Lululemon Enters the Beauty Space With Gender-Neutral 'Self-Care' Products

On Tuesday, the athleticwear retailer will begin selling moisturizer, dry shampoo, deodorant and lip balm alongside its mega-popular leggings.
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Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon

Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon

As the lines between athleisure, wellness, skin care and self care become hazier and more fashion brands look to cash in on the amazingly lucrative beauty market, the inevitable has happened: Lululemon, the successful and beloved Vancouver-based athleticwear retailer, is launching a product line. 

A slew of brands have sought to meld athleisure and beauty over the past few years; it comes as little surprise that, as Lululemon continues to grow its global footprint and capture a broader portion of the fitness gear market share, it would delve into the space, too. Dubbed "Lululemon Selfcare," the range, which launches on Tuesday, features gender-netural products, each developed with athletes in mind: a facial moisturizer, two spray-on deodorants in different scent offerings, a dry shampoo and a lip balm, with additional products coming later in the year. (While there are technically five SKUs in the range, four of them — the dry shampoo, two deodorants and moisturizer — each come in two different size options.)

"For over 20 years, Lululemon has been focused on solving athletes' needs. We've recognized a gap in the transition point from sweat to life where sweat-related skin and hair problems often arise," explains Sun Choe, Lululemon's chief product officer, of the genesis for the line. "We learned from our guests during our initial test phase that they trust us in this area and look to Lululemon as the experts and authority on sweat."

Created in collaboration with athletes and "self-care experts," the items rely on a combination of natural ingredients and what the brand makes sure to call out as "technology-driven" synthetics. That means, in an effort to build a product line that adheres to consumers' growing desires for "clean" formulas, the range omits ingredients known to be irritating or controversial, such as sulfates, aluminum, parabens and gluten. They're also completely cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified. Each item ranges in price from $12 to $48 — pretty modest in comparison to the brand's notoriously pricey, but beloved, leggings.

The full Lululemon Selfcare product lineup, featuring (from L to R): No-Show Dry Shampoo, Anti-Stink Deodorant (in two different scents), Sweat Reset Face Moisturizer and Basic Balm Lip Balm. Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon

The full Lululemon Selfcare product lineup, featuring (from L to R): No-Show Dry Shampoo, Anti-Stink Deodorant (in two different scents), Sweat Reset Face Moisturizer and Basic Balm Lip Balm. Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon

It was important to Lululemon that the full product range is gender-neutral and has a universal sort of appeal for all athletes. "We wanted to make sure that these products could be accessible to everyone. Our products have neutral scents and are designed specifically to address workout-related skin problems, which can affect anyone who sweats," says Choe.

I got a chance to test out all of the products at a press preview for the event which, in true Lululemon fashion, included a workout so I could really put the sweat-related claims to the test. I was immediately impressed by every single one of the formulas, as well as the non-gimmicky gender neutral aspect of the line, which — beyond being inclusive and ethically sound — also makes good business sense, given Lululemon's immense popularity across genders. The sleek, white-and-Lululemon-crimson packaging features rubberized bands at the bottom to lend a sporty feel (while also making the bottles more grippable for sweaty hands).

The only hair product in the line, the No-Show Dry Shampoo relies on algae to control oil production and tapioca starch to sop up greasiness and sweat at the roots. The brand also claims that, with continued use, the formula leads to a "healthier-looking, more balanced scalp." I found the argan lotus scent — a super-light, green-floral aroma that's not overpowering — to be incredibly pleasant and energizing. I also appreciate the attention that went into striking the right balance of texture-building, without being too powdery or gritty. Even on my dark-brown hair, the formula was completely translucent at first spritz, no raking through or brushing out required. The dry shampoo will retail for $34 for the full-size, 8.3-oz bottle and $18 for travel-size, 2.4-oz bottle.

In keeping with the trend for alternatives to aluminum-based deodorants, Lululemon's Anti-Stink Deodorant omits the controversial ingredient instead relying on pre-biotics to "reduce the growth of bacteria and restrict odor-forming bacteria," as well as zinc to absorb moisture and odor and coconut oil to moisturize. The spray-on formula comes in two different scent options: aloe lotus and black pepper sandalwood scents. (I'm more partial to the latter.) It will retail for $18 for the full-size, 4.2-oz bottle and $12 for the travel-size, 2.4-oz bottle. 

Lululemon Selfcare. Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon

Lululemon Selfcare. Photo: Courtesy of Lululemon

The most expensive product in the lineup is the Sweat Reset Face Moisturizer, which will cost $48 for the full-size, 1.6-oz. bottle and $28 for the travel-size, 0.9-oz one. Housed in a slim, pump-top bottle, the lightweight gel feels silky at first, and then dissipates to a completely matte, barely-there finish as you smooth it over skin. Not only does it control shine, but it also gently exfoliates to keep pores clear with pomegranate enzyme and combats post-workout redness with cooling menthyl. As someone who often deals with a very flushed face after any workout, this formula really appealed to me, and it delivered: I didn't notice results immediately, but I definitely think it helped cut down the usual amount of time I'd remain red-faced by a few minutes. And the smooth, non-greasy finish is a summer skin-care dream.

Like the moisturizer, the Basic Balm Lip Balm also delivers moisture and smoothness without leaving behind a shiny film. As far as lip balms go, this is one of the more mattifying ones I've tried (really, who wants to look glossy during a workout session?). It comes in a tube with a rubberized applicator, which drives home the athletic vibes and is also just plain fun. The formula is spiked with shea butter, organic beeswax and jojoba oil for plenty of moisture, but since there's no waxy, filmy feeling, it doesn't melt or migrate during physical exertion, as I've noticed some other more buttery lip balms can. At $14 a tube, it's on par with Glossier's famed Balm Dotcom, which sells for $12 (though admittedly targets a different consumer).

The Lululemon Selfcare collection is available at Lululemon stores and on the brand's website as of Tuesday.

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