Life Style

The Lush Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap Is the Zero-Waste Cleanser I Can’t Stop Using

lush fresh farmacy cleanser

When we think about sustainable, efficacious products, Lush is often a brand that comes to mind. For more than 10 years, Lush has been leading the industry in terms of charitable partnerships, waste reduction, and environmental footprint. When it comes to products, Lush takes more than a minimal approach to packaging, wrapping most of its solid products in just a single sheath of recyclable brown paper. (And for liquid products, the brand’s “Bring It Back” program gives customers a discount on their next purchase when they return the product’s container.)

Lush is best known for its bath and bodycare products—but in recent years, the brand has extended its sustainability and formulation innovations to skincare products, launching multiple facial cleansers and moisturizers. And one of the most popular facial care launches is the Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap, a solid face soap formulated for sensitive skin.


BEST FOR: Sensitive or acne-prone skin

USES: Face and body wash




PRICE: $18

ABOUT THE BRAND: Lush is a face and bodycare brand known for its vegan, sensorial products with sustainability at the heart of its ethos.

About My Skin: Dry and acne-prone

Historically, I always thought of my skin type as combination—oily on the forehead and chin but fairly dry on the cheeks and under-eyes. But these days—after about a year on a tretinoin prescription to clear my acne—my skin is dry. (Tretinoin is super effective at treating acne, but dryness is a common side effect.) And while my skin has cleared dramatically, I still prefer to avoid comedogenic ingredients, which can make moisturizing a challenge. So to combat the dry patches and occasional redness that come with my retinoid, I try to make sure there’s a moisturizing element to every step in my skincare routine, including my cleanser.

The Ingredients: Soothing calamine and tea tree oil

  • Calamine Powder: Calamine contains soothing, anti-inflammatory properties to calm sensitive skin, but it also operates as a mild astringent to really give you a deep clean.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Another anti-inflammatory, tea tree oil is also an effective treatment for breakouts. According to board-certified dermatologist Yunyoung Claire Chang, MD, tea tree oil treats breakouts by killing the p.acne bacteria that contribute to bacteria, as well as by reducing the redness and inflammation surrounding a breakout.
  • Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is the final key ingredient in this cleanser that brings an overall soothing effect to the formula, making the Lush Fresh Farmacy Bar an excellent option for sensitive skin that’s prone to redness or tightness during washing.

The Feel: Soft and sudsy

The beauty of this solid facial soap is that it performs just like your favorite liquid cleanser. Just rinse under the faucet (or, ideally, in the shower when you’re already running water) for a few seconds and lather the bar between your hands. Wash your face using light pressure and small circular motions like you would with a regular face wash, and I promise you won’t even notice the difference. (You don’t need to put the bar directly onto your skin—just use the lather that comes off on your hands.)

lush face soap bar against white background

The Scent: Deep and earthy

If you’re not into having any fragrance in your face wash, then this probably isn’t the product for you. That being said, even though I typically reach for fragrance-free when it comes to cleanser, I absolutely love this scent. It’s rich and earthy—almost like a fresh rainstorm—and it doesn’t linger after you rinse. There’s also no fragrance added to the product, it’s just the natural smell from ingredients like lavender and tea tree oil.

The Packaging: 100% zero-waste

As is the case with most Lush products, Fresh Farmacy comes with zero packaging. When you purchase online, the product will come wrapped in recyclable brown paper within a recyclable brown box, but that’s it. There’s no actual packaging associated with the product, which means you can use the bar down until it becomes too small to handle for a zero-waste cleansing experience.

The Results: Clean, balanced skin

I’m a firm believer in the morning cleanse, and the Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap is the perfect cleanser to get the job done. For starters, it’s incredibly gentle on the skin (there’s no gritty texture, as is the case with most solid soaps). But somehow, it still gives you that sudsy, clean feeling that you’d hope for. Plus zero redness, tightness, or irritation.

woman holding lush face soap bar up to face

The Value: Lasts for months

I used Fresh Farmacy almost every morning, and it lasted me four months. Often, when face wash is packaged in squeeze tubes and pumps, we take way more than is needed for a single face wash; the solid bar format helps me limit the amount of product I’m actually using so I only take what I need.

Similar Products: You have options

Terra Naked Rose Beauty Bar: The Terra Naked Rose Beauty Bar is certainly an option if you’re in the market for a zero-waste face wash. Just like the Lush option, it gives a delightful lather and features a lovely light scent. However, the texture is a bit grittier (which may be preferable for some) and features deeply moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil, which are not suitable for acne-prone skin types.

Cerave Hydrating Cleansing Bar: Cerave’s Hydrating Cleansing Bar is an effective, dermatologist-approved option if you’re looking for a solid cleanser. Unlike the Lush option, it does come in some packaging (no plastic, just a recyclable cardboard box), but is comparable when it comes to lather and hydrating capabilities.

Final Verdict

The Lush Fresh Farmacy Facial Soap can absolutely replace your favorite face wash, sans all the plastic. This is a zero-waste option that lathers and cleanses like a traditional face wash with the sustainable benefits of zero packaging and zero waste.

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