Aug 18,2022

What Is Sulfur?

Simply put, sulfur is a natural element that is an essential component for all living cells. As Cheung explains it, sulfur is common in rocks and minerals and essential for plant growth, and it's also found throughout our body in amino acids, vitamins, and our skin and hair. It's known for its yellow color and its strong smell (but you already knew that). Sulfur has been used throughout history for medical purposes (fun fact: It's also used in wine-making), but when it comes to skincare, you'll commonly find it in acne spot treatments, masks, and soaps.

Benefits of Sulfur for Skin

Some of the characteristics of sulfur that make it great as an acne treatment are also helpful for treating an array of other skin concerns.
Dries out blemishes: According to Shah, sulfur reduces sebum (oil) on the skin. When applied to the blemish, sulfur works to dry out the skin so it can then be sloughed away.
Promotes exfoliation: Sulfur works to exfoliate dead skin and remove impurities: Shah says that sulfur has a keratolytic effect (meaning it works to soften and thin the epidermis), which helps remove dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.
Fights bacteria: Sulfur has antibacterial properties, and, according to Cheung, sulfur is a dermatologist-favorite because it kills bacteria, fungi, and various parasites.
Treats sensitive skin conditions: Cheung says because sulfur is anti-inflammatory and helps to soften and exfoliate thick, dead skin, it's often used to treat acne, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff. Shah adds that it's also known to treat eczema and rosacea.

The efficacy of sulfur soap

"Sulfur-based products tend to work best for mild-to-moderate acne, primarily whiteheads, blackheads, and papules," Shah says. "It typically isn't as effective for more moderate-to-severe acne, especially as monotherapy." While it does have similar effects to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, Shah says that typically sulfur is better tolerated than those two treatments. 

Sulfur soap refers to soap with a certain amount of sulfur. Its efficacy is reflected in both soap and sulfur. The main role of sulfur can kill insects, bacteriostatic, dermatosis common fungi, bacteria, mites, tricrytis, and even scabies mites, have a certain killing effect.

Soap is a kind of alkaline detergent, relatively easy to remove the skin surface oil, has the function of cleaning the skin. In general, sulfur soap can be used for seborrheic dermatitis, acne, rosacea, and has a certain effect, but it is not suitable for long-term use. If excessive use of sulfur soap, an alkaline detergent, may cause certain damage to the skin barrier, causing dryness and desiccation. It is usually recommended to use it for a few days or 1-2 times a week. Long-term frequent use may be harmful to the skin.

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