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Pacific Palisades-Based Gregg Renfrew on Her Personal Revolution for Safer Cosmetics

Carita Rizzo | April 24, 2019 | People


In launching Beatycounter, the line dedicated to cleaner cosmetics and skincare products, Gregg Renfrew recalls feeling disturbed by what she was noticing around her. “I was watching so many friends be diagnosed with different types of cancer, or struggling with fertility or giving birth to children with significant health issues,” she says. “The final straw was when a caregiver for my daughter, who was 31 years old, was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died within 11 months. It really led me to try and figure out what was going on out there.”

Renfrew and her team have identified 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals (many of which are already banned in Europe but widely used domestically) and created 150-plus products that exclude them. “I really believe that beauty should be good for you,” she says. That is why Renfrew focuses much of her efforts on advocating for cosmetic reform in Washington, where no personal care product regulations have been updated since 1938. “I will not rest until we’ve changed the laws and the entire industry has moved to a better place,” she says. “However long it takes is how long I will be in the game.”

Renfrew is not alone in her battle. Beautycounter’s success depends largely on the 40,000 independent consultants who sell the products. “There’s a lot of power in people working together,” she says, proud of what her army of women have been able to accomplish. “There’s such a rich, diverse group of people, people from opposing political parties, getting focused on an issue they believe in and joining forces.”

Renfrew, who lives in the Pacific Palisades with her husband and three children, believes you can have it all—just not on the same day. “I’ve learned that your undivided attention goes a long way,” she says. “I’m really focused on prioritizing the time that I have with my family, friends and my job wisely. It just takes a lot of organization and very little sleep.”


Photography by: J Squared Photography