My go-to facial cleanser for the past few years has been Lush Ultrabland. It’s a thick “cold cream” formula of oil and wax emulsified in water, which is designed to gently deep cleanse without stripping away any moisture. I’ve always found it the perfect match for my sensitive skin, but when I stumbled upon the Lush Naked store in Manchester where everything is packaging free, I decided to try out one of their solid facial cleansers in an effort to be kinder to the environment.
I chose Like a Virgin on the advice of the assistant in store, who said it was actually the equivalent cleanser to Ultrabland in solid form. And after trying out this solid cleanser for a few weeks I thought I’d share how the two compare.
How Do the Cleansers Compare?
The main difference is of course the packaging, and Like a Virgin gets full marks for eco-friendliness by having no packaging at all! There is the issue of getting it home from the store in its naked form though. I solved this problem by using a small paper bag and then on another occasion using the pictured cardboard container, both of which were available in the Lush store. Although these are both biodegradable items, I’m still slightly disappointed that I needed some form of packaging to get the cleansing bar home. Once in use it’s fine to leave the bar out in the open in your bathroom, but I have taken to storing mine in an old Ultrabland pot.
Ultrabland itself is an easier proposition, but the black plastic container isn’t biodegradable. However, Lush do offer their black pot returns scheme. All of my pots get washed and returned to store when I have collected enough to claim a free face mask, so actually I feel like I’m being quite environmentally friendly this way too.
Ultrabland has a simple, non-memorable scent. But thanks to the addition of cleansing and toning lemon essential oil, Like a Virgin has an amazing fresh scent, like lemon sherbert, which I love!
How to Use
Both cleansers are massaged into the face when it is still dry. With Ultrabland this involves scooping out some of the cream and applying directly, but with Like a Virgin you have to massage in your hands first to melt it. I find both ways work really well, and both cleansers can also be used with a cloth for removing eye makeup. After massaging into the skin, I wipe away with a warm damp bamboo face cloth. Both take a bit of getting used too if you usually go for water-based or foamy cleansers, but nowadays I prefer this type of cleanser.
Value for Money
My last 100g pot of Ultrabland lasted me a whole 2 months, whereas one bar of Like a Virgin lasted 3 weeks. Taking their prices into consideration, Like a Virgin is slightly better value, which I would expect given there are no packaging costs involved:
- £14.95 for 100g Ultrabland = £1.87 per week
- £4.95 for 15g Like a Virgin = £1.65 per week
I achieve similar results from both of these cleansers. They are both very effective at removing makeup and deep cleaning the skin whilst keeping it feeling moisturised, and are both very gentle and soothing. I enjoy using both of them much more than any other cleansers I have tried.
Which Cleanser is Best?
I would happily use either of these cleansers and highly recommend both. At the moment I’m enjoying my new stash of Like a Virgin bars, but once I have used them I might well swap back to Ultrabland for a change. The only real difference is how they are applied to the skin, which really comes down to personal preference.
And for anyone worried about cleansing with oil-based “cold cream” cleansers, don’t be! I had similar reservations but have found them to be much more effective. Oils are great for dissolving and lifting makeup, dirt and excess oil from the skin!