Lush/Hate relationship....Lush Skincare Review

Ok, so I've made it a little over a week with my new skincare routine. Sadly, I've got to say that I was a little disappointed. I wanted to LOVE everything, I really did. But unfortunately, it just didn't work for me. Staying true to my commitment issues with skincare (other than my old trusty Proactiv), I didn't even make it the full 2 weeks. Read on for the full reviews of each product and why I stopped using these products.
**Please keep in mind that what works/doesn't work for me, may do the total opposite for you. These are just my honest opinions.

Lush Coal Face Cleanser:
At first I LOVED this stuff. If you're like me and you're used to a really deep cleanser that makes your face feel super clean, this is probably the best Lush cleanser for you. It has small exfoliating bits in it as well, which was important to me because I pretty much have to have an exfoliating cleanser after being used to using the Proactiv cleanser for 8 years. Unfortunately, the little bits are few and far between in the soap and while you can feel them in the lather, it really doesn't do a thorough job of exfoliating. It's just kind of scratchy. The soap lathers beautifully into a rich grey lather. The smell, which was kind of weird at first, really grew on me. It rinses very clean and easily. The downfall of this cleanser is that it's very drying. I felt like it wasn't really doing anything for my skin, just cleansing it and making it very dry. Not really putting anything back. I felt like I could have gotten the same cleansing effect with a bar of dial soap.

Tea Tree Water Toner:
The best part about this stuff is the packaging. I love how you can spray it directly onto your face or onto a cotton pad. I really didn't care for the scent. It reminded me of bathroom cleaner. I really didn't find it to do anything really. After washing my face, it really didn't make my skin feel any more comfortable or like it had truly "toned" it and put anything back that my skin needed. I know this stuff claims to be pretty effective, but it just wasn't for me.

Vanishing Cream:
This is supposed to be the least oily moisturizer Lush has. That being said, it still contains oils. I had been using this in place of my Benefit Dear John cream that I LOVE and really found that it didn't hold a candle to it when my skin was really uncomfortable. The Benefit Dear John however, is not completely oil free and I find it to do a better job of moisturizing without feeling as oily as the Vanishing Cream. Something that kind of freaked me out about it was the Johnson's Baby Oil-ish after scent. That, I did not like. At $35 for the small container, I just wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be after using it consistently.

Mask of Magnaminty:
This cleanser/mask feels really nice on the skin and has a really strong minty/tingling sensation as it dries on the skin. I actually found the sweet mint scent to be kind of nauseating. Like mint and something else I couldn't quite put my finger on. However, it's a little difficult to rinse. When I would rinse the mask, I would rinse it to begin with with my hands and warm water so I could get all the exfoliating benefits of the mask (which I really didn't find to be all that exfoliating), then to get the rest of it off, I would have to really work at it with a washcloth and warm water. Then, my washcloths would get stained and that was no fun. I actually really prefer the Love Lettuce mask by Lush. It's actually exfoliating, cleansing, and easy to rinse off. It just seems to work better with my skin. I also LOVE the Cupcake mask for when I need less exfoliation. I guess I shouldn't have tried to find something new when I already had found two masks by Lush that were working perfectly.

Philosophy On a Clear Day Retinol Treatment:
This was the only keeper out of the bunch. I found that during the course of using all of this new stuff, I didn't get any acne-like blemishes or anything like that. Just clogged pores (ew). Which I think the other products were more to blame for. I felt like this stuff kept most areas of my face acne free and really smooth. I also feel that when I use a retinol treatment, my pores are less noticeable. The only downfall to this stuff is the price. At $40 for such a small tube, that's a little much in my opinion. My biggest piece of advice would be to head to the drugstore and pick up some of the Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle Cream with Spf. That one comes in a much larger tube, is 1/4 of the price and adds the spf protection which is crucial for retinol treatments since sunlight breaks down the active ingredients in any retinol treatment. Also, never pair a retinol with a leave-on benzoyl peroxide treatment (like a cream). They kind of cancel each other out and renders both uneffective. At least that's what the derm. says!

Ok, so the main reason I stopped using these products were because of the clogged pores that resulted. Not blemishes or acne or anything like that, but my skin just looked bumpy. Just on my forehead and chin. Something I've never really experienced before. Needless to say, I wasn't too happy about that. I feel like it was a combination of two things. Not enough exfoliation and not using any type of acne treatment (other than the retinol). While I've never had any real acne issues, I've always needed to use skincare aimed toward treating acne to prevent it since my skin can break out easily.
So, I've decided to go back to my old faithful Proactiv. It was good to me for 8 years. It really has everything I need: An exfoliating, medicated cleanser, a toner with glycolic acid (which will help smooth the appearance of my skin and fade any acne scarring), and a benzoyl peroxide acne treatment lotion. Since I stopped using this because it had become a little harsh on my skin, I'm planning on using the benzoyl peroxide lotion much less often. For moisturizer, I'm going to use my MAC Lightful Deep Ultramoisture cream day and night and the Benefit Dear John Cream when my skin feels like it needs some extra moisture. As for the retinol treatment, I'll use that at night if I feel I need it.

So needless to say, I haven't had the best of luck with Lush's skincare. In the past, I have also tried their Fresh Farmacy, Herbalism, and Angels on Bare Skin cleansers. I honestly didn't care much for those either. Yeah they were fun to use and different, but they just didn't deliver any real results. Out of all the cleansers by Lush, I actually like the Angels on Bare Skin the best, but I've realized that I need something with more cleansing, active ingredients. So as far as Lush skincare goes, the Love Lettuce mask and Cupcake masks are really all that works for me.
**EDIT** Also, the Ocean Salt Scrub. I actually like that a lot. Probably won't use it as much now that I'm back on Proactiv, but it's still awesome.

I LOVE Lush. Their skincare....umnotsomuch.