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Frequently Asked Questions


a. Where do The Body Shop products come from?

We take care in sourcing the best suppliers globally for all of our products and use strict ethical guidelines when choosing a supplier, while our products are made in a number of countries around the globe. We would like to reassure you that all of the factories we work with in the supply of our gifts and accessories are ethically audited to ensure they are operating in line with our strict ethical trade guidelines.

For your information, the country of origin information is included on the label of every finished product sold by The Body Shop, to ensure our customers can see where items they purchase have come from.

b. Has The Body Shop ever tested on animals?

When it comes to animal testing, we have never, and will never, test our cosmetic products on animals. We also don’t commission others to do it for us. We were one of the first to make a stand against animal testing in the cosmetics industry, and through The Body Shop Foundation, we continue to fund organisations campaigning to end the needless suffering of animals. In fact we campaigned for years to bring about a ban on testing cosmetics on animals. We are among the few companies to comply with the stringent requirements of the internationally recognized Humane Cosmetics Standard. As well as this, we also ensure all our products are suitable for vegetarians and seek out alternative sources of ingredients that do not contribute to the destruction of habitat of endangered animals, or cause animal suffering.

c. How do I know when my product has expired?

The Body Shop products do not list an expiry date on the packaging. Typically, the shelf life for all new products that are unopened is three years. After opening, we recommend that customers finish using the product within 12 months. If the product has become discoloured, it is not advisable to continue using it. You will also notice that there is an 'Open Jar' symbol on the labels of most of The Body Shop products. The symbol looks like an opened lid with a number and the letter "M" on it. The number symbol indicates the number of months after the product has first been opened by the consumer that it will remain in a suitable condition for use. This is often referred to as the "period after opening". We have included this symbol on labels to act as a reminder to consumers that cosmetic products should not continue to be used for excessively long periods, once they have been opened and used.

d. Are all of the ingredients in your products natural?

The Body Shop is a global retailer of naturally inspired, ethically produced beauty and cosmetics products. Wherever possible, we aim to source our ingredients such as plants, herbs, fruits, nuts and so forth from natural sources. We aim to use naturally-based ingredients where possible as constituents in our products, selected for their natural skin caring property.

e. Do your products contain preservatives, additives, alcohol, colour or fragrance?

The Body Shop takes the safety of the products it sells very seriously and has a responsible approach to the use of chemicals in its products.


We proactively assess the chemicals we use against criteria of health and safety, environmental impact and our Against Animal Testing policy. As a result of this process, we prohibit the use of a range of common chemicals in our products. We have also voluntarily restricted use of certain preservatives because of concerns about their possible skin sensitisation effects and because of our stance on animal testing. In addition, all formulations developed for The Body Shop are subject to careful evaluation by independent external assessors.

The policy of The Body Shop is to reduce the total amount of preservatives in our products. Already, we offer the preservative-free Aloe skin care range for sensitive skin as well as several preservative-free products such as our Lip Butter range.

Parabens are approved for use as preservatives across the globe. Used in cosmetic products, they help prevent product spoilage from contamination by microbes once they are opened and in-use. The Body Shop uses Parabens in a number of its products for this purpose. The use of Parabens is highly regulated in many countries and legislation is in place to define which materials may be used for preservative purposes.

The Body Shop has sold millions of products containing Parabens over a period of many years without any evidence or indication of adverse reactions in our customers. However, we will continue to monitor the results of any scientifically credible research into these materials and remain responsive to customer feedback.

Some of our products contain Ethyl Alcohol; this is referred to as ‘Alcohol Denat’ in the ingredients lists given on the packaging.


The word ‘alcohol’ may however, appear in the ingredient list as part of the name of a chemical such as Benzyl Alcohol. Benzyl Alcohol is a solvent which is not drinkable and has no comparable effects to ethanol, the substance found in beers, wines and spirits. Benzyl Alcohol is a chemical that is commonly used as a solvent in fragrances or as a carrier in perfume oils making the fragrance suitable for application to the skin. It has always been used in The Body Shop fragrances and perfume oils. The reason that Benzyl Alcohol now appears in the ingredient listings of some of The Body Shop products is because the EU rules on labeling have recently changed. The new legislation now requires Benzyl Alcohol as well as 25 other fragrance ingredients, to be listed on the label if they appear in the product above certain levels.

The Ethyl Alcohol is present as a solvent and is not intended for intentional ingestion and intoxication. Moreover, all Ethyl Alcohol used in our products is denatured as required by the regulatory authorities in every Market, in which we trade; this renders the Ethyl Alcohol as unsuitable for consumption. The Ethyl Alcohol is manufactured as a synthetic chemical and not by the alcoholic beverage industry. In view of this, our products containing Ethyl Alcohol have been allowed to be sold in all Markets, in which we trade, including those with a predominantly Muslim population.

All other ingredients with the word ‘Alcohol’ in their names are not used in the alcoholic beverages for the purposes of intoxication, have significantly different chemical structures to Ethyl Alcohol and are well established cosmetic ingredients that are fully compliant with Halal requirements.

We will continuously review and update our ethical criteria and guidelines for the development and manufacture of our products, which includes those covering raw materials, derived from non-porcine animal by-products, and will implement action plans for the timely and realistic phase-out of relevant materials from our formulations, as appropriate to maintain the appropriate ethical standards.


Whilst one or two companies specialize in selling natural cosmetic products in small, unable quantities, most cosmetic companies would not be able to manufacture all-natural products with consistently high quality and a long shelf life without the use of some synthetics.

The Body Shop does not claim to be an all-natural company. We offer innovative products that are inspired by authentic natural ingredients from indigenous sources and we do use synthetic ingredients – colours, fragrances, preservatives – and we share that information with our customers so they can make informed choices for their individual needs. The Body Shop formulates products which contain the appropriate level of synthetic, naturally-derived ingredients appropriate to meet the needs and safety of the customer.

f. What is Community Trade?

Please click here to find out more about Community Trade

g. Why has my favourite product been discontinued?

To survive in our competitive industry, The Body Shop needs to keep update its ranges in order to offer our customers the best variety. At The Body Shop, we strive to be innovative with our products while keeping in line with our Core Values.

As we move with the times, certain ranges or products may be phased out to make way for newer, more innovative items. This is not just a business decision but also a need to constantly offer products that meet the changing and evolving needs of our customers and that are also better products altogether. Rest assured it is not our policy to discontinue products for the sake of it. Rather it is part of our constant need to find the fine balance between selling products that our customers want and like, and that are sufficiently in demand from a business perspective.

To help you find a suitable alternative in place of the discontinued products, we recommend you to drop in to any one of our stores and have a chat with our friendly and well trained store staff.

h. Where can I find more information on product usage instructions?

If you ever have any questions or are unsure about how to use any of the products, please feel free to approach one of our friendly store staff who will be more than happy to assist you.

i. What is your return & exchange policy?

Goods are not refundable. Exchange is accepted within 7 days with receipt. No exchange for used, damaged, promotional, discounted and outlet items.

j. Where can I get a product catalogue?

For a comprehensive list of our products please visit our website:

k. I noticed that your product packaging has changed, can you tell me why?

The Body Shop is always striving to find other innovative ways of reducing our packaging waste and limiting our environmental impact. Our efforts to reduce our environmental impact begin from examining how we can keep post-consumer waste to a minimum. Less than 3% of our products come in separate cartons, and where secondary packaging is used, we use recyclable cardboard made from recycled or sustainable forest materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC. Today, at least 50% of our packaging assortment contains recycled content, and we also launched our first 100% recycled PET bottles last year, and have doubled the recycled content of our average PET bottle to 60%. Last but not least, we also ensure that most of our packaging can be recycled through standard household and business recycling systems.

l. Is there any difference between the products from different markets?

There is no difference in the quality of products around the world. However, certain regions or markets will stock different product ranges due to their market's individual business requirements.

m. Do your products contain Paraben and is this harmful?

Please see response to question (e)