I have mixed feelings about LUSH Cosmetics. I used to be really excited about them, but now I am trying to find replacements for most of the LUSH products I use.
What I love about LUSH:
- They really try to minimize packaging. I wish other cosmetics companies would follow suit.
- Their products smell really good.
- When I was having sensitive skin and redness I went to LUSH, they recommended some products and those products have worked very well for me.
- They claim that they purchase from sustainable sources.
- They know about palm oil and they don’t use it! Probably.
- Products are handmade. They even put a sticker on most products that tells you when it was packaged and has a drawing of the person who packaged it.
- You can test the products in the store and they’ll send you home with samples if you ask. I know this is pretty common, but I really like it, because I don’t end up buying something unusably bad.
- Aquamarina soap
LUSH claims “We believe in making effective products from fresh, organic* fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics. We invent our own products and fragrances. We make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging, using only vegetarian ingredients, and tell you when they were made.”
What I don’t love about LUSH:
- LUSH uses the same sketchy chemicals that other cosmetics companies use.
- They use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. SLS is a source of controversy in the cosmetics world. Everyone claims that everyone else’s research is illegitimate. Maybe some organizations are overstating the potential hazards, but it just seems obvious to me that we would be better off without SLS in our personal hygiene products. SLS is a detergent used to degrease engines. It is used in labs to lyse cells. Lyse means rupture, in case you don’t remember all of your biology vocab words. SLS definitely irritates skin. Yuck. Cosmetics companies use it because it is cheap and it creates a nice lather. Wait, wait. Did I forget to mention what it’s made from? Coconut oil or palm oil.
- They use parabens. Parabens are controversial too. They have been found in tumors. They are a hypothetical cause of early puberty. Some studies suggest that they may react with UVB to increase skin damage. However, they have been found to be non-toxic in tests on rodents. It seems to me that we don’t really know whether or not they are safe. If we’re not sure, I’d rather abstain.
- The LUSH website has information on every ingredient they use. From the methylparaben page: “They are used globally and are permitted by every world health authority (500 independent safety studies have been carried out over the decades). Scare-mongering ‘studies’ into their potentially negative effects have now been widely debunked.” I think that’s a rude way of downplaying legitimate concerns about the safety of the ingredient. I will not be browbeaten into accepting that a chemical is safe.
So, that’s why I will not be repurchasing their lotions, moisturizers, toners or shampoos. If you’re looking for natural products at LUSH stores, you have to look pretty hard. You can find some, like this soap:
Yep, that’s face soap. Aqua Marina by LUSH. It looks pretty like a roll of sushi when you first get it, but it slowly turns into sea sludge when exposed to water. I don’t mind that. As a horror fan, I’m used to pretty things turning into monsters. It has no SLS, so it doesn’t lather like a normal soap. You pinch a bit off, mix it with a little water and wash your face. This soap and I are in love. LOVE. It does exactly what LUSH says it will do; reduces redness and irritation. It’s actually very effective. Also, it smells like the ocean and feels like clay, probably because it is wrapped in seaweed and made from clay. This must be what nereids use to clean their faces. It makes me feel like sea nymph. What more can you ask for in a soap?