Juice Beauty Founder Karen Behnke on a mission to make healthy cosmetics

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As part 1 of a series on trailblazers— women who are on a mission to create change and make this world a better place—we would like to introduce you to Karen Behnke, the founder of Juice Beauty.

We are proud to partner with Juice Beauty because of their commitment to providing safe and effective products. Juice Beauty’s goal is to achieve efficacy and health goals beyond “natural”, “transparent” and certainly beyond conventional, synthetic chemical-laden beauty brands. They formulate with certified organic ingredients, which dramatically reduces residue from pesticides, unnecessary synthetic chemicals, and synthetic fertilizer residue in their product ingredients. While there is no certification for “natural” ingredients, organic ingredients are regulated by the USDA. To view a partial list of ingredients that Juice Beauty does NOT use visit their unacceptable ingredients list.

We recently spoke with Juice Beauty Founder, the inimitable Karen Behnke to learn more about the story behind Juice Beauty on the company’s 10th anniversary and the ways in which she has maintained Juice Beauty’s commitment to safe cosmetics.

Breast Cancer Fund President Jeanne Rizzo, left, with Juice Beauty Creative Director Gwyneth Paltrow, makeup, middle, and Juice Beauty Founder Karen Behnke at an Earth Day event in San Francisco, 2015.
Breast Cancer Fund President Jeanne Rizzo, left, with Juice Beauty Creative Director Gwyneth Paltrow, makeup, middle, and Juice Beauty Founder Karen Behnke at an Earth Day event in San Francisco, 2015.

Q: Tell us why you founded Juice Beauty.

A: Juice Beauty’s concept was born when I became pregnant with my first baby at the age of 40. Experiencing hormonal changes resulting in blemishes and starting to experience fine lines, I wanted products that would work, yet would be healthful during my pregnancy. Despite being in the health and wellness field for years, this was the first time I had ever read the ingredient labels of my beauty products and I was astounded by what I found—lots of ingredients that seemed harmful and had been banned from our food. Although the skin can absorb more than 60% of what is placed on it, I couldn’t find any healthy personal care products available that delivered visible results, so I started rubbing organic olive oil on my skin and all sorts of “home” remedies!!

In 2005, I bought the name “Juice Beauty” and started the company from scratch with a mission to do the impossible: create organic and natural formulations that perform as well as conventional chemical beauty products.

Today, Juice Beauty offers skincare, makeup and hair care products, many that have clinical results validation, are authentically organic and supported by solid eco-values that include purchasing many ingredients locally from West Coast certified organic farmers and manufacturing strictly in the U.S.A. often with solar and wind power, utilizing sustainable containers and printing with soy ink.

Q: With so many toxic ingredients out there, how does Juice Beauty determine priorities on what chemicals to avoid?

A: Juice Beauty’s chemists closely follow the leading nonprofit and academic research in the country that look at personal care ingredients and toxicity. One of our most important relationships is with the Breast Cancer Fund—a partnership that we are most proud!! The first (and subsequent) Breast Cancer Fund’s “State of the Evidence” were really my “bibles”! We also follow EWG’s research and work closely with one of our retailers, Whole Foods, on ingredients to avoid.

Q: If you had only one piece of advice you could give a consumer about personal care what would it be?

A: Read the ingredient labels on your products, but equally as important, research the company to try to get a feel for the company’s values and for what the organization stands. Is it a values driven company that walks the talk or is the company simply green or pink washing??

Karen is an inspiring woman who has received countless accolades including…

  • Woman Entreprenuer of the Year by Women’s Initiative (2011)
  • “Top EcoLeader” by Glamour Magazine for their anniversary special (2009)
  • San Francisco Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (1987)
  • San Francisco Examiner’s Top 39 Movers and Shakers under the age of 39

To learn more about Juice Beauty and to check out the no-pinkwashing promotion they have for the month of October visit their website: http://www.juicebeauty.com/store/stem-cellular-anti-wrinkle-overnight-cream.html

To learn more about the story behind the company, watch this informative video:

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2 thoughts on “Juice Beauty Founder Karen Behnke on a mission to make healthy cosmetics

  1. Pingback: Fifty Scents
  2. I am really interested in this makeup since I only wear concealer and blush! However, I noticed the blush ingredients say “May contain titanium dioxide, mica, iron oxides.” These are listed as toxic. Otherwise I’d love to try them. 🙂

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