What is a Sulfur Therapeutic Mask?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

A sulfur therapeutic mask is a kind of skin care product that is used to treat troubled skin affected by acne and blemishes. It can be used to treat an entire area of the skin, or it can be used as a spot treatment. When a sulfur therapeutic mask is used on an entire area of skin, such as the face or the back, it is left on the skin for about 10 minutes or until it becomes dry. Then it is rinsed away from the skin with lukewarm water. If it is used to treat one specific blemish, a small dot of the product can be left on the affected area as an overnight treatment.

Sulfur therapeutic masks can be used to treat acne.
Sulfur therapeutic masks can be used to treat acne.

It is most common for a sulfur therapeutic mask to be used on the face. It can, however, be used on other areas of the body that may be prone to acne and blemishes. If a person experiences acne on her neck as well as on her face, a sulfur therapeutic mask can be applied to both regions as part of the same treatment.

Products with sulfur are often used to treat acne.
Products with sulfur are often used to treat acne.

In some cases, a sulfur therapeutic mask can be left on the skin for longer than the usual 10 minutes or so. There are some people who leave masks on entire areas of skin for as long as an hour. This should only be done if the practice proves to be effective and if it does not dry out the skin. Causing the skin to dry out can create more skin conditions instead of resolving skin conditions. Furthermore, while most sulfur therapeutic masks are indicated for weekly use, they can be used more frequently as long as this practice does not result in any adverse effects.

In addition to being treated with a sulfur therapeutic mask at a day spa, it is also possible to use this product at home. While it is quite easy to find clay masks at almost any drug store or skin care store, there are only a few companies that sell sulfur therapeutic masks as part of their product lines. Fortunately, most of these companies sell their products online, so that they can be purchased by people who live in areas where skin care product retailers do not carry this kind of mask.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


I have a sulfur mask done at the salon. I don't want to deal with it at home because I don't like the scent of sulfur. It's very good for skin, it kills bacteria and my skin responds very well to it, so I do like the results. But I would not want to smell sulfur for a long time or deal with it, so I have the mask done at the salon.


@ZipLine-- Absolutely.

What you said is only true for acne treatment products such as creams and lotions. They can be left on skin for longer periods of time because they contain moisturizers and other protective ingredients. A sulfur therapeutic mask is stronger and works faster, so it's enough to leave it on skin until it dries. Leaving the mask on for too long can cause excessive drying and lead to irritation. It's not a good idea to use skin products in a manner different than what the manufacturer described in the directions. There might be side effects if a product is used improperly.

I use a sulfur mask several times a month for my oily, acne-prone skin. I only leave it on until it dries and then I wash it off. I always follow up with a mild moisturizer because the mask makes my face dry and taut even in that short time frame. So I don't think you should keep it on longer than fifteen minutes.


I thought that sulfur products only work if they are left on skin overnight. Will a sulfur therapeutic mask work as an acne treatment when it's only left for ten or fifteen minutes?

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