26 Apr Arbonne vs Beauty Counter
You may or may not be aware of the fact that the health and beauty industry is saturated with CHEMICALS! Harmful, dangerous and downright un-ethical chemicals and ingredients that are contributing to the downfall of our health and the destruction of our planet. With the rise in consumer concern about ingredients and an overall interest and need for safe, non-toxic, yet effective products, it doesn’t surprise me that more and more people are switching out their store bought beauty and household items for more responsibly sources, non-toxic options for not only their personal well-being, but for the well-being of our home, planet Earth. There are many companies out there that claim they are “non-toxic”, “organic” or “safe” but they are not all created equal and they’re not all backed by ACTUAL science and clinical studies, believe it or not.
Today, in this article, I’m going to be comparing 2 well-known brands in the beauty industry that claim to be clean, non-toxic, environmentally friendly and cruelty-free yet effective at the same time. I’m going to be taking a closer look into my personal favorite brand, Arbonne and comparing it to another great brand called Beauty Counter, and listing my findings here for you so you can see the differences, if any, and hopefully save you some time in deciding which brand is better suited to your needs. And I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, I am not going to be writing in such a was to sway you in one direction or another. I simply want to give you the facts.
A BIT ABOUT ARBONNE’S BACKGROUND…
Arbonne was founded in 1980 by Norwegian born, Petter Morck, who worked in the cosmetics industry. Seeing firsthand what was going into our personal care products, he begun his journey to bring safer, cleaner options for people and the environment. His business ventures eventually brought him to the US, where he launched Arbonne, named after a ecocentric village in Switzerland called “Arbon”. His purpose in creating Arbonne, as stated on their website: (source)
- To develop, produce and market Arbonne skincare and wellness products that are unparalleled in quality, purity, safety and beneficial results.
- To create and organize meaningful and challenging opportunities for people seeking financial, professional, social and cultural rewards.
- To contribute locally, nationally and internationally to the improvement of our ecological, social and cultural environment.
Arbonne has been a leading company in the movement for clean beauty and wellness products since it’s birth in 1980. Continuing to innovate, research and develop using premium ingredients backed by clinical research, plant-derived compounds, all regulated by high safety standards as confirmed by multiple third-party certifications. Arbonne is sold by their Independent Consultants in the US, Canada, Australia, Poland, United Kingdom and New Zealand.
BEAUTY COUNTER’S BACKGROUND….
Beauty Counter was created and founded by Gregg Renfrew in 2013. As stated on their website, in 2011 Gregg discovered that the US bans only a handful of ingredients, 30 to be precise, while EU bans a staggering 1400 ingredients. I looked into this figure a bit myself and according to another source, EU has actually banned 1800 ingredients! WOW! Discovering this she set out to not only create safe products, but to help in the fight against the toxic beauty industry. In her words exactly: (Source)
“In 2011, I learned that the US only bans 30 ingredients from personal-care products. (For context, the EU bans 1,400.) I’d never considered that the products I used on myself and my kids might not be safe. So I started Beautycounter and set out to transform the beauty industry by creating clean, high-performing skin care and makeup—while fighting to change the laws that control what can and cannot be used in products, so that everyone has access to safer beauty. By shopping with us, you’re not only making a healthier choice for yourself and your loved ones, you’re helping us change beauty forever.” -Gregg
ARE THEY REALLY CLEAN, NON-TOXIC BRANDS?
The answer to that question is YES. Both Beauty Counter and Arbonne are extremely clean, non-toxic, safe to use beauty brands that are 100% backed by actually SCIENTIFIC research and not just claims. Both Arbonne and Beauty Counter have a page on their website dedicated to informing you, the consumers, of exactly what they have banned from their products. As well as listing every ingredient in each and every product on the website so you can clearly see what you’re buying and putting on your face and/or body. They also mention on both websites about the rigorous scientific research and testing that goes into making their ingredients.
BUT there are some differences in regards to ingredients that are worth mentioning so listen up:
First of which is that Arbonne is a %100 vegan brand which means that they do not use ANY animal derived ingredients in there products. Although Beauty Counter is certified animal friendly, which simply means their products are not tested on animals, their ingredients are NOT VEGAN. They have beeswax and honey listed in the ingredients of numerous products, which as we know are sourced from bees and therefore not vegan. While these are not necessarily harmful or unsafe ingredients, if you are looking for 100% vegan products then Arbonne is the better choice of the 2.
The next difference that I found is that Arbonne is certified GLUTEN-FREE, whereas Beauty Counter is not. Maybe they are but if so, they did not advertise themselves as such on their website. Now this is not something that deems Beauty Counter dangerous by any means, it simply means that if you are trying to stay away from gluten or have an allergy then this is something to be aware of.
The other thing I found in researching into both of these companies is that Arbonne mentions that their products are botanical and plant-based whereas Beauty Counter states on their website that they use clean, non-toxic, safe ingredients. I didn’t see anywhere on the website where they specifically state the words “plant-based” or “botanical ingredients”. You can read Arbonne’s ingredients philosophy here and Beauty Counter’s here.
Then lastly, Arbonne has a list of over 2000 ingredients that are banned from their products while Beauty Counter has 1800 banned ingredients, a difference of over 200 ingredients. Reading through ingredients of both Arbonne and Beauty Counter cosmetics I found 3 (there could be more) ingredients that are listed in several of Beauty Counter products that Arbonne has on their banned list. These ingredients are; talc, alcohol and iron oxides. Talc in particular has been subject to numerous lawsuits for causing cancers, although science hasn’t DIRECTLY made the link. But it is a know fact that talc, in it’s natural unrefined form may contain asbestos, a substance which has been directly linked to causing various health issues, including cancers. So it is of concern to me that this ingredient would be used at all. One of the many sources on the harmful effects of talc can be found here. Alcohol as well has been found to be non-beneficial in skin care in particular for it’s drying effects on the skin, so should be avoided all together. As for iron oxides, I couldn’t find clear information as to why it should be avoided. If you have the answer for me please leave me a note in the comments, I’d love to check it out.
Arbonne and Beauty Counter seem to have very comparable price points overall, for example Arbonne’s anti-aging skincare line, AgeWell, retails for $385 and Beauty Counters anti-aging skincare line, Countertime Collection, retails for $384. Both sets have 6 different products in it and are packed with non-toxic, anti-aging ingredients. But I’m not a mad scientist and I couldn’t tell you which skin care line has better ingredients, sorry. To give you another comparison, Arbonne’s It’s my Jam Blush Duos (their blush) retails for $38 and Beauty Counter’s Satin Powder Blush retails for $30. Taking a look at the ingredients of both blushes I can tell you that I would not use Beauty Counter’s blush because the first ingredient is talc, as mentioned above, is an ingredient to be avoided.
Another point regarding price point is the sign up fee. Let me explain; Arbonne and Beauty Counter are both brands that are supported and sold by consultants that share the products with others and sign people up as members: Arbonne calls them “Preferred Client”, and Beauty Counter calls them “Band of Beauty Member” As members both companies offer lots of perks, free gifts and discounts. The fee to sign up as members is the same for both Arbonne and Beauty Counter. As an Arbonne member you receive 20% off all products, and 40% off if you purchase $400 or more retail. Beauty Counter does something very similar in that every time you buy $100 worth of products you receive a $10 credit towards a future order. I happened to notice that when you sign up as a member with Beauty Counter it looks like everyone gets the same free-gift with your first order. And when signing up with Arbonne you get to choose your free gift out of a list of several products, some with a retail value of $98. The last point to mention on the subject of price point is their return policy. Arbonne has a 90 day money back guarantee, so if you try something and you don’t like it, if it’s 90 days or less you can return it for a full refund. Beauty Counter offers a great return policy as well of 60 days.
HOW DOES THEIR PRODUCT RANGE COMPARE?
Just a quick blurb here about what each brand has to offer on their websites. Beauty Counter has of course makeup and skincare, but it also has shampoo & conditioner, bath and body care as well as a couple items for children. Arbonne on the other hand, possibly because it’s been around for over 40 years, has a large selection of products from makeup, skincare, tons of health and wellness products, weight management products, baby care, protein powders, snacks and more. So if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop then Arbonne is going to be the better choice for you.
The last thing I want to touch upon is in regards to the environmental policies and procedures. I have thoroughly read through all the information on both websites and I’m happy to say that both Arbonne and Beauty Counter have extremely high standards when it comes to the environment. Without going in to a huge amount of detail, I’ll just keep it simple and tell you this: both Arbonne and Beauty Counter are certified B Corporations, which basically means that they have the official stamp of the highest environmental standards you can get, which is a very big deal! Not only does Arbonne and Beauty Counter pay close attention to their environmental footprint in the manufacturing phase, but Arbonne has a great recycling program where all you have to do throw you empties in a box and ship them to Arbonne and they will recycle them for you. For more details and to find out exactly how it works, check out their webpage where they layout all the specs of their recycling program. Beauty Counter’s packaging is fully recyclable and they are working on refillable containers! I find both Arbonne and Beauty Counter quite impressive when it comes to their care for the environment. I’m sure I’m not doing them any justice, so check it out for yourself if you’d like more details.
In summary I think that you can’t go wrong choosing either Arbonne or Beauty Counter as your makeup and skin care brand. Am I biased towards Arbonne? Well maybe just a little bit but only because I’ve been using it for years and I love it! But after writing this article and all the research I put into it, I think Beauty Counter is a great brand and it makes me happy that more and more companies are coming out that are clean, non-toxic and care about us and the environment. Hats off to both Arbonne and Beauty Counter.