This Viral $7 Acne Treatment Was Originally Marketed to Latinos

Lead Photo: Art by Alan López for Remezcla
Art by Alan López for Remezcla
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In the vast market of skincare, it’s difficult – if not impossible – to find a solution that works for everyone, especially when it comes to acne treatments. Some make your spots dry and flaky, while others increase the grease in your face leaving you looking like an alcapurria straight out of the frier.

But the internet — especially Reddit — now claims that a $7 sulfur acne treatment is the cure to all our granos. This week, the De la Cruz Sulfur Ointment went viral on Reddit when a woman reviewed the product, saying, “To whoever recommended sulfur cream, freaking thank you.” Commenters quickly jumped on the post to ask for the product info and add similar experiences with the treatment.

DLC Labs, a Los Angeles-based beauty company created in 1963, is behind the De la Cruz Sulfur Ointment. What’s curious about DLC Labs is that, according to its website, the company originally “marketed to the Hispanic community in Southern California, and then throughout the West.” Among its selection, you can find natural dietary products, supplements, and essential oils. But the company’s mostly known for its hair and skincare products that range from cocoa and shea butter to arnica salves and vitamin E creams. Despite having its branding, descriptions, and instructions written in Spanish, it’s unclear whether DLC Labs was Latino-owned or why it marketed to the Latino community. (Editor’s Note: We have reached out for comment and will update if we hear back.) However, we do know that Paul Cruz originally started the company.

Still, its most popular product is the sulfur ointment, which, aside from its popularity on Reddit, has some mixed reviews on Amazon. One reviewer warned that the product was not useful to people with darker skin, while another claimed it left a dry patch on the spot.

The treatment seems to be especially useful when it comes to targeting cystic acne, which normally presents as large, red breakouts that run deeper than normal whiteheads. Some reviewers on Reddit claimed the De la Cruz Sulfur Ointment helped them get rid of their cystic acne within 24 hours. Experts say that sulfur is a natural anti-inflammatory and contains antibacterial properties. Sulfur is also gentler on the skin than other popular acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide.

While the positive reviews trump the negative, the jury is still out on whether this cheap, drugstore treatment is the solution to your acne woes. But some people have strong feelings about it.

Update, August 24, 2018 at 12:25 p.m.: This piece has been updated to add information about the owner of the company.