We used to get the bus into town when I was a teenager and head straight for the nearest LUSH cosmetics store in Cheltenham. It was our Saturday treat and frankly, quite needed after that slow coach ride in!
images : lush
You could smell the shop before you saw it to be fair but once inside it was like entering a delicious sweet shop for your body and face. Reasonably priced and a great introduction to skincare for young people, Lush cosmetics were quite the talk of the town. Their USP was and still is to design and create natural cosmetics from fresh ingredients right in front of you like an irresistible deli for face and body. Like a lot of people I reached an age where I didn’t like Lush that much anymore and moved on to some more expensive products with more glossy results.
The Lush brand had totally slipped to the back of my mind until a few months ago when I saw an ad for them in France so I decided to have a poke around and see what was new in the natural cosmetics world. Gone are the days of stinking, foaming bath bombs smelling of tutti frutti ice creams and the like, Lush have some luxurious products alongside the original teen treats. There was one product in particular that caught my eye and that’s Aqua Marina algae cleanser, so I thought I’d give it a test run.
The first thing to note is the excellent freebies and recycling incentives Lush offer. So, I ordered one pot of Aqua Marina 100g size ( which lasts forever ) and had the choice of trying out a few other products for free, up to three in fact. I selected Dream Cream, Shangri La and some solid shampoo. I have had way too many highlights to be even considering solid shampoo but the dream cream body moisturiser was lovely and silky and the Shangri La absolutely rich and moisturising as promised. You can also claim a free face mask by sending in your empty pots.
The Aqua Marina cleanser has but 13 ingredients including Aloe Vera gel, calamine and Irish moss. All the reviews on this product talk about the calming effect it has on skin, great for acne, great for sensitive skin. Randomly, natural skincare products can bring me out in a rash so I always proceed with caution. Apparently it is something to do with the natural preservatives but I seemed to be ok with this product.
Above Photos : Lush Cosmetics
The smell of the Aqua Marina paste is fresh, powder puffy and clean. It has that warm dusky pink colour of natural calamine with big pieces of seaweedy stuff in it. You simply take a small amount on the palm of your hand, mix it with water and then massage into your skin and rinse. It does a great job of cleansing leaving skin squeaky clean but not too dry. I’m a fan of cleansing oils and balms so I wasn’t sure if I would like this but actually it made rather a refreshing change and with a touch of seasalt, was mildly exfoliating too.
“as fresh as the sea” Lush say, they’re not far wrong
What I will say is after many many years of trying and buying all kinds of products for face and body, the natural skincare world can seem a bit, well, unpolished. Try to cast your mind away from the hairy armpits and stripy trouser brigade and think more Gwynnie and the Goop gang who are advocates of the natural, toxin free skincare movement. Surprise yourself, you might well like the fact that what you’re putting on your face is free from many harmful chemicals and preservatives. I’m pleased I rediscovered Lush and might well be revisiting for some natural face love again soon.