Karen Behnke, founder of organic skincare brand Juice Beauty – endorsed by actress and eco-activist Alicia Silverstone – is a self-professed “serial wellness entrepreneur.” She says she became passionate about the safety and efficacy of personal care products after becoming pregnant with her first child at the age of 40. Experiencing hormonal changes and the beginning of lines in her skin, Karen set out to find healthy skincare solutions that delivered visible results. Here, she tells us more about Juice Beauty.

Why did you get involved in skincare?

Although I am well versed in nutrition and fitness as part of my professional career, I had never researched personal care ingredients. But I quickly discovered that the majority of leading personal care products on the market contained many chemical ingredients that were so toxic they had been banned from our food. This was upsetting to me because I knew that your skin absorbs over 60 percent of what is applied to it. So I was determined to create meaningful change through beauty products that not only worked well, but worked better than conventional products.

How did you come up with the formulas for Juice Beauty products?

Juice Beauty’s formulations started with a basic premise that I had been mulling over with my husband, who is a cardiologist. My belief was that starting with an antioxidant and vitamin-rich organic juice base rather than water (which dilutes) or petroleum derivatives (which suffocate the skin and are often laced with harmful chemicals) would yield better results than conventional products – especially when combined with powerful, organic anti-aging and blemish-clearing ingredients.

From there, I assembled a team of scientists and industry leaders to pioneer scientific technology and organic innovation. They helped us create the Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Collection, consisting of a proprietary blend of fruit stem cells and vitamin C infused into an organic, resveratrol-rich juice base. One of our first product hits was the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel ($45), which contains a patented blend of organic malic, tartaric and citric acids and, of course, our organic juice base found in every Juice Beauty product.

What fruits and botanicals do you use in your juice base?

Juice Beauty uses over 30 organic juices that are antioxidant, polyphenol and nutrient rich. Our moisturizers start with rich organic shea butter, jojoba and aloe. Our blemish-clearing products start with organic lemon and cherry. And our Stem Cellular Collection starts with rich organic grape seed. Starting with such a power-packed base and then adding more high-efficacy ingredients is a great recipe for achieving ultimate results.

And all of your products are certified organic?

Yes, all Juice Beauty products meet the COPA (California Organic Products Act) regulations because we buy USDA Certified Organic ingredients. Additionally, some of our products meet the USDA FOOD Organic regulations. Juice Beauty is currently working in conjunction with Whole Foods to achieve NSF certification. Furthermore, Juice Beauty products have no parabens, petroleum, butylene or propylene glycols, PEGs, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances , TEA, DEA, phthalates, GMO or silicones. Juice Beauty was in fact one of the first companies to remove parabens from its products.

If you had to choose one, which product from your line would you not be without?

I could NEVER choose just one because I love them all! Please know that out of 75 skincare items, I’ve narrowed them down to a few favorites:

Cleanser: Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk

Anti-aging treatment:  Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Booster Serum ($75)

Weekly treatment: Juice Beauty Full Strength Green Apple Peel ($45)

Daytime moisturizer: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream ($39)

Nighttime moisturizer: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer ($65) OR Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer ($45)

What do you especially want people to know about Juice Beauty?

Many things! Our products have clinically validated results, we use local organic ingredients to limit fuel waste, our packaging is printed with soy ink, we use solar-powered manufacturing services, we don’t test on animals – and last but not least, we give back to charitable organizations, including the Breast Cancer Fund, The Organic Center, Teens Turning Green, EWG and the documentary Miss Representation.

Can you tell us about any new product developments?

Well… 2013 is all about our luxurious NSF Certified Organic color makeup! A full lineup of products, made with ingredients such as acai, goji and grape seed, will be coming out month by month through the holidays.