Since moving toward a low-waste lifestyle, I have been trying to shop local and shop small. Lush, unfortunately, does not fit that bill but they are one of the first companies that I fell in love with when I was switching to all-natural products several years back. Throughout the years, they have made continuous strides to lessen the waste that they offer including taking back their packaging for reuse and offering “naked” products like shampoos, conditioners, solid moisturizers and soaps. The real reason I’m featuring them, though, is that they have brick and mortar stores with an incredibly helpful staff. I think when you are starting on a low waste journey, or are looking for products with cleaner ingredients, it can be really intimidating. Instead of scrolling through pages on line, you can talk to real people about what your looking for and get recommendations.
At this point, I have tried the vast majority of the products at Lush and can speak highly of most of them. To keep this post (relatively) concise here are my top 3(ish) products that I love and 2 I can live without:
- Let the Good Times Roll Cleanser and Exfoliate– I’ve mentioned a few times on this site that I’m very, very picky regarding scents. This stuff smells like caramel and it’s amazing! I use it once or twice a week on my face as an exfoliate. It leaves my skin so smooth and again, smells delicious. In terms of packaging, it comes in a Black Pot. Lush’s Black Pots are 1. made from recycled plastic from American and Canada and 2. are part of a closed loop system. Bring back 5 black pots to a Lush store and you get a free fresh-ingredient face mask and they get to reuse the pots. It’s a win-win.
- Aqua marina cleanser and Tea Tree Water : I’m lumping these two together because, together, they helped clear up my acne in my 20s after I quit Proactive. Aqua marina is a clay-based cleanser and it’s pretty weird if your are coming from a foaming cleanser. You take a little of the clay in her palm, mix- in a tiny bit of water until you have a paste, massage it on your face and then rinse. Follow it up with the Tea Tree water toner. I used these two products twice a day (Grease Lightning for the occasional spot treatment) and it was the best my skin had looked in years. Unfortunately, when I turned 30, my skin completely dried up so these products were too strong for me but I highly recommend them for oily skin. Actually, I do still use Grease Lightening for the occasional break out. It can dry up a pimple over night! (ok, technically, I snuck three products in here…)
- Shampoo bars : I’m cheating, again, and lumping all the shampoo bars I’ve tried in this category. So far, my absolute favorite is the Flyaway bar. It noticeably gives my hair more volume, which I love. I’ve also tried Honey I Washed My Hair, which is honey-based and a good all around shampoo; Trichomania, which is coconut-based and adds moisture; and Soak and Float, which helps dry scalp. Some of the benefits of these natural shampoos are that you don’t have to wash your hair as often. I have straight, oily hair with a dry scalp and with traditional shampoos, I had to wash my hair every day or every other day (clean hair day 1, pony tail on day 2. Who can relate?). With Lush shampoo bars, my hair stays clean for longer. I can get away with washing my hair every third day now. It also helps preserve my hair color. I had purple hair back in my 20s and red hair now and these bars help prevent the color from fading. Because these shampoos are natural, they strip your hair less and help maintain color longer. All of these bars also foam up well which can’t be said for some natural shampoos.
To be upfront, a few of the shampoo bars do have some cons. The most obvious is that Lush tends to make their shampoo bars on the smaller side and they are pretty pricey. To compare, Meow Meow Tweet Shampoo Bar (which I have tried) sells a 4.5 oz bar of shampoo for $12. The Lush Flyaway Bar is 1.9 oz and it’s $13.95. Most of their bars are 1.9 oz with the exception of Avocado Co-Wash and Trichomania, which are 3.5 oz online and range from $12-16. That’s actually why I tried Trichomania. It worked well, lathered up nicely, but got crumbly toward the end. The pink plastic ends sort of got in the way as well. I’d advice just cutting those off up front.
Regarding Flyaway Hair, the bar does tend to disintegrate faster then the other bars so I would not recommend this if you don’t have a place to store it outside the shower or if you share the shower. For instance, if you have limited bathroom space and 3 roommates, this bar might not last long. I’d stick with one of the others which are more solid.
Now, for the two products I didn’t like. Again, let me stress that I have tried a TON of products at Lush and I only have 2 I strongly disliked. They were:
- The Greeench Deodorant Powder (no, that is not a typo) – If you’ve ventured into natural deodorants, you know that every body is different and you have to find what works for you. This didn’t work for me. I also found the powder application messy. Lush graciously let me return this and I learned about their samples policy. Their sample policy being, they like to give you samples so don’t hesitate to ask!
- Miles of Smiles Toothpaste Tabs – My first venture into solid toothpaste. I had been dragging my feet on making my oral care routine zero waste but the incredibly kind staff asked to make me up a little sample so I gave it a try. I HATED the taste. I can’t remember anything past that. I just really hated the taste
Some honorable mentions to check out if you are feeling adventurous: Buffy, a body scrub that is my 4th favorite product and is great to get smooth legs in the summer and buff away dry skin in the winter (bonus points for possibly being named after the most kick-ass female character on television, ever!); shower jellies, I had an orange one that doesn’t seem to be listed anymore. These are fun and work great but eventually I switched to bar because they lasted longer; Mint Julip lip scrub, I still use this in the winter for dry lips. Also good if you wear lipstick and want a smooth, hydrated lip; and last but not least, body spray. This was my latest purchase. I don’t own perfumes or sprays because, again, I’m super sensitive to scents but I bought this in Celebrate, which is my all-time favorite scent, ever. It’s lime and orange and only released during Christmas, which absolutely kills me. Lime and orange are summery, Lush! Come on!! They usually release Celebrate as a body lotion (I always buy 4, at least, to get me through the year) but this year they mixed it up and released it as a body spray. The body spray is light and seems to last a while on clothes, which is lovely. It’d be even lovelier if it was available year-round, Lush!
I know there was a lot in this post so please don’t hesitate to ask me questions about any of the products listed or, really, any of the products. I haven’t tried them all but I’ve tried a lot. Also, don’t hesitate to talk with any of the Lush employees. They are super knowledgeable and always friendly. I’ve never had a bad customer service experience in their store.
**As always, this post is NOT sponsored. I just like sharing with you fun, low-waste products that I love**