Intensely moisturising and brimming with ingredients sourced from regenerative communities across the globe, here are the gourmet soaps.
We’re proud to pioneer soap making, and our gourmet soaps take our manufacturing process to an entirely new level. Some are pleasingly soft and gooey, some produce a rich, creamy lather - but each and every one looks, feels and smells wonderful.
So what makes gourmet so great? First and foremost it starts with our bespoke soap base. For cosmetics companies, including Lush, buying in a pre-made base has been part and parcel of the soap manufacturing market for years. Yet experimenting with distinctive soap bases in-house has enabled the Lush inventors to create a greater range of textures, lathers, leading to greater creative control and ingredients transparency.
Lush inventor and cosmetic scientist Daniel Campbell explains: “Gourmet soaps tend to be creamier and more conditioning,” he notes. “[These bespoke bases] enable us to move beyond the restrictions of a normal soap into other areas and create a lot of different lathers which will have beautiful benefits for the skin.”
Fellow product developer Wesley Burrage adds: “Although coconut-based soaps foam well, it can be quite drying, so we blend it with other gourmet soap bases to balance the effects of the ingredients. Some of our gourmet soaps, like Ro’s Argan, contain just one soap base, others can contain three or four.”
Importantly, the new bases also enable greater traceability when it comes to sourcing ingredients. “When you buy one standard base you are essentially giving over a large proportion of your formula to something that you can’t change”, explains Dan, although Lush worked with their supplier to remove palm oil. “Creating our own bases allows us to be completely flexible with the way we formulate soaps. We know the people who we are getting the oil from and we know there are no additives that have been added in to improve the efficiency of them.”
What’s inside counts
Olive Tree, Ro’s Argan, and Drop Of Hope all contain rich, luxurious ingredients, expertly harvested and processed by a range of social and environmental regenerative community projects around the world.
Take Olive Tree for example. This verdant soap is packed full of fragrant ingredients such as cypress, petitgrain, rose oil and gardenia extract, which evoke a grassy perfume reminiscent of a freshly cut meadow, while succulent green olives moisturise and revive the skin. Finally, its cleansing base is made of organic extra virgin olive oil that can be sourced from Turkey, Lebanon, Sicily and Spain depending on the availability, all cultivated with regenerative practices.
Ro’s Argan, a fragrant soap with a soft and squidgy texture, is derived from argan oil, a material sourced from women's cooperatives in Morocco. This special union between 22 villages ensures that each community has a reliable source of income and is provided with ongoing training and assessments to help them reach ECOCERT organic and Fair Trade status - ranking them as artisan producers and ensuring they receive a fair price for their oil from all buyers.
The oil in Ro’s Argan soap base produces a smooth, creamy lather that conditions and cleanses the skin, leaving it revitalised, refreshed and smooth. Turkish rose oil and Pakistani rose absolute also blossom on the skin, leaving behind a powerful floral note.
Drop of Hope meanwhile has a unique spongy feel, rich conditioning lather and delicate floral fragrance. A delicate blend of silken tofu and pioppino mushrooms soften the skin, while orange flower absolute gently perfume the skin. It’s a humble, yet generous blend, and the rapeseed oil inside is having a remarkable effect on the community of Fukushima, Japan.
Grown by a small collective of farmers in the Fukushima nuclear disaster area, rapeseed has been found to have an incredible regenerative effect on the land by soaking up the irradiated caesium from the soil. Yet, this is not the end of its regenerative powers. Daniel Campbell explains: “When the oil is then extracted, the caesium stays in the plant, meaning it is safe to use in cosmetics whilst also cleaning up the soil through bioremediation. The result is regeneration of the land through nature” - a discovery that has secured the future for a generation of rice farmers forced to abandon their work.
Feels good, does good
With both style and substance, the reformulated gourmet soaps provide more benefits for customers taking a piece into their shower and the farmers taking the time and care to produce high quality ingredients. They represent another giant leap towards Lush’s goal of producing our own materials while supporting local communities.
“The concept is breathtaking,” says Lush co-founder Mark Constantine. “The scale of the social nature is huge — no one has ever done anything like this — until now.”