Frequently Asked Questions

    • Many vitamins used in our skin care products are included primarily to provide anti-oxidant defence against free radicals.

      The incidence of these reactive, airborne compounds is growing, and when they attach to your skin they oxidise, causing damage. A simple analogy is a sliced apple. Left unprotected, the flesh of the apple quickly turns brown as it reacts with the air, but lemon juice (a potent anti-oxidant) squeezed over the apple will dramatically slow this process.

      While providing anti-oxidant protection, some vitamins can also assist in hydrating and softening the skin.

    • Scientifically speaking, botanical oils closely resemble human skin in terms of their physical and chemical composition. This means formulations containing these extracts are easily absorbed by the skin.

      There are three key types of plant extracts we use in our products: freeze-dried extracts, steam and CO2 extracted oils and crushed or total extracted oils.

      All of the oils obtained by these methods are light and greaseless (and more volatile) when compared to synthetic mineral oils.

    • Skin sensitivities can be unpredictable. If you have experienced a reaction, we recommend you stop using all products for a full week. This will give your skin the chance to recover from whatever was aggravating it.

      You may wish to test the Aesop products you have on separate patches of skin away from your face. Allow twenty-four hours to assess your skin's response. If you find there is no reaction, repeat the process. Again, allow twenty-four hours for assessment.

      If neither of these tests results in an adverse reaction, apply a small amount of your product to your face. Use less product than you normally would in the first instance, then slowly increase the amount. If your skin reacts or symptoms persist despite not using any products, we suggest you consult with a dermatologist.

      If you are a first-time user of Aesop or you are experimenting with new Aesop products, we recommend you visit an Aesop store or an Aesop retailer for a face-to-face consultation. If this is not possible, we advise you to call one of our stores for an over-the-phone consultation. Consultations will assist you to ascertaining which products are best suited to your skin.

    • We understand that many women seek alternatives to botanically rich products during pregnancy; however, to our knowledge there is no risk associated with using any Aesop formulation in the manner we prescribe during pregnancy.

      Aesop is committed to providing accurate information, however, this information is not intended to replace advice from your qualified medical practitioner.

      We recommend that you speak with your obstetrician or dermatologist should you have any concerns regarding your particular circumstances.

    • Aesop uses Sodium Laureth Sulphate in some formulations, this can be checked on each product's individual ingredients tab. However, Sodium Laureth Sulphate is not to be confused with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate as the former is in our view significantly milder in structure. Sodium Laureth Sulfate is derived from vegetable oils which then undergoes a chemical reaction with oxygen to convert this into a mild surfactant, or cleansing agent.

      As with all ingredients utilised in Aesop formulations, we have extensively researched the safety, stability and efficacy of Sodium Laureth Sulphate prior to including it in our products. This is standard Aesop procedure for every ingredient being considered for use in one of our formulations. Sodium Laureth Sulphate has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel and found safe for use in cosmetic products at levels far greater than we employ.

      We utilise Sodium Laureth Sulphate in our body cleansers and shampoos, as our experience has shown that sulphate derivatives still out-perform alternatives in effectively cleansing the skin and hair.

      Unless you have a known irritation to this ingredient, or a history of reactions to cosmetic ingredients in general, we suggest there is no scientific reason to feel uncomfortable with this ingredient. We do, however, offer formulas that are sulphate-free when we believe sulphates can affect the performance of the product.

      All Aesop cleansing products use surfactants which comply with the 'ultimate biodegradability' status of the EU Detergents Directive and therefore are compatible with septic tank waste systems. Our products are also phosphate-free and are therefore suitable for use in water-recycling systems.

      No Aesop product contains colourants, artificial fragrances, mineral oils, silicones, parabens or pearlising agents.

    • The label on your Aesop product displays an icon next to the batch number. This icon informs how many months your product will be at its best.

    • All cosmetic ingredients have the potential to irritate sensitive skin regardless of the amount present in an individual product or the method in which it is used.

      Irritations can sometimes occur in the regular course of our daily lives, even where we have used and enjoyed a product successfully for many years. The trigger for a reaction can be an unexpected one and may not necessarily repeat itself in the same way. We ask that you consider any changes to your regular routine that may have triggered the reaction (dietary, contact with possible allergens such as household cleaning liquids etc.).

      Where one experiences an adverse reaction to any cosmetic preparation, the best course of action is to discontinue use and if necessary, consult your medical practitioner to establish whether you have experienced an irritation or an allergy.

      In the unlikely event that you experience an adverse reaction to an Aesop product, please discontinue use and return it to the place of purchase. Do not hesitate to contact us with the details of your reaction.

      Please refer to our Shipping and Shopping policy for further information regarding the conditions of return and exchange.

    • Every Aesop product is labelled with a detailed ingredient list. If you have any specific queries pertaining to a particular product, please consult the product’s individual page (you can browse products by concern, category or range).

    • Yes, Aesop creams, serums and oils can be worn under makeup.

      Some wonder whether the high content of botanical ingredients will interfere with makeup, but it will not. However, you may like to experiment with the time it takes for your preferred Aesop hydrating product to fully absorb into your skin prior to applying your makeup.

    • We recommend you keep your products in a cool place away from direct light, or better yet, in the refrigerator. This advice applies for all Aesop products, regardless of whether they are contained in glass, plastic or aluminium.

      The label on your Aesop product displays an icon, next to the batch number, that tells you how many months your product will be at its best.

      It is best to use clean hands when dipping into jars, or to use a teaspoon or small spatula to scoop out product for use.

    • No Aesop product contains parabens.

      All ingredients used in Aesop products have been extensively researched, tested and assessed for their safety, stability, efficacy and irritation potential. This is standard procedure for every ingredient under consideration for use by Aesop, regardless of type. Any ingredient derived from a petrochemical source is significantly chemically modified from its petrochemical origin, and utilised only in minute quantities as required for their end properties. We avoid the use of ingredients such as petrolatum derived directly from crude oil.

    • A great number of our products are packaged in pharmaceutical-grade amber glass, as many formulations contain a high concentration of active botanical extracts, the stability of which cannot be guaranteed if they are housed in plastic.

      We do make an effort to use recyclable plastic or aluminium containers (Code 1) where we are confident this will not compromise the product.

    • We recommend you visit an Aesop signature store or an Aesop retailer for a face-to-face consultation.

      If this is not possible, we advise you to call one of our stores for an over-the-phone consultation. Consultations will assist you to ascertaining which products are best suited to your skin.

      We have endeavoured to provide a wealth of information about each product on this site.  Each product is accompanied by best-usage guidance, recommendations of complementary formulas as well as specific information about which skin types each product is best suited to.

    • We can confirm that no Aesop exfoliating product contains plastic microbeads. These ingredients have never been utilised in any Aesop formulation.

      Our exfoliating products contain abrasives such as Quartz, Pumice, Walnut Shell, Tea Tree Leaf and Bamboo Stem to efficiently remove dirt, grime and dead surface skin cells to leave skin softened and thoroughly cleansed, ready for subsequent hydrating and treatment products.

      We utilise Acrylates Copolymer in our Geranium Leaf Body Scrub and Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash as a rheology modifier and gelling agent, providing suspension of the physical exfoliants they contain. Acrylates Copolymer is a general name given to a family of ingredients, all with very different properties and environmental fates.

      In this instance, Acrylates Copolymer refers to a copolymer of two or more monomers consisting of acrylic acid, methacrylic acid or one of their simple esters. The Acrylates Copolymer used in these formulations is biodegradable according to EC Directives, and based upon toxicological testing conducted by the manufacturer this ingredient poses no risk to aquatic organisms.

    • Aesop is committed to acting in a responsible, accountable and transparent manner and can confirm that we do not test our products or ingredients on animals and have not done so previously. We do not commission any external parties to test our products on our behalf.

      All new products are tested for safety during our product development process using cumulative irritancy testing on human volunteers. Before our products are released to the public, formulations are also assessed for safety by a qualified external agency, either a chemist or toxicologist. These agencies do not test on animals.

      All new ingredients are reviewed by our research and development team prior to use. We research the registration status of these ingredients in world markets, and note any past testing. No animal testing has been conducted by the suppliers of ingredients since 11 March 2009. This is the date when the European union enforced a ban on animal testing of cosmetic ingredients and many of our suppliers stopped long before this time.

      Before we consider entry into a new country we extensively review the regulatory requirements to ensure that compulsory animal testing on our products is not required.

    • We are often asked if Aesop products are organic or natural.

      These are words we use with great caution, along with ‘pure’, as they often breed assumptions about organisational practices. As many of our formulations contain laboratory generated ingredients, it would be cynical and deceitful to attach these words to our products: we have never done so.

      The Aesop product range is not exclusively organic or natural; rather, our products are formulated using a combination of high-quality botanical and synthetic ingredients.

      It is important to note, however, that none of our products contain colourants, mineral oils, silicones, parabens or pearlising agents. Aside from the products listed below, no other formulation in the Aesop range utilises synthetic fragrance compounds.

      - Marrakech Intense Eau de Toilette and Parfum

      - Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm

      - Tacit Eau de Parfum

      While many of our formulas contain ingredients sourced from plants grown organically, they also commonly contain ingredients grown by farmers using non-organic techniques as well as substances developed by Aesop chemists in our Head Office laboratory. Our primary objective is to ensure Aesop products are made from premium quality ingredients.

      We recognise the benefits that organic and biodynamic farming have for the land and for our health, but we are practical about how realistic it would be for us to use only organic ingredients. Sometimes they are not available, sometimes there is not enough of a particular ingredient, sometimes the air miles required to import it would generate an environmental concern of its own.

      We caution people to be wary of any company that labels itself organic without explaining exactly what they mean: companies can label their goods organic if they contain only a small percentage of organic ingredients.

      It is true to say Aesop has, from our beginning, been fascinated with the benefits that botanically based formulas can deliver to the skin and hair as well as the remarkable results that science reaps. We bring together the finest of human ingenuity, scientific discovery and botanical ingredients to create our products.

    • We appreciate the concerns regarding the use of Palm Oil and Palm Oil-derived substances. Aesop currently uses Sodium Palmate and Sodium Palm Kernelate in our Body Cleansing Slab and Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides in our Sage & Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream. However the issue is complex, and to avoid all ingredients that contain Palm Oil-derived substances is very difficult. A number of our products contain ingredients of mixed origin, for example Cetearyl Alcohol, where the fatty acid chain may be obtained from either Coconut or Palm sources; however, complexities in the supply chain mean that it is often difficult for our suppliers to confirm the origin. Ingredients pass through many hands before they reach us and the number of processing steps between harvest and the final raw material means we are unable to take direct control of this process.

      We are actively working towards using only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) ingredients from segregated supply chains; achieving mass balance is our first step. The mass balance supply chain allows CSPO and non-CSPO to be mixed through the supply chain but administratively the mass of CSPO produced and sold is monitored and audited. This model introduces accountability, traceability and certification into the supply chain. Currently, the availability of certified sustainable cosmetic ingredients is limited; however this is changing due to greater demand and improved verification processes. We are actively investigating CSPO ingredients as they become available.

      Our pursuit of more sustainable options is ongoing, and is an important part of our larger corporate commitment to act as responsibly, accountably and transparently as we can.

    • While we pay heed to the aesthetics of our packaging, Aesop’s priority has always been the quality of what is inside our containers; the vessels must be functional, minimal and humble.  Aesop uses recyclable glass and cardboard as much as possible, providing it does not compromise the stability or integrity of our products.

      Due to reasons of hygiene and logistics we are unable to refill Aesop containers or to recycle them for you. We suggest that when your Aesop containers are empty, you find a use for them in your home.

      Our jars are well-suited to repurposing as storage containers for many small items, from paper clips to staples to hairpins; while Mouthwash bottles make serviceable and attractive vases. Should you not have a use for any given Aesop container, we recommend putting it in your council recycling bin along with other glass, plastic and metal waste.

      You may also like to return Aesop cotton bags for reuse whenever making purchases; you are most welcome to do so.

      Like all responsible companies, we aim constantly to lessen our environmental footprint and to improve our practices. This is not without challenges, but we are attempting to improve our packaging as honestly and transparently as we can. You may be interested to know we are currently signatories to the Australian Packaging Covenant.

      For more information please see our Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) annual report here.

    • Aesop’s monthly newsletter shares information about places, people, food, writing, design and more that inspires us.

      If you sign up to receive the newsletter your details will be used to communicate with you directly and will not be passed on to any other party.

      However, please note that by entering our customer database, you are also nominating to receive Aesop event invitations and information about Aesop-partnered initiatives.

      You can sign up to receive the newsletter at the bottom of each page of our website.

    • You do not need to create an account to shop online; rather, you can purchase as a guest.

      However, creating an account will allow you to move more swiftly through the purchasing process: you will be able to save your personal details, store multiple delivery addresses, peruse past orders, update subscription details and receive special Aesop customer event invitations and new product information.

      Creating an account only takes a few minutes and you can do so by clicking here

    • You can reset your password by selecting 'Forgotten Password' in the log in section.

    • Aesop endeavours to ensure the safety of your personal information when visiting our online store, however, there are additional security measures we advise our customers to adopt in order to enhance online security.

      These include:

      - Ensuring your internet browser is up-to-date with the latest version

      - Choosing unique passwords, keeping them private, and changing them frequently

      - Investing in a reputable anti-virus software program and ensuring all updates are installed

      If you are ever concerned that you have been the victim of fraudulent activity, contact your bank immediately to ensure your credit cards are cancelled.

    • Please visit our Retail & Amenity Enquiry page and download the appropriate form for your business.

      Due to the high volume of enquiries we receive, please be aware applications can take between three to four weeks to process. We thank you in advance for your patience.

    • Please visit the Press Registration page and complete the form. From there, you will be directed to the Press page.

      Our Press page offers a wealth of useful documents and images; however, if you're unable to source the information you need, please submit a form via the contact us page.

    • To apply for an advertised position, please visit our Employment page and follow the prompts.

    • We apologise if the product you are seeking is temporarily unavailable.

      It is most likely that we are waiting for a specific ingredient from a supplier; an ingredient, without which, we are unable to complete certain formulations.

      Please accept our sincere apologies and know that we are working hard to source the necessary components that will allow us to recommence production of the product you are looking for.

    • The security of our customers' personal and credit card information is paramount to Aesop and we continue to invest in the development of robust security systems.

      Our website is encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, which creates a secure transaction area in which to enter your payment information. You can be sure that you have entered a secure area as your browser address will become, and a small padlock symbol will appear in the bottom left of your screen.

      We also have secure firewall systems and daily scanning in place, to ensure that any attempted intrusions are swiftly identified, and a biannual penetration security scan conducted by our security partners. We regularly engage with industry experts to seek the most up-to-date security advice, and are constantly seeking to improve upon our rigorous processes.

    • Nanotechnology is the science of materials measured in nanometres – one nanometre being one billionth of a metre.

      The word ‘nanomaterial’ is an umbrella term for objects of different shapes and sizes with one or more dimensions (length, width or height) or surface structures on the nano-scale, which ranges between 1 and 100 nanometres.

      The term covers not only nanoparticles but also aggregates and agglomerates (clumps) of nanoparticles that have at least one dimension in the range of 1 to 100nm.

    • Nanomaterials are often utilised in sun-protection formulations as a means of increasing product efficacy. They can provide greater UV filter efficiency by improving dispersion of inorganic filters, and enhance the texture and feel of sunscreens. 

    • En vertu d’une norme européenne récente (EC 1223/2009), l’Oxyde de Zinc utilisé dans notre Crème Hydratante pour le Visage à la Sauge et au Zinc – SPF 15 et notre Baume Protecteur pour les Lèvres SPF30 est désormais classé en tant que nanomatériau.

      Ce changement s’explique par la manière dont cette norme définit les structures chimiques qui peuvent être mesurées sur l’échelle nanométrique. Auparavant, l’Oxyde de Zinc était considéré comme ‘micronisé’ parce que la classification ne prenait en compte que les dimensions extérieures de ses particules ; or celles-ci se mesurent en millièmes de millimètres. Il est maintenant considéré comme un nanomatériau en Europe parce que la nouvelle norme prend en compte la structure interne de la surface des particules – qui, elle, peut être mesurée entre 1 et 100nm.

    • We use Zinc Oxide in Sage and Zinc Facial Hydrating Cream – SPF15 and Protective Lip Balm SPF30 because of its unparalleled ability to coat the skin and create a barrier to UV radiation. In its (newly defined) nano form, Zinc Oxide also improves dispersion of sunscreens – products containing it appear ‘invisible’ when applied to the skin.

      Both products were formulated only after years of rigorous research, with particular regard for safety (for our customers and for the natural environment) as well as performance. These are always paramount considerations in the development of new Aesop products.

      While scientific research into the safety of nanotechnology continues, we believe daily use of a high-quality sunscreen is of crucial importance in protecting the skin from the well-documented dangers of exposure to UV radiation.

      Because of this, and because this material has been independently evaluated and approved on safety grounds, we stand by our decision to use Zinc Oxide.  

    • Reformulation is challenging for any product, and particularly difficult when it comes to a sunscreen. Even changing the source of a raw material in a cosmetic formulation can alter the finished product’s stability, aroma or appearance.

      Under the European definition, many alternative forms of Zinc Oxide are also classified as nanomaterials. To reformulate our products using those that aren’t would result in a potentially unstable product – and one significantly heavier, whiter and less easily absorbed than our current formulation.

    • Research is ongoing into the safety of nanomaterials in many different applications, including topical/cosmetic use. The two key areas under investigation are the safety of nanoparticles in terms of skin penetration, and the safety of nanomaterials in terms of altered chemical properties.

      It is important to note that Zinc Oxide in both nanomaterial and standard form has been independently assessed, and that it is considered safe by regulatory agencies in the USA, Australia and Europe.

      Within Australia, the regulatory body responsible for products with SPF values in excess of 15 – the  Therapeutic Goods Administration – has conducted significant research into the effect of nanoparticles on human and environmental safety. It has determined that there is no evidence to suggest that sun-protection products which incorporate nanotechnologies pose any greater risk than conventional products.

      Should you like to read more about the use of nanotechnology in skin care and cosmetics, we warmly encourage you to visit: