You’d think that now my skin is dry, pimples would be only a bad, distant memory. Not such luck, my friends. Although not as often as before, it’s true, I still get the occasional pimple, especially during that time of the month (isn’t it great to be a woman, sometimes?).
Usually, I fight those little buggers with salicylic acid, a wonderful ingredient that can penetrate inside the pores, and remove all the crap that’s in there causing the drama. But, lately, I changed tactics, and switched to sulfur. That’s because ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque landed on my desk, and it’ve been so rude of me not to try it, right?
Besides, I was curious. I know that sulfur is an effective anti-acne treatment, but I never had the chance to try it before. How effective is it? And how does it compare to salicylic acid? There was only one way to find out. Put it to the test.
Why Sulfur Is Great At Fighting Pimples, But Little Used
Sulfur can help skin in different ways. According to a 2001 study published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, sulfur has anti-bacterial properties. Other studies have shown it also fights inflammation and redness in the skin.
On paper, sulfur is an amazing anti-acne treatment. So, why don’t more brands use it? Cos it stinks. Like rotten eggs. Not exactly something you’d be that tempted to use, unless you were desperate. Luckily, Dr Zein Obagi, the man behind ZO Skin Health, has found a way to make the mask smell neutral. Phew!
Another thing. Sulfur can be pretty drying, so shouldn’t be used on large areas of the skin. Not for long anyway. That’s why the instructions say to use it either as a wash-off mask or a spot treatment.
Clay Help Sulfur Clear Your Skin, Too
Sulfur isn’t the only breakout-buster in the formula. ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque also contains kaolin and bentonite, two types of clay that absorb excess oil. Even if they can’t fight the bacteria that cause acne, by soaking up sebum, they help prevent breakouts and keep your skin clear.
But, they can be drying, too, if left on the skin too long. Remember, sebum can seem like your worst enemy sometimes, but it’s also your skin’s natural moisturizer, so you only want to remove the excess, not all of it.
An Humectant To The Rescue
Humectants are ingredients that attract water into the skin, helping to keep it hydrated and soft. ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque contains one, glycerin. Its job is to keep your skin well-hydrated while the drying ingredients take care of excess oil and pimples.
As I said, ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque can be used in two ways. The first is as a full face mask. You apply it all over the face, and remove it 10 minutes later. But, I’ve never used it this way. This may make me a bad blogger, but, as I only suffer from the occasional pimple, I don’t see the point in applying it on clear areas. Especially as those are dry and this mask contains lots of drying ingredients. Not a match made in heaven, I tell you.
The second way is as a spot treatment. And, from personal experience, I can tell you, it works wonders. I apply a tiny amount of the grey goop before going to bed and leave it on all night. The next morning, my pimple has drastically shrinked to half its size. The area is less red, too. It looks much better, and is easier to cover with makeup, as well.
The nexy night I use the mask again, and wake up to an almost clear face. The pimple is now so small, it can hardly be seen. Oh, by the way, the pimple was the only thing that got dried out. My skin looks just as normal, and doesn’t feel uncomfortable, either.
How Does Sulfur Compare To Salicylic Acid?
I still love salicylic acid, but now my skin isn’t combination anymore, I don’t use it as often. As an exfoliant, it does a fabulous job at keeping breakouts at bay. So, if you have oily, acne-prone skin, that’s definitely something you should start using (if you aren’t laready).
But, as a spot treatment, I find sulfur works best. At least, ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque does. It just works that little bit faster. And isn’t that what we all want, something that kicks those annoying pimples away as soon as possible?
So, should you buy ZO Skin Health Sulfur Masque?
While I don’t recommend using ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque all over the face (at least not for more than 15 minutes), I think it’s a fab spot treatment, and one I’ll be turning to every time a pimple rears its ugly head on my skin. It’s more expensive than most spot treatments, it’s true, but it’s gonna last you literally for ages. In my humble opinion, it’s worth the investment.
Sulfur 10%, Water, Talc, Kaolin, Glycerin, Bentonite, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylene Brassylate, Chlorphenesin, Benzyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Silica, Tetrasodium EDTA, Ultramarines.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Pros: Gets rid of pimples in two days; Reduces redness; Can be used as a rinse-off mask or spot treatment; Lasts for ages.
Cons: Can be drying for certain skin types (dry and sensitive), or if left on the skin too long.
Summary: ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque is one of the best spot treatments I’ve tried. It reduces redness and gets rid of pimples within a couple of days. But, it can be drying.
Price & Availability: £34.00 at Omniya