People who shop in Lush will know that many of their products come in black pots with screw-on lids. For the purposes of this blog post, whenever I refer to the “black pots” I am referring specifically to the black pots with the screw-on lids, in any or all of their sizes. The black pots come in small, medium and large versions, which are more or less the same, just differently sized. The problems I am blogging about in this post apply to all the sizes.
The lids are screw-on, so there has to be a groove in the lid which the top edge of the pot fits into. As the majority of products in the black pots are creams, mousses, masks etc of varying consistencies from very liquid to very thick like whipped cream, they tend to slop about a bit. And the contents get into the groove (ah, the days when Madonna was fun!) and get stuck there. As you can see.
Product gets stuck in the groove and congeals and goes quite horrible really. Also, it gets wasted. It’s sitting there, in the groove of the lid, where the customer can’t reach it and therefore can’t use it. Waste of product, waste of money.
Obviously Lush makes toiletries, which are used in bathrooms, where people often have wet hands. Sometimes wet hands slip and drop what they’re holding. Unless you’ve done it yourself, you can only imagine the pain and irritation you experience when an open pot of Lush product slips out of your wet hand and lands in the sink, in the bath, on the floor and spills its contents across the room. Then you’re left with a dilemma – do you scoop it back into the pot, contaminating it with the grebbies and eech of whatever it landed on? Do you just scoop it up and bin it or rinse it down the plughole, wasting product and money? Or do you scoop it up and apply as much of it to yourself as you can?
And, to expand on the theme of grebbies and eech (a phrase I borrow from my friend Morna who originally used it to refer to the things that inhabit a dirty plughole and which need to be cleaned out with a chopstick), to use the products in the black pots, you have to stick your fingers into them. Lush make much of their minimal use of preservatives. It’s pretty well understood that solid products are more stable than liquid products and therefore require fewer preservatives. Credit where it’s due, Lush have been reasonably innovative over the years in making solid products (eg shampoos, conditioners, massage bars, bubble bars) where other companies make liquids, which require fewer preservatives and less packaging. But they do still make a lot of liquidy creamy products, which need to be scooped out of the pot in order to use them, and that generally means sticking your fingers into them. I suppose you could use some sort of applicator, thoroughly washed between uses, but how many of us can be arsed with that?
So people stick their fingers into the pots, and even if their hands have just been washed, bacteria gets into the products. And then the products get stuck in the grooves in the lid, where they go a bit congealed and sticky. And then you stick your fingers back in and then you rub the product on your face. And then people wonder why the products are going off.
Unsuprisingly, people have been complaining about the black pots for several years, Shall we have a look at what people have said?
- I do like the tubs as you can see exactly what you have left and how much to get,but on the other hand bottles are more hygienic,and you can still just pump a tiny bit out
- I just opened my fair trade foot lotion and it had wierd [sic] dark pink/yellow bits on the top (unfortunately all the words rubbed off the date sticker so I don’t know if it has gone out of date). i dont know what it was but I scooped it out with a spoon and used the nice stuff underneath.
- This occurred to me today when I slopped half a pot of Enzymion down the sink trying to open it. Those big flat black pots are nice but for “thin” moisturisers like Enzymion they’re awkward to open (hard to hold) and when you do, there’s a good chance the pot will tip and chuck the cream all over the floor. Don’t get me wrong, I love the pots in general, but only for thick products like the face masks – back when my skin was dry instead of oily I had this exact same problem with Skin Drink! Basically I’m asking – is there any chance of Lush offering moisturisers in those pump bottles? They do the in-store samples in those bottles, and they hold the same amount of product (45g). Obviously only for the watery ones, but it would be a big help. It would also make them a lot easier to take on holiday!
- I must add that the pots drive me nuts. I love creme anglais and it is expensive however in that pot, it does not look it. I know generally it is what is inside what counts but if I wanted to give it as a gift, it looks awful and may never be used. I have these things leak on me all the time.
- Moisturisers in pots that don’t leave half of the product in the rim of the lid. Having to keep my products upright all the time makes it difficult to travel with them.
- The product, if it’s a thinner cream, gets trapped in the hollowed out section of the lid, so that when you thread the lid back onto the tub, several full applications are squeezed out of the tub. As fun as it is contaminating it by scooping it up with ones finger and putting it back into the tub / wasting it off / using a clean cotton bud to clean out the inner of the lid every single application / spending 20-30 minutes carefully decanting into a 45g pump bottle, I’m growing really fed up and bored to the point it’s making me consider using alternative moisturisers. My new tub of Enzymion has taken a considerable hit with the amount of product I’m having to just rub into my hands that has ended up outside of the tub (I decided to try not doing any of the above in favor of seeing how long the tub lasts me as a mini-experiment).
- My Celestial does that as well and it’s really bloody annoying. Honestly I think all of the packaging needs to be looked at and sorted out because it is clearly not working.
- I just can’t think how these tubs will work if the products have no preservatives, I mean so many of them go off early anyway…
- The point is that you shouldn’t have to use an applicator for face cream. I always apply mine with clean hands and yet all my Lush ones went off. And don’t get me started about product inconsistency. That’s why I eventually had to give up with Lush face care. At first it made my skin better but due to inconsistency, my skin just got a whole lot worse
- I have to admit I got so fed up of leaking and messy moisturiser tubs and continual acne that I switched to another brand (aromatherapy associates) and am 100 times more satisfied. clean prescise application, no mess, no contamination and no more acne…
- Yes I always had this problem too. If I ever sold a moisturiser (or anything in those black tubs really) in the swap shop I felt like I had to wipe a whole load of product away from the grooves of the lid before it looked presentable, and I always kept my tubs upright. It just always seemed as if loads of air was getting in there and pushing the product out
- I’m in agreement, they are not good enough for a product that could contain £40 worth of skincare, I understand the lack of fancy packaging but they need to be fit for purpose.
- I think you have a good point here, I would much prefer them in pump bottles for ease of use and no contamination with fingers and bacteria
- I was told years ago they won’t use pump bottles because of the extra packaging and recycling of the pump unit. They clearly know it’s a problem as the testers have often been in pump bottles.Why?
They don’t want contaminated products (fine at home though!)
They don’t want people to tip it everywhere (fine at home though!)
They don’t want people to use too much (fine at home though!)
They don’t want things leaking (fine at home though!)
- i think subconsciously this is why i have been moving away from lush skincare. i used to be a ‘lush snob’. everything was lush…cleansers, toners, moisturizer…in fact the only one skincare product i still buy and use and love is ocean salt. i don’t use the toners because 8/10 times, the sprayers on my bottles stopped working and it was just too much trouble to switch to a different bottle – well, not trouble.. but we shouldn’t have to. i used up the last of my lush moisturizer a few months ago, and have made no effort to buy more. i’ve been trying a few different things (non lush) i’ve had samples of and my skin is better for it. and god forbid you don’t clean the pot right away, the stuff stuck in the grooves turns a crusty grody brown. right next to the product you’re supposed to be putting on your face…it’s very unappealing. i’ve found a skincare line that my skin loves, and the packaging is functional and inoffensive. sorry lush.
- This happened to my last pot of Vanishing Cream. Will not repurchase.
- I haven’t bought lush face moisturisers for a while but I do remember my vanishing cream having this problem even though it was kept upright, the enzymion just got a weird clear/yellow layer around the grooves that I guess was old moisturiser. Since then I’ve used different companies for face moisturisers in tubes and in pots and not had any of the same problems. Even all the steamcream pots I’ve had didn’t do it and I think that’s thinner than the enzymion I had. There have been a couple of pots of dreamcream I’ve had that had the same problem though it’s thicker, don’t know if anyone else has with the bigger pots?
- That is exactly how my last pot of Imperialis arrived brand new from Mail Order. It was disgusting so I binned it and switched to Elemis. If it is made and packaged like that I don’t want it anywhere near my face so didn’t even bother sending it back.
- I had so much of an issue with my lush products in black tubs getting wedged into the rims (I couldn’t even open my ocean salt some days as a result of it) that I have stepped away from the skincare completely. I use a lot of clarins, origins and nivea and my skin is so much better as a result. My acne is almost completely gone and my oily skin is under control.
It seems pretty clear that people are switching to other brands because of what the black pots do to the products. People have complained about the black pots for at least the last five years. Any ideas why Lush aren’t doing anything about a problem that is obviously losing them customers?