Anti-Aging: Top 3 Best and Worst Ingredients and My Favorite Skincare, Countertime

Women are hit with anti-aging hard in their mid-30’s when estrogen naturally depletes, causing dehydration and expedited signs of aging. Resistant to harsh products, I remember years ago slathering rancid fish oil on my face to try to slow down the aging process. But there’s a better solution – one that feels good on and in the body. There’s no need to turn to harsh products that can harm our health. Here are the top 3 best and worst anti-aging ingredients, and why!


Bakuchiol: Firstly, this brand new article on Allure outlines the benefits of this “plant extract that offers the same skin benefits of a retinol, without the irksome side effects.” Derived from the psoralea corylifolia (or “babchi”) plant,it has a long and impressive skin-care resume, starting with its use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. “Bakuchiol has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antibacterial properties.”

Vitamin C: In addition to its antioxidant functions, Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of the structural protein collagen; it plays a role in boosting your skin’s collagen production to give you firmer, more plump skin and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals and oxidative damage caused by UV radiation (aging).

Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in your skin, where it binds to water to help retain moisture; however, the quantity reduces as we age. Sodium hyaluronate reduces signs of aging by providing moisture; it can attach and hold approximately 1,000x it’s weight! Topical treatments with HA increase skin moisture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. HA can soothe redness and dermatitis and make skin appear firmer. Study findings here and here.


Retinol: One of the most common ingredients in anti-aging skincare, yet well known to cause skin irritation and photosensitivity. Scientists published more than a dozen studies showing reactions with UV light to form harmful free radicals toxic to the skin, or that break down to harmful chemical byproducts. Retinyl palmitate increases skin cancer growth, and rates a 9 of out 10 on the EWG’s toxicity scale. Read more here.

Botox: Botulinum toxin is an injected drug from the same toxin that causes life-threatening poisoning. It affects everything from the nervous and immune systems to emotional empathy. Known side effects are muscle weakness all over the body, vision impairment, slurred speech, trouble swallowing and breathing, loss of bladder control. Read the science and listen to the podcast here.

Hormone Disruptors: Nearly all personal care products on the market today contain hormone disrupting chemicals that negatively affect health. However, anti-aging skincare has intentionally included ingredients that replace estrogen which is naturally depleted as we age for example Estriol. But this study found adding estrogen increased incidence of coronary heart disease, invasive breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, and hip fracture.

My favorite anti-aging products that contain the best and avoid the worst ingredients:

My Tips for the All Bright C Serum

For years, I’ve obsessively used and loved the Overnight Resurfacing Peel. I joke that it’s unicorn tears phoenix feather magic, because… well, that’s what it feels like. Powered by botanical acids that soothe and exfoliate, I wake up with more even toned skin that is also cleared of acne and clogged pores. How is that possible?! The serum sloughs away dead skin, speeding up cellular regeneration powered by Vitamin C and other powerful antioxidant superfoods.
So, when they told me a “daytime sister” to this overnight magic serum was coming, I MAY have freaked out.
Y’all. Vitamin C is incredible. It is true skin food, since it literally aids in your body’s own synthesis of collagen – reducing signs of aging. Vitamin C also reduces UV damage, lightening sun damage and dark spots while giving skin an overall brightened effect with more even skin tone. I know it sounds impossible, but clinically studies showed 100% said skin looked brighter!
I have been using this serum for about 6 weeks and have been getting TONS of comments and compliments about how “glowy” my skin looks lately. Only 1 thing changed folks: this C Serum! It’s done an incredible job of evening of skin tone, made it less dull (despite currently being in quarantine for 5 weeks) and I’ve loved the result! Vitamin C can be wonderful for reducing scarring, so I do recommend this for those who are acne-prone. However, I want to give you a few tips I discovered while figuring out to make this work best for my sensitive, acne-prone skin. It’s worth your clients trying to troubleshoot, trust me!
While this product will be near-universally wonderful for normal and dry skin, it caused some irritation at first for me.

I recommend:

  1. test patch this product before bathing in it, and
  2. start slow! My biggest regret is loving day 1 results so much that I jumped into daily use – which overwhelmed my skin. My sweet spot appears to be 2-3x/week.
Two ways to troubleshoot if you’re having any sort of reaction (small bumps, skin irritation, or acne):
  1. Rather than replacing it with your “treat” step (serum or treatment of the skincare routine), instead use it as an addition to your regimen – before your moisturizer.
  2. THIS is what worked for me. Add 2 drops of a Facial Oil with the C Serum. I only wear the Radiance Serum + Dew Skin in the daytime, and replacing the Radiance Serum meant I was getting less hydration as well as adding the complexities of All Bright. By adding the Balancing Oil (I also tried with No. 1 & 2, they also worked) WITH the All Bright Serum for application, I gave myself the missing moisture my skin wanted from the Radiance Serum (so this way I don’t need two serums).

Better with Age: All About Countertime!

Welcome to the new age of aging well! Beautycounter has been working for 3 years on this ground-breaking anti-aging line – and I’m so excited to share about Countertime, the next generation anti-aging skincare I think you’ll love! Not only are we excited about it, but the whole industry is as well! Here’s some excerpts from this Women’s Wear Daily’s glowing review:

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • Retinatural Complex has been in the works for nearly 3 years;
  • Chemists conducted more than 100 development trials for Countertime, including testing for trace contaminants in the raw materials ranging from rose petals to hyaluronic acid.
  • This launch is as good or better than all the anti-aging lines, minus the 1,600 ingredients they continue to use.
  • Bakuchiol is a staple in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for treating skin issues. Swiss rose grows way up in the Alps, in a harsh environment with low oxygen and moisture. Bakuchiol to repair and alpine rose to protect.
  • Those luxuriant creams from other brands contain mineral oils and petrolatum which… that aren’t healthy.

But What Is Countertime?

Yes, I’ve got so much to tell you! This is a preview of Beautycounter’s sustainable packaging efforts. New stunning glass, which results in less plastic components and more sourcing in North America to reduce carbon footprint!

The packaging isn’t the best part of the story though, I’ve been using Beautycounter’s Countertime line for over a month now, and know you’re going to love it! Yes, YOU – all skin types can use this line! I detail which ones and how I recommend use below. AND it’s formulated without gluten, soy, or peanut ingredients!

I have cracked the code for different skin types to use it. But first, let’s talk about why it’s safer. If you recall from my Top 3 Anti-Aging Ingredients above, I introduced you to Bakuchiol, which is a “plant extract that offers the same skin benefits of a retinol, without the irksome side effects.” And “Bakuchiol has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antibacterial properties.”

Other key anti-aging ingredients new to me in the line include Alpine Swiss Rose and nasturtium, showing Beautycounter’s innovation in delivering performance and safety!

Swiss Alpine Rose is grown at the highest altitudes in the Alps, which means it’s resilient. Countertime harnesses the beneficial plant properties to protect your skin the way it protects itself at high altitude to boost your skin’s natural antioxidant defense.

Nasturtium is a flower extract which reinforces the skin barrier while providing potent oxygenation benefits to protect and defend skin from environmental stressors.

Sea Water is mineral-enriched, sourced from Noirmoutier Island in France, proven to help restore vital nutrients and minerals to the skin while boosting radiance and minimizing the appearance of pores.

Tri and Tetrapeptides work to boost skin firmness, increase skin elasticity, boost firmness, smooths skin surface, and minimize the look of lines and wrinkles.

Retinol’s Secret: A 9 on EWG’s Skindeep Database

Retinol is a go-to ingredient in many anti-aging skin-care products. Based on scientific research (see: EWG Rating 9 level risk out of 10), Beautycounter has chosen not to use retinol due to potential safety concerns, including skin irritation and sun sensitivity- including increased cancer risk. It’s not worth taking a risk on retinol when you can use this new Retinatural Complex, proven to give results that are comparable to retinol using two clean, groundbreaking ingredients.

Why Countertime?

Countertime was the old name for Rejuvenating line years ago. They changed the name when they started working on this new anti-aging skincare line, knowing they wanted to call it Countertime. It spent THREE YEARS IN DEVELOPMENT. This skincare line is specifically for women, whose skin naturally dehydrates as their female hormones decrease.

Here are the 6 products in Countertime, and what each does:

NOTE: Countertime has now been EWG VERIFIED, which is the definition of a clean, safe product that has been fully transparent.

The bottle sizes of this new line are huge, mine lasted (except the serum, which was 3 months) 6+ months, based on my daily usage!
Warning: the names of these products may be confusing. I’ve simplified them in a chart that also highlights the best products for your skin below!

Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil, $49:

Perhaps my favorite item in the line – because I finally have ONE product that both removes my makeup and washes my face for my sensitive eyes! Rich in Vitamin E, fatty acids, and Retinatural, this reinforces the skin’s fragile moisture barrier for a soothes, nourished complexion. Warning: this is quite aromatic, so if you’re sensitive to scents you may want to avoid it. Tip: apply to dry skin; rub to remove makeup, dirt and grime from face. Wet hands, then rub to milk up the cleanser. Remove with a cloth, I prefer Norwex microfiber.

Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence, $59:

The most unique skin product I’ve ever used, and I’m not mad about it! There’s something about the sea water in this milky essence that renews and balances the skin beautifully. I love the luminous glow after using, and the reduced appearance of pores. Tip: shake into your hands, then pat into the skin.

Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum, $79:

I didn’t think I could like a “radiance serum” more than Rejuvenating. Seriously, I cling to it like my life depended on it! But… dare I say, THIS IS BETTER. Visibly increasing the firmness and elasticity of skin, the powerful blend of peptides, fatty acids, and Retinatural enhances the skin’s moisture barrier to optimize hydration for a radiant complexion. Tip: Don’t use too much! One pump (or less) is all you need.

Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream, $79:

Most similar in texture to the Rejuveanting Night Cream, this light-weight cream is derived from nasturtium and Retinatural to visibly plump and firm the skin, leaving it healthy and glowing. Tip: This layers well under makeup.

Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream, $89:

This thick cream has been compared to Creme de La Mer, which retails for over $300! And, it’s much cleaner and safer ingredients – using Tetrapeptides, shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut-derived emollients rather than PEGs, petrolatum, and mineral oil. This is incredibly thick and luxurious, deeply hydrating for those with dry skin to support elasticity and visibly firming while smoothing skin texture to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Tip: if it begins to pill, exfoliate more often and use less of the product used prior to application.

Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream, $69:

This high performance eye cream will revitalize the eye area for a youthful, brighter appearance. With Persian Silk Tree Extract, it reduces under eye circles and crow’s feet for a smooth, firmed look.

all prices are in USD, but products are available in Canada

Want it all & wanna save money? Get the Collection or Regimen for 10% off, plus Band of Beauty with 10% back – that’s 20% off retail!

Reminder: Beautycounter has a 60 day no-questions-asked return policy, but if you follow the skintype chart below I’m confident you’ll love this new skincare line!

There’s no one-size fits all for skincare

This is me, no filter or makeup. Sweating on the edge of the Grand Canyon with not a single care about my naked skin. I’ve been traveling, so despite eating junk, not drinking enough water, less than optimal sleep, constant changing elevations and climate,  and I’m about to get my period tomorrow. Yet I have ONE blemish. It’s because I’ve cracked the code on this skincare line for all skin types!

side note: I’ve been slathering on Beautycounter Countersun mineral sunscreen
on my fair family throughout long days walking in the dessert’s National Parks,
and we’ve all had no issues or sunburns. Legit love this stuff!

Because I was part of a small group of people who got early access to Countertime, I’ve been testing and using it for over a month. I’ve also had the opportunity to talk with several others in the community, and get their feedback. As a result, I’ve created this chart to help you maximize the benefits of Countertime for your skin needs, plus tips for use!

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