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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Premium Body Care® – A Worthy Challenge

At Whole Foods Market® we are proud of the years of work we’ve put into developing our Premium Body Care® standards. In this first installment of a 3-part podcast series, Lecia Rand, category manager for Whole Foods Market™ and 365 Everyday Value® brand supplements and body care, talks about these top-tier standards which took years to develop and continue to be a worthy work in progress.

A quick summary of what Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards:
  • Whole Foods Market developed our Premium Body Care® standards to help define what “natural” really means in body care products.
  • There are a lot of products that claim to be natural, but there is no regulatory standard for making that claim.
  • Our experts spent years examining ingredients according to the strictest criteria for safety, efficacy and impact on the environment.
  • They have found more than 380 ingredients that do not meet our standard.
Whole Foods Market’s Premium Body Care® standards have already had a significant effect on raising the bar in the natural body care industry.  What are some of the obstacles that mount when trying to create clean body care products?
  • We recently reformulated most of our 365 Everyday Value® body care to meet our Premium Body Care® standards. We made that change and kept our prices at an affordable level, which was the biggest challenge.
  • 365 Everyday Value® shampoos and shower gels are made primarily with surfactants, ingredients that make them lather are difficult to make to meet our Premium Body Care® standards. This is because our Premium Body Care® standards only allow the gentlest lathering agents.
  • These ingredients are more expensive and though they clean just as effectively, lather a bit differently – a challenge for formulation.
  • 365 Everyday Value® lotions cannot use ingredients like polyethylene glycol or other ingredients derived primarily from petroleum.
  • Alternatives to the ingredients in lotions are also more expensive.
Which Whole foods Market Exclusive Brand products meet our Premium Body Care® standards as of March 2010?
  • 365 Everyday Value® shampoos, conditioners and shower gels with wonderful scents like lavender and fresh mint.
  • Whole Foods Market™ USDA Organic Castile soaps that are rich-lathering, all purpose liquid soaps for bath and household use.
  • A line of Whole Foods Market™ lip balms made with organic oils that will soon be USDA organic.
  • Whole Foods Market™ organic bar soaps made in France.
A foundational aspect to our Premium Body Care® standards is the fact that “the homework never stops", meaning that as new science emerges, and as more products are created or reformulated to meet the standards, the work continues to evolve.  What will be challenges – and successes – that will emerge in the future?
  • Whole Foods Market will work closely with our vendors to find new and unique ingredients that meet the premium body care standard.
  • We hope to see more choices for ingredients that are effective and safe as our standard helps to shape the market for these products.
We are seeing new opportunities for natural scents that meet the strict Premium Body Care® standards for natural yet also offer more choices than some of the more basic essential oils.

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102 comments

Comments

Kelly says …

Funny for me to come across this podcast! I have a gigantic 365 shampoo in my shower which I love. I am happy to hear it is measuring up :)

Hanna says …

The progression of body care over the last 5 years has really been incredible. I am happy that there are so many healthy options nowadays.

Jasmine says …

Wow 365 toothpaste would be cool.

Patty says …

I am going to your stores to look for a sunscreen for my kids which meets your standards. I presume California Baby stacks up.

Karin says …

Pols are the first thing I look for on a body care product. If it has these listed, walk away. Good to know the 365 line doesn't contain Poly's!

Jenna says …

Love yourself, love your skin!

Terri says …

Cool standard, cool series! Thanks for your efforts.

Michelle says …

I recently tried a coconut oil, baking soda,cinnamon, honey mixture that could use alot of tweaking but worked and felt graet.Also not leaving my toothbrush too messy and nothing much in the way of residual gunk in your mouth. (U might find a better recipe than my 'thrown together' version, online) Floss after brushing. Then, there isn't anything a good rinse will not get.

Emma says …

I find it comforting that the value 365 line (which I have used for sometime now) is actually made up of good ingredients. I wasn't sure how it stacked up with other products in your store, simply because of the low cost.

Uma says …

Good support podcast for the other one.

Tami says …

I believe it is important to keep good products on you skin. Anything you put on just soaks right in.

Cindy says …

Thanks for your work to create this standard.

Sue says …

Good stuff. Thanks

Ilona says …

I will try out the 365 lotion ad shower gel. I spend a tremendous amount of dough on personal care and from what I have read here, your products might be able to help me lower the over head.

Kate says …

I am amazed that the 365 line is so inexpensive. Thanks for bringing it to us.

Kate says …

I'll check in the store to see if you have one of these- but I would like to see a written description of the "standard" you have created.

says …

Hey Kate, you can find a written version of our Premium Body Care Standards here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/premium-body-care.php. Let us know if you're looking for more information!

Erin says …

I recently read a label of a shampoo with poly-products through. The best part, the main label verbiage "All Natural". Thanks for your efforts.

Kathy says …

This is something i quite honestly would have thought bout myself, but I appreciate that you have. It is good to know a store is looking out for its people. Thank You.

Millie says …

I really enjoy the 365 body care products. My roommate doesn't think they lather enough, but I am fine with it. I had used Dr. B's soap for years, so I am use to the lather bit, and I am glad to see you are dong a similar soap now!!!

Randy says …

Well this isn't the biggest subject on my mind, but it does have an impact. My girl friend is an avid fan of body care products and we kind of share our monies, so I'll be directing her towards your 365 brand lines!

Amy says …

It cracks me up when I see "Natural" labels on things like J&J skin care, then the ingredient list shows all sorts of names I can't pronounce. Thanks for these steps forward, I hope they apply to other stores and vendors outside of WF.

Amy says …

Great coverage and even better concept on creating this standard.

Holly says …

Cool podcast!

Lori says …

Thanks for the podcast, it makes me feel good to know you are putting a standard in place which could help with quality control.

reeba says …

Thanks for creating this standard and making such an accessible product line available.

sienna says …

I use a lot of Burt's Bees products. I believe these fall into the natural foundation you mention, but if not I will still use them.

Jen says …

I like the idea of someone creating a "Standard" and applaud your work here, but that said, it seems like a conflict of interest that a stakeholder in the field, creates a standard.

Marie says …

Good podcast! thanks for addressing this topic.

Wendy says …

365 Brand body care has been a staple of mine for sometime! Thanks for the standard.

Liz Aulis says …

Why do they have to have scents? I am so allergic to scents that I never go in your room with the shampoos and such because it makes me so sick. Just because it is natural does not make it allergy free. For instance wheat it very natural and wholesome for most people but I am allergic to it as well. I really need special shampoos and soaps but I cannot buy them at your store.

says …

Many brands we carry, including our own 365 Everyday Value line offer fragrance-free options. Just ask your local Whole Body specialist to help point out the appropriate products for your needs.

says …

@Liz, I checked with one of our Whole Body staff and they said we do offer fragrance-free body care items that are wheat-free both in our 365 brand and many other brands. Call your local WFM for more details on pricing or availability. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/all/index.php Thanks!

Cynthia Goldstein says …

I love shopping at Whole Foods and have trusted that your company screens for unsafe products, so I was disappointed to see that so many of the shampoos contain Sodium Laurel Sulfates. I has become a daunting task trying to find a shampoo. I still love your store and spend a good chunk of our budget there, but I am no longer so naive to think I can rest on my "laurels" while you guys ferret out the bad stuff.

Michel Tessier says …

Good idea to create your own standards but my confidence goes to Ecocert ( DRUIDE.CA made in Canada) this is independent, international and is operated for years by ecologists. High standards by controlling: suppliers,natural and organic ingredients, approved containers material , eco-friendly factory , etc

Kathleen says …

I really actually enjoy the quality of your 365 brand body care line, keep em' coming, and get into the baby products!

Ann Datner says …

This is a good podcast, but I would like to see you all talk about solutions which are not so heavily focused on product consumption. There are many natural ways to take care of your skin which don't involve cleansers and lotion. Simply a warm water face wash can work wonders.

Bryee says …

Curious that your 365 products are not all "compliant" yet you ask this of others. not to be negative, I am sure it takes time to make changes and this is a great step in the right direct.

Laura says …

The 365 line sounds good, I'll check it out at the store, and assume it meet the standard you created?

Sue says …

"Ecocert" is a standard I think you all should consider. It is independent and not created by a commerce engine.

Jill says …

Another good one.

Laurel says …

I really like the 365 Everyday Value bodycare products except for the fragrance free shampoo. It has a terrible, chemical smell to it. I like the lavender and mint but I would have preferred to use fragrance free. I've used other fragrance free shampoos and they don't have that nasty chemical smell. I think that one could use a re-evaluation. Thanks.

Pamela says …

Again- love the 365 brand line!

Beth says …

Good to know your 365 value brand fits the standard- I really do love the shower gel.

Wendy says …

Thanks again for a great series!

Monique says …

I used the 365 hair condition for the first time and it works for my natural hair. I am very happy to see that there is a business with a heart and compassion for its customers. I have been searching--a long time--for something to accommodate my hair texture since I went natural. I'm not worry about the less lather because shampoo is not supposed to lather. I am also happy that the essentials oils are not listed first on the ingredients label because too much of it can irritated the scalp. WholeFoods has make a product affordable and useful. Though a business needs to make money, they should not jeopardize the customer's health or use ingredients that are not useful. What WholeFoods did was review their product, found out it should be better and change it. This concepts takes integrity and empathy. Thanks Whole Foods

Deepthi Amarasuriya says …

I live in a rural area where there's no Whole Foods stores within a 100 mile radius. It would be great for people like me if we could order at least non-perishable products online. I'll gladly pay a reasonable shipping cost to have the items delivered.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@DEEPTHI - We have a store located in Austin that can ship non-perishable items within the US. You can reach them directly at 512-542-2243 to see if they carry the products you are looking to find.

Allyson says …

Are your 365 shampoo and conditioners gluten free? (Specifically the lavender conditioner). Thank you

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ALLYSON - All of our 365 shampoos and conditioners are gluten free.

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