Beautycounter
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FAQs
Products may be purchased through one of our independent Consultants and/or online at www.beautycounter.com/en-ca. Want to learn more about our products? Connect with a Consultant.
Someone who has decided to join Beautycounter with the intention of building a business through selling our products and/or building a team.
Visit www.beautycounter.com/en-ca and click on “Find a Consultant”. You will be asked to provide a small amount of information about yourself in order to be connected with the Beautycounter Consultant closest to you.
Yes! We have Beautycounter stores as well as seasonal pop-ups. Visit our Store Locations page to find out more.
The company headquarters are in Santa Monica, California.
The majority of our products are manufactured in the United States and Italy.
Reducing resource use is of paramount importance to our packaging development process. We use FSC-certified paper for our paper packaging and product literature. Much of our product packaging, including our shipper boxes and filler paper, is recyclable in most communities in North America. Additionally, we have partnered with How2Recycle to provide our Clients and Members with comprehensive disposal information for our products.
In addition to these product-specific disposal labels, How2Recycle supports us in our pursuit of more sustainable packaging by providing cutting-edge research and waste expert insights. Those resources complement our Packaging Scorecard, which helps us guide decision-making around packaging development. It incorporates indicators for energy use, water use, recoverability, emissions potential, and other critical impacts.
How we package our products is as important as the formulas themselves. That’s why we rigorously screen every packaging material for safety as well as environmental impacts.
We do not use styrene-based (#6), PVC (#3), or polycarbonate plastics (#7), which are usually not recyclable and are known to include toxic chemicals. We use glass containers for some of our products; however, glass is heavy and carbon-intensive to ship, so glass packaging is evaluated on a product-specific basis.
How2Recycle is a labeling system that clearly communicates disposal instructions. We break down what the label’s three sections mean for you, below.
  1. Type of material (e.g. plastic, glass, metal) and packaging format (e.g. bottle, tube, box)
  2. Degree of recyclability (widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store drop-off)
  3. How to prepare the product for recycling (e.g. empty and discard cap)
You will see product-specific labels on applicable product webpages on Beautycounter.com and, eventually, phased into our packaging. Maybe you’ve seen the labels before – many companies have adopted the system, and we’re helping to lead the way in the beauty industry!
Transparency is at the heart of everything we do at Beautycounter. We want to provide definitive instructions for how to dispose of our products. Partnering with How2Recycle has allowed us to do this in a way that we feel is clear, concise, and dynamic.
The recycling industry is complicated and constantly evolving. It’s directly impacted by economics, infrastructure, foreign policy, technology, and other macro trends. We partnered with How2Recycle to better understand this landscape, as well as to help pass that knowledge on to consumers. We are excited that this represents significant progress relative to our previous labeling system, and we plan to use it to help push the beauty industry forward. With our commitment to transparency, we’re working with How2Recycle and other packaging industry experts to formulate, educate, and advocate for more sustainable packaging.
The first products to include How2Recycle labels on their packaging will launch in late summer 2019. We’re excited to get them into your hands!
How2Recycle has minimum size requirements for its labels. It develops those guidelines consistent with industry best practices and guidance from the Federal Trade Commission, the federal agency which promotes consumer protection in commerce. Some of our products are too small to accommodate How2Recycle labels at their minimum required size. If you don’t see the label on a product, please refer to the labels included on the appropriate product webpage.
You’ll continue to see old disposal visuals on our existing products. Some of those visuals don’t align with the guidance in those products’ How2Recycle labels because other disposal visuals focus only on the principle material of an individual packaging component. Please always defer to the How2Recycle guidance, which is available on the product webpages at Beautycounter.com.
We use organic ingredients when we can. Organic ingredients are marked with an asterisk in the ingredient listing of any given product.
Beautycounter uses many ingredients that are certified organic, natural, or naturally derived, and we use some of the safer synthetic ingredients too. It is important to know that “organic” and “natural” do not have legal definitions in the cosmetic industry; companies can say that a product is organic when in fact there are no certified organic ingredients in it, or there are only a couple. A lot of products in the beauty aisle also make claims about health: “hypoallergenic,” “natural,” or “doctor-approved” may come to mind. Unfortunately, a lot of these terms are meaningless.
Many of our formulas do not contain peanut ingredients. We recently decided to conduct testing for common allergens, including peanut, through a third-party facility to ensure that the presence of the allergen is below the current detectable limits.
Because we cannot guarantee allergen-free facilities nor the absence of trace, non-detectable levels, we encourage those with allergies to consult a doctor prior to use.
We do not specifically test our products for tree nuts; however, some of our products do contain tree nut oils, as they provide benefits for the skin. Examples of nut oils that are used in some of our products include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Argan Oil
  • Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil
  • Marula Oil
  • Mongongo Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Prunus Domesticus (Plum) Seed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
Each product description page on our website includes a complete listing of ingredients, including tree nut oils, if applicable to the specific product.
We encourage those with allergies to consult a doctor prior to use.
Many of our products are not intentionally formulated with gluten, a protein found primarily in wheat, rye, and other grains; however, some of our products may contain gluten ingredients or be sourced from ingredients that contain gluten. We recently decided to conduct testing for common allergens, including gluten, through a third-party facility to ensure that the presence of the allergen is below the current detectable limits.
Because we cannot guarantee allergen-free facilities nor the absence of trace, non-detectable levels, we encourage those with allergies to consult a doctor prior to use.
Many of our products contain ingredients derived from soy. These ingredients serve important functions within our formulas such as skin conditioning, which helps to moisturize and soothe. Further, we give preference to non-GMO ingredients whenever we can, including soy. We also work to obtain statements from suppliers of the ingredients most likely to come from genetically modified soy or corn.
We recently decided to conduct testing for common allergens, including soy, through a third-party facility to ensure that the presence of the allergen is below the current detectable limits.
Please note, Baby Soothing Oil contains tocopherol from a synthetic source that is screened for safety and does not contain soy derivatives.
Because we cannot guarantee allergen-free facilities nor the absence of trace, non-detectable levels, we encourage those with allergies to consult a doctor prior to use.
We are not a vegan brand. That said, many of our products are formulated without animal-derived ingredients; for a list of these products, click here. Holding ourselves to unparalleled standards of safety sometimes means that we use animal-derived ingredients because they are the safer option to deliver the quality and performance attributes we are looking for in a cosmetics or skin care product.
For example, Beautycounter's Peppermint Balm Lip Conditioner & Calendula Balm Lip Conditioner contain lanolin, a wax derived from sheep's wool. Lanolin is boiled out of wool that has already been sheared and then filtered, therefore no sheep are harmed in the production of lanolin. Our product formulators felt that lanolin was a safer ingredient that would impart the rich hydration and the feel/slip that we were looking for in the Lip Conditioner. Lanolin also has anti-bacterial properties and is a water repellent. We use high quality lanolin from sheep in Australia and New Zealand. We also use beeswax in some of our products and hope to establish relationships with US beekeepers dedicated to keeping bee populations healthy.
Because we cannot guarantee that our products are manufactured in an entirely vegan facility, we encourage those with allergies to animal-derived substances to consult a doctor prior to use.
Not always. We don’t want to use genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and we give preference to non-GMO ingredients whenever we can. But we cannot say with certainty that we are altogether GMO-free.
In many cases, we are not able to get our hands on a certification one way or another; in other cases, we may decide to use an ingredient that is likely not GMO-free. Here is an example: A functional ingredient derived from corn is needed for performance, is safer than toxic alternatives many other brands are using, and is affordable, but it may not have GMO-free certification. Should we not use this ingredient because it is probably made from a GMO feedstock (corn often being genetically modified), and instead use one that doesn’t work as well, or is harmful to health, or makes our products cost-prohibitive? We don’t think so. But should we keep asking our suppliers for a version of that ingredient that is GMO-free? Yes, totally, and we are.
No. Beautycounter does not use petrochemical ingredients that are linked to health concerns, including sodium laureth sulfate, polyethylene glycol (PEG), propylene glycol, petrolatum, toluene, MEA, DEA, or TEA.
There are some safer ingredients that are derived from oil, and the majority of plant-derived ingredients have at one point been processed using other chemical ingredients that are derived from oil (though those processing ingredients are not left in the final products). This is why we do not make the claim that we are free of petrochemicals across the board.
An example of a petrochemical that we might use is a silicone or an alcohol, which can serve important functions such as increasing the “slip” of a makeup product like tinted moisturizer or detangling hair in conditioner.
Beautycounter uses our Ingredient Selection Process to assess the safety of each and every potential ingredient in our products, whether the ingredient is found in nature or lab-made. Lab-made ingredients are often derived from petroleum or mineral sources.
No. Companies must use preservatives in any cosmetic product that contains water or aloe to prevent the product from becoming adulterated; preservatives are needed for safety and performance.
Beautycounter screens every ingredient for safety. We look for data on important health endpoints like cancer, cell damage, reproductive toxicity, and skin irritation. One of the toughest kinds of ingredients to screen is preservatives. Because they are meant to kill bacteria, mould, and/or yeast, they may also be toxic in some concentrations to other life forms.
While formulating our skin care line, we tested several types of preservatives (none that are on our “Never List”) before settling on the preservatives that we now use. We chose options that are effective in very small concentrations, and we use different preservatives for different products because of performance (e.g., sodium might work well on its own in one product, but not in another, so we may use phenoxyethanol or potassium sorbate instead).
We use the smallest amount of preservatives that can get the job done, and we’re on a continuous quest to find even better, safer preservative options (including natural preservatives, new packaging that reduces the amount of air in the bottle, etc).
See our Ingredient Selection Process for more information.
Here is the list of preservatives and preservative boosters (not counting antioxidants) that we are currently using in our products:
Caprylhydroxamic acid, ethylhexylglycerin, gluconolactone, phenoxyethanol, salicylic acid, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and chlorphenesin. The use percentage ranges from 0.01 to 2%, depending on the ingredient and product.
Here is the list of the preservatives that we never formulate with:
Parabens, Japanese honeysuckle extract, methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone, or formaldehyde-releasers (i.e. quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, or bromopol).
Companies MUST use preservatives in any cosmetic product that contains water to ensure that potentially harmful microbial growth (i.e. bacteria, yeast, or fungus) does not occur. Products without water, like our face and body oils, often do not need preservatives.
Increasingly, many cosmetic companies state that they are “preservative free,” which is an unregulated term. If there is water in the product and they are making this claim, it is likely that one of the following is occurring: a) they suggest that you keep products refrigerated and you use them quickly, b) they are risking bacteria/mould/yeast growth, or c) they are using pre-preserved raw ingredients.
While formulating our skin care line, we tested several types of preservatives (none that are on our Never List or that have strong links to health concerns, of course) before landing on the preservatives that we did. We chose options that are effective in very small concentrations, and we use different preservatives for different products because of performance (e.g. sodium benzoate might work well on its own in one product but not in another, so we may use phenoxyethanol or potassium sorbate).
We use the smallest amount of preservatives that still get the job done, and we’re on a continuous quest to find even better, safer preservative options (including natural preservatives, new packaging that reduces the amount of air in the bottle, etc).
We make sure that we formulate our products to comply with the regulatory requirements both in the European Union and in Canada. With respect to phenoxyethanol, the percentages we use vary by product, but we make it a point to keep the levels below 1% in any given product, as outlined by the E.U. guidelines.
As for the shelf life, each product features an image of a container with a number on it—this indicates the shelf life. Most products have a 12-month shelf life, as long as the product is properly stored.
Dimethicone is a linear silicone that we use primarily to enhance the texture and spreadability of our liquid colour cosmetics on the skin. Rigorous scientific analyses have shown no evidence of toxicity to humans, as it is a large molecule that sits on the skin or hair (rather than being absorbed). After reviewing a comprehensive toxicological review of the ingredient (which Beautycounter commissioned before we decided whether we’d use this ingredient), we believe it is safe for use in cosmetics. Linear silicones are completely different from cyclic silicones, known as cyclosiloxanes, some of which have been shown to be possibly carcinogenic, exhibit hormone activity, and be environmentally persistent. These cyclosiloxanes are on our Never List.
Palm oil is the most used and demanded vegetable oil in the world and is commonly used in the cosmetic industry. It’s produced on plantations, which often involve unsustainable practices that contribute to greenhouse gases, habitat destruction, and mistreatment of workers. Only a handful of our products contain palm oil, but many of them contain palm derivatives.
Our goal is to source only certified RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) palm and palm-derived ingredients. Palm oil isn’t going anywhere, and alternatives to palm oil such as rapeseed and soybean (vegetable oil) could threaten the environment even more because they require more land, pesticides, and fertilizers than palm and do not yield as much oil. We believe the solution is to join the movement to push the palm oil industry to utilize more sustainable practices.
Our Purifying Charcoal Mask contains less than 0.5% salicylic acid, as at this low level it helps to gently unclog pores.
Although no medical studies have been conducted on the topical use of salicylic acid during pregnancy, it is generally medically advised to abstain from using skin care products that contain more than 2% salicylic acid during pregnancy out of an abundance of precaution. Also, a number of large studies have been published in which researchers examined the outcomes of women who had taken low-dose acetylsalicylic acid orally during pregnancy and there was no increase in the baseline risk of adverse events, such as major mal