I am in my late 30s and I have acne on my chest and back. Can you tell me if a sulphur-based soap will help this condition. I have used glycerine and other anti-acne soaps, but they don’t seem to work.

Some sulphur-based soaps tend to slow down the production of skin oils and some may also contain a mild peeling agent. Peeling helps to remove the surface layer of dead skin cells which may clog pore openings so that oils cannot escape. There are also some medicated soaps you could try as they usually have anti-bacterial properties. Remember that your acne is not caused by dirt, so wash gently, no hot water, rough scrubbing, and don’t use a highly alcoholic body rub.

Acne has many different causes. It may be the result of allergies, stress, medication, improper diet or crash diets. The acne may appear as blackheads that have become infected, pimples, cysts, “blind” pimples etc. In some cases the skin feels thick and oily, or sometimes it is tight and dry. I suggest that you see a dermatologist, esthetician or skin specialist to determine what is causing your acne and then you can better choose the remedy.

I have a lot of small bumps under my skin which could be blackheads. Someone suggested that I use a scrub to get rid of them. But they have since become worse and my skin is very sore. I have tried another product but, after four weeks, my skin has not gotten any better. I am 22 years old, black, and my skin is very sensitive. Can you suggest a scrub to get rid of the bumps?

Whatever type of skin you have – sensitive, oily, dry, mature, normal, oily or combination – stay away from harsh soaps, alcohol-based products and preparations that are too abrasive. Also, too much scrubbing or harsh treatment products and over-exposure to the sun can lead to a buildup of dull, scaly surface cells which make the skin appear greyish or ashen.

Blackheads form inside the pores when there is a build-up of sebum (oil). Scrubbing your skin is not always an answer to the problem. Have your skin properly analyzed and have a good facial treatment to help extract the blackheads. Use a mild line of cleansers, toner and creams suitable for your skin type. On a weekly or bi-weekly basis you should use an enzyme exfoliant. This type of exfoliant helps remove some of the surface dead skin cells, but it does not contain any rough particles. A facial mask may be helpful, as well as drinking plenty of water, getting fresh air, and eating a good diet.

I have recently started a program to help make my cellulite less noticeable by using an active lotion and a stimulating cream to help better drainage of toxins. The instructions suggest warming the skin by using a loofah or a brush. Do you use the items dry or wet for best results?

Dry brushing or using a dry loofah is a form of massage that helps warm the skin by increasing the blood circulation. You can use a natural bristle body brush which is better than nylon bristles which have a tendency to scratch. You may also use both in the shower or bath.