Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Facial Cleanser Face-Off

By Value Guru, April 5, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Value Guru

Here’s the deal. With 365 Everyday Value® Daily Facial Cleanser, it’s now possible to get a daily facial cleanser that works as well as a major national brand, but with better components and a better price ($5.99 compared to $9 or more!).

Let’s compare to see what you really get for your money.


Do you see the seal that’s on the 365 Everyday Value® Daily Facial Cleanser and missing from the other brand? Not just any product can wear this seal!

Premium Body Care™ means our strictest standards for quality sourcing, environmental impact, results and safety. (Bonus! Most of our entire 365 Everyday Value® body care line meets our Premium Body Care standard, making more high-quality products available to more people. Search for these and other products that meet our strict standards here.) Now let’s check out the ingredients. Some ingredients may not be pronounceable, but we’ve examined each one in our product not just for efficacy, but also for environmental impact and safety.

Can the other brand say that?

365 Everyday Value® Daily Facial Cleanser’s ingredients: Water, sodium myristoyl sarcosinate, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, sodium cocoamphoacetate, glycerin, xanthan gum, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, sodium citrate, citric acid, natural fragrance, panthenol.

Major national brand facial cleanser’s ingredients: Water, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, acrylates/steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer, glycerin, PEg-200 hydrogenated glyceryl palmate, sodium laureth sulfate, butylene glycol, PEg-7 glyceryl cocoate, phenoxyethanol, masking fragrance, panthenol, PEg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, disodium EDTA, methylparaben.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of those and spot the differences between brands.

Sodium laureth sulfate in the other brand : Surfactants, this cleanser's workhorses, are used for cleaning, conditioning and creating foam. However, these ingredients often irritate the skin and can remove beneficial fatty acids. (Sodium laureth sulfate isn't allowed in our Premium Body Care standards, which permit only the gentlest types of surfactants available.)

Disodium EDTA in the other brand: You guessed it; disodium EDTA is one of the more than 400 ingredients we find unacceptable for our Premium Body Care products. It is not allowed because there is environmental data showing that chelators such as EDTA do not readily biodegrade in the environment . . . as in when you rinse it off your face and down the drain.

Methylparaben in the other brand: The truth is some preservatives are necessary in packaged body care products, especially water-based products. Parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are a no-no in our Premium Body Care standards, which allow only milder preservatives (those shown to function properly yet have a lower likelihood of causing cosmetic-related sensitivities), such as alcohol or potassium sorbate.

Natural fragrance in the 365 Everyday Value® Daily Facial Cleanser: Fragrance is a component that many people expect in body care products and, if naturally derived, may have aromatherapy benefits too. For philosophical and safety reasons, only natural essential oils and components of natural essential oils are allowed as fragrances in our Premium Body Care products.

When you compare ingredients, count on results and calculate your savings, you’ll find a squeaky clean winner. Hoping to make a clean sweep this spring from bathroom to kitchen?

Keep costs low without sacrificing quality by turning to the The Whole Deal value guide for $48+ in coupons, more than a dozen Sure Deals, 11 budget-friendly recipes and a basket full of money-saving tips.




kara rane says ...
Really appreciate when some of these ingredients are explained. You can not count on words like 'natural' anymore. So happy Whole Foods has Premium Body Care label that coincides with real standards and value.
04/05/2012 7:17:05 PM CDT
lisa says ...
Do you have cleansers specific to different types of skin conditions like sensitive or acneic?
04/12/2012 7:39:19 PM CDT
Heather says ...
Lisa- In the 365 facecare there are 2 cleansers- a daily cleanser (normal to oily skin) and a gentle cleanser(all skin types).
04/14/2012 10:34:59 AM CDT
stacy says ...
I am searching for a cleanser and moiturizer for Roseacea. My skin is also very dry. I would love some help!
05/01/2012 5:03:06 PM CDT
Juli says ...
I'm looking at the April 14th response regarding the 2 different formulas for the Daily Facial Cleanser, where can I find the (gentle) cleanser? I can only find the (normal to oily) at my local Whole Foods store. Thank you
05/24/2012 11:06:33 PM CDT
Megan says ...
@Juli Selection varies by store, so your local store might be out of stock. Just ask the Whole Body team there if they can get it for you!
05/25/2012 9:01:23 AM CDT
c. Yau says ...
Cab you make 365 facial cleanser fragrance free? You already have shampoo and conditioners.
08/18/2012 6:10:02 PM CDT
Pat says ...
Reply: this product is soothing and non- inflammatory for rosacea- perfectly soothing. Does not disrupt the normal Ph balance for skin. If anything, restores the natural Ph. Skin feels smooth& calm.
09/14/2012 9:34:00 PM CDT
Pat says ...
This product is fabulous ! What is the matching facial sensitive skin moisturizer? Thanks
09/14/2012 9:35:45 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PAT - We make a 365 Moisturizing Lotion for the face and body, for all skin types. Check with your local store to make sure that it is something they carry since our products vary between locations. You can find your stores contact information at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
09/18/2012 1:36:15 PM CDT
TJ says ...
According to someone at my local store none oftbe products sold there are testedkn animals but there is nothing on the label of the whole foods cleanser to indicate that, it says "independently tested..." so I'm wondering how to find out how these products have been tested. In addition, it is my understanding that Weleda does not state whether their products are tested on animals. I look forward to knowing for sure. Thanks
09/29/2012 6:27:50 PM CDT
Emily says ...
This and many of your other products contain phenoxyethanol. Phenoxyethanol is a scientifically proven irritant to human skin and eyes (Comparison of objective and sensory skin irritations of several cosmetic preservatives. Lee E, An S, Choi D, Moon S, Chang I. Contact Dermatitis. 2007 Mar;56(3):131-6.) and it is classified as irritant in European Union. Phenoxyethanol is also restricted for use in Japan.
10/27/2012 4:21:52 PM CDT
Barbara says ...
Thanks for providing information of Facial Cleanser comparing with skin cleanser.
12/19/2012 6:19:17 AM CST
zminwesthartford says ...
The cleanser works just as well as the national brand it's compared to, within the same price point and with much better ingredients. I only wish it did a more effective job of removing makeup, but for that I massage a smidge of virgin coconut oil into my skin and follow up with the cleanser.
01/28/2013 5:19:10 PM CST
D says ...
Please send the MSDS for the 365 Gentle Skin Cleanser. I bring it to work and my company requires and MSDS on record for all products. Thank you!
02/14/2013 8:28:17 AM CST
katie says ...
After using the whole-foods brand Gentle Skin Cleanser for over a month, I can confidently say that it is BETTER than the original, to which I have been devoted for about 15 years. My skin, which is both sensitive and prone to acne, has honestly never looked better. It does sting a bit, but it's not too harsh, and it doesn't over-dry my face, as I feared during my first use. I CAN NOT RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT HIGHLY ENOUGH. It's better for my face, better for the environment, and it's cheaper, too. Win Win Win.
04/06/2013 10:10:00 AM CDT
Marje Hartsfield says ...
I am searching for a product that will remove the flaky, dark crusted skin from my face as a result of DERMAYOMYOSITIS. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE. THANK YOU.
05/30/2013 11:55:16 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MARJE - Since our products vary between locations, I would suggest reaching out to a Whole Body team member for their recommendation as to what they carry at their particular store. They'll be happy to help!
06/03/2013 12:13:40 PM CDT
Taylor Kirk says ...
I do not have enough words to describe how much I LOVE this cleanser. It is my favorite - and it lasts....forever. I am ob-sessed. I have sensitive to mildly oily skin with minimal big breakouts, w/ blackheads being my primary issue. I love this cleanser because I can use it at anytime day/night without it overproducing oil, over drying, or under cleaning. I use a warm wash cloth and massage gently in circles to break up build up on my skin, leaving it feeling fresh & dewy all day! Great product and best price by far out of all skin care cleansers with the least harmful ingredients. It accomplishes its mission to "cleanse" 100%. Signed, Overjoyed & in love with 365 cleanser.
06/19/2013 12:58:57 PM CDT
CJ says ...
I've heard great things about this daily cleanser. Problem is that I live in Liverpool, England. Is there a way to purchase this cleanser online?
09/17/2013 2:09:44 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CJ - We do not currently have an online ordering system. We have a store in Austin that offers shipping buy they do not ship internationally. I would suggest calling a store based out of London to see if they offer shipping!
09/17/2013 2:38:22 PM CDT
Branden Braden says ...
I am not meaning to bash this product; just being totally honest in helping others know more about the product. I want to leave fair warning to anyone with dry skin that this product is definitely not for you. Regardless of it's more natural ingredients, it is very harsh for folks like myself that have dryer skin. I have switched to another cleanser that is much gentler an no longer look like a mummy. I hope that the product development people will hear this and come up with a formulation that is gentle enough for dryer skin in the near future.
10/18/2013 7:23:57 AM CDT
Claudia says ...
Hi I tried to find this at a Whole Foods in Canada and I was told that the product doesn't exist. Is it only available at American locations?
12/30/2013 8:35:23 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CLAUDIA - I spoke with our Private Label team and they stated that this should be available in Canada. Were you able to talk to anyone in Whole Body leadership?
12/31/2013 2:31:21 PM CST
Ellen says ...
This is a great product. And part of my daily routine. Far above the super expensive washes, and I've tried them all. But do you guys think you could have a more direct link to this on your website? I had a tough time finding it. And I wanted to put it in my pinterest page, but no button.:(
01/06/2014 10:58:37 AM CST