L is for Lush, discovering how to make it accessible for me #atozchallenge 

[image description: brown background with a stamp of the A to Z challenge in the background. Writing on the top reads “A to Z participant (2017) then there is a large capital letter ‘L’ in the middle. Below the ‘L’ it reads “blogging from A to Z” below that it reads “http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ end of image description.]

I have grown to like Lush products more and more over the last few years. A lot of this has to do with my partner Evan who is rather in love with Lush and blogs about Lush and other things at Lush makes me gush

Before being in a relationship with evan I hadn’t been in a Lush shop and any time I had gone past them whilst out I had held my breath and got past it as quickly as possible.
The smell of the shop, even from a few shops away, would cause sudden severe headaches and would overwhelm me badly.

I wanted to be able to go into a Lush shop as their ethical and colourful products seemed great from a distance, but I couldn’t go in and had no idea what anything was, so couldn’t buy anything online. I also didn’t want to buy anything online as I was scared about how strong the smell would be of the products.

When one day evan suggested going to Lush to get me some moisturiser for my knees I was rather scared, but the Lush we went to was in a new area of the Arndale and was bigger. Being in the shop was hard and the smell of the bath bombs at the front of the shop was very overwhelming. However luckily the creams were at the far back, so I was away from the smell and busy front of the shop. I was able to try each of the creams the guy helping us suggested.
As for me part of my sensory Processing stuff involves a lot of different textures being painful for me and I knew it couldn’t be an oily moisturiser, so I tried a few, eventually finding a perfect one.

I have learnt by evan buying bath bombs that on their own the smell is not overwhelming for most of them, it is the fact they are open in the shop altogether that is the worst thing for me.

I have a few select products from Lush that I know I like and know what to get, and that I have smelled the first time I got them, so I know i can tolerate them.
Evan is good at choosing bath bombs that I will like!

Some of the Lush products I will never be able to use, due to texture and/or smell, but that is ok. Not being able to use some isn’t a problem, I like that I can use some products now.
I have become a fan of bath bombs and of making bath art with said bath bombs! That is a lot of fun.

Also I now have a way of being able to go into Lush stores and not be overwhelmed or in pain. And that comes in the form of wearing a mask designed for cyclists. I brought it as I have allergies randomly to lots of things, which are usually airborne things, although some I don’t know the reason and lots of different smells can cause sensory overloads and meltdowns and pain.
When I first went in a Lush store wearing it I could very slightly smell a hint of Lush, considering I was in a store, that was pretty amazing! I didn’t feel ill, or overwhelmed, or get a headache.

Here is me wearing my mask to show it to you.

[image description: white non-binary trans man with short brown hair and dark tinted glasses on. He wears a mask which covers his nose and mouth. The mask is black at the front, with a blue, white and red pattern going from outside of where his nose would be, to around the side of face and it disappears out of view. His facial hair is visible at the bottom of the mask on his lower chin and neck area. He wears a navy t-shirt and a orange lanyard round his neck. End image description]

So I make Lush more accessible to me by: wearing a mask in the shop, having a few products I know I like, if I need something new or different I will go to a store with someone and get some assistance with choosing something and will smell it and touch it, also at home the Lush products I like have smells I can tolerate or are not that strong, so do not overwhelm me.

I am glad I have found ways to make Lush more accessible to be able to use it and thank you to Evan for introducing me to Lush and for helping me to find ways to make it more accessible for me.

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