For years, I bought food at Whole Foods and beauty products at Sephora, Target and CVS. I simply pushed my cart past the supermarket’s personal care aisles on the way to pick up milk and eggs. They were filled with brands I didn’t know (no CoverGirl, Pantene or Maybelline in the bunch) and products I didn’t think were effective. Then, like any dutiful beauty editor with a stash of goodies to sift through, I started testing items that happened to be stocked by Whole Foods.
I learned Nourish Organic’s body washes turn showers into scent explosions; MyChelle Dermaceuticals eye creams are under-eye wonders; and EO Products’ hand sanitizer sprays make fighting germs a pleasant chore. Those discoveries led to many more equally amazing ones (I recommend Acure Organics’ Moroccan Argan Oil, Derma e’s Hydrating Mask with Hyaluronic Acid, and Pacifica Beauty’s mascara Stellar Gaze). Even though I’m regularly at Whole Food to replenish the remarkable products that are now staples in my bathroom (not to mention grabbing a California roll to go), I still find the grocery chain’s personal care shelves a bit bewildering and the prices sometimes dizzying. If you feel the same, don’t fret. From March 16 to 22, Whole Foods is shining a spotlight on its Whole Body selection to address confusion shoppers may have about natural beauty products and their benefits. As part of that effort, Whole Body regional buyer Clare Blunt and Whole Body coordinator Carol Kasparek were kind enough to spend a few minutes on the phone with me to whittle down their employer’s extensive skin care repertoire to several of their favorite products that you should check out, preferably at a cash register with no line.
Blunt adores Andalou Naturals’ Coconut Quenching Foaming Cleanser. She says, “It is so fantastic. It goes on like air, and you don’t feel dried up. It has an ingredient called AquaCacteen [derived from the prickly pear cactus]. It is really targeted toward firming and maintaining collagen in the skin. We just launched it in February, and it is my favorite new facial cleanser that’s out there right now.”
Kasparek opts for Derma e’s Daily Exfoliating Rub. “You really can use it everyday,” she instructs. “It does a light exfoliation that makes your skin feel great, and it really does change texture and coloring.”
Sun Protection Picks
Blunt is a big fan of Andalou Naturals’ 1000 Roses Color + Correct. “It has an SPF 30 in it that, for my Irish skin, gives me really great daily SPF without clogging my pores or making look white,” she says about the CC cream. “It gives you great coverage, and it is also correcting the skin with the addition of rose hip and argan oil into the moisturizing SPF.”
Kasparek suggests Juice Beauty’s Tinted Mineral Moisturizer. This multitasking BB cream has SPF 30 and is designed for various skin types. “It really is a lovely mix. It normalizes tone at the same time as [offering sun protection],” she asserts.
Blunt sings the praises of Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+. “In the serum category, I have really been big on the straight facial oils. I have stopped using any kind of cream-based moisturizer,” she reveals. “Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ is hands down the best facial oil I have put on my face. Their [Trilogy’s] rosehip oil has a lot more active properties than a lot of the rosehip oil that I have seen. It is like a superfood smoothie for your face. It feels so great going on. That’s my primary moisturizer these days.”
Kasparek is sold on Derma e’s Radiant Serum. “It really has wonderful firming [qualities] as well as a moisturizing quality to it,” she states. “It is definitely in the medium price range, and is good for customers getting into natural products that are not sure how much they want to spend.”
Superior Scrubs and Masks
Blunt elected two scrub favorites: Derma e’s Microdermabrasion Scrub and Acure Organics’ Brightening Facial Scrub. She says the former was “one of the first microdermabrasion scrubs in the natural channel, and I always go back to it. It has a pretty fine grain exfoliant in it, and they have also added a great grapefruit citrus scent to it. It is a full sensory experience.” Of the latter, she continues, it contains a Chlorella that helps “skin cells regenerate, and it helps retain collagen.”
Kasparek is partial to Evanhealy’s mask French Rose Clay. “I am really enjoying Evanhealy products, both the masks and the scrubs. The masks pull out impurities, and they provide a really wonderful sensory experience. Just doing it is like being at a spa at home. I am really seeing the difference in my skin as I start using these more,” she declares.
Kasparek appreciates Evanhealy’s HydroSoul toners. “Very often the product that sells the least is toner. The more I learn about it, I [realize] pH balance on the skin is extremely important. It is probably something consumers might want to look into more,” she says. “Any time you use a toner, you can feel pretty quickly whether the balance on your skin is being affected in some way. With this one, I can feel the difference, and Evanhealy’s quality standards are phenomenal. They try to stay close to the earth. They have simple ingredients.”