The retailer, which runs more than 200 shops across the UK, filed a notice to appoint administrators late on Monday.
It is understood the business could enter administration as soon as Tuesday, with insolvency experts at FRP Advisory lined up to oversee the process.
The proposed administrators are expected to seek buyers for the business and its assets, but the process will nonetheless cast a shadow over the future of its stores and workforce.
The retailer was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon as one of the first companies to promote so-called ethical consumerism, focusing on ethically produced cosmetics and skincare products.
It comes only weeks after new owners, European private equity firm Aurelius, took control of the business.
Aurelius, which specialises in buying and turning around troubled firms, secured a £207 million deal in November to buy the Body Shop from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura & Co.
It only took control of operations officially on January 1.
The business employed around 10,000 people worldwide at the time of the takeover.
Aurelius agreed a deal late last month to sell the company’s operations in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia to an international family office in a “decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy” at The Body Shop.