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Jul 07.15

10 Things You Might Not Know About Calamine

Posted In: LUSH Facts >> Tips and Tricks

If ever there was a must-have skin care survival ingredient, it's calamine.

Calamine powder is one of the most reassuring, nurturing ingredients in our medicine cabinet. There are versatile uses and benefits to calamine powder, which forms the base for calamine lotions, as well as many different LUSH solutions for many skin discomforts.

10 facts about calamine

1. Calamine has been invoked for soothing and calming irritation of all sorts for hundreds of years. The lotion you find in stores is actually a blend of powders that can vary from recipe to recipe. Lush’s calamine is mainly zinc oxide (ZnO), a white powder, tinged with iron oxides to produce a pretty, light pink powder. Used in Lush formulas, calamine powder adds a calming touch, as well as a characteristic blush to some classic skin care savers.

2. Zinc oxide, the basis of calamine powder, is fairly common in medicinal ointments, diaper rash creams and sunscreens. It’s favored for its smooth consistency, which can set atop skin acting as a fine protective film against the effects of the sun’s rays and other environmental residues.

3. Although calamine has a long history of use in the United States (since the 1930s!), no one is actually where it came from or how it was invented. Lucky for us, it doesn't matter. Legend has it that it started as a folk medicine made from common ingredients found in the local pharmacy.

4. Calamine is safe for repeated use. So, if you find that your skin is feeling more irritated and troubled than usual, you can go ahead and hop in the shower with Dreamwash to help soothe and calm.

Fresh Farmacy uses soothing calamine powder

5. Skin that’s producing too much oil can seek relief the matte finish left behind by calamine. Both Fresh Farmacy facial soap and Dreamwash shower smoothie blend the powder with gentle lathering agents for anti-inflammatory relief while absorbing excessive oils on face and body. A gentle way to nurture skin back to better behavior, they relieve skin’s irritation and offer some anti-bacterial muscle from lavender and tea tree essential oils.

Dreamwash is incredibly soothing for sore, irritated skin

6. Bug bites and generally irritated skin also get relief from our range of calamine products. Both Fresh Farmacy and Dreamwash also combine calamine with chamomile and rose to reduce redness and itchiness. Calamine offers a topical cooling action on the skin while the essential oils help calm inflammation. These are handy products for all using after any summer adventuring in places full of mosquitoes and poison ivy.

Made with fresh blueberries and calamine, Catastrophe Cosmetic is skin calming and soothing

7. When skin is really suffering, only the most cooling mix will do. Enter Catastrophe Cosmetic, a Fresh Face Mask, to offer a restorative solution to skin in crisis. Ingredients from both land and sea, like fresh seaweed and blueberries join forces with this calming mask base of calamine and rosewater to gently treat the skin. Created for the face, but useful anywhere skin is suffering.

Cooling, hydrating and mineral-rich, Aqua Marina is made with calamine powder.

8. Suffering from a sunburn? Reach for a soothing calamine cleanser. Aqua Marina offers mineral-rich relief of blended seaweed gel and aloe vera gel for cooling hydration to achy skin. The dewiness of the ingredients are balanced by calamine’s chalky microfilm consistency, which makes the mix a spreadable solid and contributes to the cool-down factor as it finely coats the skin.

9. Calamine lotion is a staple in many medicine cabinets, but can also be made in small fresh batches when needed, if ingredients are on hand, that is! If you're a do-it-yourself kind of person there are two recipes for homemade calamine lotion on the blog, Nourishing Joy will have you whipping up a fresh batch for yourself.  

10. By now it’s clear there's a theme to our calamine-based products, they'll get your skin feeling happy again! We've always relied on calamine to you feel comfortable in your own skin. 

Hopefully we’ve scratched your itch for info on calamine. It’s a useful ingredient with a signature pink, calming presence in our skincare range. While it may drum up some uncomfortable memories of having chicken pox or poison ivy or some other malady of childhood, there’s also the association of relief and comfort from this very nurturing ingredient.