Whole Foods Market Launches New Safety Seal

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/06/08 •  3 min read

My mother ship, Whole Foods (also lovingly known as Whole Paycheck by my pal Noel) recently put out a press release announcing their new new Premium Body Care seal of approval which will start to appear on their products:

In response to growing consumer interest and confusion about natural personal care products, Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket, has developed a new Premium Body Care standard and labeling seal of approval, setting a new industry benchmark. The new standard raises the bar for defining quality natural personal care and helps consumers decipher which body care products in its Whole Body™ departments contain the most natural and highest quality ingredients.

As stated by Jeremiah McElwee, senior global Whole Body coordinator, personal care products are not regulated the way food is in this country. Anyone can slap the word “natural” on the label and no one will say a word about it. This frustrates me on so many levels because these days, you have to practically be a scientist to figure out what’s on the ingredients list of a bottle of baby lotion. My girls at Serendipity Soap Company know this all too well and did some undercover work on the subject. (I love you girls…you crack me up)

Highlights of the new Premium Body Care guidelines are as follows (and they make me giddy inside):

Preservatives — While few are truly benign, some are necessary in body care products, especially water-based products. The Premium Body Care 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 (i.e. diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin) are unacceptable.

Surfactants — Used for cleaning, degreasing, emulsifying, conditioning and creating foam, these ingredients often irritate the skin and can remove essential fatty acids. The Premium Body Care 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 sunscreen, such as zinc oxide or titaniumdioxide as better alternatives to those containing chemical sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octyl methoxycinnamate.

Seeing Whole Foods take a more active and careful role in what goes on the shelves in the personal care aisles means more changes will come and other chain stores will follow suit. There is a reason you can buy California Baby at Publix and Target these days…

Related Links:
PR Newswire Full press release.
Whole Foods Premium Body Care Info