April 29, 2019

Which One Is A Better Buy? – Comparing Acure's Seriously Soothing Solid Serum & Beautycounter's Cleansing Balm

Why spend $$$ when you can get a superior product without making a huge dent in your budget?

Today I’m sharing about Acure’s Seriously Soothing Solid Serum [*gifted by the brand], a dupe of Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm.


Both Acure and Beautycounter’s balms function similarly – to remove makeup, or to be used as a moisturizing face mask, or as a soothing balm for chapped skin. They both come in a solid form that melts beautifully into the skin on immediate contact and both smell sweetly and pleasantly of muted florals. Both balms use Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride as their main stabilizer, emulsifier, and skin conditioner. A variety of natural oils and botanical extracts are added to the Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride to spruce up the balms. 

Both sting my eyes when used as a makeup remover and are heavy enough to warrant caution when applying to the face as an extended leave-on treatment. Avoiding my eye area, I enjoy using both balms as a makeup remover and a treatment for dry hands and elbows. Acure’s Solid Serum is the perfect size/weight to travel with too.


For every single fl. oz., Beautycounter’s balm is roughly three times the price of Acure’s.

Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm
$80 - 2.75 fl. oz.
[$29.09 per single fl. oz.]

Acure’s Seriously Soothing Solid Serum
$16 - 1.7 fl. oz.
[$9.41 per single fl. oz.]


Hidden away under their long list of ingredients, Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm includes a potentially toxic chemical that is classified by the European Union as an irritant and “toxic or harmful” if applied on the lips. Phenoxyethanol is a petrochemical [made out of the stuff we put in our cars] and rated a 4 – moderately hazardous – on EGW.com. It is a “Fragrance Ingredient; Preservative” and has been banned from Ecocert and Cosmos standards.

Even used in the small percentages that are accepted by the European Union & Japan – below 1%  – knowing that even small amounts of toxins can build up in your body over time makes this toxin in our skincare a hard pill to swallow.

Beautycounter is currently helping fund a study on the safety of cosmetic ingredients at Tufts Univerity. And according to an article on fastcompany.com, so far results are not available and they hope to "share its initial findings about phenoxyethanol and lavender extract" sometime in the vague future. I'm curious and look forward to this article. But it still seems clear to me that the right thing to do, as many other clean beauty companies have already done, is to take a precautionary approach to phenoxyethanol. I agree with Indie Lee when she mentions that there are less controversial ingredients available and to "when in doubt, formulate it out."

"Exposure to phenoxyethanol has been linked to reactions ranging from eczema to severe, life-threatening allergic reactions. Infant oral exposure to phenoxyethanol can acutely affect nervous system function. " – www.safecosmetics.org

"...we’re officially adding phenoxyethanol to our restricted ingredients list." – follain.com

" A huge health concern with petroleum products is that they can generate 1,4-dioxane, a substance known to potentially contribute to some cancers. It’s also a kidney toxin, neurotoxin, and a respiratory toxin, not to mention a leading groundwater contaminant." – Karen Behnke, goop.com

Click on the photo below to read what clean beauty experts and brands have said about phenoxyethanol. 
– follain.com

All in all, both Acure's Seriously Soothing Solid Serum and Beautycounter's Cleansing Balm perform similarly, but it seems to me that Acure’s Solid Serum doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and is a much better bang for your buck. We found a winner!

Wishing all of you a BEAUTY-Full Day!


Simplified List of Ingredients for Acure’s Seriously Soothing Solid Serum: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Candelilla Wax, Carnauba Wax, Shea Butter, Rosehip Seed Oil, Argan Oil, Vitamin E, Blue Tansy Flower Oil, Black Currant Seed Oil.

All images © 2019 Grace Song Photography

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