I think that it was back in the nineties when I started taking more notice of cosmetics. I used to love watching my Mum get ready for a night out with Dad and was quite fascinated by all of the lovely smelling lotions and potions that she would use, the makeup she’d wear and the delicious smelling scents that she would spray on before she left the bedroom in a cloud of loveliness. My dear Mum was a natural beauty and didn’t need any of it, but like most ladies she enjoyed the preparation before the party and feeling special.
It’s a sure sign that you’re a nineties kid when you can say that White Musk from the Body Shop featured in your cosmetics collection at some point. Who didn’t like it? I certainly loved it as not only did Mum wear it, but she would let me have a cheeky spray of it now and again. It was always a winner for mothers day and her birthday. This is where my love for The Body Shop started and I’d often spend my last couple of quid on a new lip balm or spray to add to my collection. I did fall out of love when the prices became a bit too much for me to afford as a student, but my love affair soon started again when I was older and a bit wiser with money. Look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves! I’ve sworn by their Vitamin E products for a long time and credit my improved skin to them and as such, I ventured into their makeup range, which I do love.
However, The Body Shop has been lying to me and I’m a bit heartbroken.
Sold alongside refreshing and appealing images of nature, peace and with a Mother Earth-esque lady cleverly placed on various pages of the website, anyone would think that this is the good stuff. If The Body Shop were a person then she would be your best friend, giving you the good advice and the right dose of improved wellbeing when you need it. But secretly, she’s having tea and cake with the naughty girls. The Body Shop gives the impression of being all-natural and good but its relationship with parabens and the like has turned it sour. A quick look at my favourite Vitamin E Cool BB Cream left me feeling a bit filthy as 3 no-go ingredients waved at me like a bully on a school bus – Methylparaben, Propylparaben and Butylparaben, labelled as preservatives yet playing a dangerous game with our bodies. Read up on the dangers of parabens if you need any further info as to why we should all be avoiding them.
In The Body Shop’s defence, they do a lot to ensure that its ethics stay intact; part of the larger Loreal group, you could be forgiven for assuming that they have adopted their lesser desirable stance on how they operate – but they have not. Supporting fair trade and against animal testing, The Body Shop uses ethically sourced ingredients that support those that grow and nurture them. Anita Roddick’s dream is still intact but holding on by a thread as the long and unpronounceable names on the ingredients list continue to throw spanners in the works.
Living a completely chemical-free life is a challenge and sometimes we have to settle for second best, and The Body Shop is my second best so I shall continue to use what I have left and then part ways. So for now, despite the myriad of fantastic products, affordable natural options (tainted with a touch of crap) and the enticing marketing that so cleverly draws in millions of women every year in search of natural alternatives; I shall be stepping back until they clean up their act.
Such a shame…