Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sulfur - Acne Treatment and Beauty Mineral

Sulfur is a mineral often found near hot springs and volcanic craters. The rotten egg smell of sulfur is due to sulfur dioxide gas escaping into the air. A form of sulfur can be found in a variety of high protein foods such as meats, poultry, fish and eggs as well as garlic, onions, brussels sprouts, kale wheat germ, and asparagus.

Roughly 0.25 percent of our body contains sulfur. It is most prevalent in keratin which fortifies your nails, skin and hair. It is necessary in the body’s production of collagen which gives your skin elasticity and a youthful glow. Because is plays such a significant role in our appearance it is considered a “beauty mineral”.

The virtues of sulfur have been touted for thousands of years. The Romans enjoyed the benefits of sulfuric waters and soaked in them to provide pain relief, and anti-aging benefits. Today, sulfur is used as a primary ingredient in many topical skin ointments to treat a variety of conditions including psoriasis, eczema, folliculitis and acne.

Acne occurs when the body begins to over produce both oil and cells located within the sebaceous follicles. Overproduction leads to clogging, and clogging encourages bacteria growth which then creates inflammation. Sulfur is a keratolytic agent. This simply means that sulfur encourages the shedding of dead skin cells. In doing so, the sulfur based treatment lessens the acne symptoms. It is also believed that the compounds found within sulfur retard the growth of bacteria by reducing the production of acid they require in order to flourish.

There are a variety of sulfur based acne products such a topical ointments and sulfur soaps which can be used to treat acne. Dead Sea salts are also very high in sulfur and therefore are an excellent option when treating body acne. In addition, a soak in Dead Sea salts can provide the substantial benefit of sulfur as well as 21 other essential minerals, without the potent smell of sulfur. And because sulfur is an effective treatment of numerous skin conditions, as well as being an anti-aging mineral, those who use it come to find its effects to be exponential.

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