I am somebody who is very self aware - I think it's a trait that comes with most people who chose to become vegetarian/vegan. To be able to think 'outside the box' and recognise how your words and actions directly effect your immediate and distant environment, is something that not everyone has the power or inclination to address.
Recently, with the negativity surrounding the Lush Kitchen, I have found myself becoming very pessimistic towards the company, despite not having a bad experience to write about. When Lush first revealed this particular product, I immediately reacted with negativity - how could a solid wash protect you from the sun? Yet, I realised that Lush wouldn't release a product that wasn't thought-out and hadn't been through numerous vigorous testing procedures before making it's way onto the shelf. I needed to have more faith.
The Sunblock Solid Sunscreen is the first of it's kind - a wash-on, rinse-off sunscreen that nourishes the skin whilst protecting it from the sun's rays at the same time. Made with cocoa butter, rose absolute and calamine powder, this unique product is a buttery, fragrant offering, and one that I was very keen to test out.
According to Lush, one 100g bar should be broken into three parts and used on three different occasions - massaging the bar onto the skin towards the end of your shower and then dabbing down when you're drying yourself off. Initially, I was skeptical that using this in the shower would be effective - surely the sunscreen would just wash off and eradicate the need for this product at all?
However, as soon as I began to apply Sunblock to my skin, I realised that it wasn't going anywhere. The bar creates a thick, oily layer that is very similar to what Buffy and Aqua Mirabilis Body Butters do - coating the skin with a layer of silk that seems impenetrable. Once the product has been applied, water cannot enter the pores as the oil and water cannot mix, so it runs away from the areas where Sunblock has been used and allows the sunscreen to absorb further into the skin.
What you will find is that your skin will stay rather greasy for a good 30 minutes to an hour, so it's not something you throw on before heading out of the door. Furthermore, I found that I was able to use a sixth of the bar to coat my entire body, so this 100g bar could probably stretch across a few more uses than the company claim.
The cocoa butter makes this a wonderfully smooth and gentle product, and my skin definitely felt really moisturised after using it. However, this ingredient didn't really add much to the overall scent that I detected. For me, the rose and calamine were the key scents here - giving it a smell that was reminiscent of Fresh Farmacy.
Although there is no mint here, the overall smell did remind me a lot of mint aero. The calamine is at the forefront and gives a refreshing, almost antiseptic smell and it's inclusion makes it wonderful for those with irritated or sensitive skin; the rose rounds off the smell and removes the astringency of the calamine, chamomile and eucalyptus.
Aside from it's smell and how well it treats your skin, the most important element of this is how it works in relation to the sun. After using this for the first time, I embarked on a five hour walk in the blazing heat and was pleased to discover that I didn't burn or feel any side effects of going out without applying other sunscreen first.
The Sunblock really does seem to work, although I am still curious about how long the protection from this would last. I'm heading to Spain for a lovely weeks holiday at the end of July, and I plan on taking this to use with me there. I will report back on what I find and whether this really would last an entire day.
On the positive side, there are a lot less ingredients in this product than you would expect to find in other sunscreens. This stops your skin from being overexposed to too many preservatives and chemicals that might effect the condition of your pores. However, this is not a product you could reapply throughout the day, meaning you'd have to rely on a second sunscreen to do the job when you're out and about. Coupled with the 3-6 use block setting you back almost £10, this makes The Sunblock a rather expensive investment and one that I cannot see anyone buying on a regular basis.
While I recognise that this works and I love the fact that Lush are experimenting with the way they offer products to the consumers, I don't know if it's one that'll prove overly popular and I cannot see it being around in future years.
Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Calamine Powder, Octocrylene, Octylmethoxycinnamate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Organic Sesame Oil, Magnesium Carbonate, Chamomile Blue Oil, Rose Absolute, Eucalyptus Blue, Limonene.