One of the best things about Beautycounter is that the company is constantly seeking to improve what it delivers. For example, for many years Beautycounter had one age-defying line, called the Rejuvenating line. It’s what I used for the last couple of years. It’s nice!
But the Beautycounter team didn’t want to settle for nice. They wanted excellent.
So they recently phased out the Rejuvenating line. They have replaced Rejuvenating with something extraordinary:
🎉 Countertime 🎉
Countertime is a line. You can use one of the pieces or all whopping six of them. I happen to be a fan of the whole whopping six.
I just want to say right at the outset that I have always been very skeptical of beauty lines that claim you need to buy and use a million products in order for your skin to be healthy. That is obviously, I always thought, a money making gimmick.
But Beautycounter doesn’t say you need a million – they just provide a million to give you options. 🙂
And after learning about the various needs of the skin and how the different parts of this Beautycounter regimen takes care of those needs, and after witnessing my mum ecstatically taking pictures of her skin after each layer of application, I have concluded that while of course no one needs six lotions every day, they sure can help.
Anyway – the first step to great, healthy, radianting skin is education! It’s deciding for yourself! So I have put together this super comprehensive post about the Countertime collection.
What is Countertime?
Countertime is an age-deying, radiance-boosting set of products – best used as a complete regimen, formulating for all women interested in anti-aging skincare benefits, and which is particularly good for dry skin. (Drying out the skin is a significant way to accelerate aging – so you want to make sure you are hydrated all. the. time.!)
This thing about dryness is actually an important point: as wonderful as the Rejuvenating line has been at smoothing my skin and tightening my pores, I have struggled with its lack of support for my somewhat dry skin. I know it hydrates my skin, but I feel like I need to apply it many times a day. Staying moisturised is crucial for keeping your skin healthy and youthful as you age, because dryness is one if the BIGGEST factors that contributes to sallow and wrinkly skin.
Beautycounter is aware of this, and with Countertime has gone over the top to make the line perhaps the most hydrating out there.
Here is the link to the whole collection: Countertime.
I know it may seem like a lot, but each step does work its own magic. I actually first purchased the complete set – something I’ve never done before, ever – because my mother purchased the complete set and couldn’t stop texting me about how amazing each step was.
Plus, the complete set is a remarkable deal. The price tag seemed enormous to me at first ($382), but! It’s a $424 value, and it’s got six amazing products in it that my mother and most consultants tell me I can make last 4-6 months. The price tag also comes with the most cutting edge technology and care that exists in the beauty industry. Put that way, it feels like an amazing deal, to me.
(Brief pro tip: If the price tag is worrying for you, or you want more bang for your buck, you can join Band of Beauty at the same time, which costs $29/year, but this is equal to the price of shipping, and with BoB shipping becomes free over $100, so you basically get the membership for free. Membership also comes with a free gift (which changes every month) and 10% back in product credit to use toward your next purchase. )
Here’s the skinny on the science of aging skin and unique innovations of Countertime.
What skin needs at it ages
Anti-aging skincare is no joke: it needs to be high performing. The skin is a hugely complex organ that goes through a lot of changes as it ages. In addition to high quality nutrition, which is a must, your topical skincare needs to enhance three things:
Barrier function, collagen synthesis, and micro-circulation.
Barrier function: The skin barrier’s function gets depleted over time. You need to hydrate it and make sure it stays resilient over time, otherwise it becomes increasingly vulnerable to damage and decay.
Collagen synthesis: By the time you reach 30 it’s already starting to run low! The collagen layer is the cushy layer that keeps your skin supple, soft, and wrinkle free. Without good collagen synthesis, your skin will begin to sag. With collagen stimulating nutrients, your body can be supported and encouraged to make solid quantities of this stuff into later decades.
Micrfolow: Microflow is less well known than the last two points, but crucial. It means: how well does blood flow through your skin? Good blood flow to and within the skin barrier is crucial for the delivery of nutrients. It’s the thing that actually keeps you looking radiant, healthy, and glowing.
The Beautycounter innovation:
Gamze Sauzeat, the senior director of product formulation at Beautycounter, reports that Beautycounter’s research and development team spent two years creating a cutting edge formula they call the Retinatural Complex, which is their safe (and even more effective) alternative to Retinol. You may have heard of or used Retinol because it’s supposed to be amazing for protecting and enhancing skin as it ages – it helps support the three functions I mentioned above. Retinol is the highest performing antiaging compound out there in conventional skincare. But retinol can have harmful side effects, including irrational, peeling, sun sensitivity, and redness. It wrecks my sensitive skin. Absolutely wrecks it.
Retinol has a bad rep for your health. Has topical retinol been linked to damaging health effects? It actually hasn’t. But according to the scientific literature, oral retinoid medications have been linked to health concerns, most notably developmental and reproductive toxicity. So retinol containing topical products are not linked to these effects, at least so far as we know today. At least, not yet; it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Beautycounter is erring on the side of caution. Plus, who wants to use a product that irritates the skin, creates redness, and can cause you to peel and flake?
Beautycounter’s alternative to retinol – the Retinatural complex – contains a mix of two important things that support barrier function, collagen production, and microflow: skin reparation and antioxidants.
You can think of skin reparation as healthy maintenance, and antioxidants as healthy protection. Stressors are constantly barraging your skin, so you need to repair and heal it. You also need to do what you can to protect it from these stressors, and antioxidants usually do the trick.
In Beautycounter’s unique formulation the Retinatural complex, the skin reparation qualities are derived from Bakuchiol, a compound from the babchi plant that has been used for centuries in ayurvedic and traditional Chinese skin-care remedies.
The antioxidants come from the antioxidant-rich plant called the Swss Alpine rose, which is renowned for its remarkable ability to protect itself against dehydration and environmental stressors at altitude. Each countertime product contains a mixture of Bakuchiol and Swiss Alpine rose – the retinatural complex. They each also contain additional, more targeted ingredients to achieve the specific desired effect of that steps such as strengthening the lipid barrier or etc.
So does the Retinatural complex actually work?
|Reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles||✓||✓|
|Skin looks plumper||✓||✓|
|Evens skin tone||✓||✓|
|Skin looks brighter, glowing, radiant, and luminous||✓||✓|
|Skin texture looks and feels smoother||✓||✓|
|Skin looks and feels firmer||✓||✓|
|Minimizes the appearance of pores||✓||✓|
|EWG|Skin Deep® Score||1||9|
|Safer to use while pregnant and nursing||✓||X|
|Safe to use during sun exposure||✓||X|
Countertime has been tested by an independent 32-person perception study.
91% of participants said their skin felt renewed and looked revitalised
97% said skin texture felt smoother
88% said their skin looked more youthful
and 88% said it reduced fine lines and wrinkles
After just four weeks of use! This wasn’t the biggest study of all time – 32 participants isn’t a number to write home about – but it wasn’t the smallest either. These results are extremely positive for a skincare line that replaces a well-known ingredient with a new, unique formulation.
For me personally the most robust data point was my mum. Like I mentioned above, she has texted me photos of her skin after every single layer of application of the countertime regimen with many exclamation points and emojis. It was super fun and super great to see her using a product that felt great and didn’t cause her to have an allergic reaction, which every skincare product she’s used in the last 15 years has done. Tears of joy for everybody! And lots of countertime.
About the regimen and products
Countertime is a complete regimen (you can purchase bits separately, more on which below). But I am all about regimens, because the team at Beautycounter knows more about what my skin needs than I do. Did I ever tell you I went my entire twenties without ever using moisturizer or make up remover because – since I had such a great paleo diet – I thought I didn’t need topical care? WOW. WRONG. HUGE MISTAKE. The skin is a highly complicated organ that, order to be as radiant as possible, needs care. Specifically, it needs care for several different aspects of it, including the dermis, the lipid barrier, the outer layers for protection from the elements, and more.
The countertime collection regimen entails a four step process: cleanse, prep, treat, and protect.
The clean step is a bit of a no-brainer. You gotta clean your skin so you can get rid off the scruff clogging and blocking your skin. Otherwise you can’t get the healing products on and into it!
This cleansing oil leaves the skin feeling hydrated, soothed, and not at all weighed down or sticky, which is something I’ve experienced with other cleansers and even other cleansing oils. It allows the oils to transform to a milky texture when combined with water. It is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids as well.
For what it’s worth, my mother is obsessed with the cleansing oil. This might be her favourite step? I think the word she used was “heaven.” She once said to me, “I literally can’t wait to wash my face at night” with a giddy giggle in her voice.
How to use it: dispense 2-3 pumps into hands and massage onto dry face. Apply warm water to form a light milk. Rinse clean.
The countertime “prepare” step is a hydrating essence, the Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence. This is an essential step in the regimen because it hydrates and prepares the skin for the treatment steps that follow.
An essence is different from a toner because it 1) isn’t drying!! and 2) contains a higher level of active ingredients that nourish the skin – think of it like a nutrient-dense serum, but with hydrating properties. It has a creamier texture. This hydrating essence sinks deep into the layers of the skin so that the rest of the regimen can follow in its footsteps, penetrate many layers of skin in a healthy way, and have maximum effectiveness.
The base of this essence is two awesome things: mineral-rich sea water from Noirmoutier Island in France, and fermented sugars (biosaccharide Gum-1). Both of these are packed with nutrients.
How to use: Pour dollop into hand and gently press onto face and neck with fingertips.
Treatment is where the repairing action really gets going.
Peptides are a crucial part of any skincare regimen. Peptides are proteins that enhance the structure and function of this skin. They are many different kinds of peptides that perform slightly different functions. They are sort of like keys. Each key unlocks a unique skin benefit. This serum is tri-peptide because of the unique benefits it unlocks, minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. It does this by supporting the elasticity and health of your skin all the way down, helping you have healthy, vibrant, flexible, and firm skin.
How to use: Dime size dollops, massage gently onto face and the neck with upward strokes.
Antioxidants are the key to protection! Using them is like putting a bunch of knights around the castle of your skin, patrolling and knocking away invaders.
Protect comes in two forms that Beautycounter recommends using morning and night. The morning form is the antioxidant soft cream, which basically nourishes your skin with a ton of antioxidants and protects it from oxidative damage – the stuff that makes discoloration and wrinkles – throughout the day.
This soft cream contains the Nansturtium flower extract, which helps reinforce the skin barrier while providing potent oxygenation benefits and defend the skin from drying stressors. This also has fermented sugars as part of its base.
Antioxidant soft cream how to use: Dime size dollops, massage gently onto face and the neck with upward strokes.
For nighttime protection action, Beautycounter supplies the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream, which has strong antioxidant potential coupled with peptides that compliment the tripeptide formulation. It is supremely rich and deeply hydrating. This cream is thicker than the soft cream, and therefore why its recommended for night use.
But for people with dry skin, like me, the thick stuff can go on at any time of day 🙂
Traditionally, rich creams contain mineral oils and petrolatum, which can have heavy metals in them and be toxic. Instead, this cream has special grades of shea and cocoa butter with some plant-derived emollients to give it a silky finish. This is a rich, deeply hydrating nourishing cream. Night creams can be tricky because thick creams tend to clog, but this one doesn’t.
Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream how to use: dime size dollops, massage gently into face and neck with upward strokes.
No regimen is complete without an eye cream! The skin around the eyes is the most delicate, usually the first to wrinkle, and needs the most Tender Loving Care.
This amazing eye cream brightens the eye area and instantly hydrates the eyes. I hydrate my eyes like a mofo; it’s so important to me to keep the skin around my eyes as strong as possible!
For an added soothing and cooling effect, PRO TIP!, keep this one in the refrigerator!
How to use: gently dab or massage eye cream on with your ring finger, starting at the inner corner and working out toward the brow bone. Never, ever pull on this skin!
And that, my amazing readers, brings to the end of this skincare regimen in which collagen production, barrier synthesis and protection, and microflow are more supported and in a healthier, more nourishing way than I ever thought I’d find in a beauty product. Ever.
Pricing: To regimen or not to regimen?
Countertime products are not exactly cheap. For some people who are used to paying out the nose for advanced skincare, these products actually really affordable. In comparison to other high end beauty products, they’re cheap.
But for people like myself who don’t have a ton of income and who are used to drugstore prices, the price tag on a regimen can seem like big jump.
Very honestly, given my personal priorities (i.e., supporting my skin to be healthy throughout my life, as opposed to covering it up), the whole regimen is absolutely worth it.
When I purchased countertime I felt great about it because I knew I was paying for:
-Products that have been tested during and after production several times to make sure they are free of harmful chemicals.
-Products that have brand new, innovative formulas that beat regular skincare in terms of effectiveness (radiance, hydration, antioxidant support, skin elasticity, fine lines) while simultaneously promoting good health in all parts of your body.
-My mother attests to use that lasts four months and can be stretched to six months (she got it before I did), just don’t over do it. Also, you can stretch it if you use the whole regimen only on your face as opposed to your face and neck. Neck is important, but we all sometimes have to make hard choices!
-A complete regimen is the best – maybe the only – way to make sure that all the necessary parts of your skin are cared for. In order to treat skin as it ages, you must preserve barrier function, enhance collagen synthesis, and promote micro-flow, all of which decline with age. If you use the whole regimen, you get each of these effects to the maximum potential.
-You could go ahead and buy one or two of the countertime products at a time, which is great if you’re on a budget! But I suspect that once you try one you’ll realise you want more or the whole bunch. If you buy them all at once you get it at a steep discount – a $424 value for $382, $42 in savings. You could also add a booster – the No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil, which brings your total savings to $69.
So, I highly recommend trying the whole package all at once. (Mom’s report: “with every step I get more excited because my skin looks and feels better and better!”)
If you literally just can’t afford the whole regimen
If you can’t do the whole regimen, then the few essentials you need are:
- The Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil. Cleansing is awesome and important for healing and supporting your skin, the right way. Doing it with an oil is the best way to make sure your skin stays hydrated, and this oil is specially formulated to leave your skin feeling supple and smooth. Oils are crucial for skin barrier health and hydration, so, I beg of you, make sure you’re using a cleanser that is formulated with oil and doesn’t wreck your skin’s hydration. I like the this Beautycounter formulation because you are guaranteed it will protect your skin and not strip it – so many other regimens start out with a cleanser that hurts the skin! This step matters. (If you can’t afford a high quality oil cleanser like this one, try the oil cleansing method with homemade oils and a washcloth.)
- The Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence – get in there and get structural support to every layer of your skin.
- Either the anti-oxidant Soft Cream or the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream. You’ll notice I skipped a step that seems very essential – the treat step! But protection I think is even more important, and these creams pack a treat-effective punch while protecting you at the same time. Pick one of these depending on whether you like a soft and light or a thicker cream (I love thick!!). I do think using both is better, but choose just one if you have to, and it’ll give you an antioxidant and antiaging superhero punch.
Common and important FAQs:
If you use the resurfacing peel, how do you implement it with Countertime?
The overnight resurfacing peel is one of Beautycounter’s best-selling and favoured products. Literally it sells like hot cakes and everybody loves it. So there’s a good chance you use it, or are thinking about use it. How does it work with countertime?
At night, start with the countertime cleansing oil and then use the peel. Allow it to absorb for a few minutes. Then, follow up with the Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream for a protective layer of hydration. That’s it!
Care about the environment?
Countertime is the most sustainable, high-performing skincare line out there, period.
Why? Countertime uses glass containers. Switching to glass for the product containers reduces the greenhouse gas footprint by 38%. It also eliminates the harmful environmental effects of plastics after use. Glass is more easily recyclable and has less negative impact in landfills. Countertime is included in Beautycounter’s move to more sustainable packaging, including:
- Moving to more glass packaging; eliminating over one million plastic components.
- Partnering with factories closer to home in Mexico to manufacture our glass items rather than in Europe or Asia. This will save over 5,000 miles of travel, reducing fuel and related emissions from transporting across the ocean.
- Enhancing the design allowing us to remove non-essential parts like overcaps, liners, and spatulas, which ultimately eliminates 800,000 plastic parts.
- Removing secondary packaging where possible to reduce waste.
Pretty awesome, huh? 🙂
Free (ish) shipping and free gift pro tip
If you sign up for Band of Beauty, the exclusive membership program, when you purchase the countertime regimen if you haven’t already, for $29/year you get 10% back in product credit to use on all future purchases within 90 days, a free gift for joining, and free shipping on Qualifying Orders of $100. Since this product is over $100 and the shipping cost is not cheap, you actually, if you join Band of Beauty, pay the same as you would without it, and get a free gift on top of it. You get even more bang for your buck, 7 products for the price of 5!
So, in summary, after this humongously long post, I just want to say this:
Information matters! Science matters! Care matters! I have been as comprehensive as possible in this post (ITS 4000 WORDS LONG) because it was all of this information that I used to decide if I wanted to try the whole regimen. I don’t regret it at all. In fact every day I am so grateful I have this amazing opportunity to take care of my skin, feel and look my best, and do it in a way that is both healthy for me and sustainable for the environment.
Please if you have any questions slide into our DMs on instagram or email the team at email@example.com! We are here to inform you, to empower you with knowledge, and to help you find solutions to your own particular skincare needs. I’m not trying to get you to spend money for my benefit – I’m giving you the information you need to make a smart choice about your own health and wellness. So, get at us with questions! I know so much about countertime and other beautycounter products and approaches to skincare it’s literally spilling out my ears (and my fingers – this post is more than 3000 words long!).
Here’s the link to the collection: COUNTERTIME
Now hop to it! If you purchase it through this link, I’ll be in touch with you to make sure you received it, are happy, and can use any more help down the line! If for whatever reason you don’t hear from me, email me!