“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -Gwyneth Paltrow

Review of LUSH Skin Care: Aqua Marina Cleanser

I've had an on-and-off relationship with LUSH over the past few years. While I love some of their moisturizers and masks, I've had less than stellar luck with their cleansers. They're just too gimmicky, I think, sitting there in their odd rolls that get sliced off according to how much you need. They look really cool, but when you actually use them, they're a pain in the ass to deal with. But, being the glutton for punishment that I am, I keep going back for one more try...and one more, and one more. My latest venture into the world of LUSH cleansers, however, once again failed to "wow" me. Shock and awe, people. Shock and awe. 

LUSH's Aqua Marina cleanser sounds fantastic. Formulated with calamine, aloe vera, and nori seaweed, it's touted as a savior for sensitive or irritated skin. The claim is that its ingredients will calm and soothe sensitive or aggravated faces, especially sunburned skin. Since I have relatively sensitive skin that's very prone to flushing, I thought it would be perfect for me. 

Well, in theory it is perfect, what with all of those beneficial ingredients packed into it. Unfortunately, it's too much of a pain in the butt to use for me to get any kind of real benefit from it. 

Aqua Marina looks a lot like a sushi roll. You can't really see it in the picture above, but one side of the cleanser is wrapped in seaweed, which is said to be gentle and moisturizing. You can see some of the seaweed in the picture below: 

The color is the pale pink of calamine, which means it's pretty. It's got an odd texture, very thick and pasty. I'd liken it to the consistency of plumber's putty. It's stiff and you need to pinch off a piece of it each time you use it: 

According to the directions. you're supposed to pinch off a pea-sized piece of the cleanser and place it in the palm of your hand. You then add enough water to form a thick paste. To clean your skin, apply to the face in small, circular motions. Then rinse thoroughly and pat dry. 

There are several problems with this whole deal: 

  1. A pea-sized amount really doesn't seem to make enough cleanser to cover the entire face. When I make it a true paste, it doesn't go far enough to cleanse the entire area. When I add more water to make it go further, it gets too watery to do much good. Therefore, I end up using more product than I should. 
  2. The paste itself is really hard to work with. If it's too thick, it won't spread. If it's too thin, it's like rubbing plain calamine lotion on my skin. Getting the exact right consistency has turned out to be a bigger aggravation than I want to deal with. 
  3. There is just no way this cleanser is removing oil and dirt properly, much less makeup. The reason I'm so sure of this is that IT WON'T RINSE OFF. Every time I used it, I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed and yet there was still a thin pink layer of product left on my face. I basically had to scrub it off with a wet washcloth. Then I had to use a real cleanser to get the residue completely off and to make sure my makeup was properly removed. And of course, in the process, I removed all the benefits I'd supposedly gotten from those great ingredients. 
Bottom Line: This is another loser from the LUSH line of cleansers. I wish, wish, wish I could find one that worked for me, because truth be told I love most of their other products. I've really enjoyed several of their moisturizers, I adore the Eau Roma Water, and I've had success with every single mask I've tried. But for me, the cleansers are a bust. I think LUSH needs to stop with the cute, gimmicky rolls of cleanser that look so fascinating when you're in the store and concentrate more on making cleansers that actually clean. 


Gayle GWishlist said... .

I love LUSH and the concept - but it just doesn't work well for me. Except the bath bombs..but even the bubble bars don't bubble :(.

June 8, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Shannon (Lipstick Musings) said... .

Gayle, have you tried their toners and moisturizers? I've had a lot of luck with those. Also, if you have dry cuticles, Lemony Flutter is great. I just can't get into their facial cleansers. I take showers, so the bath bombs are out, and I make my own handcrafted soaps, so I don't use those either. This cleanser may just go back to the store, even though I almost never return anything.

June 8, 2012 at 12:45 PM

solanace said... .

This is funny. I live in a lushless corner of the world, and the one item in their line I crave is facial cleanser: it makes my skin glow. I'm even considering washing my face with plain calamine lotion (alreay bought it)!

June 9, 2012 at 4:19 AM
Shannon (Lipstick Musings) said... .

Solanace, I'm so glad this works for you! Maybe I'm just doing something wrong (although I'm pretty practiced at facial cleansing). I love a lot of LUSH products, but this one just wasn't for me. The film of calamine it left on my skin just blew it for me. I can say that it did feel soothing while it was on my skin, though.

June 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM

NeenaJ said... .

LOL! I got a sample of this exact cleanser when I was at LUSH and I've cursed it numerous times. It just looks so awesome! Why won't it work! Like you, I get this awful mix of product and water in my hands that just will not spread on my face. The good news is, I really like the twist off sample jar so I'll be dumping the product and using the jar for travel.

June 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Portable Beach Umbrella said... .

Great natural skin care along with healthful life style options can help delay natural process of getting older and prevent different skin color difficulties.

July 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

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