Looking for honest beautycounter reviews? After testing dozens of clean beauty brands, I finally gave Beautycounter products try. Here is my list of the best products, plus which ones I think you should skip.
After 10+ years of testing, researching, and educating about clean cosmetics, I decided it was time to put together a comprehensive Beautycounter review. While I’m a big fan of many different clean beauty brands, Beautycounter is one of the brands I find myself using the most.
I initially made the switch to safer products after I saw this report, which showed the level of parabens and phthalates in the body skyrocketed after just three days of using conventional beauty products. After doing my own research, I found that only 11 chemicals have ever been regulated by the FDA for use in cosmetics. And no safety tests are required before beauty products hit store shelves, including testing for contaminants like heavy metals.
Beautycounter has come a long way with product formulations since they first launched. In the last few years, there’s been a big overhaul in packaging and many brand new treatments and makeup products have launched. I checked out a lot of Beautycounter reviews when decided to try the products years ago, and many of them were based on old or outdated product. This review is based on 2023 products and beyond. I will keep this review up to date with new products too as they launch!
To be clear, I’m not trying to sell you on Beautycounter. This is an honest review by someone who has tried and researched dozens of clean beauty brands. If you try the products or find another brand that works for you—fantastic! My goal is to help you move to safer products, and figure out what works for you.
What is Beautycounter?
Beautycounter is a clean beauty company that was founded in 2013 by Gregg Renfrew. The company’s mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. They were one of the first beauty companies to provide safe and effective high-performing personal care products, and launched the first Never List. The company is based out of Santa Monica, California.
Beautycounter is a Certified B Corporation, Leaping Bunny Certified, and vigilantly test products for contaminants like heavy metals. Beautycounter also prioritizes sustainability and environmentally preferred materials (see the Social Mission Report), and works with the Chemical Footprint Project to assess the use of safer ingredients.
Is Beautycounter a Clean Beauty Brand?
Beautycounter is a clean beauty brand that proactively excludes any known harmful or questionable ingredients from their products, and tests both raw materials and end products for contaminants like heavy metals.
Beautycounter is transparent with their ingredients and testing, and publishes a Never List. All products are free of 2,800 harmful ingredients, including endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, formaldehyde, chemical sunscreens, coal tar, parabens, phthalates, PEGs, retinols, sulfates, fragrance, and more. Also, most of Beautycounter’s products have been submitted for EWG verification.
Beautycounter is not a “natural” skin care company. This was actually one of the reasons I didn’t use their products for a long time. But, after spending years telling people to clean their face with coconut oil, I realized there were some big flaws in my reasoning, especially concerning heavy metals. I started diving into the research about the safety of substances as well as contamination risks, and found that natural substances (like clay) are much more susceptible to heavy metal contamination.
Remember: chemicals are not inherently bad. Everything is made of chemicals, including water, coconut oil, dirt, and you! What’s important is to limit the use of known harmful chemicals. The number of ingredients isn’t what matters. What matters is if that ingredient is safe and/or has been tested for contaminants. For this reason, Beautycounter uses a combination of safe synthetic and natural ingredients that have been tested multiple times throughout production for contaminants to provide high performing products.
Beautycounter Reviews: The Best Products
Let me start by saying I was not interested in trying Beautycounter in the beginning. I felt like my simple routine was sufficient and didn’t want to make things more complicated. Then, I hit 30, and realized my skin really needed some active ingredients. I’ve been using clean beauty products for about 5+ years, and have now tried the majority of Beautycounter’s products. I know the good, the bad, and the best. Here is my comprehensive Beautycounter review of the top products.
Beautycounter Skin Care Reviews
1. All Bright Vitamin C Serum
The All Bright C Serum contains an ultra-stable 10% blend of two forms of vitamin C, plus turmeric and camu camu that instantly brightens skin and helps even skin tone. It’s an AM treatment that is great for all skin types, but especially dry, dull skin.
- One of the best selling and most loved treatments. Of all of the products included in this Beautycounter review, this one is my favorite. This has made the biggest difference in the appearance of my skin—it’s incredibly effective at changing skin tone and texture
- Good for all skin types, including oily and sensitive skin
- It instantly brightens skin once you put it on and has antioxidant protection to defend against the damaging effects of environmental stressors
- Price. Vitamin C isn’t cheap, but this is where I put my money
2. Countertime Anti-Aging Collection
Countertime is Beautycounter’s anti-aging skin care collection that contains active ingredients to visibly firm, brighten, and plump skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The collection has both bakuchiol and Swiss alpine rose, which act as a safer alternative to retinol.
- This line is more cutting edge in that it contains the latest in safe, clean skin care ingredients. Bakuchiol is becoming very popular for it’s effectiveness and anti-aging effects
- Loaded with active ingredients that improve skin texture and reduces fine lines. I absolutely love the serum and soft cream.
- Can purchase items individually or combined at a discount
- This line is packed with active ingredients, so you definitely need to spot test. I reacted badly to the eye cream, but I use all of the other products in the line.
- Heavier glass bottles. Great for sustainability, bad for travel. Luckily there is a travel set.
3. Charcoal Bar and Mask
The Charcoal Mask and Charcoal Bar are two popular products that use nutrient-rich kaolin clay and activated charcoal to absorb excess oil, drawing out impurities, and resurface the skin.
- Both products are very easy to use and have a lower price point
- Very effective at clearing out pores and reducing pore size
- The charcoal mask is incredible at preventing breakouts—use it as a spot treatment in problem areas to make it last longer
- The charcoal bar is great for absorbing sweat and impurities. I use it post workout and it’s eliminated my breakouts and clogged pores. The bar will last for 6+ months!
- It can be hard to get the last bit of product out of the charcoal mask tube. I recommend cutting the top and using a spatty to get the last of it.
4. Overnight Resurfacing Peel
The Overnight Resurfacing Peel is one of the most popular products from Beautycounter because it’s a clean alternative to peels. This is a leave-on AHA/BHA peel you apply 2-3x a week at night only. It clears away dull surface cells and soothes the skin to reveal a brighter, healthier looking, renewed complexion.
- This is a cult favorite because it’s insanely effective. I noticed results almost immediately.
- You only apply it 2-3 times a week at night only, so it lasts a very long time
- It works really well at reducing pore size and improving skin texture
- Great for all skin types, including oily skin
- This one is packed with active ingredients—so spot test first
5. Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion
The Countermatch Adaptive Lotion is quite possibly the best lightweight facial lotion I’ve found. It’s great for dry, combo, and sensitive skin. It has squalane, phytic acid, and plum oil to help hydrate skin for up to 24 hours.
- Very lightweight and easy to use. Makes dry/combo skin feel soft and plump luxurious all day.
- Fantastic for sensitive skin
- A little goes a long way
- I honestly don’t have anything to note
Beautycounter Makeup Reviews
1. Think Big Mascara
The Think Big Mascara is a new volumizing mascara and primer in one. It lifts, lengthens, and adds volume. Thanks to intensely nourishing tripeptide technology, it also supports stronger lashes and will make your lashes look like falsies. I can’t get enough.
- I don’t rave about much, but this mascara is amazing. It makes my lashes look like falsies.
- I have tried SO MANY clean mascaras, and nothing beats the lift and volume of my lashes with this mascara
- No flaking and its water resistant! I don’t experience any smudging.
- Brush is the perfect shape for precise application in the corners of your eyes
- This isn’t water proof, so it can smudge when you sweat or swim. I recommend using a powder setting agent around your eyes before applying if you use liquid foundation and have oily skin.
- Takes a bit to wash off since it’s water resistant. I recommend wetting your face and loosening up your lashes with just water on your hands to get the mascara to soften, then use a cream cleanser to wash it away.
2. Skin Twin Foundation
The Skin Twin Foundation is natural-looking foundation that is incredibly lightweight and feels like a second skin. It has a beautiful airbrushing effect, and breathable, buildable coverage with hyaluronic acid to visibly plump the skin.
- Lightweight and doesn’t even feel like I’m wearing foundation. Coming from someone who doesn’t like the feel of liquid foundation—this is huge!
- I find it doesn’t settle in the fine lines on my forehead, which happens with my powder foundation
- Long lasting
- There are 27 shades—many to choose from
- It can be hard to color match online. Not many people know about this, but you can use this shade matcher to find your shade.
3. Creamy Concealer
The Creamy Concealer is a creamy, buildable, long-wearing concealer that is applied with a wand. It’s very lightweight and breathable, and blends in like a second skin. It’s also formulated with skin care ingredients to help skin look smoother and firmer.
- Goes on very smooth. This is the creamiest clean concealer I’ve found—it doesn’t sit on top of the skin and blends in well
- Great coverage
- I love this wand. LOVE IT.
- A lot of shades to choose from
- It can be hard to color match online. Not many people know about this, but you can use this shade matcher to find your shade.
What Misses the Mark
In general, there are some gaps with Beautycounter that I want to review. While the company has quite an extensive selection of skin care products, they are missing some staple makeup products such as eyeliner, powder foundation, and bronzer. They discontinued many powder products for reformulation, which I was not happy about. I expect this to change drastically in the near future as they hired a new product developer and have some big plans for new makeup products going forward.
Currently, there are a few products I’m not a fan on. Here are the Beautycounter products I avoid:
- Cream Blush – I am a powder girl through and through and can’t stand cream products. I know some people love them. I am not one of them.
- Instant Eye Makeup Remover – I actually recommend against using eye makeup remover and wipes because the oils can cause styes. Once I stopped using eye makeup remover, I didn’t have them ever again.
- Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa – This product is not my favorite. It doesn’t suds up every well and the pump on the new container only gives you a super small amount per pump.
- Hand Savior Hand Sanitizer – This product is great and performs fine, but it’s hand sanitizer. There are plenty of other clean hand sanitizers on the market now for 1/4th of the cost. Put the money you’d spend here into any of the other high performing skin care products.
- Countertime Eye Cream – I had a horrible reaction to this eye cream. I know many people love it and it provides effective results, but I’ve seen other people react to this product. I recommend trying all of the other Countertime products first and this last if you have sensitive skin like me.
Is Beautycounter Worth It?
The million dollar questions! In my opinion, yes. Here are a few reason I think Beautycounter is worth it after reviewing most of the products:
- High quality: Beautycounter uses safe and effective active ingredients, which are substances that have clear and proven effects. They perform the same if not better than conventional products, which isn’t typical with other clean beauty products.
- Great for people new to clean beauty: Many of the products can easily be swapped and it’s easy to see what they do and how to use them.
- EWG certification: All products are on the EWG website, and most are EWG certified.
- Large product selection: There’s a large variety of both skin care and makeup products so you can stick with the same brand for most of your needs.
- Test for contaminants: It is very common for containments to sneak into products during manufacturing. Also, many natural substances can be contaminated with heavy metals. Beautycounter’s rigorous testing and safety standards go above what’s required to reduce this risk. No one else is testing for heavy metals on end products. Believe me, I’ve asked.
- Sustainable packaging: By 2025, all of Beautycounter packaging will be reusable, refillable, or recyclable.
- No compromising: The makeup products are pigmented, long lasting, and comparable to conventional makeup brands. Below I’m wearing all Beautycounter makeup!
Where to Buy
Beautycounter sells products directly on their website and in select store locations. They are also currently available in Ulta stores. The easiest way to purchase all of the current Beautycounter products available is on their website. Beautycounter has a 60-day money back guarantee on all purchases. So, if you don’t love what you got or it’s not a match, you can send it back.
Beautycounter does have a coupon code for first-time buyers. Just use the code CLEANFORALL20 at checkout.
Yes! Beautycounter doesn’t include over 2,700 known or questionable harmful ingredient in any of their products, including endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, formaldehyde, chemical sunscreens, coal tar, parabens, phthalates, PEGs, retinols, sulfates, fragrance, and more. They also do rigorous testing in both raw materials and end products for contaminants such as heavy metals.
Yes! Beautycounter has a coupon code for first-time buyers. Use the code CLEANFORALL20 here. (Note: this code sometimes changes. Please sign to receive the code here if you want the updated one.)
As of February 2023, Beautycounter products can be purchased at 500 Ulta store locations across the U.S. and online at ulta.com. There are 9 makeup products and 21 skin care products from Beautycounter available at Ulta.
Yes! Beautycounter has been on the red carpet and is regularly praised by many celebrities, including Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Melissa McCarthy, Rashida Jones, Amy Poehler, and Alessandra Ambrosia.
My in-depth Beautycounter reviews only come after years of testing. I personally think Beautycounter makes some of the best high performing clean beauty products on the market. They formulate active ingredients into their products, which offers significant results. They also do extensive testing for contaminants and heavy metals, which is more important to me than a product being “natural.”
My skin drastically changed when I started using the treatments from Beautycounter, so I recommend just about everyone give the products a try. Choose from the list above, and you’ll likely see positive results in a short amount of time.
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