Why Lush Cosmetics May Not Be As Good As It Seems

When I first decided that I wanted to use only non-toxic or natural products I posted a status on Facebook asking if people knew of any good natural cosmetic brands. Someone commented and told me to check out Lush. However, I already knew that this was not a true natural company as I used to frequent Lush in high school.

Lush may not use the terms “natural” or “organic” in store but the particular way they market themselves makes people THINK that they are using only natural ingredients. Also, their google ads use the word “natural”.


Now, Lush does use better ingredients than the average cosmetic brand and of course I applaud them for that. However, it is their marketing and the way they sell their products to people that really doesn’t sit well with me.  Lush uses parabens in some of their products. Here is what David Suzuki has to say about parabens, “suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.” Please click this link to read more about parabens and why they are harmful. So not only does Lush use parabens in their some of their products but here’s what they have to say about it:

"Parabens are some of the oldest cosmetic perservatives and have been used since the 1920s.

They are used globablly and are permitted by every world health authority (500 independent safety studies have been carried out over the decades). Scare-mongering 'studies' into their protentially negative effects have been now widely debunked.

Conventional cosmetic shelf life is around 30 months. Our products can have shelf lives as little as three weeks, but are usually are 14 months. We even ask that you store our Fresh Face Masks and The Hair Doctor in the fridge. "
This is what really bothers me. To the unsuspecting consumer this sounds pretty reasonable and even makes sense as to why they are using parabens in their products. The first line “Parabens are some of the oldest cosmetic preservatives and have been used since the 1920s” is a big problem. This is actually one of the biggest problems with the cosmetic industry because the laws that regulate the safety in cosmetics is incredibly out dated. The FDA is the federal agency that is in charge of regulating the cosmetic industry and the law that governs the cosmetic industry is from 1938. Under this law the FDA can’t even do a recall of a product that is known to be unsafe and they don’t require that companies submit any data on the safety of their products.  This is not to say that all chemicals are dangerous. But the problem is that majority of them are untested and we don’t know the long term affects that these chemicals can have on the body. The way I look at, there is a reason why more and more people are getting sick and it’s not just because of the toxins in our food. Majority of the time our body can’t break down these chemicals so they are sitting inside our bodies. For Lush to also defend their use of parabens by saying their products usually last around 14 months is ridiculous. Many natural companies who don’t use chemicals, especially parabens use natural preservatives and their products are usually still good for 1 year. There is really no reason for a company to be using parabens because it “increases the shelf life” when there are other alternatives. The only reason why companies use ingredients like this is because it’s cheap.
In addition to Lush using parabens they also use fragrance in some of their products. Companies do not have to list what is used in “fragrance” because it is considered a trade secret. Lush does say that they only use natural fragrances but really there is no law forcing them to tell us the truth of what is actually in there. I do have a hard time believing that they only use natural fragrance because every time I walk by their store the smell is intrusive and there is a big difference between the smell of their store and a store that is 100% natural.

Lush also uses sulfates in some of their products. Sulfates are a foaming agent that is a skin irritant. Here’s what David Suzuki says about sulfates:

The reason why I feel so strongly about Lush is because this brand is extremely popular and is known all over the world.  In my opinion, Lush is using harmful ingredients and are making excuses for it. How many people think that they are using something that is safe when they shop at Lush.  Here is a great video about Lush, this video is one of the reasons why I decided to pay attention to what ingredients I am using in my cosmetics. 

Disclaimer: Although I have targeted this towards the United States by referring to the U.S FDA these ingredeints are still used in Canada. Here is some information on Canada's cosmetic regulations -

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