Most people associate high-quality skincare with high prices.
However, that’s not necessarily the case, especially for folks who are on the hunt for effective acne treatment.
Today, I want to introduce you to sulfur soap – a cheap and successful helper in the battle against nasty pimples.
- In this article, I offer a review of sulfur soap for acne.
- I’ll cover what sulfur soap is, what benefits it has for the skin, and what side effects you can expect.
- I’ll tell you all about why this result-proven solution is not that famous, how often should you use it, when to expect to see results, and more. I’ll even share with you a few interesting alternatives to try.
But let’s take things step-by-step, shall we?
What is sulfur soap?
Sulfur is a compound often used in dermatology as a solution for acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and other skin conditions. It can be compared to benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in terms of the way it works, with the key difference being that it’s much gentler.
There are many different skincare products created with sulfur, but the one I’ll be focusing on today is sulfur soap. It has been used for centuries by different cultures thanks to the wide variety of skin benefits it provides.
Best of all, you can use sulfur soap for the face, body, and even the scalp.
This makes it even more attractive as you aren’t forced to buy separate products and you can just add sulfur soap seamlessly into your routine.
Despite the potential it has, sulfur soap is not a widely used product and you won’t see it being promoted or advertised by skincare brands.
No Instagram hype, and no TikTok hacks, sorry.
This all has to do with the profit margins that companies make.
Sulfur is super cheap and it’s easily accessible. Sulfur products are not very expensive, meaning that skincare brands can’t enjoy the same profits as with other ingredients.
Thus they don’t put any effort into advertising this solution. And by now you probably have guessed that having no exposure means having less fame.
Sulfur soap bar benefits for the skin
Sulfur is a powerful antifungal and antibacterial agent, which makes it appropriate for treating pimples and breakouts. It helps dry out the skin by removing any excess sebum or oil, which causes acne breakouts in the first place. Sulfur soap can also help clear out clogged pores as it extracts dead skin cells from the pores.
In a nutshell, sulfur soap is beneficial as it:
- Cleanses the skin from excess oil and other impurities;
- Helps heal pimples;
- Unclogs the pores;
- Could potentially minimize the appearance of scars thanks to its drying properties.
Earlier, I mentioned that sulfur has been used since ancient times to treat a range of skin conditions. Today, sulfur soap can still be a reliable solution for:
- Perioral Dermatitis
What side effects of sulfur soap to expect?
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you’ll probably know that my main goal is to give you everything you need to know to build proper expectations.
So, let’s talk about the not-so-glamorous properties of sulfur soap.
In higher concentrations, sulfur dries the skin. That’s one of its core capabilities.
It can cause excessive dryness, especially for people who have dry skin in the first place. In addition, if the soap contains other drying compounds, you could potentially experience irritation, redness, and discomfort when using it.
Because of this, I, personally, prefer the use of spot treatments, masks, or creams with this powerful ingredient.
Purging is not something you can experience with sulfur soap as it doesn’t increase cell turnover and works directly on acne-causing bacteria. If you see additional pimples appear during use, it’s your normal acne showing up.
Oh, and it also smells like rotten eggs, so have that in mind if you want to use a leave-on product instead of sulfur soap or a mask.
How to use sulfur soap for acne?
Wash the area of concern with sulfur soap once a day to get the maximum benefits and see breakouts diminish faster.
If you suffer from body acne – sulfur soap will do a great job treating it!
I’ve used this Joesoef 10% sulfur soap for face & body from Amazon – it has a ton of positive reviews and is an Amazon’s Choice, but there are many other soap bars on the market.
However, as noted above, it can be very drying for the face. This is why I prefer to spot-treat with the soap instead of washing my entire face with it – I advise you to try the same approach.
And how long can you leave sulfur soap on your face? I’d say around two to three minutes at most if you want to prevent excessive dryness. After this time, rinse it off with lukewarm water and use your usual routine – sulfur plays well with other anti-acne agents.
Can you use sulfur soap every day?
If you want to see quick results and enjoy the full effects of sulfur soap, don’t be afraid to use it daily. However, don’t forget that this can dry out the skin, so make sure to prevent that by doubling down on any hydrating toners, or serums, and by using a potent moisturizer.
When to expect results from sulfur soap?
Sulfur soap shows improvement in acne quickly. You’re likely to start seeing results in the first week when skin texture starts to clear but pimples will still be present. After several weeks, you’ll notice that cystic acne starts decreasing, gradually saying goodbye for good.
Alternatives to sulfur soap to try
Now, if you’ve tried sulfur soap and don’t think it’s working well for you, and you’re here to look for an answer to why is that and what can you do – you’ve come to the right place.
Luckily, there are other sulfur alternatives that you can try. The ones that I’ve tried include spot treatments, creams, and masks.
Sulfur spot treatments
The good thing about sulfur spot treatments is that they’re much less drying than soap as you only use them on active spots. Plus, the formulas are specifically designed for the purpose and are often infused with other beneficial ingredients to hydrate the skin. You can see quick results in the specific areas that you’re struggling with. In some cases – overnight.
As with the soaps, there are many takes on the spot treatment with sulfur on the market. Personally, I’ve tried the Vichy one and the Sunday Riley’s spot treatment – both are effective, boosted with other great ingredients and last me for ages.
Sulfur face creams are perhaps my favorite sulfur soap alternative.
They’re much less drying as they’re made to moisturize and help tackle the main concern with sulfur soap.
Again, you can find plenty of sulfur-rich moisturizers that are infused with a cocktail of amazingly hydrating and moisturizing ingredients that will plump up the skin while treating your pimples. My favorite pick is this bundle by De La Cruz because it’s super affordable and delivers great quality for money.
Sulfur face masks
Sulfur masks are another replacement for sulfur soap that you can opt for.
I would say that those are suitable if you notice a pimple here and there and otherwise don’t suffer from acne that often.
The masks are usually rich in different oils, humectants, skin softeners, and other beneficial ingredients that prevent skin dryness.
As for a recommendation, I love the Control Corrective Soothing Sulfur Mask – it feels awesome on the skin and mattifies it down, especially in Summer. It’s on the pricier side but that’s the only wash-off face mask that I’ve been using for the entire last Summer and I think it’s well worth its price.
If you use it as a drying spot treatment, it can last you for years.
I hope my thoughts and findings on sulfur soap will come in handy, especially for those of you struggling with persistent breakouts and looking for a solution that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
I would really love to hear your thoughts on all of this. Have you tried sulfur soap and what was your experience like? Drop a comment below!
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