21 April 2013

Porridge Soap

I received a Lush gift set a couple of years ago, and after excitedly ripping away the packaging, I was greeted with a lump of what can only be described as camel-brown coloured mud. It didn't strike me as something I would be overly keen on. However, I was instantly converted from the very first sniff. 

I read somewhere once where someone had described the scent of Porridge as 'a vanilla caramel concoction, dripping with maple syrup & treacle.' And this is  exactly how I would describe it. It doesn't smell anything like porridge, but it does release a scent that reminds you of homely, winter breakfasts, baked muffins, oatmeal cookies and orange juice.

Oats are one of the most widely-used ingredients in homemade skin care products, as well as being used for hundreds of years for all sorts of skin complaints. So it was only natural for Lush to include this wonderful gift of nature in a handful of their products. In Porridge, the oatmeal has been left as small pieces, which is used to help exfoliate the skin. And from experience, this works quite well. 
The first few times I used Porridge, it created a nice, creamy lather and the oatmeal pinheads gently exfoliated my skin. However, as many people have noted, the more you use this the more the oatmeal pieces come out. This means that the exfoliation gets rougher, which may not be in the interest of those with super-sensitive skin. 

This soap can definitely be harsh, and for those looking for a more gentle experience, may find this too aggressive on their skin. But If you don't have sensitive skin, you might really appreciate scrubbing all those dead skin cells off. It is also very moisturising - it contains both coconut and rapeseed oil, which leaves your skin feeling soft and luxurious. So even though it can be a little rough on your skin at times, it also contains elements that heal and replenish your skin afterwards. 

One negative aspect about this soap, and one of the reasons why it didn't receive full marks from me, is the prominence of oatmeal at the bottom of the bathtub or clustered around the plughole after use. I found that the smaller the piece of soap got, the more bits of oat would decorate the insides of my bath, which is unforgivable for those who want a simple bathing experience without having to clean up afterwards. 

Overall, it's a gorgeous fragrant soap that lathers up wonderfully and creates an abundance of creamy suds that moisturise your skin. It's also a great alternative for vegans who love the homely scent of Honey I washed the Kids, but cannot use it for obvious reasons. I just wish Lush weren't so overzealous with their use of oatmeal.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Propylene Glycol, Pinhead Oatmeal, Fresh Organic Orange Juice, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Perfume, Labdanum Resinoid, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, *Limonene.

2015 Reformulated Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Glycerine, Pinhead Oatmeal, Sorbitol, Fresh Organic Orange Juice, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Labdanum Resinoid, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £3.10 for 100g.


  1. "one of the reasons why it didn't receive full marks from me," Jen darling,you did give it full marks!!

  2. I have one of these, but have not used it yet. I might tie this up in a little muslin or cheesecloth bag, to catch the oatmeal chunks that fall off, and use it as kind of a soap-in-a-sealed-washcloth thingy. Will see how that works... :\

  3. Okey, this soap looks like horror. But that is not the worst. They have made soap by using sodium hydroxide (lye), which is how soap is supposed to be made. And then, they have added sodium laureth sulfate to the soap. Which is totally strange and unhealthy. I guess it is a cheap way to add more bubbles to the soap instead of use a better formula in the first place. And then they have added preservatives. Bar soap does not need preservatives. So this is some crap of a product. It must be much better to buy real handmade soap from an artisan instead of from this Lush company that tries to sell "handmade" soap that is really crappy made. Judging by the ingredients, it will not last long as well. A poorly made product, that got even worse after the reformulation. Notice that sodium hydroxide have jumped down on the ingredient list, to almost last. That means that they have made less real soap, if any at all. That small amount of sodium hydroxide is not enough to call it a soap. It is a detergent bar. Artisan soapmakers make ten times better products, that is real soap. Real soap is both better for you and better for the environment.

    I was shocked when I read that Lush praised synthetic musk. So healthy and environmental friendly. Yes, right! Synthetic musk is one very big environmental disaster. Lakes and oceans are packed full of it. And stupid Lush tries to trick customers to believe it is sooo fabulous. They also tried to make us believe that whales had to be killed for musk. Which is terribly insane. Ambergris, which is amber, not musk, comes from sperm whales. You can not kill them to extract it. Ambergris if found on the beaches. It has to be very mature, decades old, otherwise it will smell like poo, and it is totally worthless. But matured ambergris is very exclusive, and it is collected on the beaches. It is a sperm whale waste product, and very environmentally friendly, as well as animal friendly. But Lush want us to believe in lies. Short, a crappy company with crappy products.