Lush (not so lush) Dream Wash = skin irritation

I have used Lush dream wash before many times. I would say it was one of the few washes that I could use that didn’t irritate my skin, so either I’m now more sensitive or they’ve changed the recipe.

I have NEVER been able to use Dream Cream however, which is the body lotion that matches this shower wash. The Dream Cream has similar ingredients but also lots of parabens and perfume. Not great for eczema skin even though they say it is great for those with eczema.

This is what Lush say about Dream Wash:

Lush Dream Wash - irritated my skin.  Not great for eczema

Lush Dream Wash – irritated my skin

A soft and gentle shower wash that’s packed with the best ingredients to soothe and cool sore or sensitive skin. Scoop this out with your hand and use as you would a shower gel. Its soft blend of soap, soothing aloe vera gel and calamine gel will leave you feeling cool, calm, and perfected. Tea tree oil is antiseptic and antibacterial, while rose absolute calms redness.

*packed with the best ingredients they say.
Shall we see?

List of ingredients in Lush Dream Wash

  • Calamine Powder
  • Water (Aqua)
  • Fair Trade Organic Aloe Vera Gel
  • Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil
  • Glycerine
  • Sodium Stearate – One of the least allergy causing of the sodium salts and fatty acids. Non irritating to the skin
  • Sodium Hydroxide Caustic soda. The FDA banned this for use in household liquid drain cleaners. If too much alkaline is used, dermatitis of the scalp can occur. If ingested causes vomiting, prostration, and collapse. Inhalation causes lung damage. LIQUID DRAIN CLEANERS? IT’S NOT ALLOWED IN LIQUID DRAIN CLEANERS? Then what the deuce is it doing in my Dream Wash? I’m not sure I want that on my skin…ever again.
  • Rose Absolute
  • Chamomile Blue Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Sodium Chloride – common table salt
  • EDTA or Ethyelenediamine Tetraacetic Acid – may be irritating to the skin and mucous membranes and cause allergies such as asthma and skin rashes. Oh lovely. In a product sold for sensitive skin.
  • Tetrasodium Etidronate, or Tetrasodium ETDA is made from formaldahyde which is also a carcinogen. No thank you.
  • *Linalool – may cause allergic reactions. Has been linked to eczema
  • Perfume – who knows what this means. What kind of perfume me wonders?

I know a lot of Lush products contain parabens but I thought this product was OK. However digging out my Cosmetic ingredients bible and checking the ingredients proves to me there are a few suspicious ones in there. Very dodgy if I’m honest.

Anyone else had problems with this dream wash? or is just me? Not quite as bad as what Dove sensitive skin soap did to me, but not far off. My whole body is a mess at the moment after this Lush attack but we’re on the mend. Thanks to PurePotions Skin Salvation on the worse bits, aloe vera and Lots of Epaderm on top.

And if this blog post interested you, you might like, “Allergic to Dove soap ingredients”.

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Comment from Lush customer services:

    Keilly (Lush)
    21 Jan, 10:04
    Dear Ruth,
    Thank you for your email.
    We are sorry to hear that you have developed a sensitivity to the Dream Wash.
    We haven’t changed the formulation or ingredients of this item and would like to assure you that all our products have been tested on a panel of human volunteers to ensure they are safe.
    Allergies by their nature can occur seemingly out of the blue and one can become sensitive to ingredients, which were previously used without an adverse reaction.
    A chartered Scientist and registered Medical Practitioner carry out an assessment of the health and safety for human health of the finished product taking into consideration the general toxicological profile of each ingredient used, its chemical structure, its level of exposure and response from human testers.
    As all of our products are made with a majority of fresh and natural ingredients, which we find usually reduces the problems commonly
    associated with more chemically produced products.
    Occasionally an individual will experience a sensitivity to a particular cosmetic ingredient, regardless of the manufacturing company, and in acknowledgement of this we make our Quantitative Ingredient lists available on our website, in our Lush Times catalogue and in our Lush stores.
    I hope any reaction to the product has now calmed down, but you can take it back to your local store and request a full refund on this product, this is fine with or without a receipt or you can return it to us (if you want to do this I can email over a Free Post returns label) and we can process the refund for you.
    Once again please accept our apologies and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind regards,
    Customer Care Advisor

  2. Um, if you don’t have sodium hydroxide, you don’t have soap. This is the raw ingredient before it goes through a process called saponification which turns lye (sodium hydroxide) into soap.

  3. I used Lush’s Dreamwash back when it was still available in pots in the UK (5+ years ago) – they have a “roulade” version now.

    It caused my worst flare-up of eczema ever! My skin burnt for days and it was really red and angry – worst product ever.

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