All Fresh Lush Soap

Since the opening of the first Lush store in Poole, Dorset in 1994, husband and wife Mark and Mo Constantine have striven to create fresh-made soaps, lotions, shampoos, shower gels, and other cosmetics for the body, face and hair with vegetarian-only ingredients. Now with over 700 stores in 42 different countries, Lush has expanded far beyond their humble beginnings in the United Kingdom and has even been featured on an episode of The Apprentice. Some of their more unique products are, solid shampoo bars, gelatin-like semi-solid shampoos and body washes called “Shower Jellies”, solid toothpaste tablets called “Toothy Tabs”, and solid sodium bicarbonate balls that fizz with different colors and scents when dropped in water called “Bath Bombs”.

In addition to the multitude of stores (there are 16 stores in the state of California in the United States alone); Lush Soap also runs a website from which you can shop. They also have a number of Lush Spa’s in the UK, where a person can pick out words like “Acceptance,” “Forgiveness” or “Peace” from a wall of words and relax with a message with a bar of that fragrance. The factories in which the products are hand-made are located all over the globe. The raw ingredients are sourced from many different parts of the world as well; for example, Lush recently partnered with a small village in Colombia to purchase Fair Trade cocoa beans.

Because of the high standards for Lush soap ingredients, the products are entirely vegetarian, as well as being mostly vegan and preservative-free, featuring everything from papaya and coconut to rosemary oil and avocado butter. Their goal is to have the highest quantity of fresh ingredients possible while still being effective cosmetic products. Their emphasis on “fresh” is established on the fact that fruits and vegetables have active ingredients – vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are beneficial to skin and hair – but over time, these active ingredients decline in potency, especially when processed and combined with preservatives. For example, while its active ingredients are still fresh, pineapple juice can be used to brighten the skin, while asparagus can tighten and tone pores and avocado softens skin and provides it with essential nutrients. It may sound like you could eat a Lush product whole, but the company makes no claims towards edibility.

On each pot of product, the company places a sticker of the face of the compounder who prepared the product as well as when it was completed and its “fresh until” date. Most Lush products have a total shelf life of about 14 months. They don’t sell any soap over 4 months old. They do contain more customary soap elements such as glycerin, linalool, and methyl- and propyl-parabens; however, Lush only puts these parabens into their liquid products, which need preservative content due to water being the breeding grounds for bacteria. Still, it is worth noting for consumers who may be concerned over the safety of such preservatives that 30% of Lush products as a whole contain them.

The company’s green policy efforts are various and multi-pronged. To minimize packaging, products like Bath Bombs, massage bars and solid shampoo bars can be purchased fully “naked” (without packaging of any kind), and for products where packaging is unavoidable, the company elects to use the minimal required and all of it recyclable. The company will provide a free face mask to any costumer who returns five or more used Lush containers to the store. They also affect public policy through partnerships with regional and national environmental groups lobbying for regulations promoting climate control and sustainability. In every Lush soap factory or distribution center in North America, the company set a zero-waste goal. They expected to use less of biodegradable products and recycled paper and plastic. In 2011, buying recycled supplies like cardboard and Oxo-biodegradable shrink wrap for the company’s administrative offices saved over 300 trees, 135,000 gallons of water, 675 gallons of oil and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 28,000 CO2 equivalents.

Beyond their green initiatives, and in addition to not using animal fats in their products, Lush also has strong core values in relation to animal testing. The company’s policy is buy materials from places that do not test on animals. Lush performs tests solely with human volunteers, and to further these efforts, Lush has stopped using sodium palm kernelate because it caused destruction in habitats to get the product. Instead, they have come up with Greenwash, a pine soap that is the first to be made not using a palm soap base.

Consumers of Lush products are an enthusiastic bunch. To find out more information about a specific product, you can look at any number of reviews. For example, a review of Lush Pumpkin Soap would tell you more than a visit to a store or to the website could. First of all, don’t go looking for it in your local Lush store unless it’s October, as this product is seasonal and brought out as limited edition for Halloween only. The product itself comes in the shape of a pumpkin, with color to match, and be purchased whole or in slices. It is one of Lush’s solid soaps, so the consistency is quite dense and heavy. It’s taken from ingredients used in the Almond Buttercream Soap, containing sweet wild orange, lime, mandarin and cinnamon spice. Interestingly enough, this combination does not produce the scent of an actual pumpkin, but rather closer to a pumpkin pie, as it has a more creamy scent of something baking.

This soap would be a fabulous gift to give around All Hallows Eve, but be warned: it may froth and foam a scary amount. The soap’s ingredients, for all those particularly concerned with health and nutrition, are as follows: Water, Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil; Sunflower Oil; Coconut Oil, Fresh Organic Orange Juice, Pumpkin puree, Sodium Hydroxide, Perfume, Sweet Orange Oil, Mandarin Oil, Lime Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Limonene, Titanium Dioxide, Gardenia Extract, Coloring, and Pumpkin Seeds.

All in all, Lush has a vast selection of fruit and vegetable-based component such as the, shower gel, shampoo, conditioners, bath bombs, hand lotions, face masks, and bubble bars that are safe to use and relatively inexpensive. For any nature-loving individual, who needs pampering, indulging in the luxuriance that is Lush might be the way to go.