Beautycounter with Gregg Renfrew
Based in Los Angeles, Beautycounter has set a new safety standard for cosmetics while providing a lux line of merchandise that actually performs.
Gregg Renfrew is a woman on a mission. Along with being the founder of Beautycounter, a wife and a mother, she is a tireless advocate for safer beauty products for one and all. Based in Los Angeles, Beautycounter has set a new safety standard for cosmetics while providing a lux line of merchandise that actually performs. The products speak for themselves – just ask any devotee – but the mission behind the brand is equally as important to Gregg. With her recent launch of a new baby line, Beautycounter now has something for the whole family.
I noticed an opportunity to create a line that fell between the high-end luxury chemical ridden products and the more earthy brands that did not perform.
BWB: How did you first become interested in beauty? What sparked the interest in safe non-toxic beauty products?
I was not focused on beauty products until I became aware of all the toxins that exist in our environment. In my search for safer products like household cleaners, mattresses and make up, I began to see what was available to women and noticed an opportunity to create a line that fell between the high-end luxury chemical ridden products and the more earthy brands that did not perform. Women want to feel beautiful, and Beautycounter offers a little luxury that you can give yourself every day. I wanted to create something that was safe, luxurious and effective.
We work tirelessly in Washington D.C., meeting with senators, emailing and petitioning to create a bill so the FDA will take action.
BWB: You recently spoke to congress about regulating ingredients used in beauty products. What was that experience like?
The core of Beautycounter is its mission: to affect change and move the beauty industry to a safe place for everyone.
We have not passed a major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry since 1938. In Europe, they have banned over 1,300 chemicals and continue to do so. The United States has only banned 11 to date. People tend to think that because something is on the shelf, it means it’s safe – but that’s not always true. We did not wait for legislation to create a beauty products, we just went ahead and created them. We work tirelessly in Washington DC meeting with senators, emailing and petitioning to create a bill so the FDA will take action. It is my hope that there will be a time when we won’t even need to read a beauty label and safe products will be in the hands of everyone.
BWB: Beauty Counter is launching a baby line! What are the core products behind this line?
We are launching 3 products essential for baby care with more to come soon. To start, we focused on the things moms really need. Our Baby Soothing Oil is a favorite. People have been using oils for baby forever. They are great for a baby’s skin very clean and very moisturizing. We use only three ingredients in ours and the oil was the best way to provide the most moisture with the least amount of ingredients with the most moisture.
BWB: What are some of your favorite home cleaning products?
I use Seventh Generation Free and Clear products.
BWB: What is your favorite family restaurant in Los Angeles?
Mizu212 and its organic Shabu Shabu. My children love to cook their own stews. I also love The Brentwood Country Mart. It’s outside so kids can run around and there are many food choices there, something for everyone.
The best place to start is with body lotion. The skin is the largest organ and the largest area of absorption, so it’s important to use something non-toxic.
BWB: What do you think is the easiest way for anyone to add non toxic products into their skin care regimen? Where is a good place to start?
I think the best place to start is with body lotion. The skin is the largest organ and the largest area of absorption, so it’s important to use something non-toxic. People are usually pretty conformable with this change, it’s easy and it has the biggest impact.
BWB: What are your top 5- must have- from Beautycounter for kids and adults?
- Nourishing Cleansing Balm
- Twig Lip Sheer
- Radiance Firming Complex
- Every Day Hydrating AM Cream
- Retractable Complex Coverage Brush (something I didn’t think I needed but cannot live without!) it goes perfectly with our tinted moisturizer.
- My favorite baby product is Baby Soothing Oil. It’s dry and light and I’ve been using it daily.
Fernanda Niven is a native New Yorker with a passion for health, wellness, education, and food. Her background is at the intersection of fashion, business, and wellness. She has held executive roles at Vera Wang, Parasol – a sun protective clothing brand and was an early investor and lead strategist for Organic Avenue – a raw vegan juice company. Fernanda is on the board of Edible Schoolyard NYC and Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack, NY. She has a BA in Fine Arts from NYU.