The Body Shop dilemma

I vividly remember the t-shirt my best friend had in high school that she bought at The Body Shop. It was black with eye-catching red and white text screaming “AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING”. In the 80s and 90s, The Body Shop displayed this motto proudly on shirts and buttons, and in their advertising. Ever wonder why you don’t see that kind of blatant messaging anymore? In 2006 L’Oreal bought The Body Shop, whose founder controversially agreed to the takeover. At the time critics condemned it as “unethical”. Now, The Body Shop still does not conduct any animal testing, but what do you do when a company that claims to be against animal testing is owned by one of the WORST companies for it? L’Oreal has been criticized for years for their refusal to acknowledge complaints about their testing.

My take on it: I am trying to avoid The Body Shop altogether. I was addicted to their body creams. What has made it easier for me is realizing that their famous body butter is riddled with parabens (check the ingredients on the package!). As someone who slathers body butter on every night, I am concerned about the link between parabens (an artificial preservative) and cancer (specifically breast cancer). I have since found some great natural body creams and butters that I will review in coming days!

My dilemma: So far I am still using one product from The Body Shop, their Vitamin C daily moisturizer with SPF 30. I have fair skin and need a daily face cream with SPF. I was using a Neutrogena product so I figure The Body Shop is still a step up from that (Neutrogena being a J&J product). I have yet to find a replacement for The Body Shop one. I have also used their Buriti Baby cream on my son – the one body butter that doesn’t have parabens in it, which makes me wonder why they can’t take them out of all the others? Or if they just aren’t willing to.

Other companies in the same situation: Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s Bees are other “natural” companies that have been bought out by larger corporations who regularly conduct animal testing.

5 thoughts on “The Body Shop dilemma

  1. I definitely understand your thinking. I used to be totally against the body shop and any company owned by a non-cruelty-free company. Over time, my opinion has shifted a bit. By maintaining their cruelty-free status, these brands make cruelty-free products available to the average consumer, which ultimately means less animals hurt. If I don’t support them, then they have less incentive to continue their cruelty-free practices. I’ve actually been working on a post on this topic, it’s taking me forever as it’s really important to me so I want to get it right. It’s definitely a very complicated and conversation-worthy issue.

  2. I just found your site & actually, I had the same dilemma with Body Shop. I was in the middle of changing over my products to cruelty & chemical free. I thought Body Shop & Burt’s Bee’s were good choices until I dug further & found the truth about their parent companies. I know there’s discussion for both sides of the issue but I decided that I can’t bring myself to support a company that becomes a cash cow for a non-cruelty free parent.

  3. Hi Jessica – I am leaning the same way now. I’ve found so many alternatives, that I figure why give money that is indirectly going to a company that does animal testing? My only issue now is the daily moisturizer I use from The Body Shop, their vitamin C with SPF in it. I have yet to find an alternative. I am a redhead, very fair; I need SPF in my moisturizer or my nose will get red just being out and about. I’m going to keep looking for a replacement though!

      • Thanks for the suggestion – I think I’ll give that one a try – usually I use spf 30 and it’s been extremely difficult to find a suitable replacement. I have been happy with some other alba products though so this might be a winner! 🙂

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