Sunday, February 11, 2007

Review: LUSH Sexy Peel soap and Each Peach massage bar

Last week I discussed my aversion to LUSH cosmetics due to their ugly website and logo, and how a trip to one of their stores only added to my confusion about the brand image. But marketing aside, LUSH is a company with a very devoted customer base (British fans threatened to protest when LUSH announced that it was discontinuing a product) and it can't be because they love hanging out in the stores or on the website.

I've been on a citrus kick lately (in my beauty products, not my food) and when I heard about LUSH's new Sexy Peel soap from Carla at Product Girl I couldn't wait to pick up a bar for myself. The soap is getting a lot of hype because of it's strong, true to life citrus scent, and all you have to do is unwrap the packaging to realize that this soap packs a punch. My bathroom now smells like grapefruits, lemons and limes all the time, whether I showered that day or not. One side of the bar is packed with citrus peels, and is great for exfoliation (though they're really not rough enough to use on elbows or feet), while the other side gives a nice, thick lather.

It's incredibly refreshing to use in the morning and after a workout, when the combination of steam and intense citrus scent is both soothing and energizing at once. Unfortunately, a fabulous in-shower experience is all you get with Sexy Peel, as the scent doesn't last and the soap adds little to no moisture to your skin (which is actually part of the reason why I like to use it after I get back from the gym, and why I'd recommend it for anyone who is prone to body breakouts). Because my legs, arms, feet and hands tend to get dry, I still have to apply my Olay Moisturinse, so if you've got dry skin and are short on time in the morning, this product wouldn't be good for you.

Because I loved the Sexy Peel scent so much, I went back to LUSH to check out some of their other citrus-scented products, and came across the Each Peach massage bar. While Sexy Peel just about hit you over the head with lemons, grapefruits and limes, the Each Peach (a deceptive and stupid name, since it doesn't contain peach products or scent) is much more subtle and layered, with oils of mandarin orange, Persian lime, red grapefruit and sweet orange melted into a cocoa, mango and shea butter base. While it's called a massage bar, it's essentially a solid lotion bar that you rub into your skin until your body heat warms the bar and you can massage it into your skin.

It's very relaxing to rub the bar into your body, and I can only imagine how much better it would feel to have someone else massage it on. As far as product effectiveness, Each Peach performs a lot better than Sexy Peel, though it's by no means great. I found it to be moisturizing, and the scent fairly long lasting (5-6 hours), but it just wasn't enough for driest areas. Again, this is a good moisturizer for someone with normal or mildly dry skin, but any more and you'll need to use multiple products.

Based on my experience with these two products, LUSH succeeds in creating products that are very enjoyable to use, but do little more beyond that. In addition, the unconventional packaging of the products (a solid lotion bar and a soap bar that doesn't have a standard size or shape) tend to cause some difficulties. For instance, after I use Each Peach, I don't really know what to do with it, because it will ruin the wood on my bedside table (and possibly melt, since it's near the heater) and I end up just putting it back in the bag it came from and stuffing it in a drawer. When I bought a 1/3 of a pound of the Sexy Peel soap, I didn't realize that the shape and size would make it impossible to fit in a soap dish, and it's a little awkward handling it in the shower (after a week of use it's gotten better, and I now know to only buy a very small size in the future). These aren't big issues, but they're slight annoyances that make you appreciate more traditionally packaged products. Still, they're fun to use, have fabulous scents and are relatively inexpensive for a specialty product, so I recommend them for anyone with low-maintenance skin.


haw said...

I picked up some sexy peel the other day. I totally agree, it smells REALLY good. I'm a little worried about the drying effect though- my skin is very sensitive.

Kai Jones said...

I buy a lump of soap and carve off about a week's worth at a time. The rest is wrapped in wax paper and then in a ziploc bag and stuck in the freezer to preserve freshness.