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Sulfur for Skin?

Written by KD Gates


Crucial Tips To Help You Decide!

We’ve heard about it, seen it, and yes even purchased products with it but do we know if sulfur has any benefit for skin? Some may call this a trick question because sulfur like other minerals naturally occurs within the human body, thus keeping our connective tissue, bones, and our teeth healthy. But, while sulfur is an excellent mineral for the inside of our bodies, should we apply it topically? Some would say yes, arguing what we know to be true: sulfur is present within the human body, so it must be great to apply to the body.

Some say yes, arguing that because sulfur is present within the human body, it must also be beneficial when applied to the body. But is that the case?

Sulfur, used primarily to fight the bacteria P. acnes (an acne-causing bacteria) works by drying the skin to the extent that it peels, washing away excess oil and dirt. Therefore, minimizing the onset of acne. Unfortunately, that’s not entirely accurate. Sulfur while listed as both an antibacterial agent and an anti-irritant, two A+ substances needed for healthy skin, is not at all the best choice for skin. As a result, the research surrounding topical sulfur gives it an “F”.

Sulfur has been said to treat acne, minimize enlarged pores, and yes, even heal rosacea.  Mario Badescu, a long-time promoter of sulfur-based products, states that when applied directly to the skin, its health is significantly improved.  Unfortunately, years of documented and proven research indicate otherwise. 

In fact, studies show that when sulfur is applied directly to the skin, the following problems may occur:

  • Skin sensitivity
  • Dryness
  • Bacteria growth
  • Redness and red markings
  • Excessive peeling

Even greater, the American Academy of Dermatology states that it’s best to utilize sulfur as a targeted treatment ONLY and to apply to a single pimple rather than a large area of skin. The AAD goes on to state that prescribing sulfur as a first choice should be limited and to seek proven, beneficial treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and or salicylic acid instead when it comes to treating acne.

Sadly, there is further confusion surrounding the application of topical sulfur because when initially applied to the skin, the response to sulfur is well-tolerated. However, it’s used as a last resort only when other prescribed treatments such as benzoyl peroxide and or salicylic acid are unresponsive. Many dermatologists when asked, will tell you that sulfur is not their first choice when prescribing treatments to fight acne simply because of the adverse effects of sulfur out-weight the positive benefits. In other words, science has proven that the risks are far too great, research to back-up the claims is limited, and there are far better treatments out there.

In other words, science has proven that the risks are far too great, the research backing-up positive claims is limited, and there are far better treatments now available.

So while the industry continues to flaunt sulfur as the “miracle” ingredient to treat and cure acne, it’s still a poor choice for skin. If you’re dealing with acne, use products with these key ingredient(s): benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinol. Not only are the ingredients listed above the first line of treatments suggested by the AAD in the treatment of acne but they're also proven to both combat acne and minimize future outbreaks.

K.D. Gates is the Founder of, a holistic skin-care line using only safe, highly effective ingredients. To learn more about the complete, exceptionally-clean, Celsaderm product line – and get 15% Off Your Purchase – visit




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