Choosing a Sulfur Face Wash For Rosacea

Choosing a facial cleanser for rosacea feels overwhelming. Due to the sensitivity of rosacea skin and the anxiety that often results in using irritating products, you'd rather not bother washing your face at all. Is it possible that sulfur face wash for rosacea is the answer to your rosacea management?

A good face wash for rosacea should soothe your skin, reduce rosacea symptoms and boost your skin’s barrier. This increases resistance to rosacea environmental triggers and inflammation.

Can a sulfur wash for rosacea provide you with all these results? What is the scientific evidence behind the topical use of sulfur for rosacea redness and other symptoms? Does sulfur reduce redness?

Moreover, are there any precautions when using sulfur products for rosacea? And how do you make the best use of sulfur skin care products to reduce rosacea flare-ups and protect your skin from dryness?

These are some of the most important questions you will find answers to in this article.


Is Sulfur Wash Good For Rosacea?

Based on an article published in the US National Library Of Medicine, sulfur formulations are effective in controlling erythematotelangiectatic rosacea. This subtype of rosacea is characterized by persistent redness and flushing and may include blood vessels that are visible.

When sulfur is combined with Sodium sulfacetamide, it provides a very effective topical treatment for papulopustular rosacea. It is known more widely as acne rosacea and is characterized by the appearance of persistent redness and transient pustules and papules or pimples and bumps.

These two ingredients are useful in treating rosacea patients and especially those who suffer from seborrheic dermatitis. In addition, they help reduce inflammatory lesions as well as facial erythema.

You'll find sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur wash over the counter as well as prescription sulfur face washes for rosacea.

What Do Sulfur Wash Reviews Say?

If you are about to visit your dermatologist and want to have a general idea of what other people with rosacea are saying about adding a sulfur face wash to their skincare, here is some useful feedback.

After digging into people’s reviews, I found that there are a considerable number of people lauding the positive effects of a face wash with sodium sulfacetamide and sulfur. In other words, the general theme is that it's helpful in clearing redness and bumps.

Patients also mention that dermatologists often prescribe sulfur lotion and sulfur cleanser for rosacea. One negative effect mentioned is that their skin felt dry after using those sulfur skin care products.

Prescription Sulfur Face Wash For Rosacea

The American Academy Of Dermatology states that if you have rosacea which causes acne-like breakouts, a possible treatment plan recommended by your dermatologist includes a prescription medication with sulfur and Sodium sulfacetamide for topical application.

The same source suggests that these two ingredients have been safely used for treating acne rosacea for more than sixty years. As per the findings of some research studies, rosacea patients typically experience redness reduction between 66% to 83%. And an equally high percentage decrease in acne rosacea flare-ups.

Use of prescription sulfur face wash for rosacea is considered safe. However, it's recommended that you inform your dermatologist about whether you suffer from kidney disease and if you are pregnant or you are planning to get pregnant.

Possible side effects of prescription sulfur and Sodium sulfacetamide products include dryness, itching, temporary redness, and skin irritation. These effects tend to lessen as your skin gets used to the medication.

Does Sulfur Reduce Redness?

Experts agree that rosacea evolves from one type to another. Many people experience symptoms of more than one type. This makes it even more important to visit a board-certified dermatologist for an early diagnosis. Subsequently,  you must follow the right treatment plan according to the phase of your rosacea.   

The two most common types of rosacea, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea and papulopustular rosacea, are characterized by persistent redness. Inflammation plays an important role in the appearance of redness on the skin as well as rosacea pustules and papules. There are many possible triggers for the inflammation, including possible dietary triggers like gluten, chocolate, and peppers.

Sulfur wash for rosacea reduces facial erythema (diffuse redness) and successfully minimizes inflammation. However, it causes dryness - an effect which is not good for rosacea skin.

Keeping rosacea skin well moisturized is a key step to treating rosacea and especially the erythema and the flushing. Using a moisturizer after treating your skin at home with sulfur is of maximum importance. There are moisturizers for rosacea and some essential oils for rosacea are thought to be helpful. It's also important to use a good sunscreen for rosacea at all times, but especially when using a sulfur soap.

What Is The Best Sulfur Soap For Rosacea?

Sulfur soaps help soothe rosacea symptoms and keep the skin pores clear of dead skin cells and excess oil. Generally, soaps are drying to the skin and all sulfur soaps are not created equal.

You may need to try different ones until you find one that is good for you. But rosacea skin is very sensitive and I would strongly advise against experimenting too much with different sulfur soaps.

There are a few tips that can help you choose a good sulfur soap for rosacea:

  • Make sure that the soap is free of waxes, oils, and lanolin which can clog the follicles. Furthermore, some people have allergies that exacerbate rosacea symptoms.
  • Look for soaps that are free of ingredients that are potentially irritating for sensitive skin.
  • Check that the soap is tested by a dermatologist and is sold by a reputable company or manufacturer.
  • Use soaps that are made of gentle ingredients.

Homeopathic Sulphur For Rosacea

As reported by the British Homeopathic Association, two of the most commonly recommended homeopathy medicines for acne are Sulphur and Silica.

Rosacea is a condition closely related to acne. So, can we safely assume then that homeopathic sulfur for rosacea is a good treatment? A good homeopath is a proper person to answer this question.

Peter Fisher, Clinical Director of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, believes the homeopathic medicine most commonly recommended for rosacea is Lachesis.

How To Choose Which Sulfur Skin Care Products To Use

The right sulfur skin care products play a major role in rosacea management and prevention of irritation. Also, due to the increased rate of the sensitivity of rosacea skin, you don't want to try different products at the same time.

There are many sulfur skin care products on the market today including sulfur face washes, cleansers, sulfur lotions, masks, powders, and soaps.

A board-certified dermatologist will recommend the best treatment plan according to your rosacea subtype and phase. Often, patients experience symptoms of different subtypes which may appear in succession.

Therefore, the expert will diagnose your condition and recommend one or a combination of different sulfur or other products for your specific case.

How To Use A Sulfur Face Wash for Rosacea

A WebMD featured article, suggests using Sodium sulfacetamide and a sulfur cleanser for rosacea or acne in the following way:

  • Clean makeup, dirt or excess oil off your skin using a gentle cleanser.
  • Wet the problem areas before using the sulfur wash.
  • Apply the product to the skin and massage gently for 10-20 seconds until it fully lathers.
  • Rinse off thoroughly and then pat dry.


When using a sulfur face wash, there are some precautions you need to keep in mind:

  • Keep it away from getting in your eyes, nose, mouth or on the lips.
  • Ask your dermatologist if it is safe to be used on broken skin.
  • Inform your doctor whether you are allergic to sulfur or you suffer from other allergies.
  • Consult your dermatologist if you have kidney disease or you are pregnant.
  • Contact your doctor if you see that the prescription sulfur cleanser is causing serious side effects that persist and worsen.
  • Always apply a moisturizer after washing.

Do’s And Don’ts Of Washing Rosacea Skin

  • Don't use face cleansers that contain harsh and potentially irritating ingredients.
  • Gently apply the wash to your face using your fingertips. Do not rub your skin.
  • Wash your face every day, once or ideally twice a day, but be gentle.
  • Stay away from using washcloths or even facial sponges.
  • Choose products that are free of fragrance.
  • Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol, Menthol, Camphor, glycolic acid, urea or SLS.
  • Rinse off your skin with cool or lukewarm water.
  • Make sure that you thoroughly remove the product after each wash using a gentle motion.
  • Pat your skin dry gently with a clean soft cotton towel.


OTC and prescribed sulfur products are successfully used for the management of facial erythema rosacea and acne rosacea.

A dermatologist will recommend the right sulfur face wash for rosacea to you after diagnosing the subtype and phase of your condition.

The often quoted maxim, "less is more", is a golden rule in general skin care. It is even more important for rosacea skin. Moreover, experimenting with different products at the same time or too often leads to further irritation and inflammation.

Finally, keeping a positive attitude and not over stressing yourself significantly improves your condition and prevent future flare-ups.

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Lindsay is concerned about health, nutrition and the environment. She believes natural products are best and wants to help others learn more about the benefits of using them.

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