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Though it has fallen out of vogue in recent years, sulfur has long been used as a form of acne treatment. Since it is both a natural antibacterial and serves to dry up the skin around oily breakouts, sulfur may still hold some interest for those who suffer from regular acne breakouts.
History of Sulfur Treatments
The usage of sulfur as an acne treatment can be traced back to Ancient Rome. Romans who suffered from any skin ailments would soak in naturally fed sulfur hot springs, allowing the sulfurous fumes to permeate the skin and clear away blockages and oil buildup. Today, there is no need to seek out a volcanic hot spring to reap the acne-fighting benefits. Sulfur is found in a number of different spot treatments, creams and cleansers designed to be applied topically and fight acne directly.
Sulfur can be bought at local and specialty drug stores both in skin care products and in powder form. Individuals can use the products to directly target blemishes and dry up the area around them, removing oil and bacteria from pores and tightening the skin for a smooth and youthful appearance. If individuals prefer to purchase the pure sulfuric powder, they can use it to create a paste that can then be applied to blemishes and breakouts. Simply add water and mix to form a paste. Egg whites and honey can be used to soften the mixture and restore some of the moisture the sulfur will remove from the skin.
Benefits of a Sulfur Treatment
Because it has been used for many hundreds of years as a reliable acne treatment, the effects of sulfur are well known. The substance works quickly, drying out the skin and sapping the moisture from the surface of the skin, allowing dead cells and excess oil to fall away. By regularly using sulfur followed by a properly balanced facial moisturizer, individuals can maintain an almost oil-free complexion, minimize their recurrent breakouts and improve their overall skin tone.
Drawbacks to Using Sulfur
However, individuals have to be careful to avoid overusing sulfur. Because it works so quickly to remove moisture from the skin, overuse can lead to a dry, flaky complexion. Users should be sure to apply moisturizer after every application of a sulfur-based treatment to avoid over-drying. Also, one of the biggest drawbacks to using sulfur as an acne treatment is the smell. Sulfur’s distinctive odor has been described as the smell of rotten eggs, and most people are reluctant to use sulfur treatments for just that reason. In addition, some individuals are allergic to sulfur and can cause irritation or skin discoloration. Discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur and seek medical attention immediately.
Sulfur is a time-tested and reliable method of acne treatment and as such is found in a number of different skin care products and formulas. If individuals can move past the distinctive odor and balance the drying effects with a consistent moisturizing routine, sulfur may prove to be one of the most effective means of fighting acne related blemishes and minimizing future breakouts.