Let’s Talk About A Beauty Brand: The Body Shop

Note: This is not a sponsored post nor did I receive any of the products I’ve recommended below for editorial consideration. This brand focus is purely for the love of the brand and its products.

The Body Shop Chadstone

I’ve been meaning to do a brand focus series for a while now but each time I get started, it kept getting pushed back for other stories. Finally, no more procrastination; it’s here! Today, we’re going to kick the series off with one of my favourite brands, The Body Shop.

The history

The British brand was founded by Dame Anita Roddick. Well, the brand of what it is today, because the original name and concept were not Roddick’s idea. In 1970, Roddick visited a shop that was actually called “The Body Shop” in California that sold naturally-scented soaps and lotions. In 1976, she opened a similar shop in the UK using the same business name, colour scheme and cosmetic lines. Ten years later, Roddick offered the original “The Body Shop” owners a reported $3.5 million to change their shop’s name to Body Time whereas Roddick retained the original name. The rename was completed in 1992. In March 2006, L’Oreal bought over The Body Shop for £652.3 million. Roddick passed away in September 2007 but her brand lives on and continues to thrive today. The first Australian store opened in Melbourne in 1983.

The “scandal”

A few years ago, The Body Shop suffered major backlash from their announcement of spreading their wings to China. As you know, it’s a legal requirement for any beauty products that are to be sold in China to have animal-testing performed on them. Even though at that time, The Body Shop products were only sold in airports in China (apparently animal testing was not required if the products were sold in China. At least, that was what was mentioned in The Body Shop’s press release when the backlash happened) but to many consumers, a foot in the country could also mean that in time, The Body Shop may want to be stocked in stores in China and not just their airports. The Body Shop is well-known for their core value of Against Animal Testing and the decision to sell in China angered many. Social media went bonkers with tweets and messages to boycott The Body Shop for this decision. The Body Shop has since removed all of their products for sale at China airports. Any The Body Shop products that are available for sale in China now are not sold by official distributors.

L’Oréal states the The Body Shop has not tested cosmetics on animals since 1989. Since March 2013, the L’Oreal Group no longer tests on animals, anywhere in the world and does not delegate this task to others with the exception of requirements from regulatory authorities.

The Body Shop Chadstone

How I learned about the brand

I discovered The Body Shop when I was studying in the UK. Even though I lived in a relatively small town, there was a The Body Shop in the town centre. Their products were expensive for me in my poor student days but twice a year, I highly look forward to their incredibly popular “£1” sale when most of the products in store would only be £1 each. I bought my first set of makeup brushes from their £1 sale. I bought heaps of body butters back to Malaysia and introduced my mother to the brand. She fell in love with those body butters but was dismayed at how expensive they were when The Body Shop finally launched in Malaysia. So it was up to me to buy and bring home as many body butters as possible during the £1 sales. I don’t know if The Body Shop UK still does £1 sales but it’s a part of my uni experience that I’d never forget.

Why I love it

As shopping at The Body Shop and using their products played a large part in my 20s, it’s a brand that I will always look upon with fond memories. Even though their body butters are very thick and sometimes greasy, they really do work on sorting out very dry skin. When I was working in Japan, my skin developed very dry patches on my back and no amount of body lotions I used would fix it. The dry patches got worse and it became very painful when I slept on my back. When I switched to The Body Shop’s African Spa (now known as Spa Wisdom Africa) body butter, those dry patches on my back cleared up in just a few days and I could sleep on my back without any problems. No other body lotions helped, only that body butter.

There are many underrated products from The Body Shop that a lot of people often overlook because they think that The Body Shop’s all about body butters. It’s true that the brand has become very popular because of their body butters but there are plenty of products that work very well too.

Recommended products from The Body Shop

Recommended products:

  • Makeup brushes, especially the face brush (The Body Shop is not well known for their makeup brushes, which is a pity, because they’re really good).
  • Body butters. They’re rich, greasy and they work fantastically on dry skin.
  • Shower gels. I adore their shower gels, especially from the Satsuma range.
  • The Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder. I must admit that I’ve not used this because I don’t typically use bronzers but this product is highly, highly recommended by many people who do, which is why I thought it would be worth mentioning.
  • Gift packs. The Body Shop does amazing gift packs especially during Christmas. They’re great value for money. Mum’s been buying gift packs from The Body Shop as gifts for the past 15 years!
  • Fragrances. The Body Shop may not do fragrances that as fancy pants as the ones you see in departmental stores but they’re still pretty unique and affordable. They’re what I call “great Impulse alternatives for adults” because they’re not very expensive but they smell more grown up than Impulse. 😛
  • Skincare, particularly their Vitamin E, Tea Tree, Drops of Youth and Oils of Life range. I grew up with the Tea Tree range (great for my pimple-ridden teenage skin), their Vitamin E moisturiser is good and so are the serum and face oils from the other two ranges.


Despite the unfortunate backlash, I’m still an avid supporter of the brand, what they do and what they stand for. The Body Shop will always hold a special place in my heart.

Are you a fan of The Body Shop too? If you are, what’s your favourite products from the brand?

For weekly updates, news and heaps more fun stuff, do subscribe and join the awesome BA Insider community!

Join the BA Insider Community



17 comments… add one
  1. Jane

    Also, the Body Shop are one of the leaders in the Western world for introducing Korean concepts – their sleeping pack and they have just brought out an essence too. Very exciting!

    1. Tine

      Oh yes I just saw their essence at TBS last week! I almost bought it, and then I remember I still have 2 large bottles of SKII’s Facial Treatment Essence sitting in my beauty cupboard. Soon soon!

  2. Dawn

    The Body Shop holds such fond memories for me!
    I was in secondary school at that time when Body Shop was gaining popularity in Singapore, and I remember my group of girl friends and I would pop into the store and savour all the different scents available. The pricing seemed so exorbitant then to my teenage self (Its still pricey now, but they hold more frequent sales and I’m a working adult now haha). Currently, their chamomile cleansing oil is my staple makeup remover.

    Do you remember the “Invent your scent” fragrance collection? I think they had something like 8 different scents, each in a different brightly coloured bottle. My friends and I would each pick a scent as our “signature scent” (HAHA). I had Velique (the pink bottle with girly floral notes). Come to think of it, it was purely peer pressure as I wasn’t really that fond with floral notes. Things a 16 year old does to fit in 😀 I bought Altaro (vanilla, sandalwood, musk) on my own a year later and that was much more my style.

    1. Tine

      Hahahah that Invent Your Scent thing from TBS was really popular! I bought that exact set and yep, all in different coloured plastic bottles! I can’t remember the names of the scents now but I remembered having a lot of fun with it. I even bought a set of it and gave one bottle away to 8 of my good friends back then. 😛

  3. Paris B

    One of my first lipsticks and 2-way foundation (remember those days?!) were from The Body Shop. One of their scandals I remember, was when they had to change their tagline from “Not Tested on Animals” to “Against Animal Testing” because it was found out that their products (or ingredients) were tested on animals! I can’t recall if that was in Roddick’s time or after that. But my favourite product was the Passionfruit gel cleanser. They used to sell them by way of refills, where you can bring your empty bottle to the store, and they’d refill it, from a giant bottle in store. It cost less than buying a new bottle. But they soon discontinued that when L’Oreal came on board. I have fond memories of TBS from college and uni days (dewberry perfume used to give me headache though! It was everywhere on campus!) and I admit I fell out of love with the brand for quite a few years, as I felt they had stagnated and were lacklustre. But I am seeing a revival, with new products, packaging and concepts and I’m looking forward to playing with their products again! 🙂
    Paris B recently posted..When to throw out your makeup? How long should you keep it for before it’s too old?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Ohh I remember bringing empty bottles to the store to refill! Mum and I would keep our empties (HAH and YouTubers thought empties were their thing only :P) and bring them to the store to get refills of La Source, which Mum and I adore. I agree; things changed when L’Oreal bought them over but in the past 2 years or so, there’s been a good change in the products they’re bringing out. They’ve brought in an essence, new fragrances, updated the old ones, updated some of their packaging, etc. Even the makeup is exciting again! 😀

  4. whitney

    Agree with the makeup brushes, they are the bomb especially the powder brush and the foundation brush. They are good quality synthetic brushes. Your foundation and powder will glide on like butter.

    1. Tine

      Right? I thought they’re fab! 🙂

  5. Catherine

    I remember those ‘make your signature scent’ bottles – loved dabbing them on my wrist feeling sooooo unique, hoping they would act as pheromones to attract my crush at the time.

    1. Tine

      HAHAHAHAHA you’ve hit the nail on the head, Catherine, because that was exactly how I felt when I bought that set of 8 “invent your scent” perfumes! 😀

  6. Swati Murti

    I would not say I am a fan of TBS. In India, it is overpriced and the sales are not very inexpensive either!! But, I loved their spa ranges – the polynesian monoi oil and the African body scrub which is more a butter than a scrub 🙁 but it is amazing and so luxurious. I do not love their body butters, will try though, but gifted a few to my dad and he loves them 🙂
    Swati Murti recently posted..How Free Radicals and Antioxidants affect our Bodies?My Profile

    1. Tine

      TBS is expensive in Malaysia, which was why back in my uni days, I had to lug home so many jars of body butters for my mum from that 1 pound sale. They’re not too bad here. The jumbo shower gels are only a few dollars more expensive than drugstore brands. I’m not sure if they did this in India, but TBS Australia had a price revision quite some time back when they reduced the price of certain items. I reckon it’s because people are sick of paying high Aussie prices when the items don’t cost that much in the UK.

  7. Beauty Bee

    I have a major soft spot for the Body Shop too! <3

    I loved visiting the stores with my sister, when we were in school. I love how memories like this take you back to a specific time and place 🙂 I'd collect the lip balms of course and the makeup was some of the first that I tried. I definitely agree that the brushes are seriously underrated – some of the face and body brushes that I own are seriously 10-15 years old and are in perfect condition (never shed and are as soft as they were on day one). That's pretty darn impressive for the price! It would be great if they expanded their line of makeup brushes I must say.

    Now I feel like wondering over to a store just to have a look and play – I should visit more often! 🙂
    Beauty Bee recently posted..The Lazy Girl’s Saviour: Dry Shampoo. A Comparison.My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh the lip balms! Love TBS lip balms! That’s usually where my spending money will go, to TBS’ strawberry lip balms in the pots. 😀

  8. Jyoan

    You are so fortunate to have so many TBS products work for you. I have come across more misses than hits with them, and I am not a fan. However, I swear by some of their products, such as the Brazil Nut Hair Cream, the original Musk Body Gel (hate that they pulled that off and diluted the original musk with all sorts of funny flowers). I also like the Rose Fragrance, their fragrance oils, their eyeshadows, and their red liquid lip tint. I LOVE TBS LARGE HAIR COMB!

    I was very disappointed with their brushes and body gels in general because I find that the body gels are overpriced artificially scented and coloured glycerin. Like you, I stumbled upon TBS in my university days, and every cent means something to me, so when a TBS product falls short of expectations, it felt OUCH.
    Jyoan recently posted..Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer PotionMy Profile

    1. Jyoan

      Oh yes, I did not have luck with the much-raved lip balms and concealer either. T_T
      Jyoan recently posted..The Blush TAGMy Profile

    2. Tine

      Yeah I know what you mean by artificially-smelling shower gels, which is why as much as I like them, I only stick to the few scents that I like. I was once given the chocolate range and I didn’t like it because the products smelled fake. And here’s someone who adores chocolate!

Leave a Reply

Share your latest blog post with us!

Scroll To Top

Not another bloody pop-up! I know. But now that I've gotten your attention (because this is how I roll *ahem ahem*), come join the BA Insider community! Sign up for a weekly newsy letter for your beauty and lifestyle fix. Straight to your inbox.

Because I love you for reading this and not closing the pop-up just yet, you'll also receive a FREE Skincare Cheat Sheet where I share some of my tips for taking better care of your skin. Let's keep that gorgeous mug of yours glowing!

We hate spam as much as baked beans. We also won't share your details with anyone because we're selfish like that.