This cleanser is a must have for me. I got a sample after my formerly pimply friend told me his face was so clear thanks to this cleanser. It does an incredible job of clearing up acne. Of all the Lush cleansers I've used this one was the best at clearing up my skin. However, when I moved away from the ocean and to a desert town, I found that it was too drying for my skin. I now use it at night (and herbalism in the daytime) or forgo it altogether if my face is really dry. It is mildly exfoliating as well which helps keep my skin from getting dull. I still always have it at home though because it's also the best thing I've ever used at clearing up body acne. I keep it in a little travel soap dish I got at Walgreens for 99 cents (don't waste your money on Lush's expensive tins). For reference my friend had very oily skin and I have combo skin (oily with dry patches).
Before purchasing this product, I searched the reviews of it in order to simply see if I was wasting my time and money in buying coalface. The reviews I'd seen were rather negative towards the product, however, I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and use it on my face anyway.
Ironically, the price for coalface was £6.66, I suppose that is a clear indication of the, effectiveness, or coal face...
Before using this product, my skin was normal, not perfect with a few blemishes but rather clear, however, after using this product, I wanted to hide my face away for several weeks...
My face broke out! But they weren't normal spots, they turned into nasty scabs, even now, several months later, I have the scarring caused by this soap! Luckily, I used Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5 strength) and they cleared away in no time! Lucky I had that, goodness knows how long those hideous scabs would have stayed there for...
This is an honest review! The price is expensive, the smell is okay (It's coal, do you expect a miracle?!), there was no packaging (unless you count the paper it came with which fell to pieces after the first use). I recommend asking for a sample of the soap if you're still unsure; don't waste your money buying acne!
Used this cleanser as a morning cleanser to control oil
Pros: Good for controlling oil for a few hours, face feels 'squeaky' clean after using, makes into a good lather
Cons: Can be over drying to certain areas of my face like around my eyes and lips, if you don't like the smell of licorice then you may not like this
I had to stop using this product as it was irritating my eyes and lips making them too dry and wasn't keen on the smell. I moved to using LUSH fresh farmacy instead which I much prefer.
Hmm, I wish this had worked as well for me as it did for so many others here, but it just left my skin too dry and tight and I do not like that feeling. It did make me feel very clean but as I said, too tight. I do have oily acne prone skin, but I just like my skin to feel clean, soft, and not aggravated.
It does smell like charcoal and does have abrasive bits, so I would suggest lathering it up in your hands and then applying to your face, not putting the bar directly on your face.
I used the rest of mine on my chest and shoulders.
I was contemplating buying this when a SA offered me a sample slice. I used it on my face for about .5 seconds before I realized OWWW it's way too rough and grainy to rub onto the face directly. (No, I did not read MUA reviews before trying it.) So I lathered up my hands and used it that way. The scent made me gag but I suffered through it for a week. When I noticed no change in my skin (not clearing or purging) I started to use it on my back just to get rid of it. I suppose if I had used it longer than 2 weeks or plugged my nose, I might have been happier with it. As it stands, I have no reason to use this soap ever again.
I really wanted to like this product, I adore Lush and it's rare to find a beauty/cosmetics company with such commendable ethics. I was recommended this by a friend and began using it once a day at night. She advised me it had made her skin worse before it got better - like an initial purging which brings impurities to the surface and then heals the skin. I took this into account and used this soap around 2-3 months before I finally gave up on it, it did nothing for my skin.
I found it dried my skin out, but I still had clogged pores and spots. I found it hard to use and not very hygienic - obviously you can get round this by cutting the soap and using a section each time you wash, but this seems like a lot of hassle. One side of the soap was very harsh and grainy almost like sandpaper, I wasn't too sure how to put it onto my skin without irritating it, I would use the soft side first and then very gently get some of the grainy soap onto my hands and put onto my face.
I wouldn't recommend this product - it's a shame it didn't work for me, I'd say stay clear of face soaps if you are like me and have sensitive skin.
--UPDATE JULY 2013--
I've upgraded this from 2 to 4 lippes. I stand by by original review - this is no good for my face. HOWEVER..after coming off the pill I got acne on my back which was horrible. Taking natural supplements (see my review on evening primrose oil) has prevented this. But Coal Face has cured the ones that were already there and is really helping to keep my back clear.
I would never have thought to try this again - my mum picked it up for me when she was in Lush (thanks mom!). I remembered I hadn't liked it for my face, but obviously facial skin is very different to body skin, and this seems to suit my back. I've never used specific body wash because I never had problems before bcp..I'm not sure if I will repurchase, because like I said I've solved the problem internally. However I have no doubt that this really aided and speeded up the healing process (whilst smelling absolutely lovely also). Would recommend for body acne purposes.
I'm really impressed with the Coalface soap. It makes my face feel absolutely clean and oil-free, which is not the case with the other Lush cleansers I have tried (Dark Angels, Aqua-Marina, Herbalism). I love how my face stays matte for a few hours -- it's quite an achievement for my oily skin.
It is somewhat similar to Dark Angels, but there are not as many scrubbing particles in Coalface, which is nice, because I hate harsh scrubs.
And the soap bar lasts very long, so I don't mind the price.
I am writing this review on behalf of my boyfriend, who would always roll his eyes at my LUSH obsession, til I eventually persuaded him to ask one of the store workers for a sample of this for his oily, spot-prone teenage skin.
His spots have been reduced, he feels clean and refreshed without being dried out. Now he's more than happy to come to the store with me and i'll be purchasing a big lump of this for him as one of his birthday presents. :)
I've used Coalface for a few years on and off now, and now I am back to using it full time and I'm really happy with it. I can't imagine someone using it who doesn't have oily/combination skin enjoying it, it leaves your skin very fresh and clean but for those with drier skin it might feel a bit tight and a little too dry. It is good value for money, it costs £4.50 for a bar of it. I cut it up in to slices and have used about a quarter of the bar over the last 2 months so it works out at good value. I have tried all of the Lush cleansers and this is my favourite. Leaves your skin feel fresh, and I love the smell too!
Coalface Cleanser is the first Lush skin-care product I have ever used. It is amazing. I love it. I got a small sample (about a gram) of it which lasted me well over a month so I splurged and got an almost 80g slice. (I asked for 50g but the girl said that they weren't meant to cut less than 100g but she would try anyway and she ended up cutting 78g which I was happy with.) It costs $15.25AUD for 100g but I think it is VERY much worrh it for this wonderful product. It is a solid bar soap which you rub on your face. It lathers on your face just like a hand soap would and then you rinse it off with water. Immediately my skin felt less oily and pimples felt less red. It cleared my skin up well and got rid of a lot of blackheads. It also brightened up my complexion immensley. It is easy and lovely to use and smells nicely of licorice which I quite like. It is not a strong smell and doesn't linger on the skin. It is mildly exfoliating but not very. It does not leave any visible marks on my skin from exfoliating as it is very gentle. I would not use this product purely as an exfoliater. The black and silver colour makes this a pretty soap and I cannot praise it enough! I love Coalface, all oily skinned beauties should use it! I would not reccommend it to those with dry skin.