Lush Dark Angels Cleanser: The Scariest Looking Stuff You Might Put On Your Face

Most cleansers and exfoliators for the face are calm, soothing colors -- things like white, off-white, peach or pale blue. Lush's Dark Angels ($11), on the other hand, is charcoal black and gritty.

Designed to be used with young and oily skin, Dark Angels contains Rhassoul mud (a natural acne remedy imported from Morocco) which acts as an anti-bacterial cleanser. It also contains powdered charcoal, an effective exfoliating agent. Lastly, it contains some soothing essential oils to keep skin soft.

I was initially drawn to Dark Angels because it is so unexpected looking but also because I've been battling some irritating blemishes recently. My goal was to get a good, thorough clean and Dark Angels definitely delivers. The experience of using it is a bit disconcerting owing to the fact that it is black paste. But, after a minute or two, it's actually kind of fun. The grittiness of the charcoal is just enough to polish the skin, but not as much to be overly abrasive or irritating. The main cleansing ingredient is Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (not to be confused with the synthetic, often-irritating agent Sodium Laureth Sulfate), a skin-friendly ingredient derived from coconut oil and thought to be generally OK for sensitive skin.

After using Dark Angels, my skin is surprisingly refreshed, amazingly soft and, I mean, amazingly soft. But, even more impressive, there isn't that overly-stripped-of-oils tightness that some cleansers and exfoliators leave. My skin feels clean, clear and ready to go. The best part is that, unlike more intense exfoliators like Philosophy's Microdelivery Peel, Dark Angels is gentle enough to be used every day.

A few minor points about usage. I was advised by the Lush sales clerk to be sure to use toner after washing with Dark Angels. The justification being that toner is needed to ensure that every last bit is sufficiently rinsed off. I took her advice and it turns out to be valid since there were some traces of black that came off on the cotton balls. Also, similarly, it is important to rinse really well and all around the face, chin and hairline. Not only do you not want to leave any Dark Angels linger on the skin, but if it doesn't get rinsed off in the sink, then it will come off when drying your face, leaving some not-so-pretty black streaks on white towels. They wash out easily in the washer, but I just felt the need to mention that.

Dark Angels is fun to use, effective and gentle enough to be used daily. All in all, it's a winner.



DANA said...


December 16, 2009 at 8:54 AM

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