Beautycounter Controversy, MLM or Pyramid Scheme?

Beautycounter Controversy, MLM or Pyramid Scheme

Beautycounter Controversy, MLM or Pyramid Scheme?

Have you been approached by someone promoting ”clean beauty products” and is also pitched an opportunity to do the same. With the promise that you will earn a life-changing income? Or you were searching for ethically sourced, natural beauty products that are not animal tested. Now you are wondering if the Beautycounter controversy was resolved and is it a Multi-level marketing company or Pyramid scheme.

You have come to the right place, stay with me. In this review of Beautycounter, l am going to look at the founder, the products, opportunity, and the popular products. l will also discuss some of the complaints against the products and if being a consultant is worth it or it’s a sheer waste of time.

Wrapping it off, l will look at whether Beautycounter is an MLM or Pyramid Scheme.

What you will find out is shocking.

Let’s dive in:

What Is All About?

The founder of Beautycounter in 2013, is Gregg Renfrew. The purpose of the company is to supply ”clean”, natural beauty and skincare products that are made from ethically sourced raw materials. Products that do not contain hormone-disrupting chemicals.

This is plausible because beauty and skincare products form an intricate part of our daily lives. The prolonged use of any products made from harmful materials can lead to life-changing health conditions.

Products are distributed via a network of distributors called partners. They earn commissions and bonuses based on sales volume. More commissions can be earned by from sales by new partners that you recruit into joining BC. This means Beautycounter is an MLM.

Beautycounter Products.

Admittedly, this is one of the beauty MLMs with a vast array of products. Ranging from skin products, manicures,s and pedicure products.

Let’s look at some of the product categories.

All Bath & Body

Body Wash & Scrubs
Hair Care
Sun Protection
Baby & Kids
Hand Care


Makeup Removers

Skin Care

Regimens, Collections & Sets
Serums, Treatments & Masks
Essence, Toner & Mists
Eye & Lip Care
Face Oils
Sun Protection.

There are also broader categories;

Countermatch line
Rejuvenating line

What Is Good About Beautycounter?

– The company has a lot of products to promote.
– Most products are mostly natural and safe for the skin – the company has a list of materials they won’t use.
– The company is well established and is different from fly-by-night businesses.
– Levels of heavy metals in the skin and beauty products is not independently verified or published.

The Bad.

  • The company uses an MLM business model which funnels all the profits to those at the top pyramid.
  • Pathetic earnings – more than 82% consultancy in 2019 earned less than $…. for the whole year before deducting costs.
  • Holding parties to sell products can be laborious especially during these years of digitalisation.
  • During the Covid pandemic, it became extremely difficult to hold parties as they were labeled super spreaders.
  • As in any MLM business, the distributors are pushy and desperate to make sales even if they know you don’t need the products.
  • Partners pretend to be knowledgeable about skin products yet they never attended dermatology classes.
  • You can not easily cancel orders before delivery or even a few hours after ordering.
  • Poor customer care – reports of canned responses and phone lines ringing for hours unanswered.
  • Products are sold on other online platforms such as Sephora which substantially increases the competition.
  • The products are not 100% organic and they contain synthetics.
  • The refund policy is from the ship date which can present challenges if the company delays shipment.

Beautycounter Product Complaints.

  • There are reports dotted around the web about the lip conditioner molding at the top of the container.
  • Complaints that BC resurfacing peel smells bad.
  • Toner pump sticking.
  • Delayed shipments some taking weeks.
  • Wasteful packaging abundance of packaging
  • Lipstick causes dryness and cracking of lips.

Compensation Plan.

You get 25% off of all the Beautycounter products.

Beautycounter Controversy.

Now let us look at the controversy about the sourcing of one of the important ingredients of beauty products called Mica. This is a shiny mineral that is mined to extracted from send. It provides all the glitter in beauty products.

There were several accusations that the company was sourcing Mica from places where there is the exploitation of child labour and underpayment of workers. This was against the company’s quest to provide ethical or clean products.

According to the website ”But the mica industry can come with some serious transparency issues. So we decided to do something about it”. Gregg Renfrew, Founder & CEO

The Solutions.

Audits – the company carries out audits of all sources of ingredients especially Mica used to manufacture beauty products. Any supplier who does not meet the stringent conditions is deregistered as a supplier. These third-party auditors are already monitoring the sourcing of Mica in India, Brazil, and Japan.

Sourcing Locally – the company now sources most of its Mica from the USA, Hartwell, Georgia where it is located. Most companies adhere to the Federal laws of the country which makes monitoring of the sourcing process easy.

Sourcemap – according to the website, ”By monitoring every shipment and delivery of raw materials for anomalies, traceability provides continuous due diligence that far outperforms sample-based audits.” Beautycounter is working in partnership with Sourcemap to monitor supply chains from the source up to the end-user. ”

Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation – in India, the company has partnered with a reputable foundation that works against child labor. The foundation boasts of winning the coveted Nobel Peace Prize.

Toolkit – the company is coming up with a toolkit that will help the whole industry to get reports of unethically sourced products through input from consumers. For example, at the moment anyone can report any unethical practice by Mica supplies by texting “MICA” to 52886.

Certainly, the founder of, Renfrew is putting in place measures to avoid any controversy about the sourcing of Mica. One of the permanent solutions would be to use artificially manufactured synthetic Mica. However, Renfrew is against it as it will cut off the lifeline of many suppliers who are complying with the requirements.

So, now you know what the Beautycounter controversy is all about.

Is Beautycounter MLM or Pyramid Scheme?

Indeed, the company is an MLM from the structure of its compensation plan. Consultants earn commissions from sales by their downline.

However, whether it is still a legit MLM or has become a pyramid scheme, no one knows except the owners. To make a judgment, one needs to find out the balance of sales between consultants and outside customers. More than 51 % of sales must be to outside customers and members.

Most MLMs get busted and are labeled pyramid schemes even though they seem to be legit. You need to know the actual distribution of sales.

l have already reviewed related beauty MLM programs.

Share your opinion or experience with Beauty Counter in the commentary box below?

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