Among all the acne-fighting ingredients out there — salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, sulfur — SULFUR has been the most effective acne blaster for me.
Here’s a breakdown of my experience:
Salicylic acid – This ingredient is what I use when I have zero to mild breakouts to deal with. When my skin used to be well-behaved, I washed my face with Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub to keep the oils of my skin at bay.
Benzoyl Peroxide – This ingredient zapped the moisture out of my skin. For the past 10 years, I used the Proactiv system (the first step and third step contain benzoyl peroxide as its active ingredient), but somehow my skin became immune to its effects, i.e., my skin produced more oils to compensate for the over-dryness that this ingredient caused.
Sulfur – This is my top acne-fighting ingredient. I use products containing sulfur to keep bumps from forming or to minimize raised ones. Yes, it doesn’t smell good. Yes, it’s tacky to work with. Yes, it looks like mud. BUT, the effects and the results are amazing! I usually use products that contain sulfur both as a mask and as an overnight spot treatment. It does tend to create flaky skin, so exfoliating is a must. Read more about sulfur and its anti-bacterial properties here.