Masks for Acne & Skin
When it comes to getting rid of acne, it might seem that people have tried everything. Ideas for masks to cure acne and improve your skin abound on the Internet, and it's possible to find recipes for homemade carrot masks, baking soda masks and even egg yolk masks. But there are only a few types of masks medically proven to treat your pimples and improve your complexion: sulfur-based masks, or masks containing either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Acne appears when the oil glands located beneath your face, back, chest and other places on your body produce too much oil, according to MayoClinic.com. The oil excess binds together with dead skin cells and other debris in your hair follicles to form soft plugs in those follicles, which become either whiteheads or blackheads. If acne-causing bacteria begin to multiply, you'll see white-topped pimples and additional inflammation as part of your acne.
Sulfur treats acne by drying out the skin and causing it to peel, according to Drugs.com. In this process, excess skin oil washes away and whiteheads and blackheads loosen, potentially clearing out your pores. Human beings have used sulfur for thousands of years to treat acne, and sulfur acne products come in a variety of forms, including masks, lotions, soaps and foaming cleansers. Most can be purchased without a prescription.
Benzoyl peroxide, meanwhile, treats acne by helping to kill acne-causing bacteria, and also provides some skin drying. Some beauty product manufacturers make clay masks that contain benzoyl peroxide to fight acne. Meanwhile, manufacturers also make masks that contain salicylic acid, which helps to correct the skin shedding that contributes to clogged pores.
All these masks can irritate your skin. Regardless of whether you choose a product with salicylic acid, sulfur or benzoyl peroxide, you should apply the mask according to directions, which should state how often you can use it without suffering too much skin irritation, according to Drugs.com. You should leave the mask on your skin no longer than directed in the specific mask's instructions. Side effects can include redness and peeling. In addition, a small number of sulfur mask users develop an allergic reaction to the sulfur itself.
Acne sufferers report two major problems with sulfur masks: They smell, and they can stain your skin. In addition, teens and adults reporting on the forums at the Acne website noted that skin peeling could be severe from the sulfur masks. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid masks don't smell as bad as sulfur masks, but some users also report severe skin irritation from them. If you end up with bad skin irritation from an acne mask, you may need to try a different product.
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