Letter to the Body Shop
Send on 2009-7-29:
Dear Body shop,
I have been a faithful customer of the body shop for many years and trusted your product as environmentally friendly as your company has been campaigning a lot about its environmental engagement.
Unfortunately, it seems that my trust was a bit too blind: I checked today the ingredient lists of the products I frequently use and was somehow surprised about how extensively silicone compounds are used in your products.
Silicone is neither good for the skin/hair nor for the environment.
Studies have shown that silicone forms an impervious and hydrophobic barrier on the skin / the hair preventing it from breathing, as a plastic wrap would do. The soothing effect of silicone is only short-timed while long-term exposure cause skin irritation.
Many cosmetics nowadays contain silicone, which is a non-biodegradable product. Tons of cosmetics are washed out under the shower every year, causing the clogging of sewage treatment plants and damages on sewage treatment equipment, thus increased social costs, and finally polluting rivers in which the sewage is released.
This is a list of silicone-derived emollients I found, mostly in the 1rst third of the ingredients list, in products that are currently stored in my home:
Grapeseed glossing serum: Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol
Seaweed mattifying moisture lotion: Cyclopentasiloxane, phenyl trimethicone, cetyl dimethicone, PEG-12 dimethicone
Almond oil daily hand & nail cream: Cyclomethicone, dimethicone
Peppermint cooling foot lotion: Cyclomethicone
Honey moisturising shampoo: Phenyl trimethicone
Satsuma puree body lotion: Cyclomethicone
Vitamine E intense moisture cream: Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone
Aloe soothing moisture lotion SPF 15: Cyclomethicone
Aloe calming facial cleanser: Cyclomethicone
I will return the 3 products I bought today to my usual Body Shop subsidiary. I am afraid I will have to turn to another brand of cosmetics until your company has banned such synthetic ingredients from your product line.
Answer from The Body Shop on 2009-07-30:
Thank you for contacting The Body Shop.
We are sorry to hear that you are no longer interested in using Body Shop products because we use silicones in our formulations.
Please know that The Body Shop is committed to providing consumers with safe and effective products. The Body Shop is required by the EU Cosmetics Directive to carry out a Safety Evaluation of each cosmetic product formulation prior to launch of the product; this is carried out by Safety Assessors who are external to, and independent of, The Body Shop. We would like to reassure our customers that The Body Shop takes the safety of the products it sells very seriously. All formulations developed for The Body Shop are subject to careful evaluation by independent external safety assessors.
As a company, we are very rigid in always going by the standards of the FDA and would never use ingredients that would cause harm to anyone - including animals, i.e. our stance on never testing ingredients or finished products on animals. And, if any substantiated claims arise about ingredients causing issues, we immediately stop using the ingredients and find another - to the point we have actually stopped producing products for months at a time until we found the right ingredients or new formulation.
The Body Shop takes both the potential human and environmental impact of all the products that it sells very seriously. We choose the raw materials used taking into account many factors, including environmental impact and safety in use. The Body Shop has taken the precautionary approach with some materials and decided not to use them in ongoing product developments. We are also actively phasing out the use of some chemicals in current products. More information can be found on our Global website.
Thank you once again for contacting The Body Shop.
If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
I hope you find the level of service provided to you via this correspondence satisfactory. If you are not satisfied or need immediate assistance, please feel free to contact our Customer Care Center at: 1-800-263-9746.
US Customer Care Center