolin clay to purify, detoxify, and clarify for visibly minimized pores and a calmer, smoother complexion. Pro Tip: If you’re making the switch to clean deodorant, you can apply this mask to your underarms to speed up the detoxifying process.
2017: Science-Backed Hydration
In 2017, we helped pass the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act, bringing ingredient transparency to cleaning products sold in California. It was also the year we founded the Counteract Coalition, a collective that has grown to over 30 like-minded businesses in the beauty and skin-care industries fighting for more health-protective laws in Washington, D.C. Last, but definitely not least, we introduced Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion—one of our most innovative, scientifically advanced skin-care products to date.
What makes Adaptive Moisture Lotion a game–changer?
Serious innovation: This lightweight lotion adapts to skin throughout the day* to keep up with modern life. Not only does it provide up to 24 hours of hydration,** it offers the essential building blocks of hydration, nutrition, and oxygenation to keep skin soft, smooth, and glowing. Best of all? It’s formulated without sulfates, formaldehyde releasers, or ethoxylated surfactants (which are toxic to the aquatic environment due to their persistence).
Real results: After just two weeks* :
94% said it provided instant and long-lasting hydration
94% noticed skin looked smoother
90% said skin looked and felt healthier
*Based on a 31-subject consumer perception study after two weeks of use.
**Based on a 30-subject clinical hydration study over 24 hours.
2018: A Gentle-Yet-Effective Peel
We’re proud to count three major advocacy wins from that year:
- We advocated for the Safer Salon Bill, giving salon workers and consumers the right to access ingredient information in professional products.
- We supported Hawaii’s Safer Sunscreen Bill, which bans oxybenzone and octinoxate—known hormone disruptors harming coral reefs—from sunscreens sold in the state. (The bill became a law on January 1, 2020.)
- We traveled to D.C. again to hold over 100 meetings on Capitol Hill. Concurrently, hundreds of District meetings were held across North America—all asking for stronger personal-care product safety laws.
On the #betterbeauty side, we introduced our compostable, biodegradable One-Step Makeup Remover Wipes and the blockbuster Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel. This fan-favorite delivers the glow-getting results of other peels without harmful, irritating ingredients.
What makes Overnight Resurfacing Peel a game-changer?
Its gentle-yet-effective formula: Featuring a proprietary multi-acid complex, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and boosts clarity without irritation or over-drying. With glycolic, malic, and botanically derived lactic acid, the formula clears away dull surface cells, while arginine and essential fatty acids help soothe to reveal a brighter, healthier-looking, renewed complexion.
2019: The New Age of Aging Well
In 2019, we introduced one of our proudest innovations to date: the groundbreaking, age-defying Countertime Collection. On the advocacy side, our CEO and Founder, Gregg Renfrew, was the first clean beauty CEO to testify at a hearing on cosmetic reform in Congress. We also supported Washington State’s Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act, which banned phthalates, (a known endocrine disruptor included on our Never List™) from consumer goods. Meanwhile, our Associates and Consultants traveled to Ottawa to lobby Parliament for stronger personal-care product safety laws.
What makes Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum a game-changer?
Retinatural Complex: A clean retinol alternative formulated with bakuchiol and Swiss alpine rose, for results that are comparable to retinol, without any questionable side effects. This transformative, rejuvenating ingredient visibly increases skin firmness and elasticity, while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (The sustainable glass packaging? An added bonus.)
Real results: After just four weeks of using Countertime Serum*:
- 97% agreed the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles was reduced
- 100% said skin texture felt smoother
- 97% experienced brighter and more radiant-looking skin
- 97% agreed skin felt firmer
*Based on a 31-subject consumer perception study after four weeks of use.
2020: The Better Brightener
What happened last year? We helped pass two landmark clean beauty laws in California: the Safer Fragrance Bill, which takes a significant step towards closing the “fragrance loophole,” and the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, which prohibits the use of 24 harmful ingredients in personal-care products. We also played a key role in the passing of the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act, supporting green chemistry to help bring safer ingredients to the marketplace.
As if that wasn’t enough, we got to watch beauty industry history in the making: on the heels of the 2019 cosmetic safety hearing, Congress held the first vote on a cosmetic reform bill in 82 years.
Also noteworthy? Just a little, tiny launch that shook up the clean beauty industry and became our best-selling product ever—Counter+ All Bright C Serum.
What makes All Bright C Serum a game-changer?
Our unique 10% vitamin C blend: Because vitamin C can lose stability and effectiveness quickly, we worked hard to develop an ultra-stable blend of two forms of Japanese vitamin C to instantly brighten skin and reduce the appearance of existing dark spots. Meanwhile, its antioxidant-rich co-stars, turmeric and camu camu, help prevent new ones.
Real results: After just eight weeks of All Bright*:
- 100% said skin looked brighter
- 94% said it reduced the appearance of dark spots
- 97% said skin looked more youthful
- 94% said skin tone looked more even
*Based on a 32-subject consumer perception study after eight weeks of use.
2021: Continuing Our Mission
That brings us to today—we’re still actively advocating for cosmetic reform bills in the 117th Congress, still innovating, and still spreading the word about #betterbeauty. This is what changing beauty forever looks like: a marathon, not a sprint. We’re proud of our progress, but know that we’re just getting started.
Ready to join us in the fight for stronger beauty regulations?
Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 to ask Congress to pass clean beauty laws.
In Canada? Text 70734 to do the same.
And—as always—choose #betterbeauty.