You’d think now my skin is on the drier side, pimples would be only a bad, distant memory. Not such luck, my friends.
I don’t get them as often as before, it’s true, but the occasional pimple rears its ugly head, especially during that time of the month (oh, the joys of being a woman).
Usually, I fight those little buggers with salicylic acid, an exfoliant 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 would have 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.
What’s In ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque?
SULFUR TO GET RID OF PIMPLES
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?
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.
Related: Sulfur: Good For Acne, Bad For Skin?
CLAYS TO SOAK UP EXCESS OIL
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.
Sebum is the favourite food of P.Acnes, the bacteria that’s giving you pimples. The more oils clays absorb, the less food P.Acnes can munch on. The goal is to starve it.
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.
Want a cheap skincare routine for acne-prone skin that really works? Subscribe to the newsletter below to receive “The Ordinary Acne Skincare Routine” cheatsheet:
GLYCERIN TO HYDRATE SKIN
You get it, the acne fighters in this mask can be drying. That’s where glycerin comes in.
It’s a humectant that attracts moisture from the air into the skin. Its job is to keep your skin well-hydrated while the drying ingredients take care of excess oil and pimples.
A gray, little dry, paste.
How To Use It
Apply a small amount onto your pimples.
Performance & Personal Opinion
ZO Skin Health Offcts Sulfur Masque is called a mask, but it’s actually a spot treatment. Anything with sulfur goes only on pimples – never on clear skin. Got it?
As a spot treatment, it works wonder. I’m not kidding when I say that sulfur gets rid of pimples faster than anything else I’ve ever tried – including salicylic acid.
I had a gigantic zit a couple of weeks ago, so I decided to put this to the test. I applied a tiny amount of the grey goop before going to bed and leave it on all night.
The next morning, my pimple had drastically shrinked to half its size. The area was less red, too. It looked much better, and was easier to cover with makeup, as well.
The next night I used the mask again, and woke up to an almost clear face. The pimple was so small, it could 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.
Am I giving up on salicylic acid for this? Not entirely. I find salicylic acid is better at preventing pimples. But once one has reared its ugly head, switch to sulfur to kill it faster.
Who Is This For?
Who Is This NOT For?
If you don’t have pimples, you don’t need this.
A sleek and practical white tube. It’ll last you forever.
Does ZO Skin Health Offects Sulfur Masque Live Up To Its Claims?
|Natural, clay-based formula that treats and prevents acne.||It’s clay-based, but not natural. It treats acne, but I don’t recommend to use it to prevent it.|
|Formula purifies pores and absorbs excess oil that can lead to future breakouts, while hydrating the skin to combat dryness.||NOTHING topical can purify skin, but this mask can absorb excess oil to help prevent future breakouts without drying out skin.|
Price & Availability
£34.00 at Omniya, pharmacies, and dermatologists.
Do You Need It?
Yes, yes, yes! If you have pimples, this is the real deal. It gets rid of them – and fast, too!
Dupes & Alternatives
- Dermadocto Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive 10% Sulfur Acne Mask & Emergency Spot Treatment ($48.00)
- Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque ($52.00)
Active Ingredient: 10% Sulfur
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Talc, Kaolin, Glycerin, Bentonite, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylene Brassylate, Silica, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Benzyl Alcohol, Ultramarines.