I’ll be honest, a part of me thought that this post was going to be more of an exposé about the dark side of Beautycounter. I expected to lift up the rug and find some dirty, shameful secrets about the natural beauty company everyone in the wellness space seems to be talking about.
Maybe it’s because I’m pitched by a consultant at least once a week or because I’m just inherently skeptical of everything, but my first inclination was to think “this is too good to be true”.
Before you jump to any conclusions, this post is not a sales pitch. It’s an unbiased Beautycounter review from someone who has tried their fair share of natural beauty/skincare products. Most of the reviews I’ve read out there are from people who are brand new to this space and undoubtedly have found comfort in using beauty/skincare products that aren’t laden with hormone-disrupting chemicals. But as someone who has two enormous cupboards stacked full of green beauty products, how does Beautycounter stack up? That’s what this post is all about.
What is Beautycounter?
But before I jump into that, let’s go back to basics and explain what Beautycounter is. Beautycounter was founded in 2013 by Gregg Renfrew as a natural, safer alternative to conventional beauty and skincare products. Mainstream beauty products tend to be full of ingredients that you likely wouldn’t feel good about putting on your skin. The biggest culprits:
-Parabens: it mimics estrogen and disrupts your endocrine system
-Phthalates: a chemical used to make plastic more malleable, which also can affect your reproductive system
There are many others including talc, butylated compounds and petroleum, but let’s start slow. They’re used to both emulsify and extend the shelf-life of your beauty products, but they actually do more harm than good. So why are they included? Because they’re cheap and there’s very little regulation in the beauty industry. In fact no federal regulation regarding personal care products has been passed since 1938!
Now I also want to preface this by saying a lot of the research shows correlation rather than causation. You can’t say that eating a box of Oreos everyday will cause cancer, but it’s likely that eating a box of Oreos is associated with other unhealthy behaviors that add up to future health problems.
My philosophy on beauty products is similar to my philosophy on food. Focus on whole, quality ingredients but don’t be militant about it. I think where things differ with the beauty industry is that while I love a glass of red wine and dessert, it’s not something I do all day, everyday. With beauty and skincare products, it is something affecting you all day. You wake up, wash your face, moisturize, put on your makeup, wash your hands throughout the day, put on hand cream, take off your makeup, wash your face and repeat. Do I skip washing my hands in communal bathrooms because I don’t want to use the soap? No. But in my own home I make a conscious effort to avoid products that I know to be harmful to my body. One body wash (similar to one glass of wine) won’t have long-term impacts on your health, but persistent, daily use will. And that’s where companies like Beautycounter become important.
What Makes Beautycounter Different?
There are plenty of brands out there making natural skincare and beauty products, so what makes Beautycounter different? In my opinion it’s the vast array of products that they offer under their umbrella. They create everything from face wash, to soap to eyeshadow. They do body care, hair care and makeup. And they offer A LOT within each category.
What also makes them different is the Multilevel Marketing Model. They sell their products through consultants and each consultant has a mentor so with each sale of a product, that consultant makes a commision and their mentor, and their mentor’s mentor etc… make a commission. We’ll save my thoughts on this for below.
So unlike the products I buy from Credo Beauty, which normally specialize in a couple of products within either the skincare or beauty world, Beautycounter basically sells it all and everything is purchased through a consultant.
Why Did I Decide To Try Beautycounter?
Honestly, it comes down to pure and simple curiosity. I’ve just been hearing so much about it. Like I said, I hear from at least one consultant a week asking me to join their team. While I appreciate the thoughtfulness, it’s just never been something I was into. But then a lot of my friends started joining and it got me thinking, there must be more to this than meets the eye. Friends like Lexi and Beth who I trust so I decided to inquire more.
My Initial Thoughts
Before I jumped in, I asked Lexi and you guys to tell me your favorite products. In full transparency, Lexi sent me some to try, but then after asking you guys on Instagram stories I ended up putting in another huge order of products. C kind of wants to kill me because they’re literally exploding all over our apartment, but I’m taking one for the team here!
I’m not going to individually go through each product I tried on here, but for the full review of each one I filmed a video capturing my honest thoughts. I’m holding nothing back so this is all the 100% honest truth.
Besides my thoughts on each individual product, I did appreciate the packaging and delivery of the products. I definitely don’t need beautiful packaging, and there’s nothing I hate more than excessive packaging, but I do want to receive products in tact and well organized. I’ve had products from other companies show up exploded or broken and especially for a beauty company, I do expect a step-up from Amazon Prime #justbeinghonest
The Pros of Beautycounter
Like I said, I wasn’t expecting to find any pros, but honestly was surprised by the things I discovered!
1) They are great for someone who is new to green beauty/skincare – As someone who is well versed in this space and also loves experimenting with new products, this isn’t a priority for me, but for someone who is brand new, it is nice that there is a single company you can get all of your beauty, skincare and hair care products from.
2) Their product selection is vast – It’s awesome that you can basically get all of your products at the click of the button and in the mail. They pretty much have everything so it’s a one-stop-shop for anyone who doesn’t enjoy shopping for beauty and skincare products.
3) Their products are pretty good quality – I definitely don’t love all of their products, but there were some that I really enjoyed. Overall I’d say they are decent quality and especially for the price. You kind of get what you pay for.
4) They actually care about cleaner products – They go beyond just offering more natural products to consumers. They’re actually lobbying in Washington to get certain ingredients banned from our conventional skincare/beauty products and are trying to increase regulation.
The Cons of Beautycounter
1) They are not the most natural – Some consultants discuss this, others do not. Beautycounter may be cleaner but they are not chemical-free. They use synthetics in their products, but ones that are shown to have little to no impact on the body. My biggest complaint is that I’ll find a comparable product to one that I already use and the ingredients are twice as long in the BC product. I believe they use more synthetics to increase the shelf-life, which I understand but personally prefer products that use fewer and less synthetic ingredients. This is really a personal preference thing.
2) Multi Level Marketing scares me – It’s the truth. While I love that it helps people start their own businesses, I do think it becomes harder to regulate what your consultants are doing. Consultants are presented as “experts” but the reality is that they are just like me and don’t have all the answers. Experts in skincare usually spend years studying and understanding skin so I don’t love that people without credentials are giving out advice when they don’t always know what’s best. Just my personal opinion! More on this below…
3) Not all of their products compare to alternatives out there – Based on my experience, only about a 1/4-1/3 of the products compared or were better than other alternatives. There are just simply companies out there that are making better products. Maybe it’s because they’re more focused on one or several products rather than a whole line of skincare and beyond, but I just wasn’t overwhelmed by how amazing everything was. Some were good, some were bad and I would hate for people to give up on green beauty just because a product they tried from Beautycounter didn’t work for them.
Why I Became a Consultant
*note: since the time of this publishing in 2017 I’ve decided to no longer remain a consultant. I was only in the program for 6 months and in order to stay in the program you must sell a certain amount or pay to be reinstituted. As I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the products, I wasn’t pushing and selling intentionally. To remain a Beautycounter consultant you must sell a certain amount, something that didn’t sit well with me. They are not transparent about this quota and I found this disappointing
So in the end I decided to become a consultant for two reasons:
1) I wanted to see what this process looked like – I was curious what it meant to become a consultant. Basically all you need is a mentor, so essentially someone who is already a consultant and can guide you (mine is Lexi) and $85 to sign-up. In the mail I got a HUGE stack of papers and books that I’m expected to read. Truth is, I haven’t opened them. Mainly because I’m a digital person and I prefer to read online, but also because it was so overwhelming. Which makes me wonder how many consultants have felt the same way. The do have modules available online for training, but again how many consultants actually complete these? Which brings me back to point #2 above about MLM. This is a huge generalization, but I do have my doubts.
2) I support their mission and some of their products -There were some products that I was really impressed by and would 100% purchase again. If I would repurchase something I always tell you about it, because I think it’s worthwhile. And because I make a living off of this, it’s always nice to get a kickback from recommending it. I also love that they are a company that isn’t just selling products but also trying to change legislation and that is something I can definitely get behind. Okay and you also get a pretty sweet discount on products as a consultant!
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So there you have it! Don’t forget to watch my video review of all the products I tried. I really hope this post has been educational for you and I’m always here to answer questions if you have any. You know I try to keep this space 100% transparent and I love being a guinea pig and providing my feedback, but as always this is just my personal opinion. I’m all ears to hear your thoughts!
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