Juice Beauty’s California-Based Clean Organic Skincare
Serial wellness entrepreneur and triathlete Karen Behnke, founder of Juice Beauty, has recently added organic grape farming to her skillset. Behnke and her husband bought a sustainable farm in California’s Sonoma County in 2018 and started farming organically following the California Certified Organic Farming (CCOF) guidelines. In addition to continuing to tend the grapevines, they grow ingredients for the Juice Beauty skincare and cosmetics brand, reducing transport fuel waste. Juice Beauty has attracted the attention of the business and beauty worlds alike, named by Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon in 2018 as a “major disruptor”; winning awards in publications like Elle, Glamour, Allure and Teen Vogue; and providing a private label line for Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop brand since 2015. Find out about Juice Beauty’s ethos, and how Behnke broke boundaries as a female entrepreneur.
Juice botanicals to feed your skin. “When I started studying conventional chemical beauty (petroleum byproduct base) and natural beauty (water base), it didn’t make sense to me to have occlusive glycols laced with dioxane or water, which dilutes the ingredients. So my concept was to start each product with an organic botanical juice base such as organic grapeseed, aloe, shea, jojoba, etc. that is already packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and then add more powerful ingredients to that base, so every organic drop would feed the skin!”
The new sustainable farm. “We found one of the most beautiful pieces of property… it completely reinforces our brand. We support organic farming to limit synthetic and pesticide use so this residue doesn’t end up on our skin or on our planet, all while supporting our communities and donating to nonprofit causes. We also utilize recyclable and recycled containers, print our packaging with soy ink, and manufacture with solar and wind power.”
The narrow escape. The largest fire to ever occur in Sonoma County, the Kincade wildfire blazed through homes and vineyards in October and November, forcing over 200,000 to evacuate. “The Juice Beauty Farm was spared and we were able to save most of our grapes. Forever grateful for the amazing vineyard workers and their families and the courageous firefighters for their tireless efforts.”
The Green Apple Peel that put them on the map. “I first started in 2005 and I was going around to the editors in New York and they said ‘Yeah, organic, I know it’s good for me, but does it really work?’ And I would say, ‘I’m just going to leave this full-strength peel on your desk.’ Guess what, they would all call me back and say, ‘Holy tamale, that’s a spa grade peel.’ I always say fruit organic acids work.”
Another Goldman Sachs award. At Goldman Sachs’s Builders and Innovators Summit this fall, Behnke was recognized as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs. “This honor not only recognizes me, but our retailer partners, our amazing products and our dedicated employees. I started when women in business weren’t widely accepted and I am proud that I’ve broken barriers not only for women, but in industries that I’ve helped pioneer—from corporate wellness in the early 1980’s to now organic beauty!”
On what it’s like to work with Gwyneth Paltrow. “When we decided to have a top celebrity partner, we wanted someone who authentically believed in our mission. Gwyneth embodied not only the entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy we were looking for, but also the true passion for clean, organic beauty and fun living. Gwyneth is the ultimate strategic business partner and she has truly enhanced what Juice Beauty stands for–creating authentically organic formulations that perform better than conventional chemically laden products. Gwyneth has been involved in our makeup product development from start to finish and loved how we could get bright colors with crushed rose petals, purple carrot, argan husks and more, instead of synthetic dyes.”