Flaky skin runs in my family, as my sister’s Eczema Files column testifies, alongside the rest of our crumbly feet (apologies), chapped hands and tendency towards dandruff. My mum is pretty much the only one to escape smooth skinned and glossy haired, and having dark hair clearly exacerbates the D-word issue for the rest of us. As a family unit, we’ve tried the lot, so when I was told about a cult anti-dandruff bestseller that’s revered in Asia in particular for its soothing, descaling potential, not to mention that a bottle flies off the shelves at least once every four seconds, my interest was piqued.
The Body Shop Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo , £8.50 for 400ml, is made with Sri Lankan ginger, community produced fair trade Ethiopian honey, birch bark and white willow extracts, and feels cooling but not tingly when applied. Unsurprisingly it smells of ginger, but it won’t knock your socks off in a perfumey way, and it works up to quite a generous lather thanks to coconut derived sodium laureth sulfate (a far more gentle cleanser than the sensitivity spiking SLS ). It’s water based with vitamin B5 for shine and hydration and piroctone olamine as the principal anti-dandruff ingredient- it’s an antifungal agent that treats the microbes and bacteria that can lead to dandruff, but in a more gentle manner than more aggressive dandruff treatments. All in all, as the nigh on 1,300 five star reviews on The Body Shop website would suggest, this particular cocktail works. It’s not a magic hoover for flakes, but I’m not seeing snow in this heatwave, and my scalp isn’t hot or itchy, which is also a miracle given that we saw 37ºC last week.
The fact that The Body Shop has generally been very modest about this low key superstar of a beauty product speaks of the quiet revolution going on over at Body Shop HQ. The chain formerly and widely revered for its Dewberry and White Musk Body Mists, extensive roster of Body Butters and ‘ahhh’ inducing Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray (heaven I tell you) among other cult buys, could appear to remain in the realm of 90s nostalgia, but the makeup range for one is underrated but better than ever, and the brand’s activist ethos is back on track after having been sold to Brazilian company Natura from L’Oréal. With a newly revived drive towards cruelty-free beauty to ongoing fair trade and sustainability projects and ever expanding vegan ranges, it could be time to grab your bag for life and reacquaint yourself with good old Dewberry. Or at the very least chuck this in your basket- it’ll blast away the scalp cobwebs and won’t break the bank.