While browsing the Internet for acne treatments, for sure you will come across articles or forums mentioning ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and … sulphur! It is one of the oldest components known to fight acne. It has lost on popularity a lot, especially in Europe where it is hard to find products containing sulphur. I think it is mainly due to the smell, which I find superficial as sulphur offers excellent results. Yes, the scent might be unpleasant in the beginning, but then you can get used to it quite quickly. Though, in the US, many brands still use it in various products. Of course, you can easily get a bar of soap which is usually irritating or Ren’s ClearCalm or Gross’s masks from the higher price shelves. Except, I wouldn’t splurge on a clay mask unless it’s Biologique Recherche Vivant Mask, which is a whole different story.
The first time I tried a sulphur product was in my early teenage years. It was a soap which irritated my skin, and I threw it away after the first use. However, when my acne came back, I also returned to testing out new products and so did sulphur appear on my radar. This pushed me into a hunt for a sulphur product that wouldn’t sensitise my skin. I tried Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarity Restoring Mask, and it brought me great results. I would recommend it, but I am not entirely content with it. The price of the mask is just too high for my taste. I would also caution people with sensitive skin as Ren, to mask the sulphur smell, dumped an entire wagon of essential oils and fragrance, including camphor (why?!). I didn’t experience any problems with the mask; though, I am confident it will irritate many people. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have irritable skin, eczema or rosacea. However, this post is about Earth’s Care, Acne Treatment Mask, Sulfur 5%. It is just as good, or even better, a third of the price and has no irritants in sight. It is worthwhile noticing that studies have shown sulphur to be effective on acne in concentrations from 3%. This mask is more potent as it contains 5% of sulphur; this also ensures a lesser degree of irritation and dryness compared to other acne treatments with higher concentrations of it.
Ingredients: Sulfur 5%; Avena sativa (oat) kernel colloidal oatmeal, bentonite, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, cetearyl glucoside, citric acid, glycerin, glyceryl stearate, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, hydrogenated castor oil, kaolin, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, purified water, sodium stearoyl glutamate, xanthan gum.
From iherb’s page in alphabetical order after the active ingredient.
This is one of my most trusted masks. I reach for it whenever I get a spot, and I want to get rid of it in a short time. It’s enough to put it for 10-15 minutes (the package says 10) and the next day blemishes are less visible. I would lie, if I said that it makes them go away after one use, no it doesn’t. In my experience, it rarely happens that a big inflamed spot disappears overnight; it usually takes a couple of days. This mask works great for whiteheads and with consistent use it can certainly make your skin clearer. I didn’t see changes in blackheads on my nose or sebaceous filaments, but I guess nothing will budge them. Aside from the sulphur, I like the mask for its nourishing components such as sunflower oil, shea butter, and colloidal oatmeal which is used in products to relieve eczema symptoms. I wouldn’t leave the mask for too long, as all sulphur containing products, it can be drying.
The mask is also relatively pleasant to use. Besides the smell, if you are not used to it. It doesn’t turn into stone as a regular clay mask does. I would recommend to wash it off with a flannel; it’s just easier and if you prefer splashing than simply do it afterwards.
The mask is excellent for everybody; even for people prone to sensitivities, who want to step up their anti-acne routine. I would say that it is a much gentler option for combating blemishes than many other acne treatments, like creams with benzoyl peroxide. With consistent use, it can bring great results.
The mask costs US$14 and is available from iherb.com.