The bar is made with a two percent concentration of an ingredient called zinc pyrithione—which you may recognize as the starring active in most over-the-counter dandruff shampoos. "Zinc pyrithione has been long used in dermatology to effectively treat dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and acne," says Dr. Levin. According to research, the ingredient has "a very broad antimicrobial spectrum of activity," which means that it can help fend off fungus and different types of bacteria—two of the leading culprits when it comes to summer skin issues. It's also helpful in fighting malassezia furfur, which board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, calls "the yeast that drives the dandruff bus."
As for what makes a zinc pyrithione-infused bar so great this time of year? "Many inflammatory skin conditions can worsen or flare in the summer with increased sweat," explains Dr. Levin. "Vanicream's Zinc Bar with zinc pyrithione can alleviate redness, itch, and flaking associated with seborrheic dermatitis on the face, mild folliculitis or pimples on the body, and psoriasis on the body."
Vanicream Z Bar, $10
The bar can be used on your face, body, hands, and scalp, and is gentle enough to be sensitive-skin friendly. It will help clear away acne-causing bacteria in even the most vulnerable places, (like your boobs and your butt, which tend to get extra sweaty this time of year), and reduces all of the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with inflammatory skin conditions (which Dr. Levin called out above) without clogging your pores or disrupting the pH balance of your skin barrier. One of our teammates who's used the bar says that it helped clear up her sun spots and body zits after a week's worth of use—not an easy feat from a skin-care standpoint.
Swap it in for your usual soap or cleansers on areas where your skin needs a little extra love, combining it with water so that you can massage it into a lather. The result? Skin that will be able to stand up to whatever this summer decides to throw at it.
Dealing with dandruff? Here's what else you need to know about how to treat it properly:
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