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

Crazy Train Bath Bomb

Supposedly named after a song by Ozzy Osbourne, Crazy Train Bath Bomb was one of the only products released for this year’s Father’s Day that didn’t share the Dear John fragrance, and is instead Prince-scented.

Crazy Train is adorably designed, looking like as the name suggests, a train, which would definitely have appealed to me a lot more in my childhood years. The funnel of the train is actually a rolled up piece of paper, which you can use to write a message to the person you’re gifting it to. This is something Lush featured in some of their Mother’s Day bath bombs too and I think it’s a super cute idea.

The ‘Prince’ scent is an uplifting combination of Mandarin, Neroli, Vetivert and Orange Flower and whilst sounding fairly citrusy, it’s actually rather gentle in this format. The fragrance of Crazy Train is mainly a warm and fresh smell, with a slight hint of zest behind it. The Vetivert offers an earthy background note with the Orange Flower and Neroli giving green undertones. As the bath bomb itself, it’s not really that strongly scented, but this definitely changed once it hit the water.

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In the tub, the citrusy Mandarin was a lot more present, exuding a real uplifting and fruity note sitting above the rest. As the bath bomb fizzed, it strangely bobbed up and down in the water whilst creating stunning and vibrant bath art of intertwined blue and red. These two colours are rarely used in conjunction in a bath bomb so it was a nice change for once. Before long, the water underneath had turned into a deep dark violet colour and I eagerly jumped in.

Once I was soaking, I noticed that the water was lightly decorated with sparkling lustre and I really felt uplifted thanks to the scent that was sticking around. Mandarin and Neroli both have brightening and toning effects on the skin too, they aren’t just there for fragrance!

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Afterwards, I sadly didn’t notice much of the scent lingering on my skin, but it felt smooth and I definitely thought it looked visibly brighter! Crazy Train was a nice bath bomb, but I can’t say I’ll be too sad if it doesn’t make a return next year.

Ingredients

Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Neroli Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Sicilian Red Mandarin Oil, Vetivert Oil, Water, Cream of Tartar, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Dipropylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Benzyl Alcohol, Citral, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 14700, Colour 42090, Colour 17200, Colour 77491, Colour 15850:1, Colour 59040

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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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Bath, Bubble Bars

Pop Bubble Bar

Pop is a new product for this years Father’s Day and is a fairly sizeable bubble bar. It’s designed around the pop art style of Roy Litchenstein, features popping candy and is obviously in reference to a term used to call your father, pop.

Pop features a scent made from Buchu, Lemon and Bergamot Oils, and is bright, refreshing and fruity in nature. Fragrant Buchu Oil has a strong blackcurrant and minty aroma which pairs with the more citrusy nature of the other two essential oils well. Sicilian Lemon Oil adds a more sherbety note with the Bergamot adding a fresh and green element. It’s a nice scent and one that Lush continue to bring back every now and then.

Obviously as a bigger sized bubble bar, you could definitely get at least four baths out of it if you wish but, being excessive as I am, I opted to crumble up the whole thing. Before long my bath was filled with a giant mountain of soft bubbles with a fiery orange water below which looked really nice. As I said, Pop features Popping Candy in the mix but unfortunately I didn’t get to hear any crackles or pops, probably because it happened as my bath was filling up. I guess that’s why you don’t see this ingredient in bubble bars that often.

Once I was in I was pleasantly surprised at how soft and moisturising the water felt! I didn’t realise until I checked out the ingredients list but Lush have added Cocoa Butter to this bubble bar for extra skin softening quality! The fruitiness of the scent remained throughout my bath too!

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Once I was out and dried off, my skin was as soft as the bubbles in my bath and still carried that uplifting scent for a good few hours later.

All in all, Pop gives you a nice bath. I think the addition of Cocoa Butter is really nice and I wish Lush added it into more of their bubble mixtures as I find they can be slightly drying. The popping candy does seem kinda pointless though.

Ingredients

Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Popping Candy, Perfume, Cornflour, Buchu Oil, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Bergamot Oil, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Limonene, Colour 47005, Colour 14700

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Fragrance, Perfume

Dear John Perfume

Dear John has a touching story behind it. It was created by Lush co-founder Mark Constantine as an ode to his father, named John, whom he had never met because he had abandoned him as a baby. Mark developed this fragrance over a long time as a representative of the idea of how a man and a father smells. A ‘Dear John’ is typically a letter written from a woman to her lover who’s away at war to let him know she’s found somebody else.

Lush describe Dear John as a comforting, complex scent with notes of coffee, coriander, lime and tobacco – though it doesn’t actually feature all these ingredients. Mark himself describes it as better up close, like burying your face into clothing to get the smell of a person.

Cedarwood and Vetivert Oils are what give the perfume the tobacco-like notes. Cedarwood has a comforting balsamic aroma with earthy undertones which is often used in aromatherapy to relax and calm the mind. Its definitely the note that my nose picks out first in the scent. 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.

Next we have Coriander Oil. Everyone knows the smell of coriander which is strong and fresh yet spicy and woody. Known for its warming and stimulating effects on the mind, it’s often used in conjunction with or in the place of coffee to give a similar aroma. Ancient Egyptians used to call coriander the spice of happiness because of its uplifting and energising effect on the mind. Coupled with the other ingredients I’d suggest it’s this which gives citrusy undertones like that of limes.

Lastly, Clove Bud Oil works in a similar way, also adding notes of spice and warmth and its perfect in a comforting perfume to envelop the wearer like a warm hug. Clove buds are put through a process of steam distillation producing an essential oil that is richly sweet and spicy.

Dear John is definitely a scent that grows on you. I didn’t actually like it at all to begin with, but after trying it out a couple of times I really began to love how comforting and unique it is. I can see why it means so much to Mark and how it can invoke old memories and nostalgia in some people. Although being designed around the typical fatherly scent, like all of Lush’s Gorilla Perfumes, its unisex!

Mark’s story actually has a fairly happy ending. He eventually reconciled with his father when Mark turned sixty, which you can read about in his biography that Lush are currently selling – Dear John: The Road To Pelindaba.

I definitely think Dear John is worth giving a go!

Ingredients

DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Limonene, Water, Glycerine, Cedarwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Coriander Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Linalool

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