This is one of Beautycounter's few sunscreen products; unfortunately, it has a lot of problems, making it a less-than-desirable option for skin.
This creamy formula's sole active sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide, which provides excellent broad-spectrum protection and is gentle enough for even sensitive skin. There are also enough emollients that this should feel moisturizing, but not heavy.
That's where the positives end, though. For a facial sunscreen to be the best it can be, it must contain antioxidants to enhance its effectiveness in preventing sun damage, and there aren't a lot of beneficial antioxidants to be found here. Instead, there are quite a few fragrant (and potent) plant oils that can serve as skin irritants; we're talking two types of orange oil, lemon oil, tangerine oil, and peppermint oil! The potential for irritation these can cause is a problem for skin. Particularly bad is the lemon oil, which has chemicals in it that can be phototoxic, meaning they can cause a reaction on skin when it's exposed to sunlight. (In all fairness, though, this risk is significantly reduced with sunscreen—but really, why is it in here at all?!)
While all the plant oils might make this sunscreen smell great, they're not doing your skin any favors! Definitely skip this one, and check out one of the options on our list of Best Sunscreens instead.
Note: Because this product is regulated in the United States as an over-the-counter drug, its inactive ingredients are listed in alphabetical order rather than in descending order of content. Although this may be allowed by law, we have more respect for companies that choose instead to list their inactive ingredients in descending order of concentration, so you know more about what you are putting on your face, just like with any other skincare or makeup product.
Beautycounter is the brainchild of self-described “serial entrepreneur” Gregg Renfrew, a woman who is perhaps best known for serving on the board of Martha Stewart Living after selling her bridal registry company, The Wedding List, to Stewart’s media empire. Renfrew has worked as a consultant on cosmetics lines from celebrities like Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba.
Renfrew says she decided to start her own cosmetics line after learning that not all the ingredients used in cosmetics were safe, so Beautycounter was launched in 2013. The brand’s primary focus is provide what it calls “safe” skincare to consumers, with its website stating that a rigorous ingredient selection process is used to ensure nothing “harmful” is used.
For all the interest Beautycounter has stirred up, the line is by and large lackluster, and in many cases overpriced for what you get. Many of the formulas start out with potential, but are ultimately derailed by either the inclusion of potential skin irritants or the jar packaging, which will render many of their beneficial ingredients ineffective over time.
Beautycounter products can be purchased through its website or through product consultants who do home sales parties. For more information, visit www.beautycounter.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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