Kudos To Beauty Counter… Or Maybe Not? Where Beauty Counter Is Failing The Beauty Industry.

Kudos To Beauty Counter… Or Maybe Not? Where Beauty Counter Is Failing The Beauty Industry.

In the ever-evolving landscape of skincare and cosmetics, where trends come and go as swiftly as the seasons change, one brand has stood out for its commitment to both beauty and sustainability. 

Beauty Counter, founded in 2011 by Gregg Renfrew, hit the ground running and carved out a niche for itself in the beauty industry, prioritizing clean ingredients, transparency, and environmental responsibility. 

But is Beauty Counter as clean as they claim to be? Recent scrutiny has shed light on the presence of questionable ingredients in some of its products, in addition to their sustainability practices, raising concerns among consumers and prompting a closer examination of the brand.

Today we are taking a closer look at what Beauty Counter did right to achieve their status and where they went wrong, so we can gain valuable insights into the evolving landscape of clean beauty and make informed choices about the products we use on our skin.

What Beauty Counter Did Right

Let’s explore what Beauty Counter did right to become a darling of the beauty industry, while also delving into the controversies that have caused a critical eye on the company and its practices.

#1 Prioritizing Clean Ingredients

One of factors that made Beauty Counter standout when the brand started, was its dedication to using clean, safe ingredients in all of its products. The brand established a rigorous screening process, known as "The Never List," which comprised of 1,800 questionable or harmful chemicals and ingredients that Beauty Counter pledged never to use. 

This commitment to transparency and safety has resonated strongly with consumers who were increasingly concerned about the potential health risks associated with certain beauty products.

By offering a range of skincare, makeup, and personal care items that were formulated without harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, and synthetic fragrances, Beauty Counter provided consumers with peace of mind, knowing that they could avoid potentially harmful substances.

However, the brand still permits the use of certain ingredients such as:

  • Synthetic dyes
  • Phenoxyethanol (a relatively safe preservative but can cause non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high) by the EWG
  • Dimethicone (silicones, derived from fossil fuels reported for persistence and bioaccumulation and non-reproductive organ system toxicity by the EWG

This is disconcerting as, while they claim these substances appear “safe” on the surface, according to the EWG, there is a high risk of persistence and bioaccumulation", and moderate risk of non-reproductive organ system toxicity.

This prompts us to question why a brand that has made such rigorous efforts to eliminate toxic chemicals would even consider the addition of chemicals that pose any risk at all - especially when they are not essential to the quality or efficacy of the product.

#2 They Empower Consumers Through Education

In addition to offering safe and clean beauty products, Beauty Counter also prioritized education and advocacy surrounding ingredient transparency and product safety. The brand recognized that informed consumers are empowered consumers, and it has made it a mission to provide resources and information to help individuals make more conscious choices about the products they use on their skin.

Through its website, blog, social media channels, and educational campaigns, Beauty Counter has educated consumers about the importance of ingredient transparency, the potential risks associated with certain chemicals, and the need for stricter regulations in the beauty industry. By fostering a community of informed consumers, Beauty Counter helped to promote a broader movement towards safer and more sustainable beauty practices.

#3 Their Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

Beyond its focus on product safety and consumer education, Beauty Counter has shown a commitment to minimizing its environmental footprint. The brand took significant steps to reduce waste, increase recycling efforts, and incorporate sustainable practices into its supply chain.

On their website, they set a goal for 2025, aiming for 100% of their packaging to be recycled, recyclable, refillable, reused, or compostable.

While this initiative may initially seem promising, it's important to recognize that recycled plastic, while a step in the right direction, still retains the environmental footprint of plastic. Despite being labeled as recyclable, the reality is that only a small fraction of plastic waste is actually recycled—approximately 10%—with the majority ending up in landfills. Plastic takes an estimated 400+ years to decompose, contributing to long-term environmental harm.

While BeautyCounter's efforts towards sustainable packaging are commendable, true sustainability entails a deeper commitment to reducing reliance on plastic and exploring alternative materials and packaging solutions.

What Beauty Counter Is Doing Wrong

Beauty Counter has garnered praise for its commitment to clean beauty, advocating for transparency and safer ingredients in skincare and cosmetics. However, recent scrutiny has shed light on the presence of questionable ingredients in some of its products, raising concerns among consumers and prompting a closer examination of the brand's practices.

#1 The Promise of Clean Beauty - Unveiling Questionable Ingredients

Beauty Counter entered the beauty industry with a bold promise: to prioritize safety and transparency by formulating products without harmful chemicals. 

On their website, however, they state “While all of our ingredients are sourced with a higher standard of safety and quality in mind, it is recognized—and accepted by regulatory authorities around the world—that incidental, trace levels of a chemical may inadvertently be introduced in a cosmetic product due to the complexities of the supply chain and manufacturing process. At Beautycounter, we work incredibly hard to minimize—but unfortunately, can’t eliminate—the potential that a product may contain trace levels of a chemical from The Never List™.”

We can't help but wonder: why would a company use supply chains and manufacturing processes they can't control? 

At Primal Life, a US based company with US based manufacturing, we manufacture and source all our products in-house, allowing us to maintain full oversight at every stage of production. We meticulously vet our suppliers to ensure they meet our rigorous internal standards of clean and natural ingredients. With manufacturing done in-house in our facility in Copley, Ohio, we can guarantee that no toxic chemicals would ever be found in our products.

As stated above, Beauty Counter uses synthetic dyes, Phenoxyethanol, and Dimethicone - all of which raise red flags for persistence in the body and environment and some negative effects.

Our question is why.

Why is a company that claims to be “clean”, using ingredients that are NOT clean?

It doesn’t matter if they are transparent about it. The reality is, the inclusion of these ingredients do not signify a “clean” brand.

#2 The Hidden Problem: Beauty Counter's Mass Production Practices

While including questionable ingredients in their formulations is a significant problem, the other hidden issue is that Beauty Counter relies on mass production to meet the demands of its expanding customer base. 

Beauty Counter's manufacturing processes are carried out in large-scale production facilities where raw materials are sourced, ingredients are mixed, and products are packaged for distribution. These facilities leverage machinery and technology to optimize production efficiency and ensure consistency in product quality.

Despite the brand's emphasis on clean ingredients, the challenges of maintaining stringent quality control standards within the context of mass production cannot be overlooked.

Ingredient Sourcing

Like any mass-produced product, Beauty Counter's ingredients are obtained from various suppliers worldwide.

While the brand has established guidelines and standards for ingredient sourcing, the complexity of global supply chains poses challenges in ensuring the sustainability and ethical procurement of raw materials. 

Issues such as deforestation, habitat destruction, and labor exploitation in the sourcing of natural ingredients underscore the importance of greater transparency and accountability in the beauty industry.

Packaging and Distribution

Mass production necessitates the use of significant quantities of packaging materials, including plastic bottles, jars, and tubes, to package and distribute Beauty Counter's products. 

While the brand has taken steps to minimize its environmental impact by employing recyclable and sustainable packaging materials, the sheer volume of packaging generated by mass production remains a concern in terms of waste and pollution. 

Additionally, the transportation of products to retail outlets and online channels further contributes to carbon emissions and environmental impacts associated with logistics.

Ethical Considerations

Mass production also raises ethical considerations related to labor practices and social responsibility. 

While Beauty Counter has committed to fair labor practices and ethical sourcing, the subcontracting and outsourcing of manufacturing processes to third-party facilities may pose challenges in ensuring compliance with labor standards and worker welfare. 

Furthermore, the brand's reliance on contract manufacturers and suppliers introduces complexities in maintaining oversight and accountability across the supply chain.

#3 Beauty Counter's Use of Tap Water in Skincare: Unveiling Potential Concerns

Water in skincare - is it necessary?

Before delving into Beauty Counter's use of tap water in skincare, it's crucial to address the broader concerns associated with tap water itself. 

Tap water, while considered safe for consumption and bathing in many regions, can harbor contaminants that pose risks to both skin health and overall well-being. Studies show unpurified tap water contains significant amounts of heavy metals, fluoride, drug waste, and pollution. 

Moreover, tap water's chemical composition, including chlorine and heavy metals, dehydrates the skin which contributes to premature aging. Chlorine, added to municipal water supplies for disinfection purposes, can strip the skin of its natural oils and disrupt its delicate balance, leading to dryness, irritation, and increased susceptibility to environmental stressors.

While tap water is a common ingredient in skincare products, the use of it is NOT necessary.

Beauty Counter's Incorporation of Tap Water

The utilization of tap water in Beauty Counter’s skincare formulations presents several potential concerns:

  • Contaminant Exposure: Tap water may contain impurities such as chlorine, heavy metals, and microbial organisms, which can compromise product safety and exacerbate skin conditions.
  • Microbial Growth: The presence of tap water creates an environment conducive to microbial growth, increasing the risk of contamination and spoilage in skincare products.
  • Product Stability: Tap water's variability in pH levels and viscosity can impact product stability and performance, affecting texture, efficacy, and shelf life.

Given these concerns, transparency and disclosure are paramount in maintaining consumer trust and confidence. Beauty Counter, renowned for its commitment to ingredient transparency, must provide comprehensive information about its use of tap water in skincare formulations. Consumers have the right to know the origins and quality of ingredients in their skincare products to make informed decisions about their safety and effectiveness.

#4 Beauty Counter's Plastic Packaging and the Perils of Plastic

While plastic packaging offers convenience and affordability, it also raises significant environmental and health concerns that merit attention, especially in the context of the beauty industry.

Beauty Counter's product lineup predominantly features plastic packaging, including bottles, jars, and tubes. 

These materials are ubiquitous in the beauty industry due to their versatility, cost-effectiveness, and convenience for both manufacturers and consumers. However, their widespread use contributes to environmental degradation and health risks.

Environmental Impact

Plastic pollution has reached alarming levels globally, with vast quantities of plastic waste contaminating oceans, soil, and ecosystems. Beauty Counter's reliance on plastic packaging exacerbates this problem, perpetuating the cycle of resource depletion and environmental degradation. 

The brand's commitment to sustainability must address the impact of plastic pollution and explore alternatives to minimize its environmental footprint.

Health Concerns

In addition to environmental impacts, plastic packaging raises concerns about potential health risks associated with chemical exposure. Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, common additives in plastic manufacturing, are known endocrine disruptors linked to reproductive disorders and developmental issues. 

While Beauty Counter prioritizes clean ingredients in its formulations, the presence of plastic packaging introduces the risk of chemical leaching and contamination, compromising product safety and integrity.

Sustainable Alternatives

Recognizing the urgent need for sustainable solutions, consumers are increasingly seeking out alternatives to conventional plastic packaging. 

Beauty Counter has initiated efforts to reduce plastic waste and increase the use of recycled and recyclable materials in its packaging. However, the brand's reliance on plastic packaging underscores the importance of exploring innovative alternatives, such as biodegradable materials and refillable containers, to minimize environmental impact and mitigate health risks.

Addressing Consumer Concerns

In response to concerns about questionable ingredients and their manufacturing practices, Beauty Counter’s approach was to reaffirm its commitment to transparency and safety. They emphasized their rigorous screening process and ongoing efforts to assess and improve their formulations. 

As a brand also in the personal care industry, we applaud Beauty Counter’s commitment to transparency and safety. But at what point will they address these concerns with real action? 

As we stated before, effective beauty products can be made without the use of toxic chemicals, tap water, or plastic packaging. Period.

It’s time to truly “come clean” with what clean beauty really is. Free from chemicals and potential harm to consumers.

How Primal Life does more that promise Clean Beauty.  We source our ingredients, manufacture our products in the US and we know our suppliers.  We make water-free skincare and use certified organic ingredients.  We will never use the "f" word (fragrance) in our products.  Ever.  We stand for CLEAN because you deserve only the best.


Primal Life's Commitment to Non-Toxic Products: Setting the Standard for Clean Living

Enter Primal Life, a trailblazer in the beauty industry, setting the standard for what “clean beauty” really is while steadfastly adhering to its mission of providing non-toxic, all-natural alternatives. 

Here's a closer look at what Primal Life is doing right in its pursuit of non-toxic living.

#1 Emphasizing Clean Ingredients

At the heart of Primal Life's philosophy is our dedication to sourcing and formulating products with the highest quality, non-toxic ingredients. 

We meticulously select each ingredient based on its safety, efficacy, and environmental impact, ensuring that every product meets rigorous standards for purity and performance. 

By prioritizing clean ingredients free from harmful chemicals, synthetic fragrances, and artificial preservatives, Primal Life empowers consumers to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.  We hand pick certified organic ingredients from suppliers we have personal relationships with.

#2 Transparency and Accountability

At Primal Life, we place a premium on transparency, providing detailed ingredient lists and comprehensive product information to empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.  We never hide ingredients- every ingredient is listed on the website and product.

We go above and beyond regulatory requirements to disclose the sourcing and processing of each ingredient, fostering trust and confidence among our customer base.

We make it our mission to regularly communicate with our customers through educational content, blog posts, and social media, ensuring they understand why we prioritize natural ingredients, how to improve their health, and how our products solve their self care concerns. This further reinforces our commitment to transparency and accountability.

#3 Sustainability and Environmental Responsibility

In addition to prioritizing ingredient safety, we are committed to minimizing our environmental footprint and promoting sustainability throughout our operations. 

Based in Copely, Ohio, we manufacture 95% of our products at our production facility. We use eco-friendly packaging materials, such as recyclable glass bottles and biodegradable packaging, to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact. 

Furthermore, we partner with suppliers who share its commitment to ethical sourcing, fair labor practices, and environmental stewardship, ensuring that its products are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

#4 Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Primal Life is dedicated to innovation and continuous improvement, and we are constantly seeking new ways to enhance the efficacy and sustainability of our products. 

We invest in research and development to explore innovative ingredients and formulations that deliver superior results without compromising safety or integrity. 

Additionally, we consistently solicit feedback from our customers to understand their needs and preferences, using this information to inform product development and refinement.

#5 Community Engagement and Education

Beyond offering non-toxic products, we are deeply committed to empowering and educating our consumers about the importance of clean living. 

We actively engage with our community through workshops, events, and online resources, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterst, providing practical tips and insights to help individuals adopt healthier lifestyles. 

By fostering a sense of community and sharing knowledge about non-toxic living, we inspire and empower consumers to make positive changes for themselves, their families, and the planet.

Our dedication to non-toxic products sets a new standard for clean living in today's marketplace. By emphasizing clean ingredients, transparency, sustainability, innovation, and community engagement, 

Primal Life is leading the way in promoting safer, healthier alternatives to conventional household and personal care products. As consumers increasingly prioritize health, safety, and environmental sustainability, Primal Life's commitment to non-toxic living positions us as a trusted ally and advocate in the journey toward cleaner, greener living for all.

Small-Batch Manufacturing: Primal Life's Commitment to Quality and Craftsmanship

In an age dominated by mass production and global supply chains, Primal Life stands apart as a brand that prioritizes quality, integrity, and sustainability in every aspect of its operation. 

At the heart of our manufacturing process lies a dedication to small-batch production, carried out in Copley, OH in the United States. This approach not only ensures the highest standards of quality and freshness but also reflects our commitment to supporting local economies and minimizing its environmental footprint. 

Here's a closer look at how we manufacture our products in small batches in the United States and why it matters.

Craftsmanship and Quality Control: We care about you.

Small-batch manufacturing allows us to uphold the principles of craftsmanship and quality control that are central to our brand ethos.

By producing in small quantities, we can maintain meticulous attention to detail at every step of the process, from sourcing raw materials to blending and packaging the final products.

This hands-on approach ensures that each batch meets the highest standards of purity, potency, and efficacy, delivering unparalleled quality to discerning consumers.

Freshness and Potency: We care about your health.

Unlike mass-produced products that may sit on shelves for extended periods, Primal Life’s small-batch manufacturing ensures freshness and potency with every purchase.

By producing in small quantities, we can minimize inventory and optimize turnover, allowing customers to enjoy products at peak freshness without the need for excessive preservatives or artificial additives.

This commitment to freshness not only enhances the user experience but also maximizes the effectiveness of our formulations, delivering optimal results for its customers.

Flexibility and Innovation: We care about your feedback.

Small-batch manufacturing offers us the flexibility to innovate and adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends.

With shorter production cycles and quicker turnaround times, we can respond swiftly to feedback, experiment with new formulations, and introduce exciting new products to our lineup.

This agility and responsiveness enable Primal Life to stay ahead of the curve and maintain our position as a leader in the natural skincare and personal care industry.

Supporting Local Economies: We love America.

By manufacturing exclusively in the United States, Primal Life actively contributes to local economies and supports American workers and businesses.

We partner with local suppliers and artisans to source high-quality ingredients and packaging materials, fostering economic growth and vitality in communities across the country.

Additionally, we prioritize ethical labor practices and fair wages, ensuring that our manufacturing processes uphold the dignity and well-being of all individuals involved in our supply chain.

Environmental Sustainability: We love Mother Nature.

Small-batch manufacturing aligns with our commitment to environmental sustainability and conservation. By producing in small quantities, we minimize waste and reduces our carbon footprint, conserving resources and minimizing environmental impact. 

Furthermore, we prioritize eco-friendly packaging materials and shipping practices, further reducing our environmental footprint and promoting a more sustainable approach to business.

Primal Life's Eco-Conscious Packaging: Embracing Glass, Cardboard, and Tin for a Greener Future

In an era where environmental sustainability is paramount, at Primal Life we eschew plastic in favor of glass, cardboard, and tin containers for our products, which not only reduces our environmental footprint but also prioritize the health and well-being of our customers. 

Here's a closer look at how our commitment to sustainable packaging is shaping a greener future for all.

Glass: A Sustainable Alternative (less than 1% of our products are in sugarcane packaging.  The other 99% is on cardboard, glass and tin.)

Our decision to use glass containers for our products reflects our dedication to sustainability and product integrity. Glass is infinitely recyclable and poses minimal risk of leaching harmful chemicals into the contents, ensuring that products remain pure and safe for consumers

Additionally, glass packaging preserves the freshness and potency of our formulations, providing an airtight and UV-resistant barrier that extends shelf life without the need for harmful preservatives.

Cardboard: Biodegradable and Renewable

In addition to glass, we utiized cardboard packaging for shipping and product boxes, further reducing our environmental impact.

Cardboard is biodegradable, compostable, and derived from renewable resources, making it a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic packaging.

By opting for cardboard, we minimize waste and support a circular economy where materials are reused, recycled, and repurposed to minimize environmental harm.

Tin: Durable and Recyclable

We also incorporates tin containers into its packaging lineup, offering a durable and recyclable option for certain products.

Tin is lightweight yet sturdy, providing excellent protection for Primal Life’s formulations while remaining fully recyclable at the end of its lifecycle.

By choosing tin, we demonstrate our commitment to reducing single-use plastic and promoting a more sustainable approach to packaging that prioritizes longevity, durability, and recyclability.

Environmental Impact and Conservation

Primal Life Organics' embrace of glass, cardboard, and tin packaging aligns with our broader mission of environmental conservation and sustainability. By reducing reliance on plastic, we minimize pollution, conserve resources, and mitigate the adverse impacts of plastic waste on ecosystems and wildlife. 

Furthermore, our eco-conscious packaging choices inspire consumers to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and contribute to a healthier, greener planet for future generations.

Clean Beauty: Cleaning Up The Industry (and your health... and our world.)

In light of recent scrutiny surrounding Beauty Counter's ingredient practices, we are prompted to reflect on the complexities within the clean beauty movement.

While they have made strides in transparency and safer formulations, challenges persist in aligning products with evolving consumer expectations and safety standards. Collaborative efforts with consumers and experts are vital as we navigate these complexities, reinforcing our commitment to transparency, safety, and sustainability.

In contrast, at Primal Life, we set a distinct standard for clean beauty, prioritizing integrity, and transparency. Founded on principles of non-toxic living and sustainability, our emphasis on clean ingredients, transparency, and environmental responsibility empowers consumers to make informed skincare choices. Through sustainability initiatives and community engagement, we advocate for a greener, healthier future.

Amidst the dynamic changes in clean beauty, supporting brands aligned with safety, transparency, and sustainability becomes essential. Your choices wield the power to foster positive transformation, shaping an industry that champions health, transparency, and environmental stewardship.

Join our Clean Beauty Movement and feel great about what you put on your skin!

*Unlike Beauty Counter, Primal Life is not a MLM company.