Zero waste: swapping liquids for solids at Lush

Hi friends! I have been trying to swap out some of my plastic bottled (liquid) products for solid products that come package-free. Lush seems to be the only store I could think of where I can go and look at the products before purchasing so that's where I started. I know there are some Etsy store that do solid lotion and shampoo bars but I find Etsy so hit or miss for handmade stuff and I'm hesitant to buy a personal care product unless someone recommends it.

First up, I swapped out the previous Lush shampoo bar I had (Montalbano) for their new Lullaby bar, which is supposed to be better for sensitive skin. I don't actually have sensitive skin but that prior shampoo bar was really drying -- I asked around in a few zero waste and vegan makeup FB communities and that seems to be a common problem with Lush's shampoo bars so hopefully this swap will help. I've also heard the Lush conditioner bars are useless and I've experienced the same with the one I have (Sugar Daddy-O). I've been using plastic bottle conditioner and adding a few drops of jojoba oil to it to counteract the drying Montalbano. Hoping I get to skip that step in the very near future.

I was also interested in a body butter bar I'd seen written up somewhere. Apparently it's for in-shower use though, which seemed strange. I did ask a Lush consultant if they had any moisturizer bars for like, regular moisturizing and she recommended using one of the massage bars post-shower. She recommended Therapy - which is below. The dots are are something about navels -- for every three innies, there's an outie? I don't remember. So far, so good with the bar. I'm seeing how long it lasts though, since it was $12 and if it doesn't last at least a bit, that will be some expensive moisturizing. The bar is primarily cocoa butter and shea butter so if this is too expensive in the long run, I'll try to look for a bar with similar ingredients elsewhere. If you haven't used these before, they do warm up with just the heat of your hands and it's easy to apply. 

And lastly, I wanted something to replace the MyChelle fruit enzyme scrub that I use when I feel like I need to do a deep clean of my face. You know those days in the summer especially -- when your pores are like huge and open for business? I remembered calamine-based Fresh Farmacy and asked for the smallest portion they'd let me buy. I used to love this stuff and then I had a bad experience with it when I bought a big piece and it was a weird formula and super dry and gritty. I stopped using it after that expensive mistake. This piece was fine so I'll probably just buy it in the smallest quantities possible so it stays fresh. This was about $4. And that's way cheaper than the MyChelle scrub and will probably last as long.

My next problem was figuring out the best way to store this stuff. I realized storing the shampoo bar near the bath, on the little windowsill product-storage ledge was not ideal and that would not be great for anything else that comes in a solid for the same reasons. (It either gets wet or dries out in the sun too quickly.) So I found an already-owned travel soap dish for one of them and managed to find a like new and suitable snap-tight plastic container at Goodwill for the Farmacy. Now I just need one more container - honestly a travel soap dish would be best but I really hate to buy a new one and I am not a huge fan of the metal dishes Lush sells for this stuff -- don't they get rusty? So I'll need to figure something out.

I'm traveling soon and the good news is that all this stuff doesn't need to be in my clear dopp bag for liquids so it can go right in my suitcase. (Two points for solids!) 

Though, last time I traveled I didn't even need to pull out my liquids bag. Apparently the adorable K-9 unit puppy who sniffed my bag confirmed that they didn't need to see anything, according to the guard. Not only did I get to see a puppy (who they insist you cannot pet), but she saved me the trouble of pulling stuff out of my suitcase. 


  1. For someone conflicted about "Beauty", I sure love reading about beauty products. Sometimes I have makeup questions and think "should I ask Jesse about this?"

    Thanks for sharing about the conditioner bars--- I'd like to go back to conditioner washing (my hair is curly/thirsty), but feel bad about switching back to bottles. I've been washing my hair with rye flour, but it's not exactly working; that may be the vinegar-water conditioner though, not the rye flour.

    For moisturizing, I used a failed deo recipe to make a body scrub; shea butter, cocoa butter, lots of sugar and cheap oil. I use it in the shower, but my skin feels/looks well moisturized afterward. Not great for travel, but cheaper than a bar.

    I used to have a LUSH massage bar, but it melted completely in the summer heat. Beware!

    For travel, I keep soap in an old lozenge tin; it's not wet often enough or long enough to rust. Maybe you could cut off a few slivers/thin slices for travel and keep them in an Altoid Smalls tin?

    1. Oh yeah I've had Lush massage bars melt on me before too! So far it's only been approx 80-85 degrees F so it's been doing okay. At this point in the season hopefully we don't have too many more 95-100 degree days!

      I think for travel I'm set as I'll just bring small pieces in small jars I already have or in the cases they're already in but it's more the at-home case storage that I'm trying to make do with. Honestly I pack fairly light so I will probably just bring full size stuff in cases so whatever they are stored in at home, that's what I'll bring. Right now my shampoo bar is in a lidless vintage Pyrex though and I have to find something else that closes and can travel for that. Actually I just realized I put something in recycling last night that will work!


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