WHICH INGREDIENTS ARE IN OUR PRODUCTS?

At The Body Shop, we’re a straightforward company, and we’re dedicated to creating great products for you and for the environment.

We are proud of our products and we know they’re delivering real benefits. They’re safe and carefully assessed by independent experts, so you can enjoy them.

We want to give you the information you need to understand what goes into our products, and to give you a look into some of our plans for the future.

WHAT TYPES OF INGREDIENTS DO WE USE?

Everywhere we can, we try to use sustainably sourced natural ingredients and ingredients of natural origin.

Respecting the environment is kind of our thing. That’s why we aim to use environmentally-friendly synthetic ingredients too. We look for ingredients that were developed using green chemistry, which are processes that reduce the use or production of chemicals that damage the environment.

WHAT IS OUR PLAN

Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken steps to improve the environmental footprint of our formulas, which included projects like removing microbeads from our rinse-off products.

To make the strongest impact possible, we’re implementing more changes to our product formulas, in line with an assessment tool called the Future-Fit business benchmark. Future-Fit is a non-profit organisation that helps businesses like ours track and measure how sustainable we are.

Our ultimate aim is for our products do no harm to the environment. This means we’re really focussing on the sustainability of our natural ingredients and ingredients of natural origin.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

All of our products are safe to use and have a continuously improving environmental footprint.

As a global brand operating in 70+ countries, we work to satisfy strict regulatory requirements for every product we develop for our customers.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF INGREDIENTS

NATURAL INGREDIENTS

We love sourcing our natural ingredients from the four corners of the globe. Natural ingredients come from plants and minerals but also through processes without intentional chemical modification.

We source some natural ingredients, like shea butter from Ghana and brazil nut oil from Peru, through our Community Trade programme. Community Trade was launched in 1987 and is our commitment to trading fairly with suppliers. We source ingredients and accessories from expert producers across the world. In exchange we offer good trading practices and fair prices. If you want to find out more about our Community Trade programme, check our Community Trade page.

Discover More

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF INGREDIENTS?

INGREDIENTS OF NATURAL ORIGIN

Our products also contain ingredients of natural origin. These originally come from plants or minerals, but have been modified more than natural ingredients to make them more functional, like removing impurities.

One of our requirements of our plant-based ingredients of natural origin must also be that they are renewable. This means they must come from sources that are abundant and self-generating, unlike fossil fuels, which take millions of years to replenish.

SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS

All of our ingredients are present in our products for a reason and play a vital role in giving our customers a great experience. We also also use synthetic ingredients, which are human-made and created by chemical reaction.

Synthetic ingredients can give our formulas properties that nature can’t provide, like preserving products so they last longer. They can be more functional or even more environmentally friendly than natural ingredients.

An example of a synthetic ingredient is isononyl isononanoate, a synthetic oil that helps maintain the skin’s moisture after applying cream. It’s not as heavy on the skin as vegetable oils and is 100% biodegradable, with a low ecotoxicity profile, meaning it’s not harmful to the environment.

Another example is Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, which has much better biodegradability than EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), the standard chelating agent. This type of ingredient acts like a sponge, helping to stabilise and preserve the product.

Synthetic alternatives to natural ingredients can help with the consistency, quality and long-term performance of a product.

THE INGREDIENTS YOU’VE BEEN ASKING ABOUT

We’re dedicated to creating the best formulas for you and for the environment. Below we’ll explain more below about certain ingredients you’ve been asking about.

PALM OIL

Do we use it?
Yes

We only use palm oil that is certified Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) segregated, which means we know which farm or plantation it comes from and that it meets the requirements of the RSPO.

We also use palm oil derivatives, some of which are RSPO certified. We offset all other use with RSPO Credits, which contributes to the production of sustainable palm oil.

This means 100% of our purchases are made according to the RSPO standard.

Fundamentally, The Body Shop is a company that wants to be part of the solutions to environmental and social problems, therefore we are committed to using and promoting sustainable palm oil.

How do we use it?
Palm oil is emollient that provides moisturisation and a smooth skin feel. Palm derivatives can play different roles in products including being an emulsifier, which holds oil and water together, or a surfactant, which helps create foam.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL

Do we use it?
Yes

How do we use it?
Propylene glycol is used as a humectant which means it holds onto water on the surface of your skin, keeping it moisturised for longer.

There are misconceptions about the use of this ingredient because of its use in other industries at much higher levels than we use it, but we in our products, it’s completely safe to use.

PARABENS

Do we use them?
Yes, we use some types of parabens.

How do we use them?
Parabens are used as preservatives in some of our products, so you can enjoy them for longer.

We’ve listened and have heard your concerns surrounding parabens. We want to ensure that our customers love our products therefore we are committed to phasing out parabens, and are doing so in a steady process.

BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene)

Do we use it?
Yes, but we don’t directly add it to our products. We only use it if it’s already present in another ingredient.

How do we use it?
We use it as an antioxidant, which stabilises ingredients to stop them from going off when the product is opened and closed often.

However, there are suitable alternatives available on the market, so we so have decided to not use this ingredient in new products, and will actively remove it from our existing products. This will take a bit more time.

MICA

Do we use it?
Yes.

How do we use it?
Mica adds a shimmer to products.

There have been concerns about children working in this industry. However, in line with our sustainable sourcing policy on Indian mica, our suppliers must demonstrate to us that they work exclusively in gated mines, which would not allow children to enter, and that they do not buy mica collected informally. Our suppliers conduct independent social audits and invest in their communities too.

LANOLIN

Do we use it?
Yes.

How do we use it?
Lanolin is used as a moisturiser, and it comes from sheep’s wool. The lanolin is gathered after the sheep have been routinely shorn.

However, we are creating more and more vegan products, so it makes sense for us to stop using lanolin.

All new products are made without lanolin, and we’re removing it from our existing products too.

EDTA

Do we use it?
Yes.

How do we use it?
EDTA is a chelating agent, which means it acts like a sponge, helping to stabilise and preserve products.

We’ve always heavily restricted the use of EDTA in our products, as it isn’t the best ingredient for our oceans and rivers. Now that there are fully biodegradable alternatives available (like the one we mention above), EDTA is prohibited in all new products we develop and is actively being removed from all our products.

DIMETHICONE

Do we use it?
Yes.

How do we use it?
Dimethicone is a type of silicone that plays an important role in certain products to enhance smooth application. We use it instead of other types of silicones that have poorer environmental profiles.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...

OUR INGREDIENTS

Want to learn more? Find out more about how we are inspired by nature’s power and diversity.

Discover More

PACKAGING AT THE BODY SHOP

Want to learn more? Find out more about how we are working toward being the most sustainable brand we can be.

Discover More