How to Get a Load of Free Beauty Goodies at Whole Foods

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Beauty Week runs Wednesday, March 27 through Tuesday, April 2, and the store has a pretty genius plan to get you hooked on clean beauty products: they’re giving away a (not literal) ton of free stuff. This weekend, the store is hosting the Whole Foods Market Better Beauty Swap at five stores nationwide, and one of those locations is right here in San Francisco.

The idea is that shoppers can “clean up” their routines by bringing in old product containers—the store is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle those empties—and discover new products that meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards. (Fun fact: Whole Foods bans more than 100 ingredients commonly found in beauty products, including phthalates, parabens, microbeads, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, triclosan, BHT, BHA and aluminum chlorohydrate.)

So let’s talk rules for scoring those freebies.

The Beauty Swap will be Saturday, March 30, from 8-9 am. The first 200 consumers to the Potrero Hill Whole Foods in San Francisco (450 Rhode Island Street) to bring in an empty beauty or body care product can swap it out for a free, limited-edition Whole Foods Market Beauty Bag, valued at more than $100 each. While you’re in the store, check out the beauty aisle, where makeup, facial care, hair care, nail polish, perfume and makeup brushes are 25 percent off, (with an additional 10 percent off for Amazon Prime Members) for the duration of Beauty Week.

If you can’t make it for the swap, you can still get one of those sweet goodies bags at a steep discount: they’ll be available for purchase nationwide for $20 each, beginning March 29 and while supplies last.

Before you just grab a container and go, here’s the fine print. You can trade in as many clean, empty containers as you want to get your beauty bag, but the limit is one bag per customer. Whole Foods will not accept nail polish, nail polish remover, perfume or hair spray containers. Containers must be completely empty of product. For liquids containers, (e.g., shampoo bottles and hair gels) that means they are free of all liquids and fully dry and for solids containers, that means they do not have any solid residue.

Start cleaning out those empties from your makeup bag now, and don’t forget to set your alarm on Saturday. Play your cards right and you’ll find a new skincare routine and finish your grocery shopping before you head to brunch.