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After hearing so many good reviews of Fresh Farmacy I thought it was about time I gave it a try so when my cleanser ran out (I had seaweed cleanser from The Body Shop) I decided to send my other half off on one of his usual missions to Lush.
I had smelt this on a previous trip so knew that the smell was acceptable enough for me to use it. Almost all of their cleansers stink in my opinion. They are either really over the top lavender or smell of fish! Yuck!
Anyway, I asked my other half to buy roughly 100grams and to ask for some testers of moisturisers (two that I wrote down for him) and sent him off with a fiver and his list.
That night he came back and handed over a bright yellow paper bag with my goodies inside.
The block he had bought was a little over 100g and cost £4.20. It was wrapped in the usual Lush paper with stickers on it showing what it is, how much it weighed and cost, the Lush logo and a list of ingredients.
Fresh Farmacy is a dirty pink coloured bar of cleanser that looks just like soap. It does contain soap along with other ingredients. When it is made it is a huge bar of soap and has a thin coat of another marigold leaves on top, they look like they are in a thin coat of either a browny gold coloured soap or wax, I cannot decide which it is yet. It certainly isnít one of Lushís prettiest products, far from it. In fact I would say it looks really rather unappealing but looks can be deceiving.
If you smell the bar it is very feminine and not something blokes would like using I donít think. It is a very floral smell, lavender and rose are the two main smells you pick up. It isnít strong or overpowering like Angels On Bare Skin. I tried that before and the smell of lavender was so strong I ended up binning it! It is not too bad and this is coming from someone who doesnít like lavender! You can smell the calamine in it but only slightly.
At the end of the day what it looks and smells like isnít the important bit, it is what effect it has on my skin and if it is making a difference compared to other cleansers.
FF contains Calamine Powder and Camomile Decoction, both are really good for very sensitive, sore skin and also problem skin. They are very gentle and wonít cause any reactions (in the majority of cases) so FF is worth a try if you have run out of products to turn to.
Using it is simple, you use it just as you would a bar of soap. Wet the bar, rub back and forth over your hands until you have a bit of foam and in circular motions rub gently over the skin of your face and neck.
It is not a rich lather you get at all and not easy to build up much foam but you donít need much to get your face lovely and clean.
Where FF contains Calamine Powder it is powdery and feels slightly gritty but not in a harsh way. It must very gently exfoliate your skin while cleansing it.
It is reasonably easy to wash off. I like to use cold water to rinse my face. I know most people will think I am mad but I donít feel clean if I use hot water as I personally think it will make my skin sweat slightly and so be dirty straight after having washed it. Another advantage of using cold water is that it does help close the pores especially after a hot shower.
My skin is left feeling extra clean and very soft. It even looks better. My skin feels like velvet and is smoother through the daily exfoliation it is receiving. I do still exfoliate once a week though.
Where FF is soap based it does leave my skin feeling a little tight but not like if I used regular soap, only slightly.
I do find this a little drying though. My skin is combination, I have some oily patches, some normal patches and some dry patches so it is hard to find products that are just right all over my face. I am not finding it that drying that I would stop using it. I am finding my dry areas are staying dry is all, that would mean that those with dry skin would probably find this unsuitable for their skin unless they were using it in conjunction with a very good moisturiser.
After washing my face (or using any cleanser) I always tone my skin as it takes away any last traces of dirt, makeup or cleanser that have been left behind. At the moment I am using Breath Of Fresh Air from Lush and am finding that my skin is left feeling great. I do feel like you need to use toner after FF, it takes away some of the tight and dry feeling that I am left with.
Where FF is a little too drying on dry areas of my face I am using a little moisturiser on those areas after cleansing in the morning. Before starting to use FF I didnít wear moisturiser at all in the morning only at night. After smoothing a little moisturiser onto these areas I am fine and there is no further dryness to speak of.
My face is left feeling cleaner all day (I donít always wear makeup as I work from home so I can tell my face is left clean). On the few occasions where I have used this cleanser at night, when I wake up my skin still feels really clean, not like I do with some cleansers waking up feeling desperate to wash my face.
I havenít noticed that I am getting less spots but mine are down to hormones, no matter what products I use I will always have that problem unfortunately.
The bar is taking a long time to even look used so a bar will last a very long time. In Lush you can ask for a bar of whatever size you want (minimum of 100g) so if you have a family of users you can buy a larger bar at a time.
One issue is that you do have to have somewhere to put it when it isnít in use and it has to be able to dry otherwise it will become slushy and disintegrate. I am lucky in that there is a soap dish on the shower that has holes in the bottom for water to drip through and away. If you are going to need somewhere to put this make sure you get a soap dish that will allow water to drip through so it isnít sat in it.
Lush say this is good for washing all over with if you are finding it difficult to find a soap to wash with, where your skin is sensitive. I havenít tried this but I would think the powdery feeling would actually be rather nice on the skin of your body.
I think FF is perfect for those with oily or problem skin, I wish I had been given this as a teenager! I am not so sure if it is for people with skin conditions, the thing is eczema and psoriasis means the skin is already dry, so this product being a little drying may not help but worsen the situation. That said if you are suffering with a skin condition it may be worth a try to find out.
I will be buying FF again (or my other half will be on my behalf), as it really is a good cleanser, at a good price, it is not tested on animals, is vegan, it is as natural as Lush can make it and is leaving my skin feeling fantastic.
I do recommend it and would say that teenagers would find it a great help in the fight against oily, spotty, teenage skin!
I am going to give this four stars but wish I could give it four and a half. The slight tightness and dryness that it leaves behind and the fact that it could smell a little nicer are the only reasons for it not to get a full five stars.
Lush has stores all over the place, why not find your nearest, shop online or just have a look at other products they sell at www.lush.co.uk
For those of you with really sensitive skin and want to see what you would be putting onto it here is the full list of ingredients; Calamine Powder, Chamomile Decoction (Anthemis nobilis), Elderflower Decoction (Sambucus nigra), Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glycerine, Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Chamomile Oil (Anthemis nobilis), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Marigold Flowers (Calendula officinalis). * Occurs naturally in essential oils