If you happened to come of age in the 90’s, there’s a good chance you were obsessed with The Body Shop. For many teenagers and twenty-somethings, their introduction to the world of beauty and skincare was via The Body Shop’s scented bath gels, perfumes and pots of lip balm – remember White Musk perfume and Mango Lip Butter? While those two products are still for sale today, the Body Shop’s products have evolved since it first debuted in 1976 while its ethos has remained the same. Here’s a look at what The Body Shop sells and are its products right for you?
What Is The Body Shop?
The Body Shop was created in 1976 by the late Anita Roddick. She opened the first Body Shop in Brighton, England selling just 25 products. What made her products different was that they were not tested on animals, and ingredients were sourced directly from global farmers. She also encouraged customers to reuse packaging. As The Body Shop grew and expanded into a global company, Roddick became more vocal about her political activism, championing for social change, fair trade and ethical consumption. The Body Shop had partnerships with Amnesty International to promote human rights, and worked with Greenpeace to help save whales. As Roddick once said, “The business of business should not be about money. It should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed.”
In 2006 The Body Shop was sold to L’Oréal, which owned it until 2017, when it was sold to Natura, a Brazil-based company which also owns Aesop.
What Is the Concept Behind The Body Shop?
The Body Shop was a pioneer in embracing ethical beauty – and ethical consumption. As the company explains on its website, “We aim to be the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business. Our Enrich Not Exploit Commitment includes 14 targets for The Body Shop to achieve by 2020. The targets are the clearest manifestation of who we are and what we stand for as a business. Our story started with Anita Roddick’s belief in something revolutionary; that business could be a force for good.”
The Body Shop is a certified B Corp, and its manifesto touches on ideas including: rejecting beauty stereotypes; creating uplifting products but never making false promises; reducing the company’s environmental footprint and never testing on animals.
Manifesto aside, The Body Shop products are infused with a sense of fun and playfulness, are known for their scents, including pink grapefruit, vanilla and tea tree.
What Does The Body Shop Sell?
The Body Shop sells skincare and makeup products, as well as fragrance and hair care. Here’s a breakdown.
The Body Shop Moisturizers
Vitamin E Moisture Cream – Designed for all skin types, this moisturizer is formulated with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and wheat germ oil.
Oils Of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil – This facial oil can be applied on its own to the face, or added into moisturizer. The key ingredients include black cumin seed oil from Egypt, camellia seed oil, rosehip oil and community trade organic olive oil.
The Body Shop Masks and Exfoliators
Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask – Infused with bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves and organic tea tree oil, this vegan mask helps draw out impurities from the skin. It is a best-seller.
Vitamin C Glow Revealing Liquid Peel – Whisk away dead skin cells with this gel-to-peel formula. The vitamin C is sourced from the camu berry, which The Body Shop says has 60 times more vitamin C than an orange.
The Body Shop Lip Balms
Mango Lip Butter- This cult favorite classic comes in a little pot. The mango seed oil is sourced from India and also contains vitamins A and E to help soften and hydrate lips.
Lip Exfoliator- The Lip Exfoliator is packaged in a lipstick sized tube and helps scuff away dry, dead skin. The key nourishing ingredient in marula from Namibia.
The Body Shop for Blemishes
Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash- Formulated for blemish prone skin, this vegan face wash is powered by community trade organic tea tree oil from Kenya. The gel formula helps give the skin a deep clean and removes excess oil.
Tea Tree Targeted Gel – This spot treatment, which is applied with a wand, is designed to help dry up blemishes.
How Much Do The Body Shop Products Cost?
The Body Shop products are reasonably priced, and in line with drugstore prices. The White Musk fragrance mist is $15, and a tub of Almond Milk and Honey Body Butter is $6. Shower gels and creams range from $6-15, while the Aloe Soothing Day Cream is $20. One of the most expensive products is the Drops of Youth Youth Concentrate serum, at $54.
Is The Body Shop Cruelty Free?
What Ingredients Are in The Body Shop Products?
The Body Shop champions fair trade (or community trade) ingredients that are sustainably sourced, including shea butter and cocoa from Ghana, tea tree oil from Kenya and bananas from Ecuador. The peppermint is sourced from Norfolk, and the ginger in the ginger haircare line comes from Sri Lanka. Other key ingredients include hyaluronic acid, a moisture magnet that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water; charcoal to help absorb oil and impurities; and coffee as an exfoliator.
Where Can I Buy The Body Shop Products?
The Body Shop products are sold in its stand-alone stores and on its website, as well as Ulta and Amazon.
Do The Body Shop Products Work?
Beauty and skincare is never a one size fits all approach. A little trial and error is always necessary to find the right products for your skin, and it’s always helpful to look at customer reviews and editorial write ups as a starting point.
The Body Shop has been around for decades and received plenty of press write ups. A few products are cult favorites. According to the company, The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is sold once every 15 seconds globally and the Drops of Youth Concentrate sells once every 26 seconds worldwide. Allure magazine named the Almond Milk and Honey Hand Cream a Best of Beauty winner in 2017, and the Coconut Oil Hair Shine was an editor favorite in 2016. British Good Housekeeping magazine tested the Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil in 2018. Their verdict? They gave it 83 out of 100, citing, “This oil went down extremely well with our testers for not being sticky or greasy on the skin. After four days of use, our testers noticed that their skin was nourished and felt softer. However more of the product was needed to cover the face than the recommended 1-2 drops, meaning the product wouldn’t last as long as they had hoped.”
But what do real people think? The Body Shop has over 82,000 reviews on Influenster, and one of the most reviewed products is the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner, which gets a 4.3 out of 5 star rating from more than 6,000 reviews. Lauren H. writes, “It surprisingly doesn’t dry my face out, and my skin responds well to it” and Kenya states, “Where do I begin?! This toner not only contains my acne and adult hormonal pimples but it penetrates to give a refreshing feeling to the skin.” Customers who didn’t like it said it was too drying or did nothing for them. “Worst. Bottle is almost never used. My face was on fire after a few times I tried to use this toner. Unfortunately doesn’t work,” wrote Valerie T.
The Oils Of Life Intensely Revitalizing Facial Oil has nearly 3,000 Influenster reviews, giving it a 4.2 rating. Fans found it to be hydrating without feeling greasy. “I love this one. This is the best face oil/ product ever I put on my face. It is intensely moisturizing and gives that super smooth and clean look,” wrote Charitha P. Some customers who gave it a low rating said it made their face burn or sting, or they just didn’t like how it felt. “It stung my face and I felt as though it did nothing for me. I used this two days ago now and my face still hurts to touch and while applying makeup – not happy,” wrote Ella R.
A Body Shop best-seller on Amazon is the Ginger Scalp Care Shampoo, which gets a 4.4 out of 5 star rating from around 400 reviews. Customers say it helped their dry, itchy scalp as well as dandruff. “This is the only shampoo that calms my dry, itchy scalp” and “It seems to help control oil in my scalp, I’ve seen minimal flaking, and it’s the first thing that I’ve used in a while that seems to completely curb itch.” Those that gave it low ratings say that it stopped working after a while or reacted badly with their color; “This shampoo smells amazing but strips my hair color markedly.”
The Olive Body Butter is also highly rated on Amazon with 4.2 stars from more than 900 reviews. Fans called it “My favorite body butter cream! “ while others didn’t like the smell.
What Are Some Alternatives to The Body Shop?
The Body Shop may not be for everyone, either because the products don’t react well with your skin or perhaps you are looking to move on and up from a brand that was beloved in your youth. There are a few other brands to consider.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin. For polished looking skin, try Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum. It contains plant based acids to gently slough off old skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin. The serum also works to tackle unevenness and blotchiness.
Hydrated skin looks healthy and dewy. If you like the feel of a lightweight moisturizer, try Formulyst Super Hyaluronic Water Moisturizer. Hyaluronic acid helps keep skin plumped, hydrated and dewy looking. This oil free formula is packed with multiple types of hyaluronic acid and it works as a moisture magnet by drawing water to the skin.
If you prefer the simplicity of a skincare regimen, try Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.