There's a long list of skin concerns that emerge when winter weather hits, but chief among them are eczema, rosacea, and acne—all of which can happen when your skin barrier is weakened by cold temps and dry air. But whether you're dealing with one, two, or all of these issues, there's a single product that derms say should be able to help you out: A bar of sulfur soap.
Now, sulfur may be far more famous for its rotten-egg smell than its skin-boosting abilities, but Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Pittsburgh, is here to change that. "Sulfur by far is one of the most underrated skincare ingredients out there," says Dr. Zubritsky. "It’s anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial while also drying up oil and unclogging pores. It’s a fantastic, well-tolerated ingredient that works for acne, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, and many other skin conditions."
One of her favorite sulfur products is the Joesoef Skin Care Sulfur Soap ($12). It can be used all over—scalp, face, and body—to cleanse and soothe angry skin, and (we promise!) doesn't smell like day-old burning trash.
To start, the Joesoef sulfur soap is wonderful for rosacea, a skin condition that causes irritation and redness often on the cheeks. "Sulfur is anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce redness on the skin, which is a major concern in a skin condition like rosacea," says Dr. Zubritsky. "It also has an inhibitory effect on Demodex mites," which are microscopic organisms that live on human hair follicles, and "have been implicated as a causative factor in rosacea."
The soap also amazing to soothe seborrheic dermatitis, aka eczema. "Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that is characterized by redness, flaking, and inflammation, which sulfur is known to help control," says Dr. Zubritsky. "Sulfur is also anti-fungal and helps to reduce a yeast on our skin that is known to trigger seborrheic dermatitis."
Finally, Dr. Zubritsky says this soap is excellent for fighting acne. "Sulfur both absorbs and reduces excess sebum and oil on our skin," she says. "It’s also a keratolytic which means it helps to shed dead skin cells while effectively unclogging pores. Plus, it's antibacterial and can reduce the amount of acne-causing bacteria on our skin."
But don't just take Dr. Zubritsky's word for it: The soap has nearly 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, with users singing its praises for treating each of the concerns listed above. "I have rosacea and very sensitive skin so I was kinda nervous at first to try this but this stuff clears up everyyyything and even helps even out the texture and puffiness in my skin," writes one fan. "I never write reviews but I had to get on and review this. My hormonal acne is gone. GONE! I’ve only been using this product for 4 days and my acne has disappeared and the texture of my skin has gotten significantly better," says another.
If you want to incorporate the Joesoef Skin Care Sulfur Soap into your routine, Dr. Zubritsky recommends testing it on a small area of skin to see if your skin reacts before using it on the entire body or face. "I would start out with using it several times a week and see how your skin tolerates the product," she says. "For most users, it’s easy to tolerate and safe to use. It can be used for most skin types, even those with sensitive skin, and can be used between one to two times a day."
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