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The Body Shop

How ethical is The Body Shop?

The Body Shop, a make-up owned by Natura Cosméticos S.A., is one of The Good Shopping Guide’s independently-researched skincare brands. (This parent corporation is also the owner of Avon, another health and beauty brand.) This company does not pass the Ethical Benchmark for our Ethical Make Up Ratings Table.

We encourage businesses in the Make Up industry to adopt more ethical policies. We also urge The Body Shop to keep improving its score and reach for higher ethical standards.

The history of The Body Shop

British entrepreneur, human rights activist, and environmentalist, Anita Roddick, founded the business. Today, The Body Shop products are offered in around 3,000 outlets and sells a line of around 1,000 goods.

The business, formerly established in Brighton, is now headquartered in London Bridge in West Sussex and is owned by Natura, a Brazilian cosmetics company that is a part of the Natura & Co group. Between 2006 and 2017, L’Oréal, a French cosmetics firm, owned the business. Natura purchased the business from L’Oréal in September 2017 for £880 million.

Body Shop was purchased by L’Oréal for £652 million on March 17, 2006. Due to L’Oréal’s use of animal testing and Nestlé’s ownership of the business, there was some debate and criticism.

Is The Body Shop actually ethical?

The Body Shop received a good rating for its Environmental Report, opposition to the use of genetically modified substances, animal welfare, and the availability of vegetarian and vegan items.

However, The Body Shop does not perform well in other Environment-related criteria, as it has a severe lack of certified-Organic products. Though the brand claims to use some organic ingredients, the brand also admits that they do not make or stock any fully-certified products.

The Body Shop and its parent company also have a poor track record when it comes to palm oil. The destruction that palm oil leaves in its wake has been well-documented and reported on. (Read the Guardian Long Read article on ‘How The World Got Hooked On Palm Oil‘ for a comprehensive overview of the history of this controversial crop.) Avon (a subsidiary owned by Natura Cosméticos) has been found to use palm oil from plantations where horrific abuse towards women and minors has taken place.

The governments, businesses, and financial organisations that collectively might almost completely eradicate tropical deforestation are identified, ranked, and tracked by The Forest 500. In the context of forest risk commodities, rankings are based on public policies, pledges, and prospective effects on tropical forests (palm oil, soy, beef, leather, timber and paper). A low rating of 25% was given to Natura Cosmeticos by The Forest 500.

How could The Body Shop improve its rating?

The Body Shop could obtain Organic-certification for some of its items in order to receive our Ethical Accreditation Award. Without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other agrochemicals harmful to both people and wildlife, cosmetic ingredients are grown and produced more sustainably and ethically.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan



  • Armaments


  • Irresponsible Marketing


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating