Housed in a metal tin affixed with a screw-on lid is this rich cleansing balm. The somewhat waxy formula warms to an oil-like consistency within seconds of skin contact, and the emollient, slippery ingredients work quickly to dissolve all types of makeup, even long-wearing stains and waterproof mascara.
This rinses surprisingly well; skin is left feeling soft and smooth without a greasy residue, though it remains the type of cleanser that’s best for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts.
We were reluctant to assign our top rating to this cleansing balm (or butter, if you prefer) because the fragrance it contains poses a risk of irritation, and it lingers on skin after you rinse. There’s also the risk of irritation if this is used around the eyes, as you’re likely to do if you wear eyeliner or mascara, which this cleanser removes in a flash. If you decide to try this, use caution applying it near the eyes, and rinse well, perhaps with a washcloth to ensure you’re removing as much of the fragrance as possible.
This cleanser is an indulgent make-up remover for the whole face. It gently and efficiently melts away make-up and impurities, leaving skin feeling clean, refreshed and pampered.
Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Synthetic Wax, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil/Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol, Parfum/Fragrance, Aqua/Water, Linalool, Limonene, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil/Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Citric Acid.
The Body Shop At-A-Glance
This England-based company was one of the first to offer "natural" products in freestanding stores. Founder Anita Roddick opened her first shop in 1976, and the store's success spurred her husband to turn the business into a franchise opportunity, thus spawning the opening of several more stores across
A somewhat controversial business transaction occurred in 2006 when L'Oreal purchased The Body Shop. Fans of the brand and its stance on animal testing protested that this corporate marriage made for strange bedfellows given L'Oreal's dodgy history with animal testing. The acquisition had many consumer groups focused on ethical and organic business practices calling the sale a cop-out and accusing Roddick of selling out to "the enemy." Roddick commented that the sale had more to do with L'Oreal wanting to learn more about community trade, which could prove a financial windfall for the developing nations and tribes The Body Shop has conducted business with for years. (Sources: www.cosmeticsdesign.com/news/ng.asp?n=66584-l-oreal-the-body-shop-takeover-ethical; and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4894854.stm). Regardless of motivation or ethical issues, what's certain is that L'Oreal's financial and developmental clout will allow the continued expansion of The Body Shop, although in terms of product improvements, you'll find more signs of that with the makeup than the skin-care products because that is L'Oreal's strength.
An attractive point of difference for this line is their ongoing commitment to environmental and social causes as well as fair trade and animal rights advocacy. For those efforts, the company (fueled by Roddick's personal passion for such issues) deserves high marks. If only the products were as sensible as the company's Mission Statement! It's not that there aren't good products to be found in The Body Shop's familiar green-trimmed stores, but far too many of them are ordinary formulations whose natural ingredients make little impact aside from looking good on the label. And many products contain irritating natural ingredients or fragrance components that place them a notch below the competition. This is not a company that has kept up with the latest research in what skin needs to look and feel its best. Instead, most of their products take a one-note approach to skin care, forcing customers to choose whether they want the benefits of vitamin C or E, seaweed, aloe, or a host of others—several of which have so-so benefit for skin, or less so in the amounts included in The Body Shop's products. Still, the line has remained affordable and is readily available, and so as long as you pay attention to the products that are worth your time and money, The Body Shop has some effective products in store for you.
Postscript: The Body Shop's founder, Anita Roddick, passed away in September 2007 at the age of 64. Although through the years we have had my issues with several of her company's products, it must be said that her business acumen and worldwide humanitarian efforts deserve accolades. She was a unique, passionate businesswoman, and we have no doubt her input will be sorely missed.
For more information about The Body Shop, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 263-9746 or visit www.thebodyshop.com.
The Body Shop Makeup
Makeup isn't the main attraction at The Body Shop, at least if you survey the store and notice the small display compared to shelf after shelf of body lotions, butters, scrubs, and shower gels. Yet if you're drawn to the makeup display you will find it is nicely organized, with product labels and prices in plain view, plenty of testers and mirrors, and even a bit of counter space for your purse. It's an inviting setup, and the sales staff is low key and willing to let you play, which is always a plus. As it turns out, L'Oreal's acquisition of The Body Shop has paid off handsomely for the makeup, which received a much-needed spiffing-up in October 2006. Several products were reformulated, new products (mostly improvements) debuted, and the packaging improved both functionally and visually. Due to the extra attention paid to the makeup you will find some outstanding options for foundation, powder, liquid eyeliner, makeup brushes, and creamy lipsticks. The prices are reasonable too, but they're no bargain if you don't shop this line carefully. Still, L'Oreal has infused some panache into a makeup collection whose core products were becoming ho-hum, and the changes are welcome!
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