It’s always nice to know what ingredients are—and aren’t—in the food you eat, and it’s also helpful to know what’s inside all those products you put on your body every day. Happily, just like Whole Foods Market has strict quality standards when it comes to food, we’ve got you covered for body care products, too. “We have a set of baseline standards for our beauty and personal care products, which includes a list of over banned 50 ingredients,” says Jody Villecco, our Quality Standards Coordinator. (There’s also another, even stricter, set of standards for the products that fall under our Premium Body Care line). In other words, we’ve done the hard work for you, so that you can rest easy knowing that any products that have passed this tough test will be a safer choice for you, your family, and the environment. And with so many great options available, “it’s a no brainer to incorporate better alternatives into your daily routine,” says Villecco. The easiest place to start? The shower. Ahead, simple swaps that will ensure your shower stash is both greener and safer for your entire family.
Watch Out For: Triclosan (Not allowed in any of our body care.)
Why: The antibacterial ingredient is common in many antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers, and can contribute to bacterial resistance both in people and in the environment, notes Villecco. In fact, the FDA has recently issued a ban on triclosan, and released a statment that says there’s no evidence these antibacterial formulas are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with just plain soap and water.
Try This Instead: Alaffia goodSoap Bars are made with mega-hydrating fair trade shea butter and coconut oil, which are sourced from women’s cooperatives in Togo, Africa.
Watch Out For: Synthetic Colors (Not allowed in any of our body care.)
Why: These are one of the easiest things to avoid, says Villecco: “They’re added just for decorative purposes and are unnecessary for functionality.” In other words, your body wash will work exactly the same, no matter whether it’s pink, purple, or white. Plus, because many of these synthetic colors are petroleum based, there’s a sustainability issue, as well, she adds.
Try This Instead: Weleda Creamy Body Washes come in a variety of scents, no matter what your fragrance preference, and, true to the name, feel luscious and rich on your skin.
Watch Out For: Microbeads (Not allowed in any of our body care.)
Why: These synthetic scrubbing particles bypass sewage treatment plants, making it into both fresh and ocean water and negatively affecting these fragile ecosystems. While a national ban on these recently made headlines, it won’t start to go into effect until July 2017.
Try This Instead: Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub contains jojoba beads to gently slough off dead and dry skin cells and leave your complexion looking more radiant.
Jody Villecco is responsible for researching, coordinating and maintaining the Quality Standards at Whole Foods Market. Her duties include developing and communicating the company’s Quality Standards, keeping the company current with nutritional and regulatory issues, reviewing health claims, and supporting the marketing and media relations teams.