Exploring Whole Foods Body Care Quality Standards

When many of us think about healthy foods and safe products for our families Whole Foods is one retailer that quickly comes to mind.  It seems that the Whole Foods brand has become synonymous with safe and organic consumer products. In fact, many clean beauty and hair care formulators and product developers use their quality standards to guide them in new product development when appealing to a particular consumer niche. While this does not guarantee that the product they develop would ever touch their shelves, it does provide an initial guide and glimpse into the potential harm associated with certain ingredients.

What are the Whole Foods Body Care Quality Standards?

Whole Foods has outlined quality standards in their beauty and body care standards that go beyond typical “clean beauty” claims.  They have outlined over 100 ingredients which they have deemed to be unacceptable for their target consumer and products containing any of the ingredients included on this list are not sold by the retailer.  Parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde donors have all been included on this list in addition to ingredients commonly found in hair care products such as BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene) butoxyethanol, EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid tetrasodium salt), and diazolidinyl urea. The requirements that Whole Foods has developed helps to ensure the highest quality standards for the consumer.

What ingredients are listed on the banned ingredient list?

A list of over 100 ingredients banned from Whole Foods store shelves can be found below.

Are there additional requirements for body care products?

Beyond this list, Whole Foods has also developed their own definition of “organic” which clarifies the standards used by the company in product selection since no consensus exists regarding “organic” label claim on body care products.  A third-party certification by either the USDA National Organic Standards or the NSF/ANSI 305 Organic Personal Care Products standard is required to display an organic label claim on the front of product packages found on the store shelves.  The overall goal is to ensure that when an organic label is applied to a product label it has true meaning and purpose.

Although the 100+ banned ingredient list is helpful if you do not have sufficient time to do your own research, it does not mean that some of the ingredients listed should never be used. It is important to consider the potential harm and risks associated with the use of each ingredient and how that would impact product performance and business or personal standards.  Whole Foods quality standards can serve as a road map or guide to help identify safe and clean high-quality products or brands.

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