The 12 Best Beauty Buys At Whole Foods — Each Under $40
There's no standard or definition for "clean" or "natural" beauty, to many people's chagrin. So when you go shopping for a new cleanser or lipstick, what one store calls safe might vary quite a bit from another. My take is that the brands and retailers should just be honest and transparent about their guidelines—and let the consumer make their own call.
And that's why Whole Foods has always been something of a guiding light, even in the beauty space. "Our customer is very engaged and aware of not only what they are putting in their bodies from our food and wellness products but also what they are putting on their bodies from beauty and body care. Our goal is to provide the highest quality natural and organic beauty and body care products for our customers and do the research so they don't have to," says Amy Jargo, global senior category merchant for the Whole Body team at Whole Foods Market. So what does that look like in practice? "Currently, there are over 100 ingredients common in conventional beauty products that are not allowed in any body care products we sell," she says.
Here, some of the best buys at Whole Foods—pick up one on your next grocery store trip:
Cocokind Oil-to-Milk Cleanser
Transforming cleansers just feel like you're getting more bang for your buck: You get multiple washing experiences in one. This starts off silky and rich but lathers into a light, creamy texture. Oh, and the skin care benefits aren't so bad either. It's made with fermented oat to soothe and balance the skin barrier.
Oil-to-Milk Cleanser, Cocokind ($18)
Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner with Aloe Vera Formula
Talk about a product with a dedicated following: People—from celebs to makeup artists to beauty fanatics—rave about this botanical elixir. It wipes away any dirt and oil without stripping the skin. In fact, thanks to the rose water and aloe vera, it can help lock in moisture, making it hit that toner sweet spot: hydrating and exfoliating.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light
Guaranteed to impart a lit-from-within glow, this medium-heavy lotion is ideal for anyone. But sensitive skin-types seem to be especially adoring fans, as it is highly moisturizing (thanks to the potent botanical oil blend) and soothing (thanks to the rose extract).
Rose Day Cream Light, Dr. Hauschka ($25)
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
This stabilized and active vitamin C serum is expertly formulated with both vitamin E and ferulic acid (they help the antioxidant penetrate better) and hyaluronic acid. The result? Brighter, plumper, happier skin—all for well under the normal asking price for a vitamin C serum.
Vitamin C Serum, Mad Hippie ($29)
evanhealy French Rose Clay
This contains two types of purifying clay: pink and rhassoul, so it sucks out oil, dirt, and impurities—but, at the same time, is so gentle on the skin. Once a week will leave you refreshed.
French Rose Clay, evanhealy ($35)
Trilogy Organic Rosehip Oil
At the higher end of our price spectrum, this oil is worth every penny: It helps restore and repair the skin barrier with its powerful essential fatty acids.
Organic Rosehip Oil, Trilogy ($29)
Own Beauty Moisturizing Body Wash
Made with coconut oil and coconut oil surfactants, this wash is so gentle on your skin. (Body washes can be so drying, no?) It's fragrance-free, so that delightfully fresh scent is all its own.
Moisturizing Body Wash, Own Beauty ($7.50)
Avalon Organics Deep Hydration Maple Sap & Magnolia Shampoo
Avalon Organics is EWG-certified as well as making the Whole Foods cut, so you know this is good for you. It's also just, well, good. It transforms dry, stressed-out hair. Even if you have fine, thin hair, this will help repair heat or physical damage.
Deep Hydration Maple Sap & Magnolia Shampoo, Avalon Organics ($12)
Shea Moisture 100% Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
This is head-to-toe multi-purpose moisturizer for anyone or hair type. Hair just drinks it up (it works great as a pre-shamoo treatment) leaving your strands soft and shiny, and it is an amazing all-over body oil.
100% Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil, Shea Moisture ($11)
Renpure Plant-Based Tea Tree Lemon Sage 5-in-1 Treatment
W3ll People Optimist Lipstick
I included this silky lipstick because I think people wrongly assume the cosmetic options at Whole Foods are only of the light, barely there variety. But this collection packs some punch: especially this rich plum option.
Optimist Lipstick, W3ll People ($17)
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.