When you walk into a Lush store, there are bath bombs, soaps, and beauty products lining the walls and tables. All of your senses ignite, the gorgeous and bright colors are eye catching, the textures of the handmade soaps in your hands, and the amazing scents from all around the store…it’s gorgeous. Then an employee offers to demo the sparkly bath bomb…who honestly doesn’t love sparkles and smelly goods?!
Lush is basically a woman’s heaven.
That day, back in April, I got “Lush’d.” I spent over $100 on bath bombs, shampoo and conditioner, soap, and hot oil hair masks. You know exactly what I did that night, SPA NIGHT!
That night, as I was sitting in my $15 bath, and it wasn’t as glorious as I imagined. Quite frankly, the Rose aroma was overwhelming and chemically.
Naturally, I started looking up the ingredients of these *insert buzzwords* “Fresh, handmade, naked packaging, vegetarian, ethical buying, and fighting animal testing” products.
Here is just one example, The Rose Jam, which has the following ingredients that I am going to breakdown for ya, using ‘A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients.’
- Sodium Bicarbonate: “Bicarbonate of Soda. Baking Soda. Used in effervescent bath salts, mouthwashes, and skin-soothing powders. It is an alkali. Its white crystals or powder are used in baking powder, as a gastric antacid, as an alkaline wash, to treat burns. Essentially harmless to the skin, but when used on very dry skin in preparations that evaporate, it leaves an alkaline residue that may cause irritation.”
- Why is this ingredient less than ideal? This is the chemical name for baking soda, so it isn’t exactly a harmful chemical. But it can alter your pH and suppress your body’s ability to produce natural oils, which essentially dries your skin and hair out.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate: “The sodium salt of sulfated ethoxylated lauryl alcohol, widely used as a water softener and in baby and other nonirritating shampoos as a wetting and cleansing ingredient. Has caused eye and skin irritation in experimental animals and in some human test subjects. The irritant effects are similar to those produced by other detergents and are affected by concentration. On the basis of the available information, CIR Expert Panel found it safe in the early 1980s, but is considering new information to determine if the final safety assessment should be reaffirmed, amended, or have an addendum. See also Surfactants.”
- Surfactants: “These are wetting ingredients. They lower water’s surface tension permitting it to spread out and penetrate more easily. These surface-active ingredients are classified by whether or not they ionize in solution, and by the nature of their electrical charges. They are used for cosmetics where mildness is important, such as in shampoos and lotions.”
- Why are these chemicals less than ideal? Well other than being in your under-the-counter cleaning products, this is what allows your soap to become sudsy. But it also strips your skin and hair of its natural oils, just like sodium bicarbonate.
- Lauryl Betaine: “A common constituent of vegetable fats, especially coconut oil and laurel oil. Its derivatives are widely used as a base in the manufacture of soaps, detergents, and lauryl alcohol because of their foaming properties. A mild irritant but not a sensitizer.”
- Fragrance: “A natural or synthetic substance(s) used solely to impart an odor to a cosmetic product. May be used without describing what is actually in the compound. Fragrances are widely used in topical formulations, and can cause photoallergic or phototoxic reactions. There is a consumer movement to get the fragrance ingredients identified, but the manufacturers say they are protected under trade secretes.”
- Why this “ingredient” disturbs me the most? Manufacturers are protected, by the law, to put fragrance on the label without any explanation of what actually makes up the fragrance. This one word is and can be used to hide other chemicals that may be less than crowd-pleasing.
- Calcium Sodium Borosilicate: “The adult body contains about three pounds of calcium, 99% of which provides hardness for bones and teeth. Approximately 1 percent of calcium is distributed in body fluids, where it is essential for normal cell activity.”
- Tin Oxide: “A coloring ingredient and an abrasive in cosmetics. A brownish black powder insoluble in water.”
- Titanium Dioxide: “The greatest covering and tinting power of any white pigment used in bath powders, nail whites, depilatories, eyeliners, white eye shadows, antiperspirants, face powders, protective creams, liquid powders, lipsticks, hand lotions, and nail polish. Occurs naturally in three different crystal forms. Used chiefly as a white pigment and as an pacifier; also a white pigment for candy, gum, and marking ink. In high concentrations the dust may cause lung damage. Permanently listed for general cosmetic coloring in 1973.”
- Red 27/4/33: “Colorants used in the formulation of blushers, lipsticks, face powders, and other makeup products, as well as bath products. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep says it is toxic, although it is permitted by the FDA and the EU.”
- Why are dyes not so good? The above chemicals are synthetic dyes produced from petroleum and coal tar sources, why should we put any of these products on our body? They are inevitably going to soak into our skin, and end up in our blood stream.
So why am I writing this article? Like I mentioned previously, I got “Lush’d;” not just because I spent over $100 (which I ended up returning all of these products after a look-see at the ingredients), but because I fell for the marketing. I fell for the buzzwords, like handmade to equal natural. Just because something is handmade, doesn’t mean it has the best ingredients for your body. Just because the products were not animal-tested, it doesn’t mean these are quality products!!!
This not-so-lush shopping spree is what began my eye-opening experience to be more conscious and aware of what I have been putting on my body. I can’t wait to share with you all the changes that I have made that are not only cost-effective, but SAFE, PURE, WHOLESOME, AND NATURAL.
I hope you can take a look at your current products and become a curious consumer. Look at the ingredients, understand what they are, and purchase as an informed buyer.