Product Review: Sulfur

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This post is not about one particular product, rather about an ingredient found in quite a few acne treatments these days. It's no secret that I have been battling adult acne for the majority of my twenties, and I have tried everything I can afford, to minimize my acne. Thus far, I have not found one thing that is the cure all. I continue to research and experiment with various acne treatments, in hopes of finding the cure.

Today unfortunately, I have not found the cure to acne, but I have found a few products that are helping me in my daily battles. The key ingredient in these products is Sulfur.

Last time I posted about my hatred for my acne, a girlfriend told me she uses sulfur soap, which I had never heard of. I looked into getting some, but It was only sold online and cost $5-$6 a bar! I put that thought on the back burner and went an picked up a trial pack of Dermalogica Medibac. I have used Dermalogica in the past, it it helps immensely, but it's so dang expensive. My cheap ass usually waits until I'm at my whits end with my acne, then I go buy the trial pack for $40 with the whole line in sample sizes. The trial pack, lasts me about a month and my acne clears up for a while. If I was smarter and not such a cheapskate, I'd bite the bullet and fork out $200 for the whole line.

Anyways, I'm getting off track here. I began looking at the ingredients in the Dermalogica Medibac set to see what makes it so darn special. I noticed in the spot concealer it has 5% sulfur. Then, I was reminded about my friends comment with her sulfur soap. I then decided to start researching why sulfur helps acne.

Let's look at some thoughts on the issue:

Sulfur is not a new agent to the acne treatment market. Centuries ago, the Romans bathed in sulfur springs near volcanoes to clear their skin problems...

Sulfur has many properties that make it excellent in caring for the skin:
1. Antibacterial, which works by limiting key acids required for bacteria to grow.
2. A keratoloytic agent, which means sulfur's properties encourage the shedding of dead skin cells, which will prevent blocked pores and helps keep skin looking fresh
3. Anti-inflammatory, which penetrates the skin and reduce lesions"

( my new found knowledge, I decided to seek out some additional sulfur products and test it's productiveness in treating my acne.

Here's what I bought:

I found De La Cruz Sulfur ointment through my Google searches and decided to check it out. The label claims it's an ointment, but I would classify it as a mask. Apply a thin layer to your clean face and leave it on for 10 minutes, then wash it off. It has a warming effect when water touches it that feels nice. It seems expensive for such a small container, but a little goes a long way. The label also warned that it could dry your skin out, but I haven't had that side effect. I would recommend this to anyone who has some acne issues. It has minimized my swollen cystic acne and my face is visibly clearer. Not a miracle worker, but it does help. I found this Sulfur Ointment at my local Walgreen's but it's not stocked in all stores. My suggestion would be to call ahead of time, or just order it online. eCrater $7.79

I was not able to find sulfur soap in any of my local retail stores, so I turned to eBay. I paid roughly $6 (including shipping) and it came within 3 days. I have to say, I hate the way it makes my face feel when I am washing it. It has that squeaky clean feeling like Zest or Dial. I am not a fan of that, but then I add all my other topical ointments and my face feels normal again. I can't say that I feel this bar of soap is fully to thank for my skin beginning to clear, it might be helping but I don't think it's the main catalyst. I probably won't re-purchase this soap simply because I don't like the feeling, but if you have acne on your body, this might be something you should try. eBay $2.49

This last product I bought is my favorite sulfur product, but it's the most expensive. The small sample size came in my travel pack, but I decided to buy a big tube since I loved it so much. It's just a tinted cream with 5% sulfur, but I feel like it really helps. I paid $24 on eBay for mine, but I think the going rate is around $30. You can find it at various online stores and at Ulta.  Dermstore $25.00

Here are some other Sulfur Products for Acne:
(Click images for more info)

Have you ever tried any sulfur products? Are you interested in testing any of these?


Kristen said...

I'll have to try this! The soap I had been using is discontinued, so this could replace it.

KT said...

I've never had good luck with sulfur. Like you I've tried EVERYTHING. I have been on prescription meds since July and I still have terrible cystic and hormonal breakouts along my jaw and neck. It's so disheartening!

Shabby, Chic, & Cheap said...

I've never tried using sulfur products before but I may check it out now. I get bad breakouts too :(

Always Maylee said...

Great review! I've never tried any of these, but will definitely look into them now.

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

Unknown said...

Great tips!! I need to try these out!


Dara said...

Passing this along in case it's helpful. I love your blog! I had struggled with adult acne for years...until this past year when I started using Nahla organic skin care products. It's a small company and every product is still handmade. The products that have helped me most are the Pacific Seaweed Purify Mask, the Wildflower Honey Mask and the Geranium Sap Cleanser. If I could only buy one, it would be the Pacific Seaweek Mask.

I had almost given up....but now I have clear skin. I am still surprised.

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Jeans and a Teacup said...

This is really interesting! I'd never heard of sulfur to treat acne. I'm 27 and still get breakouts. So I'm definitely going to try this out!

Anonymous said...

I have never tried sulphur, either. I'm in my 30's and have had acne since I was 10 and have super oily skin. What I've found most effective is a 10% Benzoyl peroxide cleanser twice daily (and I leave it on for a couple of minutes). Nothing less than 10% will help. Clean & Clear makes a good one that is reasonably priced. And once daily, I use a salicylic acid pad to cleanse and exfoliate. I use Clearacil ones. The only drawback is that the Benzoyl peroxide really discolors towels, rugs, pillowcases, clothing, etc. But I changed sheets and towels to all white. It's worth it to me to have clear skin.