Countertime Nourishing Cleansing Balm
This thick, absurdly expensive cleansing balm is supposed to double as an overnight mask to soothe parched skin; unfortunately, a couple of things keep it from being a splurge-worthy product to consider!
There's no doubt this certainly feels moisturizing, as it's chock-full of emollients like apricot kernel oil and shea butter. Those ingredients mean it will certainly be effective in removing makeup, but you'll have to wipe this off with a washcloth. The emollient feel it leaves behind will be appreciated by those with dry skin, though.
Aside from the price (sorry to belabor this point, but it just shocked us, and that isn't easy to do), this doesn't get a higher rating for two reasons: the packaging and the fragrant plant oils listed toward the end of the ingredient list. Jar packaging means some of the most beneficial ingredients (like the antioxidant-rich nonfragrant plant oils and vitamin C) will not remain effective for long after you open the lid. That's not as much of an issue if you use this just as a cleansing balm (because it would all be wiped off before these could be absorbed and protect the skin anyway), but if you use it as a leave-on mask, you'll want those antioxidants working for you over the long haul! See More Info for why jar packaging is not the best for skincare products.
This also contains Artemisia pallens flower oil, jasmine oil, and rose oil. While they make this balm smell lovely, they could also lead to skin irritation; remember, fragrance is irritating, whether it's natural or synthetic. Granted, they aren't present in large amounts, but there's still the potential for skin irritation, especially if used as an overnight mask as suggested.
Without the jar packaging and the potential irritants, this would have been a great moisturizer (though not the best cleanser) for dry skin, but as it stands we can't recommend it. Instead, consider any of the dry-skin alternatives on our Best Cleansers list.
- Removes makeup, though it must be wiped off.
- Contains a good mix of emollient ingredients for dry skin.
- Jar packaging means many of the beneficial ingredients will begin breaking down after first use.
- Artemisia pallens flower oil, jasmine oil, and rose oil all pose a risk of skin irritation, especially if this is used as an overnight mask.
- Overpriced for what ends up being just a good, but basic, emollient-style cold cream.
Jar Packaging: The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air. Therefore, once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria that further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The vast majority of ingredients that are most beneficial for your skin are not stable in the presence of light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar (Pharmacology Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
One of the critical factors in any anti-aging or skin-healing formula is the amount and variety of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients, and the more the better. These function in a variety of ways to reduce the effects of the constant environmental stresses your skin experiences (Dermatology Research and Practice, 2012 & The Journal of Pathology, 2007).
Antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-repairing ingredients not only can help prevent free-radical damage, but also, to a fairly impressive extent, help repair that damage. Surprisingly, almost all of these ingredients are just as vulnerable to sun exposure, pollution, and cigarette smoke as your skin (Pharmacognosy Review, 2013 & Journal of Biophotonics, 2010).
Once you open that jar you bought, you immediately compromise the stability of the anti-aging superstars it contains. (You can visualize their benefits disappearing like puffs of air each time you open up that lid!)
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 Stewarts 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 brands 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.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.