When you slather something on your body every day, you probably want to know what’s in it. That being said, ingredient labels these days certainly don’t make it easy. After all, who – other than a chemistry major – knows what the hell tetrasodium EDTA is? (Hint: it’s not something you’d put down on your grocery list.)
Behold: Lush Cosmetics. Founded in England and now based in Vancouver, Lush is a cosmetics company that uses only natural, ethically-sourced ingredients. Mark Constantine, the company’s founder, is a trichologist (someone who studies the health of hair and scalp), so it’s safe to say whatever goes into their products won’t burn your face off.
Lush’s tagline is “Fresh Handmade Cosmetics,” meaning they use no preservatives in the production of their soaps and makeup. The ingredients are plant-based, and Lush’s buyers make sure the components of their goodies – things like chocolate, avocados, bananas, and essential oils – are coming from places where farmers get a fair wage and no one’s getting exploited. Lush’s employees are paid fair living wages, and each of their products has a “face sticker” on it with the name and picture of who handmade it. But ethical practices aren’t limited to humans: Lush is also adamantly against animal testing. Every one of their products is stamped with their rabbit silhouette logo and the bold words, “FIGHTING ANIMAL TESTING.”
By the way, their products look and sound good enough to eat. Latté, a top-selling lip balm, promises to relieve dry, rough lips. And with ingredients like almond oil, icing sugar, and coffee, you’d be hard-pressed not to want to lick it right off. But the term “cosmetics” doesn’t only include stuff you put on your face. It includes your body and hair, too. Lush makes shower smoothies, bath bombs, henna hair dyes, and various other types of soaps and shampoos to get you clean without any nasty chemical side-effects.
The first time I personally visited a Lush store, having known nothing about the company, was in London’s Covent Garden Market. Upon entering the shop, I was immediately greeted by the most friendly salesperson I have ever encountered. He told me a bit about the company and offered a free sample of one of their yummy soaps. Not only is Lush super environmentally conscious, but they also treat their customers like gold. I ended up buying a dusting powder there called Karma, which has an earthy, hippie vibe, and I still use it to this day. Lush is slightly more expensive than your everyday drugstore brand, but the adage rings true: you get what you pay for.
Intrigued yet? Luckily for you, Lush spans the globe. With stores in cities from London to Philadelphia to Sydney, you’d have a hard time not finding one. Even if you don’t live in a sprawling metropolis, you can still get your hands on some goodies by going to their website and choosing your country. While you’re there, you can check out their Ingredient Finder detailing what exactly you’re rubbing all over yourself when you use their products.
If you’re SUPER impatient and can’t wait for UPS to deliver your Lush package, here’s a skincare DIY to hold you over:
Avocado Face Mask
Half an avocado
A teaspoon of lemon juice (if you have oily skin)
Sugar (for exfoliation)
In a bowl, mash up the avocado. Mix in the lemon juice and as much sugar as you’d like, depending on level of exfoliation. Rub the mixture on your face and neck, then rinse off after 15 minutes. Avocado is chock full of antioxidant vitamins A, D, and E which help your skin to retain elasticity and smoothness. Isn’t nature the best?