This is the conclusion post of my 14-Day No Soap Experiment using Lush Ultra Bland. If you haven’t read the intro yet, please click this – Intro: 14-day No Soap Experiment Featuring Lush Ultra Bland.
It took a lot of effort to do this experiment and I’m not happy to report that I wasn’t able to use this for 14 consecutive days as my cleanser. I skipped a day (but more on that later).
First, let me tell you how to use Lush Ultra Bland.
As you can see in the photo, the product is very thick. It’s like Dairy Queen’s Blizzard. If you turn the tub upside down, the product will not fall out.
To describe how it feels to use it, imagine scooping butter on your finger and spreading it all over your face. It will spread easily as it melts with the heat of your skin and it will dilute all your makeup (EXCEPT waterproof eye makeup).
After that, try washing off that butter with room temperature water. As you probably can imagine, it will NOT budge. You will need to use a damp flannel, or warm water, or both to take it off.
Since we don’t have a water-heating system in the house, I pour hot water in a bowl from a thermos, dip a microfiber towel in, and wipe off the cleanser.
It says on the label that you can remove it with a damp cotton pad. Uhmmm, NO. Maybe with 5 big ones ‘coz I can’t see how it is possible with just one damp cotton pad.
After cleaning your face you’ll have to wash the towel too. And let’s not forget the bowl. You have to clean the bowl of course.
In two words, I’ll summarize this routine as extremely effortful.
In five words: not fit for my lifestyle.
The first 3 days went smoothly. On those 3 days, I didn’t wear any waterproof makeup so I was able to use Ultra Bland exclusively. Work was also not very demanding so I was able to afford doing the above routine morning and night.
On the 4th day, I used Revlon Color Stay eyeliner. I had to remove the eyeliner with a waterproof makeup remover first before using Ultra Bland. I’ve foreseen using a separate makeup remover for eye makeup as stated in my intro post. I consider it a valid exception.
By the 6th day, I started experiencing soap-withdrawal. Actually, I can last forever not using soap and using something like Physiogel cleanser, cetaphil, or micellar water. It was more like missing the feeling of splashing my face with water and touching my skin sans something-creamy.
I gave in on the 9th day. I washed my face with SkinKlens (which is kind of a dupe for Cetaphil). It’s also on this day, 5 days before the expiration date, that I placed the ultra bland tub in the fridge. Images of bacteria multiplying rapidly kept propping up in my head. I thought maybe cool temperature might slow down the process.
The journey until the 14th day was agonizingly slow. I was able to carry through the experiment nonetheless. At the end of the whole thing, I felt so relieved that it’s all over. And it wasn’t because the product was bad. It was just very time-consuming to use.
Prior to doing the experiment I was already breaking out and I could already see a few pustules about to pop. Other than those, no additional pimples erupted. But if “bring the skin back into balance” meant that the cleanser is going to heal the pimples – well, it didn’t.
Good news is, even with simultaneous use of the highest-strength tretinion, I didn’t need a moisturizer. It made my skin very supple and moisturized. The suppleness reduced the appearance of my pores and I woke up on most days with less oil than usual. Also, the redness around my nose toned down significantly.
I guess that’s what skin balance meant.
Lush Ultra Bland lives up to its claim. It is a very good product. It would’ve been great if it can remove Japanese waterproof mascara and if it’s easy to wash off.
The results were great but I found the effort of using it very unsustainable.
If someday my grease-face becomes extremely dry and flakey, it would be worth the effort. But right now, cream wash-off cleansers will suffice.