Posts tagged ‘Health’

December 7, 2010

LUSH Herbalism: a rambling review

Hello, Mr. Bump! He sits on my desk and watches me pretend to work. (I’m pretending to work now. Shh, don’t tell anyone.) Sometimes he gets bumped by my notes. Such trials and tribulations has he! Right now, he is beaming down at my new Lush stash; my regime for happy skin.

The weather is getting more humid, which means that my skin stops behaving. I suspect it’s trying to be nice and give me a lovely summery glow, but I just end up looking like a bad impersonation of a headlight. With blackheads.

Sadly, this means an on-and-off hiatus from part of my skincare regime for about five months. And it’s my favourite part, too: Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin, which I wrote about here. In the cooler months, I use Angels on Bare Skin almost every day, going to Aqua Marina when my skin needs a break from Angels on Bare Skin. Now that summer is here, though, Aqua Marina takes the place of Angels on Bare Skin, and I use Herbalism once or twice a week, particularly on the days I happen to wear makeup.

My, that sounded complicated, but it’s really not.

I know that quite a few people complain about the expiry dates when it comes to Lush’s cleansers (they officially last three months, but I’ve found that they’re good for a bit longer than that), but I find that the short expiry dates let me play around and tweak my skincare regime as required, without having lots of half-empty bottles lying around my bathroom. I’m on my last dribs and drabs of Angels on Bare Skin, and have just bought a fresh pot of Aqua Marina and Herbalism to last me till April. And by April, I’ll probably need Angels on Bare Skin, so it all works out terribly neatly.

I love it when things work out terribly neatly. I also like it when my lunch boxes are more or less the exact size for whatever food I’m bringing. Those moments are, in a word, awesome. It’s like efficiency in a little effortless tub; an illusion of natural precision and efficacy, like how God made bananas to fit our fingers.

So I’m now armed with my terribly neat, terribly efficient, terribly Holy Banana-like skincare.  This is what the contents look like:

…Basically like the Lush stock pictures, actually, except my Herbalism is all powdery and clumpy and theirs sticks together in a tidy little roll.

(Oh my god, it looks like I’m growing mouldy scone flour in the Herbalism tub 0.0.)

I’ve written about Aqua Marina before, so this post will focus mainly on Herbalism. Which smells really strange, by the way. I always find it difficult to switch from Angels on Bare Skin to Herbalism. Angels on Bare Skin smells… earthy, a little lavender-y, generally inoffensive.


Herbalism smells like vinegar on crack. And then the vinegar ran out of crack and attacked your herb garden with a particular vendetta against sage.

The stuff smells weird.

But it works quite well to control oil. The Lush website has this description:

When you see this you may question our claim that our new skincare products are the most beautiful we have ever made, but once you use it you will understand. Herbalism is named after the powdered herbs which give it a dark green colour and which also give it the power to keep your skin calm and free of irritation. We use cleansing nettle, which is full of vitamins, chamomile for its soothing properties and astringent rosemary to tone the skin. China clay gently cleanses away excess oil and a gentle exfoliating mix of ground almonds and rice bran keeps your skin fresh. We make this wash for more oily skin which is difficult to keep clear; use it and you’ll find that it makes a big difference. (100g lasts for ages as you only need a fingertip-full each time you wash with it.)












Darn tootin’ I’m questioning your claim re. beauty. Every summer, when I open the tub after a long holiday away from Herbalism, I wonder precisely why I think the stuff works. It looks like crumbled Hulk. (Which, okay, is kind of awesome because that would be rather amusing.)

As with most Lush cleansers, Herbalism is a bit fiddly to use. You need to grab a little pea-sized amount, mush it in a few droplets of water to create a paste, and then put the stuff on your face. It’s moderately exfoliating but not intensely so (although I am a shower-violence kind of person when it comes to scrubbies, so don’t trust my judgment completely), and zaps most of the oil from my skin — enough so that I’m not a walking glowstick, but not so much that my skin feels (worryingly) squeaky-clean.

As per usual with skincare and cosmetics, YMMV. I’ve heard of people breaking out from Herbalism; I’ve also heard of Herbalism being the Holy Grail of skincare. If you are curious, Lush is generally very good at handing out samples and doing demonstrations, so do give it a whirl. It may smell rather strange at first, but you will probably get accustomed to it after regular use.