Saturday, November 12, 2011

How you were *supposed* to use LUSH's Brimstone


Brimstone
, we hardly knew ye.

LUSH came out with a new line of exfoliating scrubs earlier this year, including an odd little lump of sulfur-laden gunk called Brimstone. I've always been an Ocean Salt junkie, but I decided to give Brimstone a shot. The fact that Brimstone is WAY cheaper than Ocean Salt may have had something to do with my decision, but I was also curious to see if the sulfur would be beneficial for my psoriasis.

Ugh, it was amazing. From the first time I used it, I noticed a drastic improvement in the scaly parts of my skin. Even the texture of the normal areas of my skin looked smoother and healthier. I gave Brimstone my official seal of approval and vowed to always keep a block on hand.

As it turns out, not everyone shared my enthusiastic joy. Brimstone is a divisive product, one that was loved or hated with extreme passion on either side (also know as the I Heart Huckabees phenomenon.) It seems the hateful side won out, because LUSH recently announced they would be discontinuing the product. I know that LUSH must discontinue products from time to time, not unlike Ben & Jerry's or Kool-Aid, but dammit, I'm going to miss it.

I can't help but think that this product may have inspired less vitriol if they had provided better instructions on how to use it. LUSH doesn't offer any kind of instructions with their packaging-free products (instruction cards are, presumably, responsible for depleting 99% of the world's rainforests), and all the website states is, essentially, "rub it on your skin" (there's even an instructional video which is exactly as unhelpful.) So I guess I can't really blame people for letting a product that was meant to break up and dissolve in water sit in a puddle in their shower and then getting upset when it was destroyed. Not that it'll do much good now, but here's how you should have been using it:

  • Break the block up before your first use. Depending on the humidity in your home you may be able to crumble it with your fingers, but if not, use a butter knife. Don't worry about keeping it in blocks. Smash it into crumbs if you like.
  • When you're ready to use it, put about a 1 inch block (or a couple tablespoons of crumbs) into a bowl and bring only that piece to your bath. Keep the rest in a dry place (so, not the bathroom.)
  • Draw a bath. Yes, a bath.
  • Do whatever it is you normally do in the bath. That is, shampoo and wash normally. After that, give yourself at least 10-15 minutes to use Brimstone.
  • Pick up a chunk (or pinch of crumbs) and start applying to your skin. It's going to be weird and clay-like. Roll it, smash it, smear it. It's not going to "scrub" like salt or sugar scrubs do. Deal with it. Don't worry about dropping bits into the water.
  • Leave the smeary bits on your skin for a few minutes. Then submerge yourself in the bath completely. Gently slough off the product with a washcloth (or use your fingertips, but it's faster with a cloth.)
  • This is the best part: remember all those bits that fell in the tub? Swirl the water around a bit to dissolve them with the product you just rubbed off your skin. Then just soak for awhile.
  • Drain the tub and rinse off briefly with cool water from the shower.

This takes a bit more time and effort than most people are willing to devote to their skin, but it was really worth it. My only hope now (other than trolling eBay for old stock) is to pray LUSH develops another, easier-to-use product with the same ingredients (like a bath bomb??)

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