Lush Cosmetics, an all-natural approach to skin care, seems to be all the rage these days. Pass by a Lush on a Saturday afternoon and notice the store is flourishing with customers while similar shops like The Body Shop and Bath and Body Works are nearly empty. So what is all the fuss about Lush?
The powerful smell of a Lush store entices you to stop and take a peak. You don't know how, but the magical aroma triggers an emotional response to allure you to enter. Inside, you find that the smell is even more intoxicating. The aroma fills your lungs and flows through you like a force of nature. The bright and contrasting blue, orange, yellow, green and pink bath bombs explode into view, the products look edible and you feel as if you are in a candy shop. You have to remind yourself not to eat the products!
Customer service is an important part of Lush's success, but the genius is their ability to stimulate all of the five senses with remarkable intensity. Lush bath-bombs are a sensory overload. Made with sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, the ingredients that creates a “fizzle” when dropped in a bath, this invigorates the skin and promotes relaxation. The fizzle titillates the auditory senses as you sit back and listen the sizzle of tiny exploding bubbles. The bombs come in a variety of colors, scents, and styles with richly descriptive names like “Rose Queen”, “Dragon's Egg”, “Big Blue” and “Sex Bomb” which facilitate strong mental imagery. Some have confetti inside that pop out as the ball dissolves. The experience is a feast of sensations as the scent of essential oils, soy milk, and citrus fruits tease your airways and prickle your skin. It is so much fun you'll want to play in the tub as the nostalgia factor takes you back to your childhood.
The bad news is that the bombs are roughly 8$ a piece, making bath-time an expensive endeavor, especially for single parents or college age kids. They also contain linalool, which is a common allergen and eczema catalyst to a fair percentage of the population. Linalool is a common ingredient in many of Lush's other products as well, not just in the bath-bombs.
Another questionable ingredient used in Lush's bath-bombs is sodium lauryl sulfate. This controversial ingredient has been under scrutiny in the skincare industry for the past few years because it is highly irritating and drying to the skin, hair and scalp. As a result many cosmetic lines have taken it out of their products and many others are following suit. (Read my previous Blog writing about SLSA vs SLS)
To give a short summary of the negative qualities of each of the above ingredients: lanolin is the oil that is squeezed from sheep's wool and is comedogenic (prone to clog pores and promote acne), talc is the powdery substance in chalk that makes it white and can clog pores and is a known carcinogen. Linalool is known to cause allergic reactions and eczema as has already been discussed, fragrances are common allergens and skin irritants, and olive oil is comedogenic, especially in acne prone individuals. Another common ingredient found in Lush products is artificial colors. These have been associated with allergies, irritations, and some are considered carcinogenic.
Aside from the previous summary, Lush's Bath Bombs are not PH balanced for a woman's delicate areas down below and can upset the balance of candida yeast, causing yeast infections. Although if your immune system is in great working order the chances are low. You just have to decide if the risk is worth it. As I mentioned the products are aimed at stimulating nostalgia and a happy feeling which they do very well at. I would compare them to the fast food of skincare. Delicious but bad for the skin. Also I don't believe lanolin should be used in any products as it can cause milia - tiny white (closed comedome) bumps on their skin.
Our Bath Bombs contain Epsom Salts which has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating cold and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body. Cocoa and Shea Butter are two of the best emollients around. If you suffer from dry skin, like so many seem to do, you can’t go wrong with either one! Both leave you feeling silky soft… and while both are superior moisturizers and healing agents (again no medical claims here!) one can't go wrong.
Many times, it pays ten fold to buy from a Small Business, with affordable prices, hand crafted and reputable, good quality products than from a huge mass production Company.