By now I think it is pretty obvious that I have an addiction. Hi, my name is Taylor, and I am a hardcore Lushie. A Lushie is someone with poise, someone who loves luxury, respects necessity and can indulge in excess like no other.
A Lush experience for a first timer can be somewhat disorienting. The store is full of bright colors and vibrant fragrances. This combined with the busy atmosphere, chatter and general confusion at what you may be seeing/smelling/touching causes many to steer clear of what I think is a treasure chest of body products.
The Lush facial cleansers I’ll be outlining are Angels on Bare Skin, Aqua Marina, Coal Face, Dark Angels, Fresh Farmacy, Herbalism, Let the Good Times Roll, Movis, 9-5, Ocean Salt and Ultrabland. Lush does not lump cleansers, or soaps or hair products into categories, or anything really so I will go over a few ingredients and uses for each cleanser. And these have recently been relaunched as face and body cleansers, so those of us that suffer from “bacne” take note.
- Angels on Bare Skin
- Works well on normal-oily skin, good for breakouts, sensitivity or even roughness
Angels is without a doubt my FAVORITE clay based cleanser. It is rich in chamomile blue, the powerful essential oil found in chamomile blossoms. Most florals, especially the lavender, rose and chamomile included in Angels are very soothing and balancing for excess oil production. It uses ground almonds for light exfoliation which feed the skin with vitamin E. Finally there is kaolin clay which is detoxifying for the skin, softly pulling the dirt out of every little pore. This cleanser is free of synthetics and preservatives!
- Aqua Marina
- Best for very sensitive skin, good for normal to oily textures, helps to soothe acne and eczema
First of all can we just obsess over the name? Sounds like a mermaid princess with perfect dreamy skin. I believe it is named after a European cartoon character, but don’t quote me on that. The texture is creamy and somewhat sticky because of the kaolin and calamine, which are both gentle, soothing and cleansing. The outside is covered in a light layer of seaweed which helps to relieve puffiness and breakouts. Marina also includes aloe vera gel that behaves similar to the seaweed. No exfoliation except maybe a natural variant of the seaweed within so this is perfect for someone with a sore face or active rash.
- Coal Face
- Works well on oily-very oily skin or someone who tends to sweat often on the face, and best for a low fuss lifestyle
This cleanser comes in bar form and can be purchased by weight. Its a soft black color that tints the skin greyish-purple when wet on the face and hands. This wash is full of powdered charcoal which pulls dirt and oils out of the pores but replenishes the skin with coconut and rapeseed oils; the latter being rich in fatty acids which help the skin to function properly. It is slightly…scratchy but has a pleasant fragrance because of the anti-inflammatory sandalwood and rosewood inside.
B-t-dubs, this may be common knowledge but I didn’t know that charcoal was actually wood for most of my life. Let’s just put some wood on our faces, guys.
Ew, that sounded wrong.
- Dark Angels
- Oily to very oily skin would love this, may help if rough or chapped but not sensitive skin, deeply cleansing
This one I refer to as the Batman of Lush cleansers. It is black, hence the name dark angels, and the black sugar scrub is very intense. It may be abrasive for some. Similar to the Coal Face this cleanser works very well for excess oil because of the clarifying rhassoul mud and charcoal, which is also good for brightening olive to deeper skin tones. It does provide some fattiness with the avocado oil but I would say not to use this scrub if the skin is dry, sensitive or irritated. From what I know this tends to be a favorite but personally, its not for me.
- Fresh Farmacy
- Really benefits sensitive skin, helps soothe rashes, best on normal-oily types
This is another bar cleanser but where I would compare Coal Face to Dark Angels, I would compare Fresh Farmacy to Aqua Marina. This face soap does not really bubble, but creates a smooth and creamy consistency because of the calamine powder and coconut oil. Like I mentioned before the calamine is a soothing deep cleanser. The coconut oil helps with preservation and has anti-bacterial properties. This soap contains plenty of florals such as elderflower, lavender, chamomile and rose, all for balancing oils and soothing irritation. On top of that Fresh Farmacy also contains tea tree oil to help with blood stimulation and oil production.
**Little known fact that I just discovered this week…Fresh Farmacy was one of the competing names for the would-be Lush! So they dedicated the name to this sweet little face soap instead. Dodged a bullet there. Fresh Farmacy doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue lol**
- Dry-oily skin, good for someone that doesn’t like too much exfoliation, really helps with hormonal breakouts
I’ll let you in on a little secret….I almost published this and left this cleanser out! That would have been a disaster, not to mention totally unfair. Herbalism definitely has earned its stripes. Full of herbs and florals it contains nettle and chamomile which are not only oil balancing, but chamomile is also anti-inflammatory. Rosemary increases circulation, improves skin elasticity and brightens dull skin tones as does the chlorophyll. And the rice vinegar is toning and has astringent properties. Works really well as an acne spot treatment.
- Great for beards! Softening and brightening, good for oily/combination skin.
Kalamazoo is marketed as a beard and face wash. It contains rich butters like Jojoba and Cupuacu plus almond oil jam packed with vitamin E. This makes it good for combination and oily skin because it helps to decrease the amount of excess oil production. These also provide vitamins essential to skin growth and health while nourishing it with the nutrients to soften beard hair and facial skin. The fresh pineapple juice, brazilian orange oil and apricot kernel oil provide an uplifting, citrusy fragrance and imprint the skin with enzymes to eat dead flesh and instill a marvelous summer glow. I would also recommend this as a shaving cream.
- Let the Good Times Roll
- Good for dry and normal skin, helps with softness and glow
I believe this is one of the newest cleansers that Lush carries. This has a talc powder base which helps with dirt and oil. Let the Good Times Roll incorporates corn flour and corn meal for light exfoliation and brings warmth, glow and blood flow to the skin with stimulating cinnamon. Plus its presented with popcorn sprinkled on top so maybe it doubles as a snack too?
- Good for all skin types, softening, light exfoliation
Movis legit looks like a loaf of bread. One of the things people like most about this is that you can ask for any amount sliced up fresh and that it comes in a bar form so its easy to use and very portable. There’s coconut oil, wheat germ, organic cocoa butter AND hops in this soap. Know what that means? That its spongey texture is full of softening, replenishing goodness. It doesn’t lather too much or dry out the skin and softly exfoliates with meal and sugar. I’d say this is good for all skin, even sensitive skin, as there isn’t anything overly stimulating in the formula. You can get a light sandalwood fragrance from this soap but it was most likely added for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities. Watch out world, here comes Movis.
- All skin types, softening, soothing, doubles as a makeup remover
To shift a little bit, 9-5 is not a solid but comes in liquid form. If I had to choose one as the gentlest of Lush cleansers this would be it. There is loads of almond oil in this cleanser which provides nutritious vitamin E, one of the most important vitamins for the skin. They have infused this cleanser with real orchid extract. Basically your face will be a pillow of softness and smoothness.
- Ocean Salt
- Best for normal to oily skins but can be used on dry/normal skin, helps with sweat, dead skin, dirt and oil
The thing about Ocean Salt is that if you’ve already tried it then you probably love it. And if you haven’t tried it then why are you sitting there reading this when you should be out the door on the way to Lush? But if you are the rare, rare species of human that does not like Ocean Salt please excuse yourself to another planet. Pardon the rant.
Ocean Salt uses two textures of salt to scrub and polish the skin. Sea salt can be somewhat drying but the cleanser is balanced with avocado butter and coconut fat that gives the cleanser a certain creamy feeling. Finally, brighten and revitalize the face with lime, vodka and grapefruit which are all anti-bacterial/antiseptic and help with skin cell turnover rate. Bonus is, this comes in a large size so you can soften not just the face but the body too.
Lush now offers a preseravative-free option which uses tofu packed full of estrogen for the ladies out there that like a gentler scrub, and mango butter which enhances the already tropical fragrance and helps with preservation.
P.S. for even more softening I like to mix equal parts Ultrabland and Ocean Salt for a dual purpose face cleanser and makeup remover. Works wonders!
- All skin types but best for dry-normal skin, softening, soothing
Ultrabland was one of the first Lush cleansers from way back in the Cosmetics To Go days. Story has it that it was whipped up for one of the founders, Helen Ambrosen. This cleanser is advertised as a makeup remover as well. Although this does contain a low amount of parabens Ultrabland is so creamy and rich that I use it for everything (rashes, burns, bug bites, stings, peeling skin, eczema, lip balm). It has a beeswax base that acts as a humectant on the skin which is a fancy way of saying it seals in moisture and protects from outside elements that would cause dryness or irritation. Glycerine boosts the humectant qualities but also contributes softness. Its buttery texture is also obtained by the antibacterial honey and rich almond oil.
Thanks for reading! Hope you can find your Lush cleanser soul mate. PS: if you go to the shop you can ask for maybe one or two samples to try out a couple cleansers. It really makes a difference when choosing between two. But maybe your perfect skincare regimen could include more than one cleanser and that’s okay. The skin is your biggest organ and with all the damage its subjected to, a little pampering is deserved.