by Shannon Wintheiser
Are you a "products" girl? You know what I mean - you have a cream, oil, spray, and serum for just about every body part and your nighttime ritual involves slathering in front of the mirror for long enough that it's crossed your mind that you should bring your iPad into the bathroom with you and catch up on Scandal.
I'm not traditionally a "products" girl, actually.
I used to get excited in my late teens and early twenties about a new shade of eye shadow or an anti-aging night cream (you can never start reversing the aging process too early, right?), but over the last few years my product purchases have been relatively minimum. Mostly that's because I became aware of all the nasties in the standard beauty products, and the crazy bad effects they can have on things like your hormone production (want more info on some of the key ingredients to watch out for and their effects? Check out my post "You Are What You Smear").
So once I wised-up to the hidden toxins in conventional products, I made like two trips to the Whole Foods beauty section circa 2013 in which I poured over every product (well mostly the price tags of every product if I'm being honest) and eventually painfully checked out with just one thing in my cart ($22 for a lipgloss that lasts all of 10 minutes?!).
After that experience I was wary of purchasing any organic or non-toxic beauty products for awhile (unless they were under $5), so I just didn't use many products at all. But lately, there's been an incredible increase of safe, non-toxic beauty products out on the market that - get this - actually work!
The market for organic personal care is expected to reach almost $16 billion USD globally by 2020.
Good news for holistic-health-savvy "product" girls everywhere!
In this post, I'm reviewing a few of the products from Beautycounter, a company founded by a woman who was fed-up with trying to find non-toxic beauty products for herself and her family that performed as well as traditional ones. Beautycounter sells person-to-person instead of in-stores, and they have a list of "NEVER" ingredients that you will never see in their products, which I think is awesome because a) it offers total transparency and b) it's a pretty long list of products!
I also did my own research on the products, using my go-to non-toxic beauty care database, EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. Most of the Beautycounter products get a 1 or 2 on the database's 1-10 scale, meaning they are "low hazard". Environmental Working Group (EWG) provides non-biased information on over 69,000 personal care products and serves as what is widely regarded as the biggest resource on the internet for product safety. They source from thousands and thousands of research studies.
Here are just a few of my favorites of their products (for some pretty diverse reasons, I must admit!):
(Oh, and in case you're starting to wonder: I'm not a Beautycounter rep, so I don't benefit at all from this post!)
Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion
I tend to use body oil when I get out of the shower to hydrate a lot, so I am pretty picky when it comes to a traditional lotion-based moisturizer. And I don't like super-smelly lotions. But, I was kinda impressed with Beautycounter's take on hydration. Here's the short of it:
Texture/Application: Hydrate Lotion goes on smooth, absorbs easily, and doesn't leave skin oily or slippery, which is always a plus (especially if you plan on working out or sweating a lot during the day). That being said, it wasn't too thin (some lotions tend to feel like 90% water, but this one held up well and still felt "substantial").
Smell: Divine! Smells like citrus without being overwhelming or lingering too long.
Effectiveness: Got the job done for the day. I would have to use it over a longer period of time to grade it more accurately here.
Rosewater Uplifting Spray
So I would put this in the category of "toners", and if you're a products girl, you definitely have at least a couple toners lying around. Toners are one of those less-standard skin care items that I personally adore. There is something so refreshing about swiping or spraying a water-based product across a clean face, achieving that super-squeaky-clean feeling. Here's what I thought of Beautycounter's toner:
Texture/Application: A very fine water-mist, just like you'd expect from the name and bottle
Smell: Just perfect - a light rose smell, again without being overwhelming
Effectiveness: I have to give this one an "A+"! It is totally refreshing, and uplifting, and everything it promises on the bottle. Bonus: on the website, it suggests you can use the mist to set your makeup, which I had not tried, but sounds like a fantastic idea and good use of the product. Beautycounter also suggests spritzing some on your pillow before you hit the hay for a restful sleep: how freakin' luxurious is that?!
Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer
I already have a tinted/foundation product that I use that is organic, so I was hesitant to try this one. But this one has the added bonus of sunscreen (SPF 20, which is my desired day-to-day level!) so I figured it might be convenient to skip a step!
Texture/Application: Perfect consistency for a tinted moisturizer cream - not to thick, not too thin. Goes on smooth and blends nicely, without residue (I noticed this as a theme in all the Beautycounter products!)
Effectiveness: I actually really really liked the overall effect - Dew Skin has just a bit of coverage, without making you look like you are wearing makeup at all. I still could see "my skin" come through, which I like because I think that by and large, healthy-looking skin should come from within! Bonus: Beautycounter uses non-nano zinc oxide as their sun blocker in this product, which is non-toxic, unlike typical (chemical) sunscreens, which have been linked to hormone disruption.
Lip Gloss in Peony
So I definitely prefer lipstick and balm to lip gloss, and that goes back awhile now - I just usually don't like the sticky feeling of gloss or my hair getting stuck to my lips while I'm talking. But, I am also a sucker for peachy-shades, so of course I had to try Beautycounter's lip gloss in peony. What I thought:
Texture/Application: One of my favorite things about this product is it's consistency: for a lip gloss, it's surprisingly un-sticky!
Smell: not much
Effectiveness: The color lived up to my expectation - because it's a gloss, the saturation is not overwhelming. It gives lips a nice peach-peony tint, and it goes with everything - including daytime! In the past I've reserved lip gloss for special occasions (I'm talking really special, like my wedding day!) but I even applied this gloss before I went and taught a barre class just to look a little more put-together!
All pictures of the products I reviewed are at the top in the graphic. If you want a closer peak, go to Beautycounter.com to look at all the products (they have a ton and I had some fun exploring!).
Want 15% off your entire order with Beautycounter?
If you're itching to try these (or any) of the Beautycounter products, all you have to do is leave a comment below and let me know what your experience has been with non-toxic beauty and you will get 15% off your next order! Have you always wanted to dive in to the non-toxic beauty scene but not known where to look? Maybe your experience with certain brands has been less than inspiring. Have you tried Beautycounter? I want to hear from you!
Katherine, an oh-so-sweet Beautycounter rep has offered Radiant By Nature readers this fun little deal off, and if you leave a comment below and then click on any of the links to "Beautycounter" in this post, you can email her in the top left corner and she will give you details on how to redeem your 15% off coupon!