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The body shop: From day creams to world campaigns

The Body Shop was founded by entrepreneur Anita Roddick in 1976, when she started selling around 25 hand-mixed naturally inspired products with minimal packaging from one small shop in Brighton, England. She was appointed a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 2003 for services to retailing, the environment and to charity.

In 2006, a year before Roddick passed away, her business became part of the L'Oreal Group. It operates independently within the group and is led by the current management team of The Body Shop.

The first Irish store was opened by Mildred and Peter McDonald in Dublin in 1981. A second shop opened in Cork three years later and was soon followed by one in Belfast. A generation of Irishwomen grew up with The Body Shop must-haves such as Dewberry fragrance, Tea Tree Blemish Gel and those lip balm pots. The Body Shop is known for its campaigns for social and environmental change, most recently for Stop Sex Trafficking. It was the first international cosmetics brand to be recognised by the Humane Cosmetics Standard for its Against Animal Testing Policy.

More than 20 years ago, the company set up its own fair trade programme, called Community Fair Trade, which now works with more than 30 suppliers in more than 20 countries. Its first community trade product was a footsie roller, produced in India.

Today, The Body Shop has over 2,500 stores in more than 60 countries and there are 15 stores in Ireland.

The fans: Jennifer Lopez, Victoria and David Beckham, and Reese Witherspoon.

If you buy just one product: The Vitamin E Day Cream (€14.95) is The Body Shop's bestseller. An easily absorbed daily moisturising cream, it helps protect the skin, leaving it soft, smooth and healthy-looking.

The price: The bestsellers start at ¤9.95

Where to get it: You'll find The Body Shop stores on Grafton Street, Henry Street and in Dundrum Town Centre, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, and The Pavilions in Swords.

More info: www.thebodyshop.com