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Lush’s Fresh Farmacy Cleanser — Miracle product or just soap?

July 18th, 2014 · No Comments · Personal Care, Reviews, Skin Care

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Lush-Fresh Farmacy

I visited a Lush in my neighborhood about two months ago to check out their skin care products. I felt like my skin care routine needed an overhaul and I wanted to phase out some products and replace them with more natural/green selections. Though I had been browsing in Lush boutiques for years, the only product I had ever purchased was the Ocean Salt Scrub (I will tell you about that in an upcoming post). But, this time, I planned to explore and bring home some new goodies.

I did a little research on the Lush site before heading to the store. Once there, I was accosted by a Lush sales associate who was all too eager to tell me all about everything Lush. He gave me the typical product demonstrations involving bowls of water and the back of my hand and told me how the products had really helped with his acne. (I guess his testimonial would have been believable if his skin had actually been flawless; it wasn’t).

Anyway, after spending time with him being “educated,” I relied mostly on my own knowledge of product ingredients and my skin to select a few products to investigate further. After reading quite a few ingredient lists, I decided to buy the Fresh Farmacy cleanser.

Fresh Farmacy, is a low-lather soap with a cutesy name. They create it in large hunks and slice off pieces that are sold by weight. The stuff is pretty pricey at $45/pound. Online they sell a 3.5 oz. piece for $9.95. The piece I bought was 4.64oz. (0.29 of a pound) and cost US$13.05. I forgot to take a picture, but it was about twice the size of the piece shown above. So not very large.


I choose the FF because it was marketed as a calamine-based cleanser that would be calming to skin & fight redness. According to Lush, it would also help resolve blemishes since it contained Tea Tree Oil.

Here is the complete ingredient list (in order as listed):

Lush Fresh Farmacy Cleanser Ingredients

Calamine Powder
Propylene Glycol
Chamomile Decoction (Anthemis nobilis)
Elderflower Decoction (Sambucus nigra)
Rapeseed Oil
Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Stearate
Sodium Hydroxide
Water (Aqua)
Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida)
Chamomile Blue Oil (Matricaria Chamomilla)
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia)
Sodium Chloride
Tetrasodium Etidronate

As you can gather from viewing this list, this soap isn’t exactly all-natural. It does contain some natural ingredients, but it is also composed of several synthetic ingredients. Or as Lush likes to call them, “safe synthetics.” I beg to differ.

Though I was looking for a more-natural cleanser, I decided to try this only because of the enthusiastic sales pitch and because I was also interested in seeing how my skin would react to this combination of natural ingredients (chamomile, rose absolute and tea tree oil). So, I used this soap consistently for almost two months until only a little sliver was left.


My thoughts? Hmmm…Fresh Farmacy was not impressive. I didn’t see any clearing of my blemishes while using this soap, in fact, I had a few more breakouts, (but they could have been due to a food allergy).  I felt the soap was soothing and mild, though I wasn’t crazy about the low-sudsing (I like lots of bubbles and foam when I use soap). I also noticed that the foam created by FF is directly correlated to the size of the piece of soap. Bigger piece = a little more foam. Small lil’ piece = hardly any foam.

And there was yet another dealbreaker: increased oiliness. After washing with this soap, my face would become pretty shiny within about 1 hour or so. I thought the calamine powder would help dry out/soak up oil, but it seemed to disrupt my skin’s moisture balance causing more oiliness. This happened whether I used other products right after or not.

All in all, I felt that this soap might benefit those that have inflammed, red skin that needs to be calmed, but I did not see any dramatic results when it came to diminishing acne blemishes.

TCS verdict (2.5/5 stars): I just wasn’t that impressed. It did not resolve my skin issues and caused more oil slicks. Plus, it is expensive and is not all-natural. I would not purchase again. Those with sensitive, dry skin may want to try it.

Reviews of Lush’s Aqua Marina cleanser, Tea Tree Water toner and Ocean Salt scrub coming soon.

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