07.18.2013
7
2
Dark Angels
Rating
3.5 fl. oz. for $12.95
Category:Skin Care > Cleansers (including Cleansing Cloths) > Cleansers/Soaps
Last Updated:07.18.2013
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This cleanser is mostly mud mixed with oil, charcoal, and a bit of sugar for a scrub-like effect. It’s a mess to use, is difficult to rinse, and irritates skin with the fragrant oils of sandalwood and rosewood. Nothing about this cleanser is specific to acne-prone skin. If anything, the irritation this cleanser can cause could make oily, breakout-prone skin worse. Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).

Claims

Black sugar and charcoal gently exfoliate and absorb excess oils to leave dull, oily and acne-prone skin with a clean, matte finish. Even oily skin can be sensitive, so we've made this one soft and soothing to calm redness and irritation. Antimicrobial rhassoul mud deep cleanses to help prevent breakouts while vitamin rich cold-pressed organic avocado oil nourishes skin to leave it soft and hydrated.

Ingredients

Rhassoul Mud, Cold Pressed Avocado Oil (Persea Gratissima), Glycerine, Powdered Charcoal, Black Sugar (Sucrose), Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Perfume, Linalool, Sandalwood Oil (Santalum Album), Rosewood Oil (Aniba Rosaeodora)

Brand Overview

Lush At-A-Glance

Strengths: None… OK, they do offer complete ingredient lists on their website.

Weaknesses: Almost every product contains at least one potent skin irritant; no sunscreens to be found, nor are they recommended by the company; no products to address common skin conditions such as acne, hyperpigmentation, or eczema; jar packaging; this isn't skin care, it's fragrance dressed up with food ingredient posing as skin care!

With its beginning in England in the late 1970s (the company that later  became Lush sold their first products to none other than The Body Shop!) this line captured consumers' attention with the promise of hand-made cosmetics, and since then has had its share of ups and downs. After closing down for a few years (when they were known as Cosmetics to Go), they reemerged in England as Lush, and now have a global presence and booming mail-order business. Not bad for a shop whose layout and displays look more like a grocery store's than a slick cosmetics boutique.

"Natural" is a major theme here, and we mean major. Essential oils and perfumes are infused into everything; walking into one of these stores will knock you over if you have allergies or a sensitive nose. The unique angle you'll find here is that Lush sells skin-care products the way grocery or health food stores let you shop for bulk food items. You can scoop the stuff up yourself from bins and tubs, or buy prepackaged items, some of which are refrigerated to supposedly ensure freshness (though cold is no more helpful for skin-care formulas than heat is).

Even more eye-catching are the shapes, sizes, and decorations for the numerous Lush bar cleansers. These are nothing short of artwork and are either beautiful or fetchingly cute. As clever as all that is (and some of the product names are adorably witty), none of it is at all helpful for skin. Lush's lineup for facial care is one of the most disappointing, lacking, and problematic. Most of their products are prime examples of "natural" not being inherently better for skin. Lots of natural ingredients (including many antioxidants, such as green tea or pomegranate) are good for skin. Why Lush overlooked almost all of the beneficial options in favor of harmful ones is a question worth asking, but don't expect a straight answer. The staff at Lush stores eagerly supports the company's claims that lemon and lime can decongest oily skin, or that tiger lily can "tighten skin tissues," among other far-fetched, unproven assertions. It seems that at Lush all you need for healthy, radiant skin are fragrant oils wrapped up in beguiling stories of how the product came to be or what else it's good for (it is suggested that one of their moisturizers can also be used as fragrance). The lure of the natural is strong for many consumers, but the siren song Lush sings isn't a tune your skin wants to hear.

For more information about Lush, call (888) 733-5874 or visit www.lush.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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03.03.2015
Test products before you knock them

I use Dark Angels every night and it has helped clear my skin. The mud and charcoal help draw out the gunk. I have not found it to be irritating to the skin at all. I really wish Paula had people actually test products for her reviews to determine how effective they are in the real world before knocking them. There's a reason Dark Angels is one of Lush's most popular products and it's because it works.

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Reviewed by
Anna J.
08.16.2014
Love love love

From the first day I used it I loved how vibrant my skin looked. I've been using it for a week now and my oiliness is definitely more controlled

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Reviewed by
Camille D
07.29.2014
Actually like this product

I am in my mid-40s and have combination skin. I use this product periodically when I'm especially oily. I use it at night and, since it has oil in it, assess whether additional moisturizer is needed. I supplement with Paula's serums, of course. I think this scrub is great and I get compliments on my skin the following morning after using it.

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Reviewed by
kbsradio
06.24.2014
I love dark angels by lush!

I've been using this for a few months now & I've had wonderful results!My skin is less prone to breaking out, less oily, even toned, & doesn't dry my skin out. I've ditched my clarasonic for this along w/other lush cleansers like coalface & fresh farmacy.I admit it is messy to breakdown cleanser to a paste in my hand & rinse off is easy on face but a mess on sink:(Despite Paula's choice of poor rating and review, this lush product dark angels cleanser is my fave by far!

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Reviewed by
jenny a.
03.19.2014
Amazing product!

I absolutely LOVE this product. I've seen clarity in just a few days of using it. I have oily skin and have tried every product to help my skin. This cleanser makes my skin happy! Not sure why they rated it poor. It is one of the best! :)

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Reviewed by
Kristen A
01.03.2014
Avocado oil is for oily skin. [period]

Excellent for oily skin. First of all, this cleanser contains, in large amounts (second ingredient listed), avocado oil. I am a patent researcher/approver. My job is researching product claims for their validity. Lush owns many PUBLISHED patents. Research any patent database to see for yourself. Do your own research on avocado oil and its skin communicating properties. Paula's Choice is great but they do not know all, as reflected in their original "for dark skin only" comment. (see above post)

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Reviewed by
SHARON N.
07.16.2013
Dark Angels

Lush has never claimed that Dark Angels is a cleanser for darker skin tones, as the Cosmetics Cop Review said. Dark Angels is a cleanser/scrub for oily young and blemish prone skin. It is named Dark Angels because it's an alternative for oilier skins to the Angels on Bare Skin, another cleanser from Lush.

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Reviewed by
Emma,H.
07.18.2013
Paula's Choice Research Team Response

Hi, and thanks for your comments! Lush did originally claim that Dark Angels was for "darker skins," but has since removed that claim from the product's description online. We've revised our review to reflect that the claims have changed. Thanks for the heads up!

—Paula's Choice Research Team
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