Beautycounter’s First Acquisition Brings Backing of Bono and Ali Hewson

Photo: Ali Hewson (left), Co-Founder of NUDE, with Gregg Renfrew, Founder and CEO of Beautycounter.

Nontoxic beauty brand Beautycounter on Monday announced the acquisition of NUDE, the natural skincare line co-founded by Ali Hewson, who shares a passion for social activism with her husband, musician Bono.

Hewson and Bryan Meehan, another ethical entrepreneur, founded the high-end skincare brand in 2007. NUDE’s mission to supply healthy and natural—yet high-performance—beauty products will sound familiar to fans of Beautycounter, which touts a Never List of known or suspected toxins banned from its products.

“Consumers have a right to know what is in the products they put on their skin, and they shouldn’t be faced with a false choice between safety and effectiveness,” said Hewson. “Beautycounter is leading the movement for better beauty and I’m excited to be joining forces with them.”

In 2011, luxury goods conglomerate LVMH bought NUDE and Edun, the sustainable fashion line founded by Hewson to promote local business in Africa. As part of LVMH, NUDE developed a global presence that could help to accelerate expansion at Beautycounter, which currently operates in the U.S. and Canada.

As NUDE transitions from its San Francisco office to Beautycounter headquarters in Santa Monica, California, Hewson will join the Board of Directors of Counter Brands LLC, the parent company of Beautycounter. Bono, Hewson’s co-founder Meehan, and global investor Paddy McKillen also will join the company as investors.

“In reaching more consumers with both Beautycounter and NUDE, we can advance support for our movement in Washington,” said Gregg Renfrew, who has used her platform as founder and CEO of Beautycounter to advocate for greater oversight of the beauty industry. “Ali and her team at NUDE share the same unwavering commitment to education, safer products, and better laws that will move the beauty industry forward worldwide.”

The news follows another major Beautycounter announcement in May, when the company unveiled a limited-edition partnership that will put its beauty products in Target stores this fall. In the past, Beautycounter also has collaborated with J.Crew and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.

NUDE is the first acquisition for Beautycounter since its launch in 2013. As the brands join forces, management said both will carry on business as usual for the foreseeable future.


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