Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Putting the soapsuds in Soapsuds and Doodles

I've realised there aren't that many suds going on here right now, and that's kind of strange given that one of my greatest passions, next to stationery, is bath and body products.

Ever since I realised that there was more to soap in life than the slimy brown stuff Laura Ingalls used to bathe from out of a jar, I've taken great pleasure in picking crazy fruity and tart smells and minty and musky ones.

Even better if they do weird things, I've discovered, like if they have little bursting beads in them, or exfoliating bits, or natural ingredients that you can smell right out of the jar like bananas and coconuts.  I just love them and can very easily blow my budget in somewhere like L'Occitane or Sephora on tasty bathtime treats.

In truth, however, I also have massively bad skin. 

I don't mean on my face, though I am prone to the occasional pimple, but all over, my skin is seriously dry and sensitive and itchy and flaky.  And not in the way that a conventional Johnson's Baby type product will solve.

It's so bad that if I go one day without moisturising TWICE with a good, oily moisturiser, I start breaking out in white spots that itch and peel and bloom into big red, scaly spots ALL OVER THE PLACE.  Not fun.

It's so bad that I went to the dermatologist once with my spots and she stared at them, and told me she honestly didn't know if they were psoriasis, pitariasis rosea, or a mild form of skin cancer.

So I know what it's like to be struggling with your skin day and night. 

I have, however, managed to find several tips and tricks to bring it under control, and thought it might be helpful (and also exciting for me seeing as how I'm obsessed with soap and stuff) to make a "bath and body" category on this blog.

When I came to Inklund, the problem worsened because of the cold, dry climate and the itchy type of wool fabrics I have to wear, but I've managed to whoop its ass for now, in part because of Lush.

I am CRAZY about Lush.  Remember when they had a beautiful store in Singapore and you could smell the amazing soaps all up and down the corridor?  Remember how they closed down because people weren't used to the concept then?  My family was devastated.

I love how their products smell and look and how they make me feel.  I know some people are all "blahblahblah they aren't a hundred per cent natural, they have small bits of parabens" but I could give a flying rat's arse.  I am so obsessed, I bring all my friends there and natter on about each product as if I were a member of the sales staff.  Please Lush, pay me.  I wholly deserve it.

I made a trip down to Lush the other day to pick up some goodies, particularly bubble bars as I have a bathtub in my hostel, and they make the water all silky and smooth and don't dry out my skin like stronger soaps do.

Here's what I bought, and if you're interested in picking some up yourself, I'll do TEENY reviews on them as I use them up.

Karma Bubble Bar.  This one smells like the Karma soap, which is essentially very orangey and overlaid with spices.  It has a tart finish which I love, and the colour excites me.

This is Ma Bar.  I cannot tell you how amazing this one smells, like Honey I Washed The Kids soap if you like that one.  It's toffee, chocolate and sponge cake all rolled into one amazing honey-scented package.  The sugar lump in the centre is also supposed to melt into the water and as sugar is used in facial scrubs all the time, I think it's harmless.  I am saving this one for a special occasion.

Pop In The Bath bubble bar.  I used this yesterday and though I cut it and only used half, it made quite a nice mass of bubbles over light blue water.  It contains citrus and bergamot and though it's not very strong smelling, it makes good bubbles and smells pleasant, so I was well pleased, though it's probably not my favourite bubble bar ever.

French Kiss Bubble Bar.  This one smells amazing if you like Lavender.  I used it before bed the other day with a cup of tea (I drank the tea, not poured it in the bath, obviously), and it got me all lavender scented and drowsy.  It makes the water a dusky purple which is quite romantic.  On the downside, the bubbles in this one don't stay too long and you have to use the whole thing in one shot as it is quite small. 

Here's an example of how the things work:

You fill the bath about halfway with water and as the water continues to run, you get your bubble bar and mash it up good and proper under the running water with your fingers.  I find the finer I mash it, the more bubbles form.  As you can see in the picture above, I've only just started mashing and the bubbles have formed.

If you've done it right, they rise in great, comforting foamy masses, as you can see.  And the bathroom smells phenomenal, as do you afterwards.

All in, I've been very happy with Lush's bubble bars so far as unlike bath bombs, they produce loads of suds.  Bath bombs are cool in that they fizz and crackle or whatever, but you're not left with very much after, just coloured, scented water, albeit with some great oils in it. 

In other news, I've also started using Rehab shampoo on my hair as the skin on my scalp is similarly troubled, and I've found the results to be very positive so far.  It really cleans my hair and doesn't dry my scalp out, but I know hair products are a very very individual thing, so I'd recommend you try it with caution.  Rehab smells like mint and a teeny bit of spice. 

Feel free to ask me anything in the comments (as you now know that I can yak on and on about body products forever) and if there is anything from Lush you'd like me to try for you, I'd be happy to do so if it doesn't smell too offensive.

Also, tell me if you like, what are your favourite bath/body products?


candy apples said...

I'm a LUSH junkie but I've never used their bubble bars. Tho I do love the smell of Ma Bar!! I'm more of a shower type person, so I tend to buy their soaps, hair stuff, and moisturizing stuff like lotion♥ I'm thinking about getting their body butters... have you tried them??


priii said...

oooh i loved this lemony butter thing which could be used on your hair as well as a moisturiser... soo awesome.. and they had this moisturizer bar with glitter in it. so i sparkled! SPARKLED! i miss lush. :(

Anonymous said...

This is a GREAT post! I have such sensitive skin, and it's always hard for me to find the right body product for my face/skin. I have yet to try Lush, but I will def. consider it now! My favorite product has to be anything by aveeno.


shrug said...

mmmmm....YUM!!!! Lets go for the damn Lush sale!!!

Athena_Trendsetter said...

They seem lovely, very lush-ious!

Love your blog!
I have one too, if you ever wanna stop by, feel free!


yiqin; said...


Shoe said...

@ Candy Apples - I'm a Lush junkie too! (Obviously) I've tried one of the body butters which is called King of Skin, it has a creamy, spicy scent and is shaped a bit like a crown. I quite like it, you can use it before you shower, but my skin is SO dry I use it as a moisturiser before bed. Word of warning though, it really is SUPER oily.

Shoe said...

@ Priii - I miss Lush in Singapore too! Hmmm you like sparkly things, eh? Just wait for your Christmas present :P

@ Jada C - Thanks! I've heard things about Aveeno for sensitive skin... I should try some!

@ Shrug - YES, GOD YES.

@ Athena - Thank you, yes I will stop by!!

Shoe said...

@ Yiqin - Yes! Not in soap bar form, but they're all crumbly and make bubbles in your bath. But yeah, they serve the same basic function :)

Anonymous said...

oooh looks soooooo inviting...! :)

Personally I adore bath & body works (esp country apple n mango mandarin), body shop's (cranberry, satsuma & passionfruit) n the usual dove & johnson & johnson (which helps my dry skin)


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