The Body Shop can be found just about anywhere in the world...outside of the United States, that it. I knew of it when I lived in Japan, having seen it in a mall or so back in Dallas, but it enjoys enormous popularity overseas. In England, for example, they have a lovely shop inside Heathrow Airport, where you can score full-sized bottles and tubes of sweet-smelling lotions and potions for less than you would pay back home. (How they can do that, I've no clue, but it's a godsend if you forgot to pack for the cold, dry climates of northern Europe.) In shops throughout Southeast Asia (at least, in the Philippines, Singapore and Japan, where I've visited Body Shop outlets), women and men pack the aisles, trying out the different products and usually leaving with at least a bottle or two of a favorite item.
I'm not sure why it's less well-known here, but it does have a presence, albeit a small, unassuming one. The stores haven't changed much in terms of interior design -- they still sport the dark green paint and the atmosphere is reminiscent of one's fantasy of an old English shoppe -- but if there's one thing that the Body Shop is known for throughout the world, it's their fierce environmental consciousness. The late Anita Roddick -- the Body Shop founder and environmental advocate -- and her shops were proudly green long, loooong before Al Gore made the movement hip. I don't know if they still offer this service, but for years they would allow customers to bring in their empty Body Shop containers for refills. To this day they still make a point of sourcing ingredients from sustainable farms, and they still eschew flashy marketing and design to focus their efforts on the quality of their products.
My favorite Body Shop product of late is their Aloe line, specifically the Soothing Night Cream. It comes in a small pot and is especially made for those with sensitive skin. Although my face isn't very sensitive -- it's very oily and acne-prone, but not sensitive -- my neck is a different story. I've yet to find a sunscreen that it can tolerate, and forget about any kind of moisturizers. A mere drop of a forbidden lotion, and an angry red rash will flare up that won't go away for at least a day or two.
Not with the Body Shop's Aloe Soothing Night Cream, though! It's not super-rich, so if you have very dry skin you might need something more emollient, but for those with normal to slightly oily skin with dry patches, this could be the perfect solution for you if you're sensitive. With shea butter and sesame oil, it moisturizes very well but doesn't leave a greasy film; rather, it absorbs quickly and leaves your skin touchably soft. And it has never ever given me even the slightest hint of a rash. My skin has responded very well to this product.
The Day Cream, which has a slightly lighter texture, works equally well. However, the downside is that it doesn't come with added sunscreen protection at all, so you'll need to make sure to include that in your routine if you wish to use this. Personally, I don't use day creams or lotions that don't include sunscreen, since I prefer to minimize the number of products I use on my oily skin.
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Night Cream: $20.00 for 1.7 oz.
The Body Shop Aloe Soothing Day Cream: $16.00 for 1.7 oz.