Thursday, August 30, 2007

Review: Lush Sandstone Soap

For those of us with oily skin or who work up a sweat regularly, body scrubs are the enemy. While the thought of sugary scrubs chock full of natural butters and oils is a nice one, in reality it means oil-slicked skin and body breakouts. If your body is producing a lot of oils naturally or because of exercise, the last thing you need is an oil-based scrub, but a little exfoliation with cleansing is always nice.

I have the problem of skin that's dry in some places (my arms and legs) and oily in others (my torso), exacerbated by daily sweaty workouts. Of the wonderful scrubs I've reviewed in the past, I'd never think to put them on my chest or back, though they work beautifully for combating my dry, itchy legs and arms. For the last few weeks I've been on a quest to find a product that would both cleanse and exfoliate without adding any unneeded oils to my skin. Liquid body washes are worthless in this realm, while loofahs attract germs and bacteria that can lead to more body breakouts if you don't replace them frequently. Many bar soaps contain gentle exfoliants like fruit pieces, but I wanted something that really felt scrubby, on par with my normal scrubs.

I checked out a couple of drugstore products, including Neutrogena's Body Clear scrub with Salicylic acid and exfoliating beads, but the scent was so strongly medicinal that I couldn't bring myself to shower in it. At Sephora, I came across a similar product by Peter Thomas Roth, but decided that a body wash would go to waste if I didn't use it with a loofah or washcloth, and I don't want to spend the time washing those every few days.

Resigned, I went into the Lush store to refill my stock of Sexy Peel soap (you can read my review here) when I noticed a stack of soaps that looked promising. It was called Sandstone, and as the saleswoman explained excitedly, "It contains the same fine sand that Brazilian women use to keep their skin smooth and gorgeous year round. You have noticed that Brazilian women always have amazing skin, right? You've seen Giselle?" "Uh, sure," I stammered, hoping to get out of this silly conversation as soon as possible.

I hate when salespeople give ridiculous pitches like this, so I put thoughts of Giselle out of my mind and asked more about the product. She assured me that the layer of sand wouldn't disintegrate under water or separate from the rest of the bar, but would come off gradually, depending on how hard you scrub with it. She said it's not very moisturizing (which is what I wanted) but that the lemon scent wasn't very strong (a bummer, since I love citrus).

Lush Sandstone Soap
is pricier than the other Lush soaps I've tried, which she attributed to the high price of Brazilian sand (which sounds like BS to me). Still, I was interested to see how it performed, so I bought a 4 oz bar and tried it out that night after I came home from the gym. She was right about the weak scent and the fact that it cut oil and sweat and I found it to be seriously exfoliating. Not in a bad way, because that's what I was looking for, but I was surprised by the strength of the sand. I found it was best to use the bar on it's side, to get more soap than sand. It was sudsy and I didn't need much to get a full body lather, and the sand really felt great when I massaged my back and arms.

Because the Sandstone is pricey, and because I do miss the amazing scent of my beloved Sexy Peel, I'm saving the Sandstone for post-workout showers, and using the Sexy Peel the rest of the time. I'm sad to report that after a week of use, I do not resemble a Brazilian model in any way, but I'd definitely recommend it for anyone looking for body exfoliation without the oil.


Kelly Mahoney said...

I love Lush stuff. I first wandered into a store when I was in England and I fell in love. Their products are generally a bit pricy, but I can't wait to get back home and go to the Lush in Marshal Field's (I refuse to call it by it's new name).

Red said...

I totally hear you about the ridiculous sales pitches at Lush. My friends and I dread going in there because we're always given the hard sell on products we don't need.

That said, I love some of their products. I have dry skin and I absolutely love the Lush product Buffy the Backside Slayer. It isn't a soap, but a great exfoliator and moisturizer in one. Presumably, it's only supposed to be used on your tuckus, but I use it everywhere and it's especially great to use before shaving my legs. It is perfect for the harsh New England winters when even the most oily-skinned gal gets dry.

I'm definitely going to try out Sandstone for my post-workout showers.

Rapunzel said...

I definitely love lush products, but do tend to find them a little pricy, escpecially considering that I love to make my own soap. When i want an exfoliating bar I like to put in ground oatmeal or almonds into a glycerin base and scent it with something heavenly for an exfoliating bar that won't dry me out or irritate my skin. I'm not sure i could use sand all over my body on a regular basis except for on my feet.

I know it's possible to find premade soaps with these ingredients as well.

And if you feel like a less oily sugar scrub it might work if you whip a glycerin based shower gel with just a little sweet almond (or other light) oil, then combine it with sugar, or even the chunky natural sugar. You could add a few drops of lemon, orange, or verbena oil since you love citrus so much.

augusta said...

Kelly,you must be from chicago, cause I also refuse to call marshall fields by any other name. For people who don't live in the chicagoland area, Marshall fields turned into (shudders) Macys a little more than a year ago

augusta said...

Meg, if you are looking for a scrub that does leave your skin feeling like you dipped yourself in a vat of crisco, try Philosophy's Margarita hot salt body scrub. I bought mine at sephora a couple a weeks ago mainly for the smell-and the price wasn't that bad for the amount I got (25 bucks). Its doesn't really get at hot as i would like, but its oil-free and it left my skin feeling nice and smooth.

Wintermute said...

I SOOOOOO HATE this particular Lush soap. I have been in love with Lush products for years and was excited to try an exfoliating soap. Needless to say, I ended up with a beach in my shower. And the saleslady who says that the sand doesn't easily separate from the bar? Liar! The sand was gone from my bar after three uses. Never again!
I hear ya on the pricey-ness of Lush soaps, but I liken them to Voss water...once you've had the best, its hard to use (or drink!) anything else.
Fortunately the sales people in San Francisco aren't so pushy...

becka said...

I too, feel a need to exfoliate when I shower. However, I've found that using regular old body wash on a scrubby glove works quite well.
You can get the glove for like, $2 at the drugstore, and because it is made of a loose-weave acrylic-ish fabric, it is very easy to thoroughly rinse in the shower. The loose-weave also helps it to dry quickly when you hang it up, unlike a loofah, which likes to hold the water inside of it to fester, and thus does not need to be replaced or specially washed all the time.