I’ll confess – I now fear walking by a Lush store these days. The colourful copy, the inviting tubs and jars and the perky sales staff make it so irresistible to pop in and spend and hour of my life playing away with skin toys and treats that smell so incredulously delicious, I feel like I’m in an ice-cream bar. What the Apple store is to guys, the Lush store is to me - really the perfect way to take a break from the mallrats crowing the food court and sniff away at some pretty and organic treatments, if you ask me.
Lush has done so well taking the simplest ingredients and turning them into an elevated art of sorts. For instance, take the Ocean Salt; it’s a face and body exfoliator that uses fresh limes (reportedly 16 organic limes are squeezed to fill the tub) extracted in Vodka, which are blended Avocado butter and Coconut fat. The Avocado is reputed to be beneficial in reducing age spots and the appearance of scars, while the Coconut (in cream form) gives you a soft, cushiony base for the large grained sea salts. Interesting fact: sea salt, has been found to improve skin hydration, improve barrier function, and reduce inflammation due to the high levels of magnesium therein (International Journal of Dermatology, 2009).
If ever there was a scrub I wanted rubbed entirely over my lanky frame, it’s Ocean Salt. The tart, citrus-y scent infused throughout the formula is from the zing of fresh Grapefruits and Lime oil, both tinged with the summery freshness of Violet absolutes. The scent is elegant and pure in its bright, shimmering rush, almost clean.
But – the buzz of the scruff. For the intrepid, sensitive skins, you ought to know this is as salty and as grainy as scrubs come. In a good way, though. What I like about Ocean Salt is how the scruff quotient can be remediated. Add a few drops of your face oil to a dollop of Ocean Salt and you’ve got a tame version of the original formula. When you need to amp up the exfoliation (think: after a summer’s SPF day at beach), you can use it straight from the tub. With scrubs, you can soften down the sting of the salt, but can’t get the grit factor back up, which makes this the smart buy. It’s literally adjustable! Oily skins will love the super clean feel on skin left behind after a use or two during the week. And, a little-known fact about such exfoliators: when the skin is well-exfoliated, sunscreens work better. Don’t skip the elbows and knees. Just don’t forget to stir up the pot with your finger or popsicle stick before use. And, a little know ingredient to protect sensitive skin: Seaweed Absolute. The mineral-rich skin-saver is added for good measure.
Full of Grace Serum ($14.95). That’s right – you are looking at a bat not bottle. The ingenious blend of Murumuru and Cupuacu Butters and Almond Oil is thoroughly infused with fresh Roses and actually melts into the skin. Fresh Portobello Mushrooms are the surprise ingredient here; they are rich in Vitamin C and help brighten the skin. Who knew fleshy fungi could good skin food? Not me.
The stiff bar smells largely of the herbal Rose oil added to Chamomile Blue, which is meditative but not overpowering. And, every gal could use a kick of Rose in her skincare as far as I’m concerned.
When used overnight on its own, Grace completely soaks in after a good scrub and delivers instant skin-plumping moisture without any grease or shine. My own trials were pretty easy: total kiddie fun to rub the bar across your cheeks and watch the hardened solid melt as it warms up to your skin. I even dared to microwave the bar a bit (read: 5 seconds) just to use more of the meltingly wonderful serum as a mask, though I wouldn’t recommend this as you just end up nuking the precious essentials oils.
But, try I did. Love, I do. Swirling and slathering is way more fun with the always imaginative Lush.
$35.95 available at Lush.com.