Hair, Shampoo, Shampoo Bars

Dear John Coffee Shampoo Bar

As someone who uses stimulating shampoos and hair products such as New, Wasabi Shan Kui and Roots, I’ve often wondered why Lush don’t have a coffee-based shampoo bar as apparently caffeine is one of the best ingredients to promote hair growth and you so often see it used by other brands in their products. Cue the arrival of Dear John, a limited edition coffee-based shampoo bar.

The Dear John scent is an excellent fragrance to choose for a coffee shampoo as Lush actually describe it as having notes of coffee itself, without actually containing the ingredient; it’s actually Cedarwood, Clove, Vetivert and Coriander that make up the scent.

Why coffee is so often used in hair products is because of its caffeine content. It’s widely known that caffeine is an effective stimulant on the brain, but it has the same effect on the hair follicles too, increasing the blood flow to the area and encouraging hair growth. Caffeine also blocks the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a key player in causing male-pattern baldness. Lush have added both Caffeine Powder as well as Ground Coffee to this shampoo bar. The coffee grains actually act as an exfoliant on the scalp, removing buildup on the scalp and dead skin cells. Plus, every time you scrub away the dead skin, new cells will push out thicker, stronger hair.

As well as the coffee, the ingredients of the actual Dear John scent also have great effects on the hair. Cedarwood is antiseptic and balancing, helping control oil production whilst Coriander, Clove and Vetivert are all known to have stimulating effects too, boosting the overall desired effect of the product.

Other than its stimulating effects, Dear John is actually a great shampoo for adding shine  to the hair too. Coffee is more acidic than the hair’s natural oils which encourages the hair cuticles to remain flat, thereby reflecting more light than usual. Dear John also contains Molasses, which is very similar to honey in the way it helps to retain moisture into the hair and gives it a gorgeous glow and shine.  Lastly, Dear John Coffee Shampoo Bar contains Aloe Vera Extract, which is soothing and calming. Perfect for any irritation you may be coping with on your scalp.

After using this shampoo bar in the shower, I’ve definitely noticed it’s slightly more hydrating than New Shampoo Bar and smells so good when it’s in use. The ground coffee can take a while to totally wash out but it’s not hugely annoying. I notice my hair is a lot more sleek and shiny each time I wash with it. Sadly I can’t really say if it’s really helping with my hair growth as I’m using so many products that all have that same benefit, so it’s too difficult to say. I am loving using it though, that’s for sure.

Ingredients

Sodium Coco Sulfate, Fair Trade Organic Clove Infusion, Perfume, Ground Coffee, Cocoa Powder, Whole Coffee Beans, Cedarwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Molasses, Aloe Vera Extract, Caffeine Powder, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool

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Shower, Shower Gels & Creams

Dear John Naked Shower Gel

Like with most of Lush’s limited edition shower gels, when they bought out Dear John Shower Gel for this year’s Father’s Day, they released a naked and packaging free version alongside it.

To create a naked shower gel, Lush make a few changes to their liquid formulas to create a solid version. The main change is the addition of an ingredient called Sodium Stearate which is a fine, white powder and the sodium salt of vegetable-derived stearic acid, an emulsifier. It stabilises and thickens the mixture, allowing it to retain its solid state. I do find that unlike a lot of soaps, naked shower gels offer a much creamier lather that doesn’t leave you feeling squeaky clean.

Like the liquid variety and all Dear John scented products, the naked shower gel contains Coriander Seed Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Cedarwood Oil and Vetivert Oil to make up the cosy and warm scent that’s inspired by Lush co-founder Mark’s idea of what a father smells like. To my nose, both versions of this shower gel are slightly different. With the liquid there’s sharper, citrusy undertones but I find that in the naked version, that side of the scent is quite muted in comparison. Nevertheless, at it’s heart it’s still the same scent I’ve really grown to love. Coriander, Clove and Vetivert are all known for their warming and stimulating effects on the skin, and Cedarwood is great for balancing and toning.

When it comes to actually using a naked shower gel, essentially it works like a bar of soap does. However, due to its size and the fact it lasts forever, I prefer to cut mine up into smaller chunks to make it easier to use in the shower. That way you can avoid creating a mess by keeping a piece in a black pot in your shower and storing the rest away until needed. Dear John Naked Shower Gel lathers up nicely and produces fairly creamy and soft lather.

In comparison to the liquid variety, I definitely find that this naked version is truer to the deep and complex scent of the perfume, especially under the heat of the water. I think I prefer that side of the scent rather than the citrusy notes the liquid gives so I’m often opting for this version over the other.  I definitely notice that the naked shower gel leaves me feeling softer and slightly more hydrated once I’m out and dry but in terms of scent staying power, the liquid shower gel wins.

It’s a hard decision to choose which variety is my favourite but I think I’m going to have to say I’m actually liking the naked more. What does everyone else think?

Ingredients

Propylene Glycol, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerine, Fresh Coriander and Fair Trade Organic Clove Extract, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Perfume, Cedarwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 42090, Colour 42090:2, Colour 17200

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Shower, Shower Gels & Creams

Dear John Shower Gel

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the new Dear John range for this year’s Fathers Day had really helped me fall in love with the scent. I can’t believe I didn’t used to like it! Along with a bath bomb and a shampoo bar, Lush also released both a bottled and a naked shower gel.

Dear John Shower Gel obviously contains the four ingredients that make up the warm and comforting scent. Cedarwood and Vetivert Oils are what give earthy and tobacco-like notes to the fragrance. Cedarwood has a comforting balsamic aroma with earthy undertones which is often used in aromatherapy to relax and calm the mind. This ancient, antiseptic and astringent oil tones the skin and helps to balance sebum production. Vetivert is a tall grass found growing in India and yields an oil with an earthy and smoky aroma. Vetivert is known as ‘the oil of tranquility’ because of its deeply relaxing effect on the mind and body. In skincare, it’s recommended for weak and tired skin and to warm muscular tension.

Coriander has a spicy, woody yet somewhat sweet aroma and this shower gel contains both Coriander Seed Oil and Fresh Coriander Infusion. Coriander is great for its stimulating and warming effect on the mind and on the blood flow. It has also an analgesic effect on the muscles, as well as antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Similarly, Dear John contains both Clove Bud Oil and a Clove Infusion to add spice and warmth. Clove also has stimulating effects to boost circulation.

In the shower, Dear John lathers up well and I find that it feels rather silky on the skin. I can definitely smell more of the zesty citrus notes whilst it’s under the hot water, adding an interesting new level to the fragrance. It’s actually a fairly powerful scent when it’s in use! I also love how vibrant the blue colour is once you’ve got it out of the bottle, a lot lighter than you’d originally think.

After my shower was over, I was glad to still be smelling the scent on my skin a good few hours later and my skin was feeling smooth and well cleansed. I’m loving using this shower gel in conjunction with the Dear John Shampoo Bar and Perfume to layer up the scent and really cover myself in the gorgeous aroma. If you’ve not got your hands on this gel yet, I’d definitely recommend doing so!

Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Fresh Coriander Infusion, Fair Trade Organic Clove Infusion, Perfume, Lauryl Betaine, Cedarwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Lactic Acid, Water, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 42090, Colour 17200

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Bath, Bath Bombs

Dear John Bath Bomb

Dear John Bath Bomb is one of many products released for this year’s Father’s Day that as the name suggests, share the beautiful Dear John scent. Although it looks fairly dull, it features a deep blue centre and the ink splodges on top are reminiscent of the pattern covering the cover of Mark Constantine’s autobiography, Dear John: The Road To Pelindaba and the pattern on the old style perfume bottles.

The Dear John scent has a touching story behind it, which you can read more about over at my post for the Dear John Perfume. The scent is a comforting and complex scent that Lush describe as having notes of coffee, coriander, lime and tobacco inspired by warm hugs of a typical fatherly figure. Tobacco-like notes come from earthy and woody Cedarwood Oil and smoky, meditative Vetivert Oil. Coriander Oil and Clove Bud Oil add sharp, spicy and warmer notes to round the fragrance off. I wasn’t sure of the scent at first but I’ve really fallen in love with how snug and warm it makes me feel.

Most of these ingredients are thought to have stimulating effects on the skin, so Dear John is great for relaxing tired muscles.

Whilst the bath bomb itself smells exactly like the perfume, I found in the water the earthy undertones almost took over, which definitely wasn’t a bad thing, I was just impressed at how strong the scent remained throughout my bath!

Once dropped into the tub, there’s a few seconds of pure white foam before the inky blue colour started seeping out into the water. Dear John isn’t exactly a slow fizzer and doesn’t create an immense amount of bath art but the display it put on was still nice to watch. Something about the contrast between the deep blue and the white was really calming. After it’s fully dissolved you’re left with that gorgeous deep blue colour filling the whole bath.

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After I was out, although I found Dear John was in no way drying, I did feel the urge to lightly moisturise my body. The scent was lingering on my skin for hours after, just as if I had dowsed myself in the perfume, which was wonderful. I felt so relaxed and mellow and so ready for a cosy night in. I really really enjoyed this bath. Might have to stock up on some more of these before they disappear.

Ingredients

Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Cedarwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Water, Cream of Tartar, DRF Alcohol, Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Colour 42090, Colour 17200, Colour 42090:2

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Dental Care, Mouth, Toothy Tabs

Top Gum Toothy Tabs

After the success of the Toothy Fruity Toothy Tabs I got from the exclusive range at Lush Liverpool, I was eager to try out another. A co-worker was heading up there so I asked her to surprise me with a flavour of her choice and she bought me back Top Gum. I assume it’s named after the 1986 action film ‘Top Gun’ staring Tom Cruise and is described as ‘the maverick of mouth care’.

As with all of Lush’s Toothy Tabs, Top Gum doesn’t contain any fluoride but instead contains ingredients that work equally as well to freshen the breath and remove plaque and bacteria. Sodium Bicarbonate increases the alkalinity levels inside the mouth which creates an environment that’s hostile for bacterial growth. Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous is a natural salt, which along with the Sodium Bicarbonate is great for removing plaque and polishing the teeth. Kaolin also contributes by gently polishing too.

As soon as you pop the lid off of these new toothy tabs, you’re greeted by a strong spicy aroma that’s unmistakably cinnamon-fronted and strongly reminds me of Goldschläger, you know, that cinnamon liqueur with gold flakes in it which people used to think made small cuts in your throat? Now I don’t mind the smell of cinnamon, but coupled with all the other spices that Top Gum contains, it’s very overpowering.

Along with Cinnamon Bark Oil and Cinnamon Powder, these spicy tabs contain Clove Bud Oil as well as Whole Clove, Pimento Berry Oil, Allspice Berries, Long Pepper and Grains Of Paradise. Cloves contain a high amount of eugenol, which is really effective at soothing the mouth and gums. Pimento and Allspice also contain a great amount of eugenol and have antiseptic effects too.

As you can imagine the taste of Top Gum is also fairly spicy and with the first few seconds of it being in my mouth, the gold flecked alcohol was once again instantly brought to mind. However after I started brushing, the strong taste weakened and mellowed. With the addition of peppery Grains Of Paradise which are closely related to cardamom, along with Long Pepper giving notes of aniseed and liquorice, the taste isn’t wholly bad. Sicilian Lemon Oil is also somewhere in the mix but I really couldn’t notice it.

Now I’ve been using these tabs for a while, I’m starting to enjoy them more. I find that like it says on the bottle, my gums aren’t at all irritated and actually feel really good after brushing. The aftertaste is a little odd for a toothpaste but if you’re using a nice mouthwash tab then it just goes away! It also includes Menthol Crystals to help freshen the breath too.

Whilst I probably wouldn’t purchase these again, I’d definitely recommend them to anyone who loves the taste of cinnamon and who wants to move away from more minty and/or fresh toothpastes. They’d probably also be great if your teeth and gums are more sensitive and prone to irritation!

Ingredients

Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sorbitol, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Kaolin, Xylitol, Clove Bud Oil, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Cinnamon Bark Oil, Pimento Berry Oil, Cinnamon Powder, Stevia, Whole Clove, Grains Of Paradise, Allspice Berries, Long Pepper, Menthol Crystals, Talc, Colour 77491, Cinnamal, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citral, Eugenol, Limonene, Flavour

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Bath, Bubble Bars, Reusable Bubble Bars

Love Token Reusable Bubble Bar

Love Token was initially released for this year’s Valentine’s Day range but much like American Cream Shower Gel, it’s staying for the summer season. The idea behind it is rather nice as often people come into Lush looking for a bath bomb or bubble bar to express their gratitude towards someone.

This limited edition is a circular bubble bar, with the words ‘Thank You’ embossed on the surface and is covered with golden glitter that gets everywhere, almost as much as Golden Egg does! I can’t say I’m a massive fan of the scent of Ginger, which is a shame because that’s undeniably Love Token’s main scent. I can appreciate the warmth it brings but I can’t say I’d choose it’s scent over any others. Underlying the Ginger, we have similar warming notes of Clove Bud Oil, Pine Needle Absolute and something called Guaiacwood Oil. Guaiacwood Oil comes from the bark of a small tree, commonly named Palo Santo and has a sweet and woody scent with spicy, exotic notes. Sadly I find the Ginger overpowers everything and it’s all I can really smell.

As a reusable bubble bar, instead of crumbling it up, you’re supposed to hold it under the running tap and then pop it down to dry when you’re done. The only issue I found was my hands were very close to the hot water and I kept getting splashed and burned, so I resorted to the sieve method instead. I reckon you could definitely get at least three or four decent baths out of it but the glitter is only covering the outside and isn’t present once it’s been washed off, which means the first bath will be the only glittery one you have. Considering this, I ended up using the whole thing oops…

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Before long a mountain of soft bubbles had appeared in my tub atop the water which had turned a golden yellow. Considering I used a whole bubble bar I expected more bubbles but there was still a considerable amount. The water felt soft and due to the stimulating nature of the essential oils present, helped ease my aching muscles too. What’smore, the heady ginger scent had remained just as strong and I could smell it in the air too.

After I was out and dry, I was expecting two things: the ginger aroma still present on my body and a heavy dusting of golden lustre on my skin. Yet neither of these things were there. Perhaps a slight hint of the scent had remained but had nothing of the power it once had and as for the glitter? Well there really wasn’t much at all.

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In conclusion, adding glitter throughout the bar would definitely have made more sense and a tone down on the Ginger would have made me personally happier anyway. But I can’t say I’ll miss it when it eventually disappears from stores. It’s still great idea though and perhaps it just needs a few tweaks.

Ingredients

Sodium Carbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Ginger Oil, Pine Needle Absolute, Clove Bud Oil, Guaiacwood Oil, Gardenia Extract, Titanium Dioxide, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, Silica, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Cinnamal, Citral, Eugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 19140:1, Colour 77491, Colour 19140, Colour 15510.

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