Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, recently developed a seal called “Premium Body Care.” The seal marks products sold at Whole Foods that meet the retailer's private standard for personal care products.
Products with the seal are free of synthetic fragrance and can't contain any of about 250 synthetic chemicals, including parabens, polypropylene and polyethylene glycols, and sodium lauryl and laureth sulfates.
“The Whole Foods Premium seal is important; it is the first major retailer standard, and it is quite strict, so it will help raise the bar for natural products,” said Stacy Malkan, spokeswoman for the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, San Francisco, and author of the book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry.”
In developing the Premium Body Care standard, Whole Foods Market worked with chemists and body care experts for more than two years, reviewing body care ingredients and labeling information. As a result, all products bearing the seal are made with ingredients necessary for them to function well and contain ingredients that are minimally processed so they have as little impact as possible on the environment during manufacturing and when the products are used, according to a Whole Foods release.
Key highlights of the new standard include:
Preservatives: The standard allows only milder preservatives that are shown to function properly, such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate, yet have a lower likelihood of causing cosmetic-related allergies and sensitivities. Parabens and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are unacceptable.
Surfactants: The standard allows only the most gentle types available, including decyl polyglucose and sodium stearoyl lactylate.
Fragrance: Only natural essential oils and components of natural essential oils are allowed as fragrances.
Sunscreen: Only physical sunscreens, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, are allowed as better alternatives to those containing chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate.