ABOUT OUR INGREDIENTS
YOUR QUICK-START GUIDE TO OUR INGREDIENTS
We’re committed to being an honest company, and we’ll always be straight with you about the products you love. We want to create products that deliver real benefits, while doing minimal harm to the environment. Our products are carefully assessed by independent experts so we know they’re safe, and here you can discover a little more about what goes into them.
WHAT TYPES OF INGREDIENTS DO WE USE?
We aim to use sustainably sourced, natural ingredients and ingredients of natural origin wherever we can. We try to use environmentally friendly synthetic ingredients, too. We aim to use ingredients that were developed using green chemistry, which are processes that reduce the use or production of chemicals that damage the environment. Over the past couple of years, we’ve taken steps to improve the environmental footprint of our formulas. We’re really focussing on the sustainability of our natural ingredients and ingredients of natural origin, and we’re looking at their biodegradability, too.
THE INGREDIENTS YOU’VE BEEN ASKING ABOUT
We know that some cosmetic ingredients are confusing, and even controversial. You deserve to know exactly what you’re putting on your skin, so we’ve broken it down for you – here’s what we use, and why.
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. We have a target of 100% traceable and/or certified palm by 2025. We buy both physically certified palm oil and RSPO smallholder credits, which support rural communities in Indonesia grow oil palm sustainably and helps improve their livelihoods.
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 this ingredient because of its use in other industries, at much higher levels than we use. In our products, it’s completely safe.
Mica is a mineral that makes products sparkly and white. You may have heard some controversy about mica and unsafe working conditions – but don’t worry. In line with our sustainable sourcing policy on Indian mica, our suppliers must demonstrate to us that they work exclusively in gated mines, which don’t allow children to enter, to prevent child labour. They also can’t buy mica collected informally. Our suppliers conduct independent social audits and invest in their communities, too.
BHT (BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE)
We don’t directly add BHT to our products; we only use it if it’s already present in another ingredient. Our raw material suppliers use BHT 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.
We use some types of parabens as preservatives in some of our products, so you can use them for longer. We’ve heard your concerns about parabens. We want you to love our products, so we’ve committed to phasing out parabens and are doing so in a steady process.
Lanolin is used as a moisturiser, and it comes from sheep’s wool. The lanolin is gathered after the sheep have been 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 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, so we’re considering alternatives.
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.
In 2015 we removed microbeads from all our products. We're also working hard to evaluate the presence of potential microplastics in our products, in line with European Chemical Agency (ECHA) guidance. Most of our ingredients are biodegradable, and we are constantly improving in this area. By 2030 we are aiming for all our rinse off products to be at 95% biodegradability, in line with guidance from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Being a cruelty-free beauty brand will always be one of The Body Shop’s main priorities. That is why we recently made the commitment to reformulate our entire product portfolio and go 100% vegan by the end of 2023 and our global refills program is also part of our commitment to reducing our negative impact on the planet.