#89 – Karen Behnke – Rethinking The Beauty Industry Model

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Episode Summary

With 20 years of experience running two companies in the health and fitness space, Karen Behnke was horrified when she learned about the ingredients found in beauty products and the damaging effects they pose to people’s health and wellness.  Knowing she could offer a better, more natural product, she got the idea for her third company, Juice Beauty, while she was pregnant in her early 40’s.

Founded in 2005, Juice Beauty sells certified organic beauty, skincare, and makeup products and was one of the first brands 12 and a half years ago to offer products sans parabens, a group of synthetic compounds commonly used as preservatives in health and beauty products that has been known to be detrimental to our health.

While Juice Beauty is considered their prestige brand, found in stores such as Nieman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Ulta Beauty, and Dillards, they also have a sister brand, Juice Organics, which sells shampoo’s and conditioner’s and can be found at several Target locations throughout the United States.

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What We Covered

  • [03:34] – Karen’s background and why she started her company, Juice Beauty
  • [07:23] – How Juice Beauty products differ from conventional chemical beauty products
  • [10:29] – Juice Beauty’s mission
  • [13:48] – How our skin absorbs the chemicals found in health care products
  • [14:53] – The HERMOSA Study
  • [16:37] – How to decipher the ingredients on labels
  • [18:14] – What the chemicals methylbutyl and propylparabens are used for
  • [19:25] – Phylates and endocrine disrupters
  • [20:24] – If most products in the market are petroleum based
  • [21:50] – How Karen figured out how to find and combine the ingredients in her products
  • [23:25] – The story of how they formulated their mascara with Gwyneth Paltrow
  • [24:28] – The time Kate Hudson discovered them and invited Karen to her house
  • [25:23] – What beauty products you should start getting rid of
  • [26:31] – Juice Beauty’s sister brand, Juice Organics
  • [27:21] – The challenges she faced starting Juice Beauty
  • [29:59] – The secret behind her success
  • [33:44] – How she handled raising children and being an entrepreneur
  • [36:50] – The rate that Juice Beauty is growing and what the company is striving for
  • [39:14] – What she does to maintain her energy and look
  • [40:28] – If she practices meditation/mindfulness
  • [41:25] – Her passions outside of work
  • [43:50] – The difficulties of being an entrepreneur
  • [47:03] – Women in business and sexual harassment
  • [50:41] – A myth she would like to see busted


[Tweet “Everything we do we try to do in a sustainable, organic fashion.”]
[Tweet “There’s a lot of data in mice that show that up to 60% of what you place on your skin is absorbed.”]
[Tweet “All of our products are over 70% total organic content.”]
[Tweet “We were one of the first brands 12 and half years ago, we started without parabens.”]
[Tweet “Synthetic fragrance has pretty strong links to endocrine disruption.”]

Links Mentioned

Juice Beauty
Juice Organics
Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

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