Clear Skin Journey: Cleansers, All Black Everything

If you’re one of those people who never struggled with acne during your adolescent years, you may have considered yourself lucky; that was, until you woke up one day at age 24 and had your first-ever breakout. Adult acne is a thing. In fact, I was that person. I had flawless skin all through high school and college, with the exception of the monthly, hormonal pimple that resembled the sprouting of a unicorn horn. Then, out of nowhere, adult acne reared its ugly head on my brown skin, and with every bump came a blemish, leaving me with dark spots and an uneven skin tone.

I tried numerous products. I was determined to skip the dermatologist and resolve the issue on my own. I even dabbled in apothecary, which ended up being a bit too time consuming for me. I was searching for products that would give me immediate results, until I realized that in order to see improvement and clear skin, I would have to find a solid skincare regimen: cleanse, tone, treat, moisturize, and protect.

This month I’ll be giving reviews on products that have worked to clear my acne and even my complexion. For starters, a great cleanser is imperative. I have found black cleaners to eliminate excess oils and balance my skin’s pH (potential of hydrogen), without being too drying. So here are three of my favorites:

LUSH Dark Angels, $12.95-31.95

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I was hesitant to try this cleanser due to its grainy texture. The girls at LUSH were so good at selling. They educated me on the natural ingredients and what they could do for my skin; they even let me try some on my hand, and I was sold! This cleanser allowed me to skip the exfoliation step. Made from black sugar and charcoal, Dark Angels, once combined with water, creates the most gentle, yet invigorating feeling on your face. After use, my skin felt oil-free, and I even saw reduced redness in my existing acne blemishes. With continued use, I actually saw a reduction in breakouts.

LUSH Coal Face, $13.95

Shortly after investing in a Clarisonic Mia 2 (which is the best skin investment you could ever make), I had to figure out an alternative to Dark Angels to avoid leaving a huge black mess all over my sink. So, I opted for a solid cleanser from LUSH. I saw similar results using Coal Face with my Mia 2 as I did using Dark Angels alone. The only difference was a deeper clean feel. I felt like my pores were completely unclogged with Coal Face. So I cleansed nightly with the Mia 2 and Coal Face for a while, and made sure to follow up with a serum and moisturizer. I recommend this cleanser/tool combination if you have super oily skin. My skin is combination/oily so, I sometimes felt dry after this ritual.

Shea Moisture African Black Soap, $4.99

Coal Face became a bit expensive for me, and after my move to Los Angeles, my acne actually calmed down. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the lack of humidity here. Whatever the reason, I wasn’t complaining. I just became a little more thrifty when it came to my cleanser. I had used Shea Moisture hair products, so I decided to try their black soap for my new cleanser. I’m still on my first bar, and it has lasted me some months. This product does exactly what it says it will: cleanse, hydrate, and calm the skin. I love this option, because it cleans without totally stripping my skin of its moisture, even with my Mia 2. This is my holy grail cleanser, for now.

Here are a few other black cleanser options that I have been dying to try:

What is your favorite cleanser for ance-prone skin? Share your thoughts in the comments!