What Are the Benefits of Sulfur for Acne?

Products with sulfur are often used to treat acne.
Sulfur masks often contain antibacterial substances like tea tree oil.
Sulfur aids in cell turnover, which can help reduce acne.
Sulfur acne treatments should be used in conjunction with a regular skincare routine designed to prevent breakouts.
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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Sulfur is one of the most ancient remedies for acne known to man. Since the days of Roman civilization, people have used sulfur as a treatment for skin inflammations and other infections. There are several reasons that some experts recommend sulfur for acne, but it may not be very effective for some people.

One of the main reasons people use sulfur for treating acne is because the element is keratoloytic. This means that it aids in cellular turnover, which results in faster healing from pimples and blemishes. Sulfur is used in many exfoliating products for people with acne prone skin, where the natural keratoloytic properties are assisted by small grains that help remove dead skin and old blemishes.

Some people also recommend sulfur for acne because it has mild antibacterial properties. Bacteria is the root cause of most acne; when dirt or other particles become trapped in the skin, it leads to the inflammation that results in blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. By ridding the skin of bacteria before pimples start, sulfur can reduce the potential for new breakouts. The antibacterial properties of sulfur make it a common component in mask treatments for acne.

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Often, the best benefits of using sulfur for treatint acne are achieved through combination with other acne-fighting substances. Sulfur masks often contain other antibacterial substances such as charcoal or tea tree oil. Cleansers and spot treatments with sulfur may also use benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Sulfur is often a good choice for people that like to use only natural products, as it is a naturally occurring element and often used in organic or all-natural skincare products.

Some people prefer to use sulfur for acne as an occasional treatment, since it tends to have a very strong odor often compared to rotten eggs. Since sulfur is used in many natural treatments that avoid artificial ingredients like fragrances, this smell can be quite strong and may be off-putting to some people. If the smell is bothersome, try to limit use of sulfur for acne to once-a-week masks or overnight spot treatments.

Sulfur is generally best for mild to moderate acne, rather than for cystic breakouts. Since the benefits of sulfur take place mostly at the exterior skin surface, the deep infections that cause cystic breakouts may not be much helped by the use of sulfur. People with severe acne may want to consider speaking to a dermatologist about prescription medication for acne if treating with sulfur fails to produce results.

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anon355336
Post 5

I am seven months pregnant and suffering from hormonal acne. I have white heads on my forehead and chin area that are beyond bothersome to look at. I purchased Glytone Sulfur mask, lotion and the balancing lotion. So far, so good and it's only been a week.

anon321344
Post 4

I ordered some Sulfur and received it today. I have already used it once. I just want to know, will it help the scars which acne has left behind?

serenesurface
Post 3

I like using sulfur acne treatment products that also have moisturizing and soothing ingredients in it. I generally buy face soaps and masks that have about 3% sulfur and a moisturizing agent. I wouldn't recommend using something that only has sulfur because it's just too strong and over-dries the skin. When this happens, the skin has to produce more oil to make up for it which is not what I want.

The acne soap I'm using now has glycerin, essential oil and 3% sulfur. Sulfur is great for removing dead skin, opening pores and cleaning out pores. It also makes it much easier to remove blackheads. The moisturizer helps hydrate the skin so that the skin doesn't have to produce too much oil.

The other good part about this soap is that it smells great! It has a herbal scent to it which is way better than the scent of sulfur. The scent of sulfur is unbearable.

discographer
Post 2

Is sulfur safe to consume orally? I read about this on a homeopathy forum where sulfur was suggested as a treatment for acne, but not the use of it topically, but rather the oral consumption of it.

This doesn't sound like a very good idea to me, but at the same time, I wonder if it would work better since it can be effective from the inside out?

And has anyone seen increased breakouts with sulfur, even if it is just initially? Generally when I try natural treatments for acne, I get more breakouts for a while and eventually it balances out. But that initial breakout always makes me think that it's not working.

I'm just wondering what to expect when I do start using a sulfur acne treatment.

candyquilt
Post 1

After I heard about the benefits of sulfur as an acne treatment, I looked up skin products that have sulfur in it. I found out that quite a few of the brands I already know and use have sulfur in them. They're not necessarily labeled with the word "sulfur" but contain it as one of the ingredients.

I've tried a sulfur soap, cleanser and mask so far and they've all helped my acne. I think it's especially good for reducing redness and inflammation. If I use sulfur products everyday though, my skin does become very dry and tight. So I make sure to follow up with an oil-free moisturizer and use it less often if I need to.

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