For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lush Cosmetics, they’re a shop company that originated in Oxford created by Mark Constantine, who believes that only the freshest, fairest ingredients belong in his products. Lush Cosmetics sells everything from your basic shower necessities such as soaps, shampoos, and conditioners, to your more fun and accentuating bath and shower time products such as bath bombs, face masks, bubble bars, body butter, and shower jellies.

So if that introduction wasn’t enticing enough, here are five reasons why I always choose Lush products over their competitors:

Firstly, Lush is cruelty-free and does not test their products on animals, nor will they ever buy from a distributing company who has!

Lush believes in the purity and freshness in their products, meaning that testing on animals is not only inhumane, but simply inaccurate as to how their products will affect human skin. Lush still tests how effective their products are before they hit the shelves, but they test on consenting humans who don’t mind smelling fabulous in the process.

Secondly, Lush believes in ethical sourcing and fair trade products!

Lush is known for buying from small, independently owned farms that they agree deserve to be paid the correct amount for the work they put in. If you spent all of your time sourcing pure vanilla or going through the process of growing organic products, don’t you believe that you should be paid fairly for the work you’re doing? Well so does Lush.

Lush is also a big contributor to grassroots charities. Lush donates 100% of the proceeds made from their “Charity Pot” lotions to the charity listed on the individual lotion pot. Talk about giving and making a difference!

Thirdly, while it may seem like an odd reason to buy a product, Lush products have legitimate expiration dates. And that's a good thing.

Since Lush uses only fresh ingredients in their products, they are going to spoil just like any other fresh product, like our food, in fact Lush says that their products are “food for your skin.” If you wouldn’t eat expired food, you probably shouldn’t use an expired face mask either. The care and beauty really shows; the fresher the ingredients are in a product, the more effective they are at what they're meant to do!

Moreover, Lush has a patent on bubble bars, meaning they won’t be found anywhere else, and they are also the original creator of the infamous bath bomb (which you may be able to find at a lower quality by other bath stores, they didn't get the patent on this one)!

For those of you who don’t know what a bath bomb is, it is a starch based bath product created with food safe dyes as well as essential oils to give users not only a moisturizing and luxurious bath experience, but a colorful and fizzy one, too!

(A Lush bath bomb whole courtesy of Logical Harmony and of one in action courtesy of Balinea on Tumblr, thank you for your awesome gif!)

Bubble bars are a solid bubble bath; break a piece off of the bar and crumble it under running bath water to get a colorful bubble bath as well as the freshest smells ranging from citrus to rose to patchouli!

(A Lush bath bar before it's dissolved, and of that same bar when dissolved in the bath water courtesy of Klaire De Lys on Pinterest, thank you!)

Lastly but certainly not least, Lush products make a real difference in your skin.

As stated previously, only the freshest ingredients will truly benefit your skin. Since this is a basic belief of not only Mark Constantine, but the entire Lush staff, there is always a product in the store that will work for all skin types. For example, Ultrabland facial cleanser is a beeswax based cleanser, perfect for removing makeup, with almond oil and rose water, designed to sooth the skin while adding just the right amount of moisture without being greasy. Ultrabland was designed for all skin types, perfect for a first time Lushie, and if used for one month, Ultrabland will completely rebalance your skin whether you are too dry, too oil, or have combination skin!

So if you have yet to check out a Lush store, it is definitely a must in my book! Thankfully, Lush has expanded all over the world since it’s launch in Oxford. Lush also has a spa, available in Philadelphia and NYC if in the USA, which has a wide variety of treatments ranging from facials to full body massages! So if you believe in a company with authenticity, ethical sourcing, and simply just a fun, soothing bath, I’ll see you at Lush!

DISCLAIMER: I was not encouraged by Lush Cosmetics to write this article, simply LOVE their products!