Whole Foods Launches ‘Beauty Swap’ to Promote Clean Products

Educational event begins March 30 in select locations
Whole Foods Beauty Bag
Photograph courtesy of Whole Foods

Whole Foods Market is hosting its inaugural Better Beauty Swap event on March 30 to promote its clean beauty and body care products and educate consumers about ingredients founds in conventional items. The first 200 shoppers in select New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles stores to bring in an empty product can swap it out for a free limited-edition Whole Foods Market Beauty Bag, valued at $100 each.

The event will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. local time, while supplies last, as part of the Austin, Texas-based retailer’s Beauty Week sale. From March 27 to April 2, Whole Foods is offering 25% off (with an additional 10% off for Amazon Prime members) makeup, facial care, hair care, nail polish, perfume and makeup brushes. The retailer will also offer its beauty bags for in-store purchases nationwide for $20 beginning March 29 for customers who are unable to take advantage of the beauty swap event.

In an effort to reduce the event’s environmental impact, Whole Foods has also partnered with TerraCycle to recycle the empty beauty product containers collected during the events.

Store locations for the Whole Foods Market Better Beauty Swap events include:

  • New York—Tribeca: 270 Greenwich St.
  • Chicago—Lakeview: 3201 N. Ashland Ave.
  • Philadelphia—Philly Center City: 2101 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • San Francisco—Potrero Hill: 450 Rhode Island St.
  • Los Angeles—Playa Vista: 12746 W. Jefferson Blvd.

The items promoted during the beauty event meet Whole Foods’ strict Body Care Standards that ban more than 100 ingredients commonly found in body care products, including phthalates, parabens, microbeads, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, triclosan, BHT, BHA and aluminum chlorohydrate.

According to a recent survey conducted by Whole Foods, 33% of consumers do not understand ingredients found in conventional beauty and body care products, while 59% do not regularly read beauty and body care labels in-store before purchasing.

In addition, the survey found that 74% of consumers either do not know if there are specific government regulations for labeling beauty and body care products as “organic,” or think the regulations already exist. The retailer said the lack of government standards for organic label claims on body care products is what led the company to create its own standards based on USDA National Organic Standards for food. All personal care products sold at the grocer making an organic claim are required to be third-party certified.

“These findings on consumer perceptions and buying habits showcase a continued need for broader awareness around better-for-you beauty and body care ingredients,” said Jen Coccaro, director of merchandising, Whole Body, in a statement. “That is why, as a leader in offering the finest high-quality beauty, hair and body care products, Whole Foods Market will continue to educate and empower consumers around our belief that what goes on your body is just as important as what goes in it.”


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