My fellow wolf-crones and I have been discussing reviewing the products we buy from Lush on VargaMor; we appreciate that not all Lush products are made by women but I’ve encountered a lot of people who find Lush quite overwhelming and simply won’t venture into a shop. I understand this completely – even just the smells can be too much sometimes, you wander in and get your sense of smell violently assaulted by a mirage of different scents. The staff can occasionally be a bit much as well, in my experience! I appreciate they’re trying to help but ultimately they are trying to sell you as much as possible and I often feel like I’m being talked down to in Lush; sometimes I just don’t want assistance! So essentially to cater to our audience and to give you unbiased reviews from people who aren’t trying to sell you anything, we will be reviewing our personal purchases.
I work in the retail/service industry (not exactly through choice but that’s a separate issue!) and subsequently spend a lot of time on my feet. As a result, the skin on my feet is not in the best condition and my feet often become quite painful, with the majority of the being focused on the heels of my feet where the skin has become particularly dry and tough. Now, I really don’t like feet – even my own! – but I appreciate the importance of taking good care of them and I certainly won’t shirk away from discussing this problem out of feelings of embarrassment.
Last summer, after working numerous very busy shifts, I noticed my feet becoming rather painful and dry so I nipped into Lush to see what products were available to help. I was recommended three products – only two of which I bought as I was trying to keep the cost down and the third product contained peppermint and I absolutely loathe the smell and taste of mint – not that I was planning on eating it, of course.
I came away with the Pumice Power foot soap and a small tub of Volcano; the soap smells delicious as it contains orange and coconut oils and it makes a beautiful deep orange lather when used. It contains pumice powder so can be used a bit like a pumice stone to scrub away and soften that nasty dry skin or gently rubbed in with your hands. I like this soap enormously but feel that perhaps a pumice stone would actually be more effective, if less sweet-smelling, as it did little to soften or remove the hard skin on my heels on its own. I think this product would probably be more effective with people who suffer from occasional bouts dry skin on their feet as opposed to people with ongoing problems. That being said, I love the longevity of this product as I’ve used the soap countless times now and noticed little change in the size of the bar.
Volcano, however, helped enormously; made from China clay, pumice, papaya and tomatoes, lemon oil and cinnamon leaf oil – as well as several other ingredients – the first thing you notice when you open the tub is the smell; it has a distinctive earthy, herbal smell and despite the listed ingredients above, it’s very difficult to pin down what it smells like. It’s not a bad smell but nor is it a luxurious one you normally encounter with Lush products; in a bizarre way, Volcano smells “practical” – it smells like something you would apply to your feet. Nip into a Lush shop yourself and give Volcano a good sniff and I imagine you’ll know what I mean.
When it came to using this product for the first time, I decided to have a little foot spa session with my boyfriend, who is also on his feet all day and suffers from similar feet complaints. Volcano is thick and wonderfully cool on the skin when it’s applied and you can feel the abrasive pumice as you apply it. I focused on my heels but it can applied and effective on the whole foot if you so desire. After you’ve applied it, you’re encouraged to wrap your feet in clingfilm to keep it moist whilst it works it’s magic and this is the one drawback I have with this product – I didn’t enjoy using a disposable plastic just for the benefit of my feet (will find alternatives). It was quite entertaining hobbling around with our wrapped up feet, trying desperately not to slip or to leave behind little grey footprints by accident. After 10 minutes, we went to rinse it off, rubbing it vigorously into the worst areas of dry skin before gently towelling them dry. My dry heels weren’t gone but I’d managed to visibly deplete some of the dry skin and what remained felt softer and considerably less painful. My boyfriend reported similar positive results.
I use this product rather sparingly for occasions when my feet are particularly bad and the results have remained consistent; I’m sure a more regular use of this product would be highly effective but the other drawback is the price. A small 125g pot costs £6.95 and if you want the soap as well, it’s an additional £3.25, so these products don’t exactly come cheap.