BareMinerals Vs. Beautycounter: A Detailed Comparison

In the world of makeup and skincare, clean beauty has become increasingly popular. Brands like bareMinerals and Beautycounter have led the charge in providing products made without harsh chemicals and ingredients.

But with both brands touting their natural formulas, how do you decide which is better? Let’s take an in-depth look at bareMinerals and Beautycounter to see how they compare.

A Brief Comparison Table

Ingredient QualityRelies on minerals; some products contain synthetic fragrances/dyesEmphasizes botanically-derived ingredients like plant oils and fruit extracts
Price and ValueAffordable to mid-range pricing with regular sales/offersHigher end of mid-range pricing but directly accessible without retail markup
Ingredients to AvoidSome products contain synthetic fragrances, tocopheryl acetate, carmine dyeFree of concerning synthetics like fragrances and chemical vitamin E
Health and Safety StandardsLeaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, vegan certified, gluten free certifiedLeaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, EWG VerifiedTM seal
Responsible SourcingPartners with ethical mica suppliers but could improve on organic sourcing and sustainabilityB Corporation certified for social and environmental standards and transparency
Shade Diversity20 foundation shades favoring light to medium skin tones20+ foundation shades from fair to deep dark with more undertones
Overall Skin Health ImpactMineral-based formulas suitable for sensitive skin but not nourishingBotanical ingredients hydrate and replenish skin while providing coverage

Overview of bareMinerals


bareMinerals exploded onto the scene in 1995 as one of the original clean beauty brands. They helped pioneer mineral-based makeup that was free of chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and fragrances.

Their most iconic product is the Original Foundation, which utilizes minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to provide light to medium coverage.

Over the years, bareMinerals has expanded their selection to include a full range of face, eye, and lip products. They’ve also reformulated many of their products to be vegan and gluten free.

A core part of the bareMinerals ethos is creating makeup that looks and feels like a second skin. To this end, their products use mineral-based ingredients that won’t clog pores or irritate sensitive skin.

Overview Of Beautycounter

Founded in 2013, Beautycounter is a newcomer compared to bareMinerals. But the brand has made a name for itself as a leader in clean beauty and safety standards. Beautycounter goes beyond just banning harmful ingredients in their products.

They also advocate for legislation to update regulations around cosmetics and skincare.

Beautycounter takes a three-pronged approach to their products. They screen for and ban over 1,500 questionable ingredients. They focus on skin-nourishing formulas packed with antioxidants and hydrators.

And they maintain high levels of transparency by listing all ingredients. Like bareMinerals, Beautycounter aims to create cosmetics that not only look amazing but also nourish skin.

Comparison Between bareMinerals and Beautycounter

Ingredient Quality


One of the biggest factors when comparing clean beauty brands is the quality of the ingredients. Both bareMinerals and Beautycounter formulate their products without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals.

But a closer look at the ingredients reveals some differences.

bareMinerals relies heavily on mineral ingredients like zinc oxide, iron oxides, mica, and titanium dioxide. These minerals provide coverage and color while being gentle on skin.

The brand also incorporates botanical extracts like jojoba and aloe vera for hydration and antioxidant protection. However, some formulas do contain synthetic fragrances and dyes.

Beautycounter takes ingredient transparency very seriously, listing all components on their website. Their products emphasize botanically-derived ingredients like plant oils, fruit extracts, and essential oils. Instead of synthetic fragrances, Beautycounter uses natural extracts to provide scent.

Across the board, their formulas contain fewer fillers and potentially irritating additives.

When it comes to the quality of the core ingredients, Beautycounter seems to have an edge over bareMinerals. Beautycounter’s botanical-based formulas tend to be more nourishing for skin.

Also Read: Comparison Between Neora And Rodan & Fields.

Price and Value

Price can play a big role when comparing cosmetic brands. bareMinerals is sold primarily through their website, their own brick-and-mortar shops, and department stores like Sephora and Ulta. Their price points range from affordable to mid-range:

  • Foundation: $34
  • Blush: $22
  • Eyeshadow: $15 for a single, $30 for a quad

Beautycounter is an exclusively direct-to-consumer brand that is not sold in stores. Their prices sit at the higher end of mid-range:

  • Foundation: $42
  • Concealer: $32
  • Lipstick: $32

From a value perspective, bareMinerals pulls ahead slightly. While Beautycounter’s formulas justify the higher prices, bareMinerals still provides high performing makeup at more affordable costs. bareMinerals also regularly offers sitewide sales and special offers that bring down prices.

However, Beautycounter’s lack of retail markup does help offset the higher prices. And investing in cleaner, safer cosmetics that also nourish skin provides value as well. Ultimately, bareMinerals pulls just ahead when it comes to overall value.

Also Read: Comparison Between Ilia And Beautycounter

Ingredients to Avoid

When shopping clean beauty, it’s important to know which ingredients to avoid. Both bareMinerals and Beautycounter ban the major offenders like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. But a few concerning ingredients still make it into some bareMinerals products.

  • Synthetic fragrances: These can contain thousands of harmful chemicals not required to be listed on labels. bareMinerals does use synthetics for fragrance and scent.
  • Tocopheryl acetate: A synthetic form of vitamin E used as an antioxidant. It’s been linked to skin irritation and contact dermatitis. Some bareMinerals serums contain this ingredient.
  • Carmine: This red dye is made from boiled cochineal insects and can cause allergic reactions. It’s present in a few bareMinerals lip and cheek products.

Beautycounter is free from all the above concerning ingredients. They rely on plant-based extracts to provide fragrance and use natural forms of vitamin E. Being free from these extras gives Beautycounter another advantage.

Health and Safety Standards

An important way clean beauty brands demonstrate their commitment to health is through various safety certifications. Both bareMinerals and Beautycounter have obtained several third-party certifications:


  • Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free
  • Vegan Certified by Vegan Action
  • Gluten Free Certification Organization Certified


  • Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free
  • EWG VerifiedTM

Beautycounter goes a step further by having their products screened by the Environmental Working Group, one of the most stringent assessors of cosmetic safety. The EWG VerifiedTM mark means Beautycounter adheres to the highest standards when it comes to health and transparency.

Responsible Sourcing and Supply Chain

With the rise in ethical consumerism, many beauty buyers want to know brands are practicing responsible sourcing. This means procuring ingredients in ways that are sustainable and fair trade whenever possible.

bareMinerals has partnered with suppliers practicing ethical mica mining to ensure child labor is not used. However, their supply chain transparency and ethical sourcing practices could still improve. The brand does not have many certified organic ingredients or focus heavily on sustainability.

Beautycounter is a certified B Corporation, meaning they adhere to rigorous standards around social and environmental performance. The brand sources organically whenever possible, uses eco-friendly packaging, and works to improve sustainability and ethics throughout their supply chain. This commitment gives Beautycounter the advantage when it comes to responsible sourcing.

Shades and Undertones

Clean beauty brands aren’t exempt from the need to provide inclusive shade ranges and undertone options. Both bareMinerals and Beautycounter could still improve in this regard, but Beautycounter currently offers more diversity.

bareMinerals foundations come in 20 shades that run from fair to medium-deep. The range favors lighter skin, and the selection of darker shades is still quite limited. Their concealers and powders have even fewer options.

Beautycounter provides over 20 foundation shades spanning fair to deep dark. While not as expansive as formulas from mainstream brands, Beautycounter still offers more diversity than bareMinerals. The inclusion of olive and golden undertones also sets Beautycounter apart.

Also Read: Differences Between Primally Pure And Beautycounter.

Overall Health Impact

At the core, the most important role of clean beauty products is providing healthy formulas that nourish skin. In this regard, Beautycounter appears to have an edge over bareMinerals.

bareMinerals products utilize many skin-friendly mineral ingredients. However, the inclusion of synthetics like fragrances and dyes may aggravate sensitive skin.

While their makeup won’t necessarily harm skin, it likely won’t provide additional nourishment either.

Beautycounter packs their products with antioxidant oils, botanical extracts, and natural humectants like glycerin and aloe vera. Their formulas focus on hydrating and replenishing skin while also covering imperfections.

Beautycounter’s products deliver a noticeably more beneficial impact for overall skin health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What’s better than bareMinerals?

Beautycounter is considered better than bareMinerals when it comes to strict ingredient safety standards, skin-nourishing formulas, supply chain ethics, and shade diversity. Beautycounter adheres to the highest levels of health and sustainability practices in the clean beauty industry.

Is bareMinerals a clean beauty brand?

Yes, bareMinerals is considered a clean beauty brand. Their makeup and skincare products are free from parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and other harsh synthetic chemicals. bareMinerals helped pioneer the mineral makeup category that embraced skin-friendly ingredients.

Is there a problem with bareMinerals?

There are no major issues with bareMinerals products. However, some formulas still contain concerning synthetic ingredients like fragrances, dyes, and chemical preservatives. Their range of shades and undertones is also quite limited currently.
But overall, bareMinerals makeup is free from most of the worst offenders found in conventional cosmetics.

What has happened to bareMinerals?

bareMinerals was purchased by the beauty conglomerate Shiseido in 2010. Some fans feel the brand lost touch with its original natural roots after the acquisition. However, bareMinerals still maintains its commitment to mineral-based makeup without parabens and other chemicals. The brand continues releasing new clean beauty collections today.

Also Read: Comparison Between L’BRI And Rodan + Fields

Also watch the video to know more about bareMinerals!

The Verdict

When all factors around ingredients, value, ethics, and inclusion are considered, Beautycounter emerges as the winner in this comparison.

Beautycounter adheres to higher safety standards, offers greater ingredient transparency, focuses on skin-nourishing formulas, and champions inclusion. While their products come at a higher price point, you arguably get more value from the quality botanical ingredients and conscientious company standards.

That being said, bareMinerals remains an excellent clean beauty option that balances quality with affordability. Their mineral makeup line provides safe, sensitive skin-friendly coverage at lower prices. bareMinerals products are also easier to access thanks to the brand’s wide availability in stores.

Ultimately, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for extremely clean ingredients and skin nourishment, Beautycounter is likely the better choice. But those wanting good clean beauty value at mass retail prices can still happily shop bareMinerals.

Both brands make significant strides in the clean beauty space while approaching it in slightly different ways.

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