7 November 2013

Dark Angels Facial Cleanser

I'm going to start this review with a disclaimer as I feel it necessary to warn people before they read this; As I have said time and time again, in one way or another, this blog is solely about my experiences and my opinions on Lush products. 

When it comes to each and every product available, there is not a definitive type of person it is aimed at. And as I'm buying and testing every vegan product on their site, there is bound to be some items that just don't work for me, whereas these same products may perform miracles for other customers. Please don't let anything I say on here put you off trying it out for yourself.

When I purchased a tub of Dark Angels, I already had my suspicions that this might not be the facial cleanser for me. After all, it's aimed at people with greasy complexions and my face is at the opposite end of the spectrum.  

Dark Angels is one of their 'solid' cleansers, and while not exactly as solid as the soaps, it is a flaky consistency that is closer to being a solid as opposed to a liquid. One positive aspect of this is that this, along with all of Lush's facial cleansers, are made with far fewer preservatives than liquid cleansers. Win!

So far I've tried Herbalism, Angels of Bare Skin, Let the Good Times Roll and Buche De Noel and really liked them, and aside from the former, they cleanse and care for my skin really effectively.
Dark Angels was invented as an alternative to the bestselling Angels on Bare Skin for those with oilier skins. And much like every other Lush product available, it has been designed so that every ingredient plays a part in caring for your skin. 

The main ingredient is Rhassoul mud which is known to be good for the skin, helping to condition the pores and reduce oiliness. The next ingredient, and perhaps the most prominent one, is charcoal, which has been added due to it's absorbency. Black sugar acts as a natural exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells, and perhaps adds a sweetness which takes away from the harshness of the charcoal scent.

To counteract the possible harsh exfoliating and oil-absorbing effects of these ingredients, the cleanser contains avocado oil and vegetable glycerine which help to soften and moisturise the skin. It also contains sandalwood and rosewood oils, which contribute to the fragrance and are cooling and antiseptic. 

Like with other Lush cleansers, you're supposed to take a small pinch, mix it with a little water and rub it on your face. As Dark Angels is rather gritty, I wouldn't recommend rubbing it too harshly as I can imagine it might cause damage to your skin. 
It is a little messy as well; I suggest doing it over a sink or as part of your usual  shower as it's almost impossible not to drop at least some of it on the floor. Given that it's black, it can make quite a mess and may even stain light-coloured carpets/bath mats etc...

The problem I have with this cleaner, is that it actually made my skin feel really greasy once it was on, and even more so when I had rinsed it off under the shower. For a cleanser that's supposed to banish greasy, oily skin, I fail to see how this would do anything other than the opposite. However, I do recognise that this cleanser is most likely not working because my skin is the completely wrong type.

As it is a gritty consistency, much like Let the Good Times Roll, I can imagine using it daily might cause some form or irritation or skin damage, although I have no proof of this.  

For £6.25, Dark Angels is no dearer than any other Lush cleanser available. However, unlike most of the other cleansers, I think this one is solely aimed at those with greasy skin, and doesn't work as effectively on other skin types. I am really interested to hear about other people's experiences with Dark Angels. If you've used it yourself, please let me know how it worked on your skin. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Rhassoul Mud, Organic Cold Pressed Avocado Oil, Glycerine, Powdered Charcoal, Black Sugar, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Perfume, *Linalool, Sandalwood Oil, Rosewood Oil.

Vegan?: Yes


  1. Oh, Dark Angels.... I went from love to hate with this stuff. I have normal skin, but I've always loved a more aggressive scrub like St Ives apricot scrub. So at first when I used this, it was great. But two things changed: 1) I made a better skincare routine, and I no longer needed anything aggressive or harsh on my face. So the sugar scrub was just too much. 2) I dunno if my batch was weird or not, but I ALWAYS get this black residue that sticks after scrubbing and rinsing. I literally have to cleanse AGAIN. Ugh. I'm trying to get through this as a body scrub now, but I have to scrub first and them go back with a body wash and loofah, BLEH. Oh yeah, and this stuff is kinda impossible to NOT get everywhere. Don't risk doing this over the sink, lol,

    1. I'm sorry to hear that you've had as many problems with this product as I have. I didn't find that it stained my face that much, but it did get all over the bath tub, which was a real nuisance.

      It is definitely a very harsh scrub - It feels it the second you use it on your skin. I'm guessing it must work as it's a very popular scrub but it's definitely not for me!

  2. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

    Facial Cleanser for Dry Skin and Combination Skin

    1. Hi there - thanks for visiting. I'd love to give you more information - what are you interested in knowing?

  3. Personally, I loved Dark Angels, although getting the cleanser off and cleaning the sink afterwards is a complete pain :).
    I have mixed type skin, and the feel after i use it is really nice, plus, it's better in terms of scrub in comparison with Herbalism which I tried before.

    1. which do you think is better for an acne-prone skin? Dark Angels or Herbalism?

  4. It really smoothens and cleanses the skin, but I don't think it makes something for my acne.
    Girl's temptations

  5. I typically have extremely oily skin/and am acne prone. I just started using this product a month ago..... It works amazing for me! My skin has dramatically changed from being constantly broken out with blackheads to now, all of the breakouts I had are almost gone and my skin is noticeably cleaner and smoother. I must say I was a bit hesitant about this product being that I have really sensitive skin and I had previously tried coalface and it left scratches on my skin. However, I find the trick with Dark Angels is to 1) not scrub super hard (this is your face after all), not a lot of pressure is needed for it to exfoliate. 2) I only use this product once a day. I don't think my face needs to be exfoliated twice a day so I use FreshPharm in the mornings and Dark Angel in the shower at night. I will also say that I was worried about the "oil" left on my skin after I use it, but since I use it at night and apply a moisturizer anyways it doesn't bother me, and I believe it helps counteract the drying effect of the coal. Plus if you over dry your skin, it produces more oils which in turn makes your skin more oily. So the oil left behind in Dark Angels helps keep my face from over drying and creating a vicious circle.

    Anyways, I love your Blog!

    1. Thank you for your very insightful comment - it's actually an item I was considering buying again and trailing out - your comment has inspired me to add a pot to my next order - thank you :) I'm glad you enjoy reading the blog :)

  6. Dark Angels was one of the first Lush cleansers I tried and it has become my favorite since trying them all. At first I wasn't fond of the smell but I got use to it, so much that I'd smell it every time I walked in the bathroom, and I fell in love with it. It was also hard to use but I just kept trying and finally I got use to that as well. I am out and need to buy a new pot but all this Christmas stuff has me distracted ha.

  7. I don't use Dark Angels as it 'should' be used but using it my way, it's an amazing product.

    When I get a spot, I mix a bit into the paste and apply it over....leave it there whilst I have a bath/potter about/whatever then rinse it off. It dries it right up without stripping my entire face of all moisture. Sometimes during PMT I might do a very light layer of the same routine on my whole face...leave it a few minutes and rinse off...a bit like a quick, charcoaly facemask I suppose. It dries things up and cleans without stripping it all to nothing. I LOVE the smell of it so this way I still get to use it and very effective it is for those things. But as a regular, every day cleanser - hell no, I just don't see how that would work.

  8. I just want to post this with some advice about using dark angels. I had the exact same issue some others have had with the product leaving at times a greasy layer behind, and also a black mask on my face that gave me a lovely five o'clock shadow look! When using this product make sure not to use water that is too hot. If you are using it in the shower and just on your face make sure you wash your face as soon as you get in the shower before the heat makes your face too warm. The product seems to change greatly with heat, so bear that in mind when using it. I do wish Lush would put some guidelines or advice on their packaging with this product as I almost gave up on it and threw it away!

  9. I had problems with this too leaving my face completely black after I washed it off. By pure accident I found that using coalface after dark angels takes the black greasy residue right off without any scrubbing! Coalface on it's own isn't abrasive enough as I have really tricky oily/combination skin. Dark Angels makes my skin look so good and I rarely get spots! I'd definitely stick with it but use a soap after like coalface or fresh farmacy.