Lush Cosmetics have always been a brand that likes to push boundaries. They are not afraid to fight for what they believe in whether it’s paying their workers a fair wage, never ever testing on animals or sourcing ingredients ethically. Lush is a company that cares about the world as a whole so it comes to no surprise that when it comes to recycling and reducing waste – Lush is all about it. For years now we’ve been treated to naked products, products which have zero packaging, whether it’s in the form of a bath bomb, bubble bar, massage bar or even shampoo and conditioner. Lush loves to reduce their waste and the majority of their customers are all for reducing their impact on our planet. But when Lush announced a whole new range of naked products, in the form of naked shower gels, shower cream, body lotions and body conditioners the social media world was left a little befuddled. To clarify, a naked shower gel is a shower gel with zero packaging at all. Sounds a bit like soap? How does it even work? These were the questions asked all over Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and many were left feeling a little apprehensive on the whole thing. Being a long-time Lush fan, I was intrigued and had to get in on the action. So I have tried and tested these products to answer these questions for you, and if they don’t sound like the products for you – don’t fear! Each product is available in it’s potted, liquid version too.
So other than the obvious environmental benefits – why go naked? Well, as the products are solid and not in liquid form, bacteria cannot grow inside them meaning there are zero preservatives. As well as this, 40-50% of the cost in producing products also accounts for packaging. By eliminating this costly need, Lush can focus on obtaining better quality ingredients and can therefore produce a higher calibre of product. If the shower gels are truly a success, this could impact so much more than reducing plastic waste.
So how do these elusive shower gels actually work? Well the answer is pretty much exactly the same as normal shower gel. Their formula is actually the same as their liquid counterparts minus water and completely different to soap. The formula is highly concentrated and once they hydrate by hitting the water – they lather up just like a shower gel. You only need a little bit and because you can’t accidentally squeeze too much out as it’s not a liquid, they last just as long and perhaps even longer than the shower gels we know and love. Lush claims that their naked products work just as well and in fact much better than the packaged versions.
I decided to go hard and purchase the products I would normally have bought in their naked form as well as the new Santa’s Christmas Shower Cream. Each is solid and heavy; shaped like a bottle with a black wax cap to look like a normal shower gel. I was told in store I needn’t worry about a soap dish as the product doesn’t melt and harden on the side when drying so I also decided to put this to the test. Each naked version is also 25p less than the bottled which I guess is a small incentive to opt for no packaging.
Using them couldn’t be simpler, wet the skin and gently rub the product in a circular motion to build up a soft lather. In no time at all you have a tonne of lather to wash your body. I definitely found myself using less than I normally would have and my skin felt so soft. There was definitely no squeaky feeling and I could feel the formula was very different to soap. I then left the shower gel on the side of the bath, away from the shower head, to dry and checked up on it a few hours later. Did it stick to the side of the bath? Sort of but not like soap.
Unlike soap which you literally have to pull from the side of the tub if it dries onto it, the naked shower gels simply lifts off. Each time I found a small amount of residue on the bottom which was very easy to clean and it was quite minimal. This is down to any left over residue of shower gel from the base of the product. I also decided to leave my shower gel on the side of the tub when not in use to see what happens when other people shower. This would obviously release some product from the naked gel, creating a little run off onto the tub. If you are going to keep these in the bathroom, you can keep them on the tub but keep them directly away from water i.e. not under the shower head. If this is not an option, or your partner has a special ability to get water everywhere when in the shower, you might want to think about taking it out when not in use.
Once my solid gels have dried, I wrap mine in wax paper or Lush soap wrapping paper just to protect them and keep them in a drawer when I’m swapping my shower gels around. Otherwise I just keep mine on the far corner of the bathtub. If you buy from store, they wrap them up in the soap paper but if you buy online they will arrive entirely naked.
Rose Jam Shower Gel – £10.75
Rose Jam is an absolute Christmas staple and I always find myself stashing away a bottle or two to use in the Spring time. Lush describes this naked gel as:
Jam packed with rose absolute and rose oil from damask roses picked by hand in Senir, Turkey, this sweet little Christmas classic just got naked. With comforting vanilla pod infusion and soothing cypress oil, this Christmas is sure to be saucy, or should we say… jammy? Work up a lather and use as you would a normal shower gel for a perfectly perfumed cleanse.
The fragrance on this naked gel is so strong. It fills the bathroom, it stays on the skin and is arguably stronger than the bottled version. It lathers up beautifully and leaves your skin feeling refreshed yet soft. I found the bottom of this naked gel took a little longer to dry than the others and when it arrived in the parcel it was slightly melty. Popping it in the fridge sorted that right out, but when not using it I definitely recommend wrapping it when keeping it in storage.
Snow Fairy Shower Gel – £8.25
The reining queen of Christmas has got to be Snow Fairy and I feel like this would have made an excellent shower cream rather than a gel. Lush describes this naked gel as:
The Snow Fairy is out of the bottle and there is no stopping her. She is off on her travels around the bon-bon kingdom! There are no restrictions on these naked lollipop lathers so summon sweet showers anytime and anywhere and douse yourself in cleansing candy floss clouds. Turn your shower into a fairytale fairground and bad moods will flitter away on a bubblegum breeze.
Out of all the naked gels I feel like this one was my favourite and not because it’s Snow Fairy. I feel like the formula is pretty spot on, it lathers really well and it doesn’t take long to dry. The fragrance is strong and lasts well on the skin. Like all the others it does slightly stick to the side of the tub but it didn’t wear down quickly at all, it still looks brand new after a weeks use. Like soap, the lustre on the outside washed off completely after a few uses. So if you prefer your Snow Fairy shimmery, you might prefer the bottled version.
Santa’s Christmas Shower Cream – £10.75
I pretty much scared the Lush employee as I jumped up and down when I realised this shower cream shared it’s fragrance with the Santa Baby Lip Scrub. I have always loved the sweet, cola like fragrance. Lush describes this naked cream as:
Delivering presents to every child is a rewarding, but arduous job. So the other 364 days of the year Santa jets off for some well-deserved holiday bliss. Getting through security with his favourite shower cream can be a pain, though. So one day he got his elves to whip up a packaging free version to make travelling a breeze!
Now he can enjoy the warm climate of Italy without having to worry about drawing too much attention to himself. Be naked, sweet, and free – like Santa.
I really enjoyed using this cream but it sadly didn’t blow me away. The fragrance was really strong in my bathroom but it’s also so delicate that it was lost on my skin not long after my shower. When using this with other lush items in the tub, you lose the scent completely. That being said, the fragrance does awaken the more you use the naked cream and it feels wonderful on the skin. I really love the solid formula and actually prefer it to the bottled shower creams which are notoriously runny and I get through them super quickly. But I also love my Lush shower gels because the fragrance is always so strong. So although I love using it in the shower, I probably would repurchase the bottled gel instead.
Twilight Shower Gel – £9.75
Twilight is one of my all time favourite Lush scents so I absolutely had to try it in it’s solid form. Lush describes this naked gel as:
Snuggle up with a malty blend of tonka and lavender. If you’ve had a hectic day and need a chance to relax, this naked shower gel is bound to do the trick to ease stress and calm moods. Lavender is incredibly calming and gentle on the skin and is known to reduce stress. Warm tonka and vanilla comfort and soothe skin while ylang ylang floats gently by and leaves you feeling restored.
This solid gel felt a little different to the others, it felt a lot squishier like it wasn’t entirely hard. This meant that it produced a lot of lather which was highly fragranced with the twilight scent. However I found it started to wear away much quicker than the others and I was really careful to keep this one dry. You 100% definitely need to wrap this one up as well if keeping it in your stash. I really enjoyed how softening it felt on my skin and the fragrance was really long lasting. However compared to all the other gels I tried, the formula was definitely not as long lasting so I recommend the bottled version of this lavender and tonka gel.
My overall verdict is that I like them, I really do. I honestly think they are not for everyone and though they are advertised for travelling – you better hope you have time to dry them before you pack off and go. They couldn’t replace bottled shower gels for me completely as I can’t exactly pop one in my gym bag as drying them is such a huge factor of their functionality. That being said, I think they are a really good idea and they are truly spot on in saying these are different to soap. They are not soap, they are entirely different to soap, they feel so much better on the skin. I personally hate using soap on my body and don’t buy it and this is a fantastic alternative. I enjoy using them, I actually really like the way they work and would repurchase them in the future.
However being a new product, the formula does need a little tweaking to be consistent. For example Snow Fairy and Rose Jam are fantastic, yet Twilight was just so squishy. They are also very affected by temperature and do melt a little when they are shipped out. If you can get them in store, I would recommend doing so over ordering them online as they will wrap them for you. Otherwise you do run the risk of some melty gels and if you are ordering to a warm climate, you might not want to order anything else with them.
If you are on the fence about these naked gels or simply hate the look of them, I do recommend giving them a go. Not only does Lush have a fantastic returns policy so that if it doesn’t work for you, you can return them, they might just surprise you. These are an environmental game changer, innovative, fun and something different to try.
Emily Mae x