Five Things Lush Taught My Ten Year Old

April 12, 2015

I’ve been a fan of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics since I was about Miss 10’s age. I always thought of Lush as this store that smells really good and has lots of cute little products. It wasn’t until I introduced Miss 10 to Lush and saw the impact the brand had on her that I realised what Lush really is and what it can do for the minds of children, as well as the positive impact it has on the environment and local economies. This post is a little different from how most people talk about Lush products, but I thought I’d share a few things Lush has taught this little one.

There Are Natural Alternatives. Miss 10’s at an age when conversations about growth, development and hygiene occur a lot more. She recently started using deodorant, just the store bought ones, because I couldn’t really find ones that smelt nice enough and she’s so fussy (let me tell you!). Each visit to our local Lush store opened her eyes to just how easy it is to find natural, safe, ethical alternatives to the products we use everyday. She now uses the Lush Greeench deodorant powder which is perfect because she dislikes aerosol cans anyway. She’s becoming more aware of when we can swap products we use that aren’t natural, safe or ethical to ones that are. Things like soap, moisturiser, and bath gels seem to be the easiest to swap, but Lush has helped extend the conversation to deodorant, tooth paste/tabs and cosmetics.

Activism. More than anything noticing the “fighting animal testing” images and slogans have raised a lot of questions. Why are products are tested on animals? What actually happens to the animals? How do you know if companies are testing on animals? I didn’t have all the answers, but we worked through them together. Now she carefully considers what else might be tested on animals and asks if we can find alternatives. Beyond consuming knowledge, Lush in store petitions, tips for a greener life, and campaign exclusive products help us assist Miss 10 in acting on the information she’s acquired. This has been so important for me as in my work I’ve realised that many young people mistake activism and advocacy as simply speaking out on an issue. There’s so much more to it, and Miss 10 is learning that actions are just as important as words.

Miss 10 signing the KASM/Lush petition against Seabed Mining 
 

Natural Can Smell Good! As I mentioned one of the biggest problems I had is that Miss 10 is fussy when it comes to how things smell. Unfortunately, many of the artificial, chemical laden products smell so darn good! This is something that concerns me as she grows older and becomes a teenager (when there is more emphasis on looking and smelling nice). She’s experienced lots of natural products and turned her nose up at the way many smell (to be honest, so have I), Lush was perfect because everything smells so yummy!

Not All Ingredients Are The Same. We found this 10 nasties to avoid sheet useful and I’ve taught Miss 10 the “if you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be good for you” rule when it comes to going through the contents of products. Another little insight was, if you won’t eat it, think again before putting it on your skin. We did a little game where she compared the ingredients of her Lush deodorant and the previous one she used. I feel that the lesson here is really just consciousness and awareness of what goes into the products that we use everyday.

Conscious And Intentional Gift Giving. All the knowledge from the above four points I’ve noticed have culminated into a greater awareness in what Miss 10 now presents people as gifts. She’s demonstrating better judgement not only in terms of what she thinks a person would like, but the cost of the gift, how it has been made and if the packaging can be reused or recycled. She’s become a more thoughtful consumer and it’s largely in part to the questions that Lush products have encouraged her to ask. I don’t think I could ask for more.

If buying her a bubble bar, or squishy soap every now and then is what it takes to encourage and nurture this curiosity and awareness it’s a price I’m willing to pay. And she’s only too quick to point out how supporting Lush means we’re supporting all their campaigns and initiatives and being nicer to our planet. Stores and brands like Lush offer parents, guardians and educators such a unique and wonderful opportunity to expose our children to philosophy of ethical and mindful consumerism. I certainly hope we can continue to make the best of this learning opportunity.

Do you or children you know use Lush?
Do you feel that certain skin care or cosmetic brands help extend conversations the way Lush has for us? 

*Miss 10 and I would like to thank Kanya, the wonderful people at LushAUSNZ and Rebecca and her friendly team at the Lush Dunedin store for letting us come by and have a play. 

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