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What is Sulfur Soap?

By Misty Amber Brighton
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Sulfur soap is a type of soap that contains sulfur, a naturally-occurring element found in volcanic areas throughout the world. It may also include ingredients such as salicylic acid, fragrance, or lye. It is often used as a treatment for a variety of skin conditions, but is most commonly used to reduce acne.

This product normally comes in bars that weigh about 3.5 ounces (.098 kg). These may be wrapped with a thick paper that has a waxy back to it. It is usually dark yellow or gold in color, and may sometimes have artificial colorings or fragrances added to make it look darker.

In order to use sulfur soap, a person should first wet the affected area with a washcloth. He should then wet the bar of soap and work up a lather with his hands. This lather can then be applied to the skin, which is scrubbed vigorously before being rinsed off with cool water. Care should be taken not to get this product in the eyes, mouth, or ears while doing so.

Normally, this product is recommended by a dermatologist or physician as a skin treatment for cases of severe acne. It might also be recommended for people with rashes or scabies. It is not typically suggested for long-term use or for general bathing.

Many times, other ingredients are added to sulfur soap to help dry the skin. Some of these include salicylic acid, isopropyl alcohol, and benzoyl peroxide. These products may also help kill bacteria and reduce the production of oil, which can help prevent new outbreaks of acne from occurring.

The most common side effects from the use of sulfur soap include redness, swelling, and itching. The skin may also peel or flake after a few uses. These reactions are typical, however people who experience pain or severe puffiness should discontinue the use of this product and consult a physician immediately.

Sulfur soap is generally not recommended for use on children. It is also not a good idea for people who are allergic to aspirin to use this product. People who are taking any type of medication should discuss using this product with their doctor before beginning treatment.

People who suffer from chronic skin conditions or severe acne often notice improvement in the condition of their skin after only a few uses of sulfur soap. It is generally inexpensive to purchase and easy for almost anyone to use. For these reasons, using this product could greatly improve a person's appearance which might also lead to enhanced self-esteem.

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Discussion Comments

By anon993632 — On Nov 30, 2015

I absolutely love sulfur bars, and I normally use a body wash after to get a different fragrance. I purchase my soap online.

By discographer — On May 03, 2012
@simrin, @burcinc-- Maybe you both should try a different brand. And check the sulfur percentage and ingredients for moisturizers.

I had the same issue with the first sulfur soap I bought. It was terribly drying and gave me flaky skin. Oily, acne-prone skin doesn't mean the skin is hydrated, so I think we still need a cleanser with some moisturizers in it.

I then bought a different brand sulfur soap with a low sulfur %, it's 2% and has a non-comodogenic oil in it. It's enough to prevent bacterial acne but still keeps my face moisturized.

Some people also expect sulfur soap to clear up acne scars. Well, that doesn't happen but it does prevent future breakouts and scars.

By burcinc — On May 02, 2012

@simrin-- I don't like that it's drying as well. The scent is also not great. I can bear it for the benefits, but I do wish it had a milder scent. It can be a bit overwhelming at times.

I don't have acne regularly but I get pretty bad hormonal breakouts right before my period. I can't even recognize my face. One day I'm all clear, the next day it's breakouts everywhere.

My dermatologist recommended this soap and I use an all organic one. It's not the cheapest bar of soap I've used but definitely cheaper than acne treatment products.

You might want to make sure you will be okay with the scent before you buy it though. Some organic stores sell open bars of soap. You can probably check out the scent of sulfur soap there and decide.

By SteamLouis — On May 02, 2012

This is such an amazing soap. It's like a miracle. I've had acne for years. I've tried all sorts of treatments from stores and from the dermatologist and nothing worked. Finally, a friend of mine recommended this, I tried it and it completely cleared my acne! It's unbelievable.

I don't know how it does it but it works! And it's so affordable. I don't know why I never tried this before.

The only thing is that it's kind of drying, but that's how it clears up acne. As long as I make sure to use moisturizer afterward, I'm fine. I think this is one of the best acne treatments out there if not the best.

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