A Word On Preservative Free
Normally, when Mr. Ducky and I see products that say preservative free, we have a major freak out!
A Little Science Lesson
Preservatives prevent the growth of microbes like mold, yeast or bacteria. A beauty product containing water is going to need a preservative, or it will find itself hosting a wild party of bad microbes.
You see, microbes love water and beauty products contain a lot of it. Read the label on the back of a beauty product; if ingredients include water (sometimes listed as aqua for all you Latin speakers) , you’ll need a preservative to prevent these critters from taking over. Water lubricates life, even for the microscopic. And just like their happy human counterparts, a bacteria with nothing to inhibit it will have food, hanky-panky, and babies – all in your cosmetic. Ick.
So why was I cool as cucumber when I heard LUSH’s products were preservative free? Because LUSH’s innovative approach includes turning products that typically contain liquid, SOLID. That’s right. Without water, microbes don’t have the energy for a party hard lifestyle. Instead of running amuck, they peter out and die. So smart!
LUSH’s Solid & Preservative Free Products
#1: Solid Shampoo
Reminiscent of the colorful macaroons found in French bakeries, the solid shampoos were not only eye-catching, but smelled brilliant! “They look good enough to eat, though I wouldn’t recommend it,” laughs Kelly. I inspect one, and ask her how many washes per macaroon…er…solid shampoo. “60-80 washes!” she says, and I’m immediately blown away by the response. “One of these (solid shampoo bars) equals three 8.8 oz liquid shampoo bottles”. Talk about reducing landfill!
#2: Massage Bars
“You’re going to love these,” says Kelly as she leads me over to a tray of pastel colored bars. These massage bars are made with cocoa and shea butter, and have the same moisturizing properties as a lotion, though they contain no water. In the cosmetic world, butters are another word for fats that remain solid at room temperature (70 F/21C).
This works perfectly for their massage bars, which melt at the touch of bare skin (98.6F/37C). The products are super-relaxing and great after an evening bath or for getting a massage with a partner!
#3: Toothy Tabs
A solid toothpaste. That’s right. You heard it here first (or at least I did). These little tablets contain sodium bicarbonate – also known as baking soda – as a principal ingredient! Its property as a base helps clean the mouth by neutralizing acids. Wet the brush with a little water and pop a tablet in your mouth; the baking soda will react with the water, giving your mouth a carbonated tingle. Ahhh!
Toothy tabs are great for travel and come in unique names and flavors like Chou Chou…I Love You (rose and lemon peel), Aquatic (jasmine, lime and green tea), and Kelly’s favorite, Sparkle (lemon, vanilla and black pepper).
#4: Powdered Deodorants
My cameraman mouths, “Are you really going to do this in public?” Kelly hands me the powdered deodorant and encourages me to powder my pits in the store. I hesitate for a second… then do it anyway, feeling the worst that can happen is a brief second of hair on camera if I’ve forgotten to shave.
As with all LUSH products I encountered, the smell of their Coconut Deo is amazing. I am instantly transported to tropical beaches, and don’t check out of paradise ‘til I realize some powder has fallen on my shoes. “It’s also great for deodorizing shoes,” says Kelly, which seems to get the in-store patrons laughing. For those concerned about aluminum in anti-perspirants, the powdered deodorants are appealing despite a little loose dust. :)
#5: Cleansing Rolls
“What is this?” I ask. It turns out it’s an example of how preservative free has led to a product I have never seen before: cleanser rolls. Sort of like a less uptight version of the jelly roll, these cleansers are a mixture of clays, oils and fragrances. Customers can pick from a variety of cleansers – absent of soap – that either absorb excess oil or add it back, based on your skin condition (oily or dry).
With so many attractive, aromatic and effective preservative free offerings (69% of LUSH’s product line), there wasn’t enough time for me to try them all. Among the other exciting items to choose from:
THE MS. BEAUTYPHILE BREAKDOWN – LUSH Preservative Free Cosmetics
- Solid Shampoos
- Lasts 60-80 washes
- One solid shampoo bar equals three 8.8 oz liquid shampoo bottles
- Unpackaged to reduce waste
- More formulation means more bang for your buck
- Massage Bars
- Main ingredients are cocoa and shea butter
- Has same moisturizing properties as a lotion
- Uses solid fats called butters, that are solid at room temp and melt at skin temp
- Great after an evening bath or massage with a partner
- Toothy Tabs
- Contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a principal ingredient
- It’s a base and helps clean the mouth by neutralizing acids
- Baking soda reacts with water to give your mouth carbonated tingle
- Great for travel and comes in unique flavor
- Powdered Deodorants
- Coconut deodorant was scented nicely
- Excess powder is common after applying
- Use to deodorize shoes or dust body
- Cleansing Rolls
- A mixture of clays, oils and fragrances
- Does not contain soap or a detergent based cleanser
- Comes in an array of options
*A key reason why it’s important for LUSH to keep their products “fresh” (no products on shelves for over 6 months and expiration dates within a year) is because of their low to no preservative approach. While some see the shorter expiration as a minus, others see it as proof that LUSH’s products are as minimal as possible.