Sulphur is one of the most common ingredients used in cosmetics. Its main uses are cosmetic products like creams, gels, lotions and potions. Sulphur is usually found in powdered form or in liquid form. It is often mixed with other chemicals such as alcohols and oils to make it easier to apply.
There are two types of sulfur: elemental sulfur (or ferrous sulfate) and metallic sulfur (or manganese sulfate). Elemental sulfur is naturally occurring and is available from rocks, volcanoes, and meteorites. Metallic sulfur comes from metal ores like copper, zinc, lead and silver. It may be mined or synthesized.
The chemical name for sulphur is thiosulfate monohydrate (THMS), which means “thio” meaning three times and sulfate because it contains sodium as its major constituent.
Sulphur is an essential mineral element needed for human life. It plays a role in many biological processes including cell growth, reproduction, and metabolism. It is also used in medicine as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory agent. Sulphur is present in all living organisms; however, humans have the greatest need for it due to our high metabolic rate. Humans must consume sufficient amounts of sulfur every day to maintain their health.
Sulfur does not dissolve well in water, so it needs to be ingested with food. It is soluble in fats and oils and can be stored in the body’s fat tissues for a long time.
When present in the body in sufficient quantities, sulfur acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are organic compounds that protect cells from the harmful, naturally-occurring oxidation process that can cause disease and even death. Antioxidants are thought to provide protective benefits against cancer and heart disease.
Sulfur can be found in foods like garlic, onions, legumes, nuts, eggs, and whole grains.
Sulphur also has skin care benefits. It is often used in lotions because it helps eliminate dry skin, ease the appearance of fine lines, and even out skin tone by removing dark patches of discoloration (such as age spots). It may also be used to lighten the skin, though it isn’t as effective for this purpose as hydroquinone.
It is important to note that most skin-lightening creams sold in the United States contain a derivative of mercury called mercuric chloride. Though the amount of mercury in these products is small, it can still build up in your body, especially if you use the product daily over a long period of time.
There are no known side effects to using Sulphur in small quantities for skin care purposes.
As with any medication or cosmetic product, it is important to check with your health care professional before applying Sulphur to sensitive areas of skin. Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant should not apply Sulphur to their skin because it may cause birth defects.
While Sulphur lotion is generally considered safe when used as directed, it may occasionally cause allergic reactions in some people. This can range from mild skin irritation to severe discomfort.
Interactions With Other Drugs
Sulphur should not be used with tetracycline or light sensitive drugs such as chloroquine because it can cause a permanent darkening of the skin.
Sulphur may increase the skin-bleaching effects of hydroquinone.
Sulphur can also cause your skin to become more sensitive to sunlight, so it is a good idea to wear sunscreen when using this product.
It is not recommended to use skin products containing Sulphur two weeks before or after using a medicated skin product.
Sulphur and aspirin should not be used together because the combination can lead to damage to the liver.
Sources & references used in this article:
Long-term skin findings of sulfur mustard exposure on the civilians of Sardasht, Iran by A Moin, T Ghazanfari, SM Davoudi, N Emadi… – Toxin …, 2009 – Taylor & Francis
Pathogenesis and treatment of skin lesions caused by sulfur mustard by Z Poursaleh, M Ghanei, F Babamahmoodi… – … and ocular toxicology, 2012 – Taylor & Francis
Acute and chronic effects of sulfur mustard on the skin: a comprehensive review by M Ghanei, Z Poursaleh, AA Harandi… – … and ocular toxicology, 2010 – Taylor & Francis
Delayed complications of sulfur mustard poisoning in the skin and the immune system of Iranian veterans 16–20 years after exposure by M Hefazi, M Maleki, M Mahmoudi… – International journal …, 2006 – Wiley Online Library
Late cutaneous manifestations 14 to 20 years after wartime exposure to sulfur mustard gas: a long-term investigation by SN Emadi, M Mortazavi, H Mortazavi – Archives of dermatology, 2008 – jamanetwork.com
The chronic effects of sulfur mustard exposure by M Rowell, K Kehe, F Balszuweit, H Thiermann – Toxicology, 2009 – Elsevier