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Our favourite products to buy from The Body Shop, as the retailer goes into administration

The nostalgic brand is synonymous with body butter and floral and fruity scents

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Tuesday 20 February 2024 09:49 GMT
With more than 1,000 products in the range, we’ve rounded up our faves
With more than 1,000 products in the range, we’ve rounded up our faves (The Independent/iStock)
Our Top Picks

A UK-born brand founded by Dame Anita Roddick in 1976, The Body Shop was decades ahead of the Gen Z beauty game. Focusing on ethically sourced, natural ingredients, cruelty-free products and social activism from the very beginning, its original business model included refillable packaging, too. So, the shocking news this week that The Body Shop has gone into administration has been met with reverberating sadness about the nostalgic brand’s uncertain future.

Currently, the global range is more than 1,000 products strong, including throwbacks and bestsellers, from the cult classic body butters and nostalgia-inducing scents to tea-tree-infused skincare and a full make-up line. Plus, on 3 January, it was announced The Body Shop was the world’s first beauty brand to have 100 per cent of its product formulations certified by the Vegan Society.

Trading online and in store is still business as usual at present, and nothing has been confirmed about any possible closures at present. But the announcement has got us thinking about our favourite products from the much-loved British beauty brand.

Whether you enjoyed the iconic white musk scent in your teenage years, look to the product line-up for a vegan beauty routine, or regularly shop cult classics such as the brand’s body butter, keep reading for our tried and tested pick of the best products to buy from The Body Shop.

How we tested The Body Shop products

We’ve spent several months testing a selection of products, looking at the formulas, ingredients and packaging. Spanning skincare, shampoo, fragrance, body buys and even pillow sprays. Read on for our full verdict.

A selection of the products we tried and tested (Helen Wilson-Beevers)

The best The Body Shop products for 2024:

  • Best The Body Shop product overall – The Body Shop edelweiss daily serum concentrate, 30ml: £32,
  • Best for deeply cleansing haircare – The Body Shop ginger anti-dandruff shampoo, 250ml: £10,
  • Best cult classic – The Body Shop shea body butter, 200ml: £19,
  • Best for an uplifting scent – The Body Shop white musk eau de toilette, 60ml: £30,
  • Best for a natural make-up look – The Body Shop natural form mascara: £15,

The Body Shop edelweiss daily serum concentrate

Body shop.jpg
  • Best: The Body Shop product overall
  • Size: 30ml
  • Key ingredients: Edelweiss and peptides
  • Why we love it
    • Refreshing
    • Lightweight

When using the pipette applicator to release these daily serum droplets onto the skin, you can see how weightless its sheeny texture is. If you’re a fan of the drops of youth serum, this is an updated version, with double the concentration of hero ingredient: the antioxidant-rich edelweiss, which is a plant found in the Italian Alps.

Smelling like a subtle floral breeze, the concentrate brings a veil-like effect to the skin, before soaking in quickly. Because of this, we noted how well it layered without any annoying pilling when adding moisturiser as our next skincare step. Designed to hydrate and protect against pollution damage, it contains plumping vegan peptides. Refreshing and nourishing, it made our skin look brighter, balanced and it was much softer to the touch after use.

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The Body Shop ginger anti-dandruff shampoo

The Body Shop ginger anti-dandruff shampoo.jpg
  • Best: Deeply cleansing haircare
  • Size: 250ml
  • Key ingredients: Ginger essential oil and birch bark extract
  • Why we love it
    • Satisfying foam
    • Crisp fragrance

After pouring the clear jelly shampoo from its recyclable brown plastic bottle, we found it frothed into a really satisfying foam on the hair and scalp. It released the scent of the blend of ginger essential oil from Sri Lanka and honey from Ethiopia, which together create a crisp, head-clearing fragrance. When rinsed off, our scalp and hair felt cleansed and our strands were smoothed. We noticed additional volume due to the clarifying removal of residue on our locks and scalp, too. 

It’s probably best if you like ginger – the lively scent lingers, and we can see why this bestseller is popular for scalp itchiness. Plus, even while washing our hair every other day, we only used half the bottle during a month of testing.

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The Body Shop shea body butter

Shea body butter.jpg
  • Best: Cult classic
  • Size: 200ml
  • Key ingredients: Shea butter and babassu oil
  • Why we love it
    • Thick and indulgent formula

This cult classic buy has a twist-off lid and its packaging is completely recyclable. We picked up on a sweetly rich summery scent from the shea blend and the Brazilian babassu oil. It’s worth noting that many of the ingredients are sourced using the brand’s Community Fair Trade scheme.

The formula is thick and indulgent for smothering onto the skin. We particularly love using it to soothe dry patches, such as cracked heels, elbows and knees, as well as for a foot rub or full body moisturiser. We found the product spread as expected – like butter – with its hydration lasting for hours. There’s no oiliness, just glossy nourishment.

You may want to wait a while before getting dressed after application, however, as skin can feel slippery during absorption. A little goes a long way, and so does the enveloping fragrance.

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The Body Shop white musk eau de toilette

White musk eau de toilette.jpg
  • Best: For an uplifting scent
  • Size: 60ml
  • Key ingredients: Jasmine, musk and lily of the valley
  • Why we love it
    • Uplifting, floral fragrance

Probably The Body Shop’s most famous scent, it originally launched in 1981 and has always been vegetarian. Certified as vegan to celebrate its 40th birthday in 2021, the eau de toilette comes in a recyclable bottle made with 42 per cent recycled glass. The speckled cap is recyclable too, and ingredients are 95 per cent natural in origin.

A refreshing floral fragrance boost, it’s a blend of jasmine and musk. Plus, we noticed the alcohol compound aldehyde brings out a bright scent sharpness. Still a winner with the teenage audience, our teenage daughter particularly rated its subtly light and uplifting notes.

For an eau de toilette, we found this product has staying power on the skin, too, which can be topped up throughout the day, if you favour a louder fragrance.

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The Body Shop hemp hard-working hand protector

The Body Shop hemp hard-working hand protector.jpg
  • Best: Hydration hero
  • Size: 100ml
  • Key ingredients: Hemp seed oil
  • Why we love it
    • Easy absorption

Packaged in an aesthetically pleasing squeezy silver tube with screw-top lid, the pale-mint-coloured formula has a rich, creamy texture. Gliding onto our dry hands, we found it offered a silky effect that wasn’t at all greasy.

Absorbing easily, the integral hemp-seed oil has a sweet and earthy scent. This ingredient is part of a French crop helping to regenerate land and local wildlife in that area. We found the hand protector to be nurturing and nourishing, smoothing down rough skin and cuticles, all while offering ultimate hydration.

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The Body Shop Himalayan charcoal purifying glow mask

Himalayan charcoal purifying mask.jpg
  • Best: For exfoliation
  • Size: 75ml
  • Key ingredients: Himalayan bamboo charcoal and tea tree oil
  • Why we love it
    • Energising tea tree oil scent

After opening the brown glass jar, we immediately noticed the energising scent of tea tree oil alongside green tea leaves. With bamboo charcoal in there too, you will see the dark green, wet consistency set to a lighter shade that doesn’t feel uncomfortably tight on the skin. We immediately noticed a tingling feeling, showing the formula was getting to work over its recommended 10-to-15-minute treatment time.

We found the intense tea tree sensation quite strong, which we weren’t a fan of. If you do have sensitive skin, we’d suggest trying the product sparingly at first. Removing the mask by rinsing off in circular motions, it exfoliated our face, causing a little initial redness, but it wasn’t abrasive. The overall result saw our complexion looking and feeling tighter, with our pores appearing minimised.

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The Body Shop camomile sumptuous make-up cleansing butter

The Body Shop camomile sumptuous cleansing butter.jpg
  • Best: Skin soother
  • Size: 90ml
  • Key ingredients: Camomile extract and shea butter
  • Why we love it
    • Suitable for sensitive skin

Taking packaging tips from the brand’s body butters, this silky cleansing butter comes in a slimline tin with a twist-off lid, which is compact for handy storage. Although suitable for sensitive skin, we would say its buttery ability to melt away all make-up means there’s an element of glossy greasiness. Camomile extracts come from Norfolk, and the scent is understated, which makes for a gentle buy. After use, our skin felt softened and soothingly cleansed.

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The Body Shop natural form mascara

The Body Shop mascara.jpg
  • Best: A natural make-up look
  • Size: 9ml
  • Key ingredients: Coconut oil
  • Why we love it
    • Reaches inner lashes

Presented in a futuristic-looking silver tube, the slimline and straight mascara brush coats lashes well and reaches inner eye corners. Ingredients include organic virgin coconut oil from Samoa, with 85 per cent of ingredients coming from natural origins.

We noted this is a non-clumpy mascara that spreads evenly onto lashes, as well as defining undereye lashes, too. Gently lifting, the mascara provides a natural rather than excessive look, and it isn’t volumising. While we did see some subtle smudges throughout the day, this is a lightweight mascara at an affordable price.

If you’re seeking a thicker, wavy brush for a more dramatic look, we also like The Body Shop’s turn it up mascara (£15,

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The Body Shop sleep calming pillow mist

The Body Shop sleep calming pillow mist.jpg
  • Best: For relaxation
  • Size: 100ml
  • Key ingredients: Lavender and vetiver
  • Why we love it
    • A little goes a long way

This calming pillow mist comprises a blend of 100 per cent natural essential oils, including lavender and vetiver. We found the spray applicator disperses a lightweight mist that covers bedding evenly, creating a gentle aroma at the same time.

The relaxing scent fills the air after only one or two spritzes, and it has a soft, powdery finish with sweet tones, too. Plus, because a little bit goes a long way, the generous 100ml bottle lasts ages.

We’ve been keeping a bottle on our bedside table to use as part of our pre-sleep ritual, and it’s great for restless little ones as well.

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The verdict: The Body Shop products

For lightweight and brightening hydration that makes a difference to the skin, the edelweiss daily serum concentrate impressed us. Meanwhile, on the haircare front, the ginger anti-dandruff shampoo was deeply cleansing and surprisingly volumising. Finally, shea body butter is a true cult classic that never fails to deliver intense, soothing hydration.

Want more beauty inspiration? These are the Glossier products worth the hype

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