1 May 2018

Oregano Naked Solid Liquid Soap

I’ll be honest when I say that I was slightly confused when Lush decided to release one of two naked hand soaps as part of their ‘naked experience’ in the Lush Kitchen a couple of months ago. My initial thought was: aren’t soaps naturally naked anyway? And aside from the cute bottle-shaped designs that they both came as, there was nothing that suggested either was any different from the regular soaps that Lush have been producing for years.

At the same time, I know that the company don’t tend to release things without putting a lot of thought and effort into each and every product - which is why I knew I’d have to delve in deeper and discover what sets this apart from the many blocks of normal soap that laden their shelves.

Weighing in at just over 100g, Oregano Naked Solid Liquid Soap will set you back £6.95, which initially sounds rather expensive for a bar of soap. Now a pound more expensive than the first time this showed up in the Lush Kitchen, this limited edition has been tried and tested over the last few months, and should supposedly work a lot better than the first block I received mid-way through last year.

Unfortunately, after carrying out lot of research and getting confused by what set this apart from regular soaps, I discovered that the name 'naked liquid solid' was actually more of a joke on Lush's part. There is actually nothing that sets this apart from a regular soap aside from the name and the shape, so I feel as if Lush could have considered a better marketing technique than the one they eventually went for. 

Having said this, both of the naked solid liquid soaps that I have tried have heeded some impressive results, and I have found that they do actually work really well - sometimes better than the average Lush soap bar. Had Lush simply sold these as environmentally friendly alternatives to liquid soap, with their cute designs and unique smells, I feel as if they would have been a lot better received.

As it shares its scent with the retro 13 Unlucky For Dirt Soap, which wasn't ever made vegan, I was rather excited to try this one out for myself. The promise of such a unique and very herbal fragrance also added to the allure of this soap. However, it was the promise of a product with a high level of anti-microbial properties that excited me the most. 

As someone who works with children, I am always on the lookout for a gentle soap that prevents the spread of germs within my classroom. As I refuse to use bottled variations, I have often had to rely on regular soaps to keep things clean - although I've never felt that these have been particularly effective at eradicating germs as much as I would like. Oregano has since changed all of that, and I hope that this soap makes an appearance again so I can make it a permanent feature in my place of work.    

Containing oregano, rose and geranium oils, as well as fresh oregano, thyme and rosemary, this soap is as herbal as you can imagine. While the fragrance is a gentle one, it is ultimately the latter components that dominate the smell - offering a light and slightly floral herbal smell. The oregano is the key scent here, smelling very much like the dried variation you would use to season your meals with - while both the rosemary and the thyme thicken the herbal aroma and lace their own savoury notes around the oregano to strengthen the fragrance.

Alongside this, the rose and geranium oils add a delicate floral layer to the soap which gives Oregano a mild sweetness to the mix. This prevents the soap from being too harsh on the senses, and leaves a lovely mixture of sweet and herbal on the skin after use. 

As a couple of people have mentioned in their descriptions, this combination of dry herbal and floral means that Oregano Naked Solid Liquid Soap reminds me a little of Oh La La Soap, which just happens to be one of my favourite soaps from Lush. Although they don't share the same scent, the combination of floral and herbal means that they both share similarities reminiscent of each other. 

Not only do the main ingredients help to create a very interesting and wonderful smell, but all of the herbs featured in this soap have also been chosen because of their ability to prevent (or reduce) the growth of bacteria on the surfaces of the skin. This means that Oregano Soap is specifically designed to work on reducing the spread of bacteria after working with foods and/or going to the bathroom.

The inclusion of the rose and geranium help to clean and soften the skin alongside this, while the former ingredient also soothes any irritation and reduces redness that some people can suffer from through overuse and overworking of the hands. The inclusion of the cider vinegar then works on toning and brightening the skin - making this an all-round effective soap.

What I appreciated about this soap was the fact that Oregano produced a thick, oily lather from the very first use. Normally some soaps can be a little stubborn to begin with, or they create a foam that doesn't appear to much in the way of moisturising your hands whilst cleaning. However, this limited edition coated my skin immediately and I could feel it making a difference to my skin right away. 

After a few uses, I also found that the consistency of the soap changed a little, and the small grains of herbs inside began to produce something of a coarse texture to exfoliate with. While I wouldn't rely on this as a regular scrub, the gentle scratching from the herbs meant that my hands felt even cleaner, and smooth to the touch as well.    

I have only two qualms with this product. Firstly, the fact that this comes as a solid piece means that you have to touch it during use. After being educated on the benefits of using a movement-activtated machine in public toilets, I wonder how Lush are able to get around that and justify how the spread of germs would be prevented with something that needs to be touched by anyone that wishes to wash their hands.

Secondly, the newly-formulated base means that Oregano shrunk a lot quicker than I would have liked, and while some hand soaps would have lasted me over six months in my dish, this one barely made it past four months. However, I definitely think you can prolong the life of this by ensuring that you pat it dry after every use. Having said that, this would prove incredibly annoying to any guests or family members who use this regularly after using the toilet: it's just not very practical.

Overall, Oregano is a good concept for a hand soap, although I would probably use it as more of a regular soap in the shower as I don't tend to use hand soaps at home. As it contains antimicrobial properties, as well as ingredients that soothe irritated skin, this would work well for those of you who have sensitive skin and want something a little more gentle to use on your body. Having said that, I would think twice about using this daily as I can imagine it might be a little intense.

This is definitely a soap I would buy again - if only for its unique smell and cute design that would inspire intrigue and conversation from those unfamiliar with the concept of naked products. Having said that, I think it is a little overpriced for what it is and how long it lasts when compared to other liquid variations, and so I would use it as more of a luxury item than a regular purchase.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Perfume, Cider vinegar, Oregano, Oregano Oil, Rose Absolute, Geranium Oil, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citronellol, Geraniol, *Limonene, Colour 42090, Colour 42090:2.

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £6.95 for 135g.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

Scent Family:
13 (Unlucky For Dirt) Soap (non vegan)

Oregano Naked Solid Liquid Soap