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The naked truth: Packaging-free cosmetics

Think about how much packaging you use in a day - that morning coffee in a takeaway cup, vegetables wrapped in disposable coverings, or the plastic cutlery given to you with your lunch.

The list soon adds up, but what if we could cut back on just a little of the packaging we use every day? Well, with the development of naked cosmetics perhaps you can.

With pictures of a possible plastic-free ocean hitting our screens en masse, (by 2050, it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish), there are plenty of reasons to pursue a plastic-free bathroom. Lush co-founder Mark Constantine says: “Packaging is rubbish and for too long we have had to suffer excessive amounts of it. Now that the true financial and environmental costs are becoming obvious, customers are challenging manufacturers and retailers to cut the wrap.”

With that in mind, here are five great things you may not already know about our stripped back products.


We have actually been championing naked products for quite a while!

Product inventor and co-founder Mo Constantine said: “I began unintentionally making naked products and I’ve gone down that route ever since. My first invention was the shampoo bar in the late eighties. Since then we’ve taken the concept much further.”

From solid shampoo bars to bath bombs and soaps, nude is not new to Lush. But in a time when plastic pollution is a growing problem, it makes even more sense to branch out and push the boundaries just a little further.

The 2017 and 2018 Christmas ranges saw all sorts of exciting nuddy goodies, from naked solid body conditioners that melted sumptuously onto the skin to solid shower gels that were packed with juicy ingredients. The all-year-round range boasts approximately 60% naked products, including solid shampoo bars that are great for travel and the equivalent to three 250g bottles, and solid henna hair dyes that leave the hair gloriously glossy after coating it in a protective layer of cocoa butter like varnish. Forget liquid bubble bath, try bath bombs that foam, fizz and refresh, bubble bars that create clouds of bubbles in the tub, and bath oils that leave the skin silky smooth. No need for bottled massage oil, take a chance on indulgent massage bars; based in cocoa butter to moisturise, with a plethora of other benefits, like aduki beans to stimulate and warm the muscles, and lavender oil to calm and balance the skin and the senses.


Naked shower gel has a completely different formula to solid soap

If you've caught a glimpse of the naked shower gels you may find yourself asking how these differ from their packaged counterparts; like how they’re created with a different formula. Cosmetic scientist and product inventor Daniel Campbell explains: “Naked shower gels behave and function exactly like the liquid version, you can use either.”

Solid shower gels are simply a concentrated formula that don't contain water. Daniel says: “Naked products have to be as good, or better than the packaged version and that’s why we’ve started with naked shower gel.” Solid shower gels are also a great way to cut down on water. These funky little numbers hydrate when they hit the shower and lather up just like a shower gel, but they last longer because you add water to them.


Going naked is cheaper, meaning more money can be spent on beautiful ingredients rather than packaging.

It may come as a surprise that around 40-50% of the cost of a product goes on its packaging. Daniel says: “Taking away the packaging gives you room to put more nice things in.”

So you can be safe in the knowledge that your little solid shower gel is full of good quality ingredients that can look after your skin, the environment and the suppliers all in one waste-free wash.

Mo adds: “Having that extra money to spend on ingredients really does make a difference. The final thing you get is a good price, good amount of content, no wastage at the end, and it just works incredibly well; it’s the way to go.”


Even the gifts are getting naked.

The gift designers are always on the lookout for ways in which they can cut back on packaging and reduce waste, while still making a totally fabulous gift range. Head gift designer, inventor, and creative director Suzie Hackney said of the Christmas 2017 range: “We try to reduce waste or reuse packaging - we also use recycled PET or vintage Knot-Wraps. This year we have created recycled pulp bath bomb trays which can be Knot Wrapped.”

That Christmas and also Christmas 2018, the bath bomb trays were introduced and offered customers the ability to create their own pick and mix gift set, which could be wrapped up in their chosen re-usable Knot Wrap. As Suzie explained: “We are offering the customer a massive wealth of ideas and scope in terms of building their own gift, which is really exciting”, which meant they didn’t have to worry about the time-consuming routine of present wrapping. Until the trays are available all year round, you can still create a bespoke gift for any occasion with a colourful Knot Wrap.


Naked innovations can only keep getting better!

According to the product inventors, naked knows no bounds. They plan to continue cutting the wrap and thinking outside the pot. Mo states: “We’re all about uniqueness, quality of ingredients, ethics and a lack of packaging and our new range expands on these values enormously.”

Wondering what the inventors have up their sleeves? Lush product inventor and digital director Jack Constantine explains: “Naked wasn’t just for Christmas - there are some really innovative products. So who knows what the future could look like.”

Keep your eyes peeled on our website for some fascinating new and naked innovations that are bound to excite and enthral. Leave reviews and get in touch with our Customer Care team on 01202 668 545 - your valuable feedback feeds into the development of new naked products!



Comments (8)


about 9 months ago

If 40 50% of the product Cost goes on packaging why have you discontinued a lot of the naked products mainly solid shower gels and some bubble bars? Only the liquid shower gels are available online at the moment

Lush Customer Care

about 9 months ago


Hi there, thanks for getting in touch! So we are always looking to make room for new and innovative products! We ltake all feedback on board and log it effectively. Keep your eyes peeled on the website for any new releases! Feel free to get in touch via the email [email protected] or give us a call on 01202 930051 if you have any questions or would like recommendations! Have a lovely day.

Lush Customer Care

about 9 months ago


Hi there, thank you for getting in touch! So we are always looking to make room for new and innovative products! We log all feedback but keep your eyes peeled on the website for any new releases and feel free to get in touch via the [email protected] email or 01202 930051 if you have any questions or would like further recommendations! Have a great day. - Luke


about 2 years ago

I bring these peanuts to thrift stores to be re-used. I checked ahead of time to make sure they accepted them. They cushion fragile purchases like figurines, china, and glass.


about 2 years ago

I was actually about to ask the same question re the apparently nasty 'plastic' peanuts used to protect 2 tiny items in transit! Have re-read the "Enjoy your Lush products" leaflet enclosed and realised they're potato starch based, but there's no info on whether local authorities accept them in the dry recycling bins or garden waste bins??? I can't find any info re this for my LA - Bedford Borough? Should I just stick them in my garden waste bin, and hope for the best when the next green bin(garden waste) collection is due on 12 March?

Lush Customer Care

about 2 years ago


Hi there! Eco Flo is completely biodegradable so do feel free to pop them in your compost bin. Eco Flo also dissolves in water, so alternatively place them under running water to dispose of them. I hope this helps :)

about 2 years ago

I was really impressed with the idea of plastic free shampoo and conditioner, but couldn’t get to one of the shops. As a result, I ordered them online. I was very excited when my parcel arrived, only to open it to find my purchases packaged in polystyrene ‘bullets’! What was the point in buying naked shampoo and conditioner only to have it posted in plastic packaging??? Come on, Lush, think about this!!!

Lush Customer Care

about 2 years ago


Never fear, those polystyrene looking packing peanuts are in fact Eco Flo, a potato starch nugget that is completely compostable! You can read all about them here:

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