[Edit February 28th. Frequent typos and hamfistish mishmash of metaphor and tin-eared lyricism)
About the Item:
Gold, Frankincense and Beer Shower Jelly
3.5 oz. for 7.95 (Season/discontinued)
This item contains: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerin, Stout (Beer), Mandarin & Star Anise Infusion (Citrus Nobilis & Illicium Verum), Propylene Glycol, Mandarin Juice (Citrus Nobilis), Carrageenan Extract (Chondrus crispus), Perfume, Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Clove Bud Oil (Eugenia caryophyllus), Black Pepper Oil (Piper nigrum), Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum cassia), Fine Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride), *Citral, *Eugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Methylparaben, Golden Sparkles (Polyethylene Terephthalate).
Soap + Biblical allusions + beer = awesome? Yeah. It actually kind of does. Who would have thought?
Now, I’m not really the shower-jelly type (for reasons I shall elucidate later on), nor am I especially into beer. Gold, however, I am all about. Actually, let me back up. I’m not that into drinking beer. The occasional cold-one aside, I mostly use beer to steam my hotdogs (try it. Your mouth will love you for the rest of your life) or fix a broken chili, so I’m pretty well aware of beer’s alternative uses. That being said, I had never really considered it for cosmetic purposes until now. I believe I’ve heard of people shampooing with beer, but I’ve never quite understood why. And if it’s so great, why is pouring a beer on someone’s head in a bar such an insult?
Sally actually gave this item to me for Christmas (bless her soul) and contented, though I was, to have something other than a bag full of coal, I found myself a bit apprehensive at first. Looking at it through its little plastic tub I imagined it reeking of Guinness and incense like an Irish monastery. After peeling off the top and giving it a good whiff, I was actually quite pleased. It smelled a lot like root-beer, actually, with a warm note of Cinnamon and spice. Not overpowering, not too mild.
Compositionally most of the ingredients make sense. Citrus oils to cleanse, pepper to exfoliate and stimulate, salt to balance PH, clove to sooth– all excellent aggregates for soap. But what about the beer!? After some research I discovered that a lot of people actually do the beer-shampoo thing and even beer-baths (sound expensive and sticky) because beer contains vitamin B2, which stimulates growth and repair in hair, skin and nails. Sounds pretty awesome. Maybe that’s why Wolverine’s always knockin’ em’ back in the comics. Also it could explain his totally bitchin’ chops and hair.
“So wait, if I use GF&B I’ll look like Wolverine and be able to heal mortal wounds instantly?!” Whoa whoa whoa. Slow down, dear reader. I thought the same thing at first and although my tests proved negative for signs of Wolverinization, it was impressive on many other levels. As I said before, I’m not much of a jelly person, by which I mean I’ve always felt a little strange about using a wad of jello to wash with. I’m getting used to it, but it is a little odd. Lush recommends you pinch off a chunk and lather it into a loofah. This seems to be the most effective, but it’s also possible to just grab the whole chunk and rub it on yourself. This works well for me because I have a lot of chest hair that works to build up the lather (was that too much? I never know), but for most people (girly men and girly ladies) the pinch-and-lather technique is probably your best bet.
Lathering was a chief concern, having used Lush shower gels before and run into complications. I need a good lather and because they don’t use any synthetic foaming agents, sometimes you can’t really get good, fluffy suds. I was very impressed by GF&B, however. It lathers quite well on my natural man-fur or in a loofah.
I’m also fairly impressed by how long this stuff lasts. I assumed that the jelly texture would make it break down more easily, but depending on how sparingly you pinch off chunks, you can make it go as long as a normal bar of soap.
I haven’t noticed any major differences in my skin since I started using this stuff, but then again I wouldn’t expect to. I abuse my skin on a pretty regular basis between sculpting and playing rugby and I’m fairly oblivious to stuff like that anyway. It does make me feel very clean after using it, however, and the smell stays with me for a long time.
Bottomline, if you like root-beer and want to smell like it, this is the stuff for you. Oh, and the gold is a nice touch as well 🙂
Bang-for-your-Buck Rating: $$
Over-all Rating: 4