We may be biased here, but beauty gifts are some of the most fun presents to give (and receive) for the holidays. There's something so indulgent about unwrapping a gorgeous new palette or a fancy, relaxing face mask. If those gifts happen to come from a company that values safety and sustainability, all the better. Below, we've hand-picked our favorite gift sets from ethically minded Beautycounter, but before you feast your eyes on all the prettiness, take a minute to learn about the brand and its founder. Trust us, it'll make shopping feel like even more of a good deed when you find out what the company stands for.
Gregg Renfrew launched Beautycounter in 2013 after coming to the realization that the products she was slathering on herself and her kids every day were loosely regulated at best. While the European Union has banned 1,400-plus concerning chemicals in personal care products, the United States has only said no to 30.
Her mission for Beautycounter is simple: to get safer products into the hands of everyone. That means complete transparency in labeling, a commitment to advocating for stricter guidelines and regulatory laws in the beauty industry, and a "Never List™" that's made up of roughly 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients the brand prohibits in its formulations. It includes the usual suspects like parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde and sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS and SLES), in addition to lesser-known ingredients, like the pesticides triclosan and triclocarban, which are toxic to the aquatic environment and may negatively impact the human reproductive system. Beautycounter also eschews synthetic antioxidants butylatedhydroxy anisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, which are possibly carcinogens that may cause liver damage. Yikes.
Because beauty is an innovation-driven industry, it can be tough to stay up to date on the specifics of what's safe and healthy. That's why whenever new ingredients pop up, Beautycounter screens them for information on specific hazards like cancer, developmental toxicity, hormone disruption and infertility. The company also has an extensive ingredient glossary on its site to help consumers know what's in the products they're buying — as well as key points about what they do.
Sustainability is another brand-defining pillar for Beautycounter, so contributing to a healthier environment is paramount. To that end, the company uses sustainable ingredient sourcing and product packaging whenever possible, without skimping on luxury.
For folks who want to get more involved in Beautycounter's advocacy efforts, their website offers a list of non-profit partners like Healthy Child Healthy World and the Environmental Working Group. The list complements a newsletter from the brand that highlights the behind-the-scenes work it is doing to reform the cosmetics industry in U.S., which has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.
With all that in mind, we've rounded up 11 of our top makeup and skin-care picks from Beautycounter in the gallery below. These palettes, lip glosses, skin saviors and gift sets are worthy of just about anyone's wish list.
Beautycounter is also offering shoppers 15 percent off, plus free shipping on orders $50 or more, from Tuesday, Nov. 20 through Monday, Nov. 26.