Hot chocolate scrub and girl getting a massage on pink background

The spa with chocolate body scrubs and Disney playlists

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It’s not your usual spa experience — it’s so much better

Lush is one of those shops that, whenever I pass, I have to go in. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of spending my pocket money on jellies and bath bombs (it even sells a Shrek-themed one, these days, if you’re that way inclined). Or maybe it’s the super-sweet, intoxicating scent that bellows out of its doors. Either way, whenever I’m in the vicinity of a Lush store, my purse is sure to take a hit.

Its first store was launched in Poole back in 1995, and the brand has since gone on to become a global phenomenon, thanks to its largely natural and eco-friendly product offering. In fact, as of 2018, natural ingredients represented 65% of its global raw material spend, compared to 35% spent on safe synthetic materials. Similarly, 67% of its ingredients are sourced naturally, which is a far cry from certain cosmetic brands on the markets today.

Among its cult products is natural cleanser Angels on Bare Skin, its ‘anxiety-busting’ Sleepy bedtime body lotion and, of course, the iconic Snow Fairy range, including the signature bath bomb, as well as a shower gel, soap, lip mask and body spray.
Today, most beauty-obsessed individuals will have at least one Lush product within their collection or routine. But, did you know that the brand also boasts several spas across the UK? I took a trip to one to experience the Lush magic first hand.

Where is the Lush spa?

There are a total of 19 Lush spas worldwide, eight of which are located in the UK, in Birmingham, Bath, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow City, Leeds, Liverpool, Poole and London’s Oxford Street.

Each Lush spa is located within the brand’s retail shops, although I promise that’s not as anxiety-inducing as you might imagine — you won’t be getting a massage in front of fellow shoppers. Its spa facilities are often tucked away on another floor, away from curious eyes, and are every bit as relaxing as any other spa I’ve visited in the past.

I headed to the London branch for my treatment, where I was greeted by herbal tea, a heated massage bed and a star projector to really set the scene. Afterwards, I was served my very own adaptogenic cocktail to carry on the calming vibes throughout the day.

Girl getting a massage on a pink and yellow background

What treatments does the Lush spa offer?

The spa offers typical treatments, from massages to facials, albeit with a Lush twist (and exclusively using Lush products, naturally). Its bestseller, the Synaesthesia treatment, is an 80-minute massage that’s been specifically designed to indulge each of the five senses. Customers will be asked to choose one of 11 ‘intentions’ on how they wish the treatment to make them feel, including inspired, imbued with an enhanced sense of belonging, or more resilient, before embarking on a journey of massage, light, colour, scent and taste.

For my treatment, I chose The Comforter, another bestseller that encompasses a relaxing massage with a warming full-body scrub that’s perfect for cosy autumn days. It begins with a deliciously decadent hot chocolate scrub, formulated with ground aduki beans and illipe butter, rubbed into my skin to reveal a silky soft glow, before an ‘endless’ massage with tamarind and lime, two scents that are specifically designed to uplift.

The whole time this was going on (and I did happen to doze off for at least 40 minutes), there was a bespoke playlist of Disney covers playing in the background, and while you might not necessarily imagine that to be relaxing, it really set the tone for an uplifting treatment, and I left not only feeling silky smooth and renewed, but also with a strange sense of energy — a different conclusion to the usual post-massage lethargy.

How does it compare to other spas?

As previously mentioned, the Lush spa is a far cry from your usual spa experience, but in the best way possible. You’ll be met by rows and rows of Lush products, pink-coloured treatment rooms with starlit ceilings, and soundtracks from your favourite films.

I, like most, was at first sceptical of a spa that offered a Disney playlist — I’m much more used to meditation music and dimly lit spaces when going for a treatment. But I’m happy to report I was pleasantly surprised.

What’s the verdict?

I found that the therapist really focused all her energy on me, which isn’t always the case at some spas, where treatments can often feel quite rushed. She made sure to pay attention to my specific concerns (aching shoulders and upper neck tension), and really took her time with each element of both the massage and scrub. The heated bed was a nice touch, as was the towelling robe and slippers and the adaptogenic mocktail I was served before leaving the spa.

The treatment prices are pretty comparable to those of standard spas, at £110 for the 60-minute Comforter treatment and £160 for an 80-minute full-body massage as part of the Synaesthesia treatment.

If you’re looking to unwind, or treat yourself or a friend, this is the perfect way to do so. If you keep an open mind about how this is an alternative spa (and tune out the fact you’re in a shop on a busy high street), you’ll be sure to walk away feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready to book in for your next visit.

Read more: 3 sleep meditation techniques for a good night’s rest

Lounge beds and beauty products pictured at the Lush Spa

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