A Parisian beauty editor once told me she and her colleagues liken Whole Foods to Disneyland. They don’t have anything like it in France, and much like you’d be hard-pressed to find an American editor who won’t shut up about the wonders of Monoprix (myself included), French beauty fans love hitting up Whole Foods’ Whole Body section whenever they’re in the States to stock up on the best in niche organic and all-natural beauty. Of course, we tend to take what we have readily available for granted, and up to that point, I hadn’t really poked around in Whole Foods' cosmetics aisle too much. But it took a foreigner to make me realize I’d been largely ignoring a pretty killer beauty destination for way too long.
As much of a one-stop shop as Whole Foods' beauty section already is for natural, nontoxic products (many of which are relatively inexpensive and have cult followings), you’re only going to see it get better—and you have Amy Jargo, former Whole Food Market's global category manager for beauty, to thank for that. It’s her responsibility to source and curate the products that appear on Whole Body’s shelves—an honor reserved for few qualifying brands.
Meet the Expert
Amy Jargo is the former Senior Category Merchant for Global Beauty at Whole Foods Market.
Below, check out all of the best Whole Foods beauty products.
How Does Whole Foods Select its Beauty Products?
Each time Jargo and her team are considering a new product or brand, it goes through a rigorous vetting process that covers everything from formulation to company conditions as well as the backstory behind a given brand. And if you're a clean beauty connoisseur, Whole Foods Market bans over 100 commonly used ingredients in beauty and body care (think: parabens, oxybenzone, and formaldehyde donors).
All of this has allowed Whole Body to stock an exclusive but illustrious array of brands, a number that is only growing exponentially with the rise of eco-friendly and organic beauty becoming more than just a trend. Inexpensive essential oils and petroleum-free jellies share shelf space with luxe, organic skincare and makeup, creating a wonderful variety that’s all tied together by clean ingredients and reliability. Right now, popular Whole Foods skincare brands featured range from Dr. Hauschka and Burt’s Bees to Weleda and Juice Beauty.
Which brings me back to that Disneyland analogy. Aside from the excitement and fun of perusing Whole Body, it’s also sensory overload—you want to sniff, touch, and look at everything. So to save you a little time on your next visit, we've rounded up 21 of the best beauty products you can scour on your next grocery run.
Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($20)
For those acne-prone folks among us, this mask promises to help tighten pores and clear up blemishes. All you have to do is add apple cider vinegar and/or water to make the paste, leave on for five to 10 minutes, and wash off to reveal smoother and clearer skin.
SheaMoisture African Black Soap Bar Soap ($6)
A bar of soap as a face cleanser may seem a little outdated, but this works just as well (if not better than) some of its liquid counterparts. Using shea butter as its hero ingredient, this soap is meant to return any lost moisture to your skin and promises to help clear any breakouts with the use of rosemary extract and vegetable glycerin.
Due to its strength, African black soap shouldn't be applied directly to your face. Rather, lather it up on your hands and apply to your face using your hands or a washcloth.
Heritage Store Rosewater ($5)
Do you need rose water? The answer is a resounding yes. Apart from being multifunctional (you can use it in a bath or hair or as a perfume or mist), rose is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate skin irritation.
Acure The Essentials Marula Oil ($13)
Marula oil is one of the many ingredients that save our skin from the frigid winter air that dries it up. Not to mention, it has an incredibly high antioxidant content (your hair will thank us). This one from Acure is lightweight and doesn't clog up pores, making it a dream for those with skin that skews oily.
Evan Healy Rose Geranium HydroSoul ($30)
Rose germanium may help unclog pores and is also a known antimicrobial (bacterial acne likely won't stand a chance!). For times when our skin isn't feeling its best, a few spritzes of this is all that's needed to help calm down any irritation.
Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream ($19)
Thanks to the rich base of oils and beeswax, this body moisturizer is a lifesaver for skin that's in desperate need of hydration. It's free of the nasties (think: synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and colorants), so sensitive skin is less likely to react.
Alba Botanica Acnedote Maximum Strength Deep Pore Wash ($8)
Made with chamomile, aloe, and salicylic acid, this cleanser works wonders for those with acne-prone skin. You won't find parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances here, but you'll surely walk away with clearer, cleaner skin.
Aura Cacia Lavender Essential Oil ($10)
With its floral, aromatic scent, there are so many benefits to lavender oil, from promoting better sleep to soothing the skin. This is one of our favorites to use on its own or mix in a diffuser. When working with essential oils, always dilute them with a carrier (such as olive oil, coconut oil, or even your body lotion).
Thayer's Lavender Witch Hazel Toner ($7)
We love this toner for being alcohol-free and incorporating one our favorite natural ingredients, lavender.
Witch hazel is lauded for being a skin-toning ingredient made from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana plant. Its many benefits include relieving inflammation, shrinking pores, and diminishing puffy eyes.
Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm ($5)
On days that require little to no makeup but a lot of hydration, this lip balm takes the cake. It offers all-day moisture all while feeling weightless, plus it's available in six flattering hues to complement any occasion.
Derma E Ultra Hydrating Serum ($18)
When it comes to giving your skin optimal hydration, hyaluronic acid is the way to go (after all, it can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water). This serum is high in vitamin C and effectively brings life back to a dull, dry complexion.
Dr. Hauschka Revitalizing Day Cream ($40)
It's rare to find a product that tackles parched skin and blemish-prone skin, but we've found it in this botanical-rich day cream. Plus, it features an all-star ingredient list that sounds good enough to eat: apricot kernel, sweet almond oil, and wheat germ oil.
Mineral Fusion Volumizing Mascara ($20)
This mascara not only gives your lashes major volume but also doesn't clump, flake, or smudge. It's offered in three shades: a standard black, a chestnut brown, and even a midnight blue.
MyChelle Perfect C Serum ($29)
If you're struggling with a dull complexion, vitamin C will become your new go-to. This serum is rich in the antioxidant, and it promises to help reduce the appearance of fine lines all while firming up the skin.
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil ($29)
Skin irritation, acne and dermatitis don't stand a chance against this pure rosehip oil, which is potent in skin-loving essential fatty acids.
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum ($34)
Give lackluster skin all the brightness it needs with this smoothing serum, which features a powerful antioxidant blend of ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, and konjac root along with vitamins C and E. Simply put: It's a winning combination.
Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap ($10)
If you can use it on your body, pets, and your countertops, you know it's clean. Made with organic coconut, olive, palm kernel, jojoba and hemp oil, this soap is gentle yet effective and kicks synthetic fragrances to the curb with pure essential oils.
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub ($10)
We're all about face scrubs that slough away dead skin cells without leaving the skin feeling dry and irritated. The exfoliating agent here is lemon peel, but the scrub also uses sage and blackberry meant for their clarifying, antioxidant-rich properties.
Naturtint Permanent Hair Color ($15)
Looking to make a smart swap for your conventional hair dye? Go for this one by Naturtint—it's made without the nasties (think: ammonia and parabens) and comes in 29 mixable shades for endless hair possibilities.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream ($45)
Sensitive skin requires a cream that's as gentle as it is hydrating, and this one from Dr. Hauschka fits the bill. A unique blend of avocado and rose hip oil help to douse parched skin with moisture, condition, and calm inflammation. Rose petal wax is meant to lock in moisture and prevent future dryness from wracking havoc on your skin.
Thayer's Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Facial Toner ($11)
If you typically shy away from toners for fear of them drying out your skin, try this one from Thayers. It's alcohol-free formula uses skin-soothing aloe vera and rose petal water meant to protect, moisturize, cleanse, and tone.
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