The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Lush is (not so) luscious August 20, 2009

Filed under: Beauty,Cool sites,Products,Tips — Alden @ 1:56 am

lush-handy-gurugu“Lush,” up until a week ago, to me meant a girl who can’t hold her liquor. There’s an off-campus house at Washington and Lee called Lushville, name after its original female occupants. Or was. I think the name has since been changed by the boys who live there.

But this week I saw a couple tweets roll past about Lush giving up palm oil in all their products. I didn’t know this, but apparently there is just no way to grow palm oil sustainably. Currently it’s used in lotions and even in candy, as a filler. Gross?

Anyway, Lush has sent out letters to a bunch of other brands that use it, and now Cadbury is dropping it too after protests from consumers.

Walking home that day, through the cluster-muck of tourists at 33rd and Broadway, I saw the Lush storefront and decided to wander inside. It’s a cute little store, jam-packed with soaps that look more like blocks of fudge and bins of fizzy bath balls shaped like scoops of ice cream.

I needed some hand lotion, so I picked out a little tub of Handy Gurugu. The smell is basic and earthy, a far cry from my preferred perfume. But the feel is luxurious, if a little greasy. The ingredients include cashew nut butter, fresh lemon juice, fair trade organic shea butter, organic almond butter, and lots of other yummy sounding stuff. I wouldn’t call it completely organic, because it’s got stuff like cetearyl alchohol.

Huh, cetearyl alcohol.

I just looked up Lush on the iPhone app Good Guide. 6 out of 10. Jergens gets 5.7 for its lotion.  And Oil of Olay gets 6.8. Avalon Organics lotion gets 7.4, which totally makes sense because it’s a wonderful company. So even though Lush uses organic ingredients, it’s still ranking low on the Good Guide compared to non-organic brands.

Hmmm, lemme look it up on Skin Deep. (Found via the Natural Living Blog.) This place lets you look up your products to see where they rank in safety. Lush ranks anywhere from moderate to high hazard for its product. I looked up the soap, since the lotion isn’t in there, and I found it has a moderate rating.

So, these are the things that are scary about Lush’s lotion. It contains perfume (moderate indication of neurotoxicity), benzyl alcohol (toxicity, and lots of other scary stuff), coumarin (neurotoxic and organ toxic), farnesol (banned by the EU)…I mean, do I need to keep going?

That is just so disappointing. So what do I do now? I’m not throwing it out. I just bought it! Next time, I’ll do my research before hand.

Hey there Lush, if you pick up on this post, just know that I won’t be buying your yummy-looking stuff anymore. You got a few bucks out of me with your palm oil stunt, but you’ll have to do more.

Update: sent to me via Twitter from @Organic Lifestyle, another poor review of Lush, and a little bit meaner too, heh.

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2 Responses to “Lush is (not so) luscious”

  1. Nicole Says:

    Re: Perfume/fragrance and neurotoxicity. For perfumes and fragrances, companies don’t have to list the ingredients because they’re considered trade secrets. So really, it’s just an estimation because for all we know, the perfume or fragrance could be mostly made from essential oils or whatever.

    Not defending those companies (I have to buy unscented stuff, normally), just pointing that out.


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