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Whole Foods has 5 beauty trends for 2021

The retailer spotted trends to support clean beauty products, as consumers look to simplify beauty treatments and routines for the year ahead.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Whole Foods Market has its eye on clean beauty trends for the year ahead, deploying its “Trends Council” to reveal a list of five trends in concert with the retailer’s beauty week sale. The trends highlight some exclusive items from Whole Foods, too.

Each of the beauty trends tip to a larger trend of consumers looking to simplify their beauty routines in 2021, the chain said. A Harris Poll on behalf of Whole Foods found that 85% of consumers who simplified their beauty routines last year continue to plan on keeping it simple. The poll also showed that consumers are looking for transparency in products with 57% of respondents saying they want to know more about what ingredients are in the beauty products they’re buying.

“The beauty industry has seen significant consumer shifts this year due to COVID-19, and our trends are a true reflection of these changes,” said Amy Jargo, Global Beauty Buyer at Whole Foods Market. “Customers are looking to streamline their beauty routines, while also seeking out brands that align with their values like those that limit their environmental impact with waterless and upcycled products. Beauty Week is the perfect time for customers to try these trending ingredients and products at a great discount."

Whole Foods will have trending products available in stores and at Whole Foods Market on Amazon for its annual “Beauty Week” celebration that begins March 10, including retailer exclusives like Pacha shampoo and conditioner bars. The celebration also ushers in new Beauty Bags that contain a range of small and full-sized beauty products from different brands including the Whole Foods Market brand.

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As for the beauty trends for 2021, here’s what Whole Foods predicts will stand out in 2021:

Waterless Products
Consumers are looking for products that still hydrate their hair and skin, while reducing water usage. This means more beauty products are being packaged in solid, waterless formats to help minimize the use of plastic packaging. When a product isn’t in liquid form, brands can use materials such as recyclable boxes or metal tins, and the product is generally smaller, reducing the amount of packaging needed and the shipping weight. An example of this trend is the Pacha soap bar that is a hydrating shampoo and conditioner bar. Whole Food’s trends experts say shampoo and conditioner bars leave hair fresh and clean with less packaging, and other examples of the trend include toothpaste tablets that whiten and brush away plaque, and are better for the environment.

Multitasking Balms
Balms are being used to care for all parts of the skin like lips, cheeks, cuticles — anywhere that needs a little extra care.The skin-loving moisturizers are packed with ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and sunflower seed oil that provide more functional health, too. 

Skincare with Fruits, Veggies
The produce aisle is inspiring beauty. Kroger’s Simple Truth private brand inspired its own line of beauty products infusing fruit and vegetables, as an example, and Whole Foods has skincare and self-care essentials that take full advantage of top superfoods. From celery and mushrooms to blueberries, ingredients found in  juices, smoothies and salads can help skin look brighter and firmer.

Upcycled Beauty
Not just for food, repurposed ingredients are showing up in beauty products. Coffee grounds, discarded apricot stones, leftover argan shells — all ingredients that support skin, while giving what would have been food waste, new life.

Stress is not great for skin, the experts said, and neither is months of wearing a face mask for the pandemic, which can cause acne. Clean beauty remedies are battling stress in formats like masks and serums with soothing ingredients like tea tree oil and witch hazel extract.

Whole Foods said its beauty standards go beyond typical clean beauty claim, banning more than 100 ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, microbeads and triclosan, from all beauty and body care products that they sell, branded and own brand. Whole Foods also requires third-party certification for organic label claims on personal care products.