This water- and oil-based product has a texture that’s more like a matte-finish moisturizer than a serum, and it is suitable for normal to slightly dry skin anywhere on the face. All told, this isn’t an impressive formula. The boron nitride (fifth ingredient) creates the matte finish, but it is also absorbent and not helpful for moisturizing. There are some beneficial ingredients in here, just not enough to get excited about.
Despite the suggested claims, not a single ingredient in this product can reduce puffy skin around the eyes. As for the maca root (listed by its Latin name Lepidium meyenni), this Peruvian plant has no established benefit for skin. Its components are a source of minerals and fatty acids (among other substances), but that’s the only association with topical use, and a weak one at best (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). If The Body Shop were aiming to position maca root as a must-have for men, they should’ve included more than a dusting in their For Men line products.
Instantly revive tired eyes with a moisturizing serum that helps the skin around the eyes appear brighter and less puffy.
Water, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Boron Nitride, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil) Nut Oil, Creatine, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Lecithin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Carbomer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Lanolin, Sodium Hydroxide, Retinyl Palmitate, Disodium EDTA, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Tocopherol, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Hydrolyzed Lepidium Meyenii Root, 1 2-Hexanediol, Capryloyl Glycine, Caprylyl Glycol, Citric Acid
This England-based company was one of the first to offer "natural" products in freestanding stores. Founder Anita Roddick opened her first shop in 1976, and the store's success spurred her husband to turn the business into a franchise opportunity, thus spawning the opening of several more stores across England and, by the end of the 1980s, the United States. As Roddick has commented, the timing of her stores and their merchandise occurred just as Europe was "going green." It is not unrealistic to speculate that were it not for the success of The Body Shop, companies such as Aveda, Origins, and numerous others may not have started on such sure footing. Most consumers are drawn to products with natural ingredients, even though those from The Body Shop, like many other companies claiming natural, use the same standard cosmetic ingredients seen throughout the industry. If anything, The Body Shop's worldwide expansion has caused them to rely less on natural ingredients and more on robust, effective, synthetic ingredients. Can you imagine the smell of millions of bottles of Banana Shampoo rotting in a warehouse?
A somewhat controversial business transaction occurred in 2006 when L'Oreal purchased The Body Shop. Fans of the brand and its stance on animal testing protested that this corporate marriage made for strange bedfellows given L'Oreal's dodgy history with animal testing. The acquisition had many consumer groups focused on ethical and organic business practices calling the sale a cop-out and accusing Roddick of selling out to "the enemy." Roddick commented that the sale had more to do with L'Oreal wanting to learn more about community trade, which could prove a financial windfall for the developing nations and tribes The Body Shop has conducted business with for years. (Sources: www.cosmeticsdesign.com/news/ng.asp?n=66584-l-oreal-the-body-shop-takeover-ethical; and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4894854.stm). Regardless of motivation or ethical issues, what's certain is that L'Oreal's financial and developmental clout will allow the continued expansion of The Body Shop, although in terms of product improvements, you'll find more signs of that with the makeup than the skin-care products because that is L'Oreal's strength.
An attractive point of difference for this line is their ongoing commitment to environmental and social causes as well as fair trade and animal rights advocacy. For those efforts, the company (fueled by Roddick's personal passion for such issues) deserves high marks. If only the products were as sensible as the company's Mission Statement! It's not that there aren't good products to be found in The Body Shop's familiar green-trimmed stores, but far too many of them are ordinary formulations whose natural ingredients make little impact aside from looking good on the label. And many products contain irritating natural ingredients or fragrance components that place them a notch below the competition. This is not a company that has kept up with the latest research in what skin needs to look and feel its best. Instead, most of their products take a one-note approach to skin care, forcing customers to choose whether they want the benefits of vitamin C or E, seaweed, aloe, or a host of others—several of which have so-so benefit for skin, or less so in the amounts included in The Body Shop's products. Still, the line has remained affordable and is readily available, and so as long as you pay attention to the products that are worth your time and money, The Body Shop has some effective products in store for you.
Postscript: The Body Shop's founder, Anita Roddick, passed away in September 2007 at the age of 64. Although through the years we have had my issues with several of her company's products, it must be said that her business acumen and worldwide humanitarian efforts deserve accolades. She was a unique, passionate businesswoman, and we have no doubt her input will be sorely missed.
For more information about The Body Shop, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 263-9746 or visit www.thebodyshop.com.
The Body Shop Makeup
Makeup isn't the main attraction at The Body Shop, at least if you survey the store and notice the small display compared to shelf after shelf of body lotions, butters, scrubs, and shower gels. Yet if you're drawn to the makeup display you will find it is nicely organized, with product labels and prices in plain view, plenty of testers and mirrors, and even a bit of counter space for your purse. It's an inviting setup, and the sales staff is low key and willing to let you play, which is always a plus. As it turns out, L'Oreal's acquisition of The Body Shop has paid off handsomely for the makeup, which received a much-needed spiffing-up in October 2006. Several products were reformulated, new products (mostly improvements) debuted, and the packaging improved both functionally and visually. Due to the extra attention paid to the makeup you will find some outstanding options for foundation, powder, liquid eyeliner, makeup brushes, and creamy lipsticks. The prices are reasonable too, but they're no bargain if you don't shop this line carefully. Still, L'Oreal has infused some panache into a makeup collection whose core products were becoming ho-hum, and the changes are welcome!