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I’m baaaaack with another natural alternatives post for y’all. This seems to be a favorite of yours (thank you to everyone who voted in the THM Tribe!) so I’m happy to oblige. So far we’ve covered natural alternatives to Beautycounter products (this was pre-Countertime release) and Clean Beauty Glossier products. As much as I wish the Beautycounter trend would just be put to rest, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere so until then I will continue to offer cleaner, better, and usually more affordable options.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: There are other clean beauty brands out there besides Beautycounter…or Arbonne or whatever MLM that old girlfriend from college seems to claim is the only option. I know it’s easier to just buy all your products from one brand or direct from a friend but trust me when I say that there are better products out there! Don’t get me wrong, companies like Beautycounter are better than conventional beauty BUT they aren’t everything. It’s much harder to transition to clean beauty because of all of the options out there which is why companies like Beautycounter have become so successful, offering everything all in one but I encourage you to have an open mind to other brands out there. We don’t typically buy our conventional skincare, makeup, haircare and everything else from the same company – why should clean beauty play by a different set of rules? That’s why I write these posts. Yes – it requires more work but trust me when I say that it is worth it. Alright, let’s chat Countertime…

What is Beautycounter’s Countertime Collection?

In July 2019, Beautycounter released an anti-aging collection called Countertime. It’s big claim-to-fame is the use of Bakuchiol, a natural alternative to retinol. According to their press release, it is “a six-product collection designed to visibly firm, brighten and plump the skin, formulated with a plant-derived Retinatural Complex™”. Products range from $49-$89 and includes a 4-step process for maximum benefits with AM + PM options ($297 for the set).

Guys, I’m all for spending money on your skincare, but almost $300 for 5 products is INSANE. I’m a skincare addict and even I won’t spend that much. Alright, let’s chat about specific products and alternatives.

Natural Alternatives to Beautycounter’s Countertime Collection:

Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil ($49) –> Marie Veronique Replenishing Oil Cleanser ($40)

This is a pretty unique product because it’s hard to find a lightweight cleansing oil if you’re someone who prefers a one-step oil cleansing method. You’ve got a couple options here. If sticking to a one-step cleanser is your goal, I’d recommend the Marie Veronique Replenishing Oil Cleanser ($40). If you don’t need to oil cleanse everyday but prefer to only do it when you’re wearing makeup (my preference!) I oil cleanse with the Trilogy Cleansing Balm (wayyyyyyy cheaper than Beautycounter’s cleansing balm) followed by a lightweight cleanser like the Annmarie Gianni Aloe Herb Cleanser ($32).

Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence ($59) –> Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Face Mist ($32)

Guys, I’m really trying to wrap my head around a $60 toner. Is it made from unicorn tears? They cite a clinical study proving its efficacy but let’s take a second here to process this: They had 32 subjects use the product ONCE and report results. I’d really appreciate if someone could explain to me how a single application on only 32 subjects can prove a product is effective for anti-aging. I’m no scientist but this doesn’t sound right. At this point I would offer ANY other option of toner simply because your toner doesn’t need to be so complicated. The highest impact product in your skincare is almost always your serum which you apply next. There is no point to boosting up your toner if you’re about the apply a heavy-duty serum. Seriously, there’s no one out there doing such a jacked-up toner because IT DOESN’T MATTER. But for comparison’s sake and because both claim to uplift dry and dull skin let’s go with the Herbivore Botanicals Rose Hibiscus Face Mist though to be honest you could get away with pure rose water from Whole Foods… ugh I digress.

Tripeptide Radiance Serum ($79) –> Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum ($54)

Alright let’s chat about the real powerhouse of any skincare routine: serum. If you’re going to spend money on anything, let it be this. Do I think $79 on a serum is crazy? Yes. But I still invest in a super expensive one (I love you Marie Veronique Intensive Repair Serum!!!) anyway. Now let’s look to see if their ingredients hold up and if there are better and cheaper alternatives out there. An almost identical and cleaner alternative is the Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Serum from Herbivore Botanicals.

Antioxidant Soft Cream ($79) –> Annmarie Gianni Anti Aging Facial Oil ($59)

This will come as no surprise to any of you, but I’m not a fan of creams. I am an oil moisturizer kind of gal, through and through. Oil and water do not mix on their own so all creams require an emulsifier to bind them together. Generally the most popular emulsifier is alcohol. Now I don’t believe alcohol is too damaging for the skin (there’s a lot of factors involved but it certainly isn’t the worst ingredient and can sometimes be helpful), I just don’t need it if it’s not necessary. Best way to avoid alcohol in skincare? Pick pure-oil moisturizers over creams. Trust me – you’ll get used to it! Just a few drops are necessary of the Annmarie Gianni Anti Aging Facial Oil to lock in the benefits of your serum, seal in moisture with long-lasting benefits.

Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream ($89) –> Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream ($49)

You know, in case $79 for a day cream isn’t enough for you they recommend ending each day with an $89 night cream. Fun! Again, not a big fan of night creams (I’d probably just use another dose of the Annmarie Gianni Anti-Aging Facial Oil) but if night creams are your thing, this Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream has similar benefits for half the price. No, it doesn’t have another round of bakuchiol but I’m still trying to wrap my head around why Beautycounter has included their natural retinol in every single one of their products in their collection. Plants may be natural, but they’re still effective and applying 4 products in a row with the same ingredient is a little perplexing to me.

Ultra Renewal Eye Cream ($69) –> One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm ($49)

At this point I think we’re all over bakuchiol -right? Not Beautycounter! Why not add another dose to the eye cream?! Alternatively you could go with a fairly similar product, One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm which uses Vitamin E another antioxidant by nature that also helps skin in preventing signs of premature aging. Similarly it also helps to reduce under-eye puffiness.

* * * * *

And there you have it! Now I know what you’re thinking – holy expensive! Yes – cleaner beauty is expensive but keep in mind I was trying to find comparable products to an already expensive line. If you’re looking for how to simplify and save money on skincare check out this post, but if you have specific skin goals like an anti-aging line prepare to spend $$$. But the truth is that you don’t need to be spending Beautycounter prices. Not only do they add a lot of synthetics (clean synthetics but synthetics nonetheless) but they also have to pay their downline. You’re paying for a team of consultants. At the end of the day the decision is up to you! I’m just here to offer options.

With that – what brand to you want to see reviewed next? Open to any brands, products or ideas you have! Just drop a comment below.

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Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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  1. Thanks for the info about the Vit C Serum. Do you have an alternative for the BC Resurfacing Peel? A friend sent a bunch of samples of Countertime, and though I loved how it felt on, I hated the smell and audibly gasped when I saw the price tag. She wanted me to buy a set plus the Vit C and Resurfacing Peel. Holy wow, I just can’t swallow the price!

  2. Do you have recommendation for alternative to the Beautycounter Counter+ All Bright C serum? Would the Acure Vitamin C serum be a good alternative? Thank you!

    1. I’m definitely interested in your response to this question, too, Davida! I recently got a sample of the BC All Bright serum, and while I like it, I don’t love the price tag or the company’s overall MLM setup. I’d prefer to get a comparable product elsewhere, but am not really sure where to look…I’ve tried other Vit C serums in the past and just didn’t like the stickiness or the results.

      Also, any updates on comparables you’d recommend for the Countertime Serum? Herbivore is no longer making the Bakuchoil serum, so I’m left wondering what alternatives there are that might be on the market for longer than a year?

      1. Ah such a bummer the bakuchiol serum from Herbivore has been discontinued! I’m going to do a little research but I’ll get back to both of you soon!

      2. Hi Rachel! Hi Anita! Okay so I’ve done some research and honestly, I’m not thrilled with my results but I wanted to share them anyway.

        I find it interesting that BC sells a Vitamin C serum but they’re very anti retinol which is just Vitamin A. It’s completely counterintuitive that one would be on their never list and the other is fine. Retinol gets a bad rap. Not all retinol is created equal. The traditional Retin-A you see is very different from pure vitamin A. Why they would have a line that offers a plant-based alternative (which I’m all for!) for Vitamin A but be okay with a line of Vitamin C products is beyond me…but I digress!

        I want to present another option for you guys that I have found incredible results with. Sadly, it is more expensive but holy cow it’s effective! The Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol has vitamin A and vitamin C and gave me incredible results. Their retinol (vitamin A) is safe, gentle and completely different from the retinol in traditional Retin-A products. It does the job of both the All Bright Serum and the Countertime Serum so I think you’ll be really happy with the results:. Here’s a link:

        It took me about a month to see the effects but wow it’s pretty incredible. Stay tuned for a blog post all about retinol and debunking myths surrounding it. I think you’ll find it interesting!

  3. Have you ever heard of Cocokind? They seem to be much more affordable and really natural. Would be interested in a review.

  4. Hi! Overall I get what you’re going for here, but I have a hard time with you mentioning “cleaner” alternatives without describing what you mean by that. Can you say more?

  5. Have you ever tried any Deciem skin care products, or know anything about this company (and their products)? They are extremely inexpensive, from what I can glean from their website. But any downsides? Maybe not comparable at all to BC, I’m sure, but I’m very curious about Deciem, all the same. There are store locations in the next largest city near me in Canada, so I might go check them out.

    1. Great question! Deciem/The Ordinary is an interesting brand (love that they’re canadian!). Their products really need to be judged on a product-by-product basis. Some are cleaner than others. I love that they’re affordable but they definitely fall more on the synthetic side. Some have safer synthetics than others. Again, each product is different. I wouldn’t consider them clean beauty by any means but also not as bad as conventional. BC is probably slightly cleaner but wayyyyy overpriced so it would be a toss-up between the two. Hope this helps!

    1. Great product – insanely expensive! Do I think you need to spend that much on skincare? Probably not but I don’t think anyone who has purchased it has regretted it. That being said you most definitely do NOT have to spend that much for a quality product!

  6. I’m a BeautyCounter consultant and honestly, I’m discouraged. I got excited in the beginning because it seemed like an awesome opportunity and jumped in fast. I love that many of BC products are EWG verified, but I am disappointed that they do use “clean synthetics”. I’m not into that at all. I’ve barely made any money because no one can afford the products. Heck, I can’t afford the products but I bought them anyway. I’m in a pickle, because now I’ve promoted the heck out of these products to my audience, and now I want to back out. I feel like my audience won’t trust anymore. Can you see why?

    1. This blog post makes me really upset. Mostly because I tried BeautyCounter a longggg time ago because you encouraged it. You even became a consultant for a while. I think some of your comparisons are apples to oranges when the product amount isn’t even the same. It’s too bad…BeautyCounter is the leader in clean beauty. We (I say this as a consultant with BeautyCounter) also do more than provide clean beauty but we also lobby on capitol hill, advocate for change (there’s a vote taking place wednesday by the same committee our CEO and founder spoke before back in December) and we educate immensley. Most of these other clean beauty companies are just following the leader, but without the important advocate/educate portion!

      1. Have you been making a profit as a Beautycounter consultant? Have you found a consistent client base with repeat purchases? I am curious as every blogger seems to be a Consultant but I really wonder what the reality is. I genuinely want to know and not trying to be sarcastic.