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16 March 2004 @ 09:47 am
Bath and Body Works vs. The Body Shop vs. LUSH  
I've been thinking about Kitty's complaint that I complain a lot about Bath & Body Works, yet continue to work there. ("Work" being the joke here, since I don't even have any hours this week.) So, in the interest of fairness, I'm presenting an example of exactly why I hate the products. It's just one example, but I personally think it's great.

Bath and Body Works Pleasures Body Cream
Any worker in our store would agree that the Pleasures line is not the best we carry, but it's our solid seller that we move the most product of. The body cream is the product we advertise for people who have drier skin - this is ironic because after water, the ingredient with the highest content in this is none other than mineral oil. Inexpensive, by-product of PETROLEUM mineral oil. Let's look at the facts about this oil:
Mineral Oil - A refined synthetic by-product of petroleum. Because it is inexpensive & has an indefinite shelf life, it's found in many "commercial" cosmetics. Due to its large molecule structure, it prevents nutrients & essential oils from entering the skin surface & blocks moisture or waste from exiting. It's drying to the skin for this reason & is not recommended for personal body care preparations. (from ENL Medical)
Yes, that sounds like just the thing to help with dry skin. It also contains Sweet Almond, Calendula, and Avacado oils, which are good, but it's only in tiny amounts. It also contains Lanolin, and I'm sorry...lanolin is disgusting. This is considered a wax and is obtained from the wool of sheep! It does nothing for oily or acne-prone skin. Ugh. It's $10 for 226ml, or about five cents a ml.

The Body Shop Lotion
Again, they start with water. The second ingredient is octyl palmitate.
OCTYL PALMITATE - An ingredient in the oil phase of creams and lotions. Provides a rich, lubricious feel. Imparts a velvety sheen and silkiness to the skin. Produced by combining a fatty alcohol with stearic acid. (From Women's-Health-Naturally.com)

This isn't great moisturizer, but it's many steps above mineral oil, which I honestly wouldn't expect to see outside of Wal-Mart or other drugstores.
I'm having difficulties finding most of the ingredients of this lotion, but it does have grapeseed oil, glycerin, and babassu oils. Grapeseed is good for problem skin, glycerin draws moisture to the skin (for this reason it is often used in soap), and babassu oil is a popular substitute to Coconut oil, which is has similar properties to.
While this isn't a great lotion, it is better than Bath & Body Works because it doesn't dry your skin before moisturizing. It's slightly pricier at $12 for 200ml, or about six cents a ml.

LUSH Sympathy for the Skin
The three top ingredients in this lotion is Vanilla Planfolia, almond oil, and cocoa butter.
Sweet almond oil is obtained from the nut of the tree, which is native to Asia and the Mediterranean. This oil is a favorite carrier oil for essential oil aromatherapy blends, although it’s often used by itself for moisturizing skin. The oil has no scent and is a great nutrient for softening and conditioning the skin. It's been known to be especially suitable for eczema, itchy, dry and inflamed skin. It’s very lubricating but not very penetrating.
Cocoa Butter - A wax obtained from the roasted cocoa bean Theobroma cacao by expeller-pressing. It has emollient qualities & absorbs quickly into the skin. It has a light creamy consistency.
Specific Uses: You must melt this melt down before adding essential oils since it is a solid at room temperature. Used primarily in cream-type moisturizers and is good for all skin types but avoid it if prone to skin allergic reactions.

Vanilla Planifolia is known by multiple other names, like Vanilla Absolute, Vanilla Pod Infusion, and Orchid Oil. Whatever the name, it is a light, delicate oil that is perfect for providing a light moisturization to those products where the after-skin feel should be a whisper. Combined with sweet almond oil, it cancels out the lack of penetration almond oil has. It makes this a very effective moisturizer, because it absorbs quality ingredients very quickly. It is further beneficial because it doesn't have extra products in it, like multitudes of preservatives - but the other part of that is it only has a year's shelf life. Considering how much more beneficial it is, it is a bargain at slightly under seven cents per ml. (240 ml for $16.45)

Bottom Line: Bath & Body Works mainstay, the Pleasures line, sucks in comparison to lotions of a comparable price. They're made with low-quality ingredients, and your meager savings isn't worth the probable damage it does to your skin. I would guess that the mineral oil would create a dependancy on lotions because it would dry the skin, while the other oils in the product would temporarily make your skin soft. Since I don't live especially close to a LUSH store (and I vouch that it is the best moisturizer by far) I would probably go to the Body Shop for day-to-day needs.

...I'm not a geek. Really.
Leishu Lininu_ranma on March 16th, 2004 11:27 am (UTC)
She shouldn't be cutting your hours just because of your opinions. I really hope that that's not the reason. That's more than a bit illegal. I could see if you were complaining about product in uniform and in front of customers, but otherwise doing that's just wrong.
Suzik00kaburra on March 16th, 2004 11:44 am (UTC)
Inasmuch as she doesn't even make the schedule, she isn't cutting my hours. :-p That's the work of Shannon and/or Julee, probably because I'm not a good salesperson, because I am challenged to promote these products in a postive way. I have complained about the products to Kitty, but never while working and never into this sort of detail. *shrug*
jeanniejeannietran on March 17th, 2004 12:58 am (UTC)
Christine says that you have complained about our products in the store and in front of customers before, and that's what really bothers her. you weren't working at the time, but you came into the store and voiced your opinion about how the Body Shop is better and BBW is crap [maybe not in those words. personally, i use our body cream and it doesn't dry out my skin and you told me many times before that my skin is soft. i think people would be able to realize "hey, this lotion isn't working because my skin feels drier than before, i should stop using it." some people use BBW, others use TBS and LUSH; it's just preference.

can we end the BBW/BodyShop/LUSH vendetta already? it's just a bunch of overpriced body products. brands like Jergen's and Vaseline are probably better anyway cuz they don't put in all those crazy chemicals for smell and stuff and it's like 1/3 the price.
Suzik00kaburra on March 17th, 2004 10:15 am (UTC)
The other oils in the body cream (avocado, sweet almond, blah-di-blah) should give good moisturization, so that in the short run it's fine for your skin. Mineral oil (which is also in Vaseline and Jergen's) is the problem, because it drys the skin instead of moisturizing. On oily skin, it doesn't make much difference because your body will naturally compensate for the missing moisture on its own. I'm pretty sure that most people can use it without ill side effects.
It ruins skin that's already damaged though, which is why the body cream worries me. It's all I used for a body moisturizer between June '02 - October/November '02, and I know the psoraisis on my arms was going crazy. Until I stopped using the body cream, the medicine (which is also applied externally) also wasn't as effective - the redness wouldn't go away and it still flaked. It might just be a personal reaction due to the disease, but I'm positive that it still wound down to mineral oil aggravating the skin. Unfortunately, it's what's in most of the drugstore lotions, too.
Suzik00kaburra on March 17th, 2004 10:19 am (UTC)
Oh, and this just me freaking out because I knew something didn't work for me and I didn't know what. I'm not going to go shoving it around in customers' faces or anything like that.
jeanniejeannietran on March 17th, 2004 10:50 am (UTC)
but that is just you and your psoraisis [which according to Christine, you don't have! =)] that have that specific reaction. i do have oily skin but i'm not slathering this stuff on my face. or maybe i should cuz if what you say is true then it would dry up the oil on my face. all i know is that my skin is soft and i use BBW Pleasures Body Cream. but i do like Body Shop lotion [Dewberry is great! i'm sad they discontinued it =(] and LUSH lotion sounds like it would be TOO moisturizing for me. like our spa stuff with the shea butter in it, it makes my skin feel greasy and look all shiny.
Suzik00kaburra on March 17th, 2004 02:19 pm (UTC)
I've definitely got to do some more research on it. I think that mineral oil would not be harmful to oily skin - it might even benefit because it is drying, but that defeats the point of moisturizer. Normal skin it might dry a little, but since some people with normal skin only use lotion once in a while, it would still probably fine. I'm more worried about people with extreme cases, like myself, who would go to a store like BBW expecting the product to be better than the drugstore when the formula is pretty similar. It's also people with dry skin, using the body cream because they think the body lotion is too weak, who would progressively be drying their skin out more and more as they used the body cream.

I think the LUSH I've used would definitely be problematic for you, because it doesn't contain water, which diffuses a lot of the strength by weakening the solution. Their oily stuff would probably work well for you, but they're expensive as heck. :-p You should still try that stuff I bought for normal/oily skin, tho'.

Since the lotions and most of the spa products contain petroletum instead of mineral oil, they're actually less drying. That's probably why they are too greasy for you.
~ * flurr sprite * ~nkicroft on March 16th, 2004 03:45 pm (UTC)
it's okay if you're a geek. geeks are cool. :D
sandprincess54 on March 16th, 2004 09:11 pm (UTC)
i work at bbw and i agree......the only lotion i use are the ones with shea butter in them from the spa line or the pleasures body butter which i dont find all that fabulous........the pleasures body lotion and cream do nothing for my skin and unlike shea butter products they sting my legs if i use it right after shaving.......i use the pleasure body lotion in the summers mostly but just for the scent and to add little sheen to my skin.....i might work there but all of there products are not my top of the charts picks for any beauty related item...i cant wait till april when we go flagship....
mjblovesccs on April 1st, 2004 10:34 pm (UTC)
3 years ago I worked for BBW, and now for the past 3 years since then, I've been working for a dermatologist practice.
I haven't really delved into the ingredients, but out of the bajillion types of minis/samples we receive from numerous well known brands (from olay, dove, eucerin, aquaphor,neutrogena, etc), I swear by Aveeno moisturizers. It's always the first to go when shipments of samples come in (yeah, they let employees get dibs on the free samples even though I'm sure the companies don't intend that to be the case). It's not too greasy feeling, and the "right" kind of moisture feel. It's not perfumed so it doesn't sting your skin right after you shave. Sometimes, the not so designer stuff is the best. Good luck in your quest for the perfect moisturizers :)