Why does murad acne spot treatment contain sulfur?

Pas poses this puzzler: I’m currently using Murad’s acne treatment kit and was curious about its use of sulfur, which I have not seen before. How does sulfur help treat acne?

The Right Brain unravels the riddle:

The Murad line of anti-acne products are proud of the fact that they don’t use benzoyl peroxide, an approved over the counter drug that can be drying to your skin. Instead Dr. Murad formulated his Acne Spot Treatment with sulfur, an approved over the counter drug that can be drying to your skin. Go figure!

Why sulfur?

Sulfur is a yellow crystalline mineral that has long been used for its medicinal properties. It’s considered an essential element for life because it’s present in two amino acids.

Sulfur has been used for a loooooong time to control acne even though we don’t know the exact mechanism that makes it work. It’s suspected that it causes the skin to peel and shed excess cells. Some researchers, according to Skincarephyscians.com, believe that it can actually make acne worse by promoting blackhead and whitehead formation through increased cell adhesion. If you haven’t heard of sulfur in acne products before, that’s probably due to the fact that it’s not commonly used today because it has an unpleasant odor and it can discolor the skin (in addition to being drying.)

The Beauty Brains bottom line

If you’re sensitive to products that contain benzoyl peroxide and you’re looking for an alternate active ingredient, then Murad Acne Spot Treatment might be a good option for you. But be warned, some of the items in the Murad line are a bit expensive! (See below for some examples.)

What do YOU think? Do you have a favorite anti-acne active that you’d like to share with the rest of the Beauty Brains community? Leave a comment!