Are Lush Products All Natural and Organic?
Does It Matter If Lush Is All Natural?
I am a devout user of all-natural and, where possible, organic products as I believe they are healthier for your body and skin. Many of the ingredients placed in beauty products include chemicals that increase the shelf life of the product or other gross chemical agents you would not want on your body. For example, did you know that many soaps include chemicals designed to increase their lather, which they don't really need? These chemicals have been banned in other countries but are still widely used in the U.S. Some shampoos also contain numbing agents, which prevent your eyes from stinging if the chemicals get in your eyes.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in many products to extend shelf life by years. These chemicals mimic your body's hormones, disrupting the endocrine system, and have been linked to breast cancer, early puberty, and low sperm counts.
Foaming and lathering agents (SLS, sodium lauryl sulfate) has been found to be a major skin irritant. In addition, some studies show a link to cancer, but an actual causation has not been proven.
Differences Between Natural and Organic
Note that most companies cannot use the term "organic" without approval from the FDA—and even then, there are various types of "organic" certification. What organic will generally mean in regards to beauty care is that the plants and materials used to make the product were grown in a pesticide-free environment and were not exposed to chemicals that may remain on the plant after harvesting.
There is no board controlling the term "natural," but in general when people refer to natural products, they are referring to products created by nature and not synthesized in a laboratory.
Did You Know?
According to Mercola.com, the body can absorb as much as five pounds of cosmetic chemicals every year.
So Is Lush All Natural and Organic?
Lush doesn't claim to be organic anywhere on their site, so no, they are not. They wouldn't even be allowed to make that statement unless they were certified.
Lush also doesn't claim to be all natural, but has nevertheless earned a reputation as an all-natural beauty product company.
It's important to note that all of Lush's products are made with natural ingredients—but many also contain possibly harmful synthetics. The issue this long-time Lush consumer has with some of their products is that some of these synthetics include SLS and parabens.
Which Products Are Natural and Safe?
Some synthetic ingredients, such as baking soda, have been found to be safe.
Items which I feel comfortable purchasing and using on a regular basis include:
All of Their Bath Bombs = Safe
All of Lush's bath bombs are made with all-natural ingredients or safe synthetics, such as baking soda. The majority of ingredients in these items are baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), citric acid (edible powder found in many sour candies), and fragrance oils and coloring, depending on the bath bomb purchased.
In case you are unfamiliar with their bath bombs, they are scented, colored balls that you throw in your bath. While you are bathing, the bath bombs fizz in the water, releasing their beautiful fragrance and (depending on the bomb) a wonderful color, such as light pink.
All of Lush's Bath Melts = Safe
I am also comfortable using all of Lush's bath melts in addition to the bath bombs. I am not as comfortable using the "bubble bars" as those contains SLS. The bath melts however, do not foam but simply melt into your bathwater, and deliver natural effective moisturizing solutions to your skin. While these are all natural, I do shy away from one (Melting Marshmallow) scented with synthetic musk, which is rumored to be an endocrine disruptor.
My favorite is Dreamtime. While the sandalwood oil used in this is synthetic, I find that preferable as the synthetic version is not known to cause any reactions and helps the environment (sandalwood trees are experiencing massive deforestation for their oil).
Overall, the majority of Lush's products contain natural ingredients as well as safe synethics, but I personally prefer to avoid their shampoo and body wash line, which contains SLS, as well as some of their dusting powder,s which contain talc. Talc's tiny particles can become very dangerous to your lungs if inhaled.
It is very important to do your own research and buy only what you feel comfortable with based on that research. Do not rely on the Lush sales guys and gals—while these people are extremely friendly, I am a little saddened by how often they've given out poor advice. They've even told me they have occasionally eaten some of the products (which do smell good enough to eat—but absolutely should not be!). So above all, be smart about your purchases!
Learn More About What's in Your Products!
It's important to stay informed of potential toxic ingredients in your skincare products. Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary not only lists cosmetic ingredients you need to know about but also educates you on skin types, how different products interact with your skin, and much more.
This book has been a "Best Seller" for years for a reason. It's perfect for those interested in improving the health and appearance of their skin as well as a great resource for estheticians, dermatologists, and more.
© 2014 Halcyone