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Let’s spill the beans!

What is soya?

Although botanists haven't entirely agreed on the origins of the soya bean (Glycine soja), it is believed that the plant derives from a Chinese legume, Glycine ussuriensis. Soya has been eaten and cultivated in China since 2800 BC. Centuries of consumption and creativity have led to a wide variety of uses around the world. It’s been ground to make flour, boiled to make milk, pressed to make oil, coagulated to make tofu, fermented to make miso or tempeh. In fact, there are so many different soy-based foods that a Wikipedia list had to be created for them.

Today, the United States and Brazil supply two-thirds of the world's soya production. It is a common misconception that the rise in vegan diets is responsible for the increase in global demand for soya and the deforestation associated with this industry. In reality, livestock feed accounts for just under 80% of the soya market.

What are the benefits of soya in cosmetics?

At Lush, we tend to try almost every food (vegetarian and vegan) we come across to see if it would be good for the skin and hair... and soya offers so many possibilities! We use (or have used) soya milk, milk powder, yoghurt, oil, lecithin, bran, flour and wax, as well as mung beans, tofu and silken tofu.

A few key components:

  • Most soya-based products contain lecithin, a fatty substance with emollient, conditioning, humectant and emulsifying properties. 
  • Soya is renowned for its richness in proteins, particularly in milk, tofu and yoghurt, which help strengthen skin and hair.
  • The oil is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that is said to help keep the skin firm and radiant.

Where does Lush source soya?

Our suppliers vary a lot depending on the ingredient, but we can assure you that whatever the source, we never purchase genetically modified soybeans or products derived from them. To know more about each of our soya-based ingredients, their sources and effects, please browse your Lush product’s list of ingredients and click on the ones that tickle your curiosity.

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