Review: Acne Free Therapeutic Sulfur Mask

Acne Free Therapeutic Sulfur Mask
Photo: AcneFree

My love for sulfur masks goes back many years, when I was working at my very first skin spa job.  I had a client who, like many adult women, always got those inflammatory breakouts right before her period.

After working with this client for several weeks, I asked another seasoned esthetician what she recommended I use for this client. Sulfur, she told me.

I loved the results I got with this particular client.And I loved the results I got when I used it on myself.

So you can say I'm a sucker for sulfur, even though the smell leaves something to be desired.  I was happy to pick the Acne Free Therapeutic Sulfur Mask up when I just happened to see it as I was grocery shopping.

It was cheap, just about $8.00 for the tube.  Don't let the tiny size of the bottle fool you -- that small tube lasts a surprisingly long time.

The most unique feature of this mask is that it changes color as you apply it. Normally, I don't buy into these gimmicks but I actually think this one is a good idea.

You start off with a white (OK, kind of an ashy grey) cream that contains little blue beads. The beads aren't gritty at all, so it's not like a scrub. Instead, the blue beads burst or dissolve as you massage into the skin, turning the white mask light blue and letting you know you've applied it thoroughly.

Then, as the mask works it turns white again.  When it's completely white, it's time to wash off.

The teens that also tested this mask for me especially liked the change of color.  It's just a good visual way to make sure you're applying it completely and thoroughly, and helps you keep tabs on when to remove it.

Make sure your skin is really damp before trying to apply it, though, because it can get very stiff if you don't.

So stiff that it doesn't spread well. I learned this one the hard way, but a bit more water and it was fine.

The package says the mask gives your skin minty, cooling sensation, but what you actually feel seems to vary from person to person. I barely felt a hint of coolness when I first applied the mask, but it disappeared within a few seconds. One of my testers said they felt the tingle throughout until the mask dried; the other didn't feel that "refreshing tingle" at all.

That wasn't a big turnoff to me, though. The biggest issue I had was how uncomfortably tight the mask got. I couldn't leave it on for the recommended 10 minutes. Again, this seems to be a personal thing.  Some of my testers agreed with me while others thought the tight feeling felt cleansing and great.

Once I rinsed it off, though, I did like how clean, soft and smooth my skin felt. For me, it was the tiniest bit drying, so I could see how it could totally dry out less oily skin types.

If your skin is already dry and sensitive from using other acne medications, I'd skip this mask as well. But if your skin is typically swimming in oil, you'll likely love the results.

You can use this mask two to three times a week. If you only have occasional pimples and blackheads, this alone will probably be a great fit for you.

For mild acne to moderate acne, you can use it along with other OTC acne treatments.

In general, I liked this mask and like the way it worked. For just a few bucks, it's a nice one to help reduce blackheads and mild breakouts or to incorporate into your acne treatment routine (with your dermatologist's OK, of course).

Active Ingredient

Sulfur 3.5%


About $8 for a 1.7 oz. tube

Where You Can Buy

This brand is easy to find. I got mine at my local grocery store. They also carry it at drugstores, big box stores like Target and Walmart, and online (compare prices).


  • This mask is inexpensive and easy to find.
  • The color-change makes it easy for you to know you've applied it well.
  • Great fit for oily skin, because it leaves the skin feeling clean and matte.
  • It rinses off easily.


  • It doesn't smell very good.
  • The mask gets very tight, uncomfortably so for some people.
  • It's very drying, so if your skin is already dry (or sensitive) it may be too much for you.

More Product Reviews