Whole Foods is best-known for its organic focus, super-healthy produce, hot food counters, overflowing crates of fresh fruit and veg and, of course, those instantly recognisable brown paper bags. (Does anyone else feel like they're in America when they carry those?) Now the 'grocery store', as it's called in its native country, is setting its sights on bigger things. And that's beauty.
We were excited to hear about American Whole Foods' beauty developments earlier this year, which kicked off with a nationwide 'beauty swap' event. Customers were invited to drop off their existing beauty products in exchange for clean ones. 1,000 goodie bags of testers and trial sizes were given out to the people who flocked to get involved. Amazon Fresh, the Whole Foods delivery service (in partnership with Amazon) was also started stateside, so let's just keep our fingers crossed that this idea will cross the pond, too.
First of all, what exactly is on offer in the lifestyle section at Whole Foods? The company says its focus is on clean beauty – as you'd imagine, lots of all-natural, organic, eco-friendly products. But the clean beauty trend is something quite specific, so we asked the Jean Godfrey-June, the Beauty Director at Goop (Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand), to explain it a little more to us. Her answer was wonderfully simple: "Clean is about nontoxic, meaning that there are no ingredients in the formula that have been linked to harmful health effects like cancer or hormone disruption." But how can you tell if something's clean? Always read the label: "Products should be transparent — meaning that every ingredient, including the components of the “fragrance” is listed. When you see “fragrance” on a product label, it’s a place where companies can hide ingredients they’d rather not list on the label."
The Director of Merchandising for Whole Foods' Whole Body sector in America, Jen Coccaro, said in an interview with Glossy magazine, "What’s a trend today is who we have always been — we’ve been carrying clean beauty for 30 years, but we are somewhat of a best-kept secret in that space."
So if you've never stopped in the beauty aisle at Whole Foods, it's about time you did. Below, we list five of our favourite best-kept beauty secrets at this one-stop destination for all things natural. These brands should definitely make their way into that paper bag next time you're buying a smoothie.
1. Dr. Hauschka
Medicinal plants and sustainability are at the heart of this all-natural skincare brand. Dr Hauschka's products are cruelty-free and ethically made. Try the Rose Day Cream first. It's a customer fave and not only smells heavenly, but contains all of the lauded benefits of rosewater, hydrating, cooling and reducing inflammation on your skin. Rosie Huntington-Whitely has said she uses rosewater instead of a toner, so it's got to be magic.
2. Natura Siberica
The Northern Soap for Deep Facial Cleansing by Natura Siberica is a must. This award-winning treatment is instantly loved by anyone that uses it; it gets consistent 5-star ratings online. Blackheads and rough-textured skin are reduced by potent natural ingredients like charcoal and berries. Don't just take our word for it! If there's one product you have to add to your hefty Whole Foods receipt, it's this.
JĀSÖN means 'healer' in Greek, which pretty much sums up this Californian brand's intentions. Nothing in the company's offering contains damaging ingredients for you or for the planet, so no silicons, parabens, phthalates, sulfates – or any of the other nasty ingredients you're better to avoid. Instead, Apricot Oil, Bamboo powders, Lavender Flower extract and other lovely botanicals make up these gentle essentials.
4. Aloe Dent – NO INSTAGRAM
Aloe Vera is a miraculous succulent. We all know that it works wonders for treating sunburn, but this dental brand has also harnessed its power for your teeth. The toothpaste is minty-fresh, anti-bacterial and makes your mouth feel squeaky clean without containing any harsh ingredients. It's another five-star rated product, so worth the slightly expensive price tag (£3.79).
We love a bit of Australian Beauty, a trend took off around this time last year and is still going strong. Sukin is just one of the amazing Aussie brands you should stock up on. It's eco credentials are practically faultless, all recyclable packaging, carbon-neutral production and natural ingredients. But it's not just for show; Sukin's shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams and everything in between are gentle yet effective. Get the Super Greens Detoxifying Facial Scrub, which makes your skin clean, soft and glowy. You won't be able to go back.