Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to my topic, I've been really busy with school and midterms and whatnot. But I'm on spring break and have a tiny bit of free time now.
I think it's so widely used as nothing really beats it for foamy-ness. All the cleansers I've used without it just don't foam up.
Has your derm not recommended Accutane if you still get cystic acne? It is pretty much the only thing that will work for more severe cases. It definitely isn't untreatable!
I think H&S contains a good amount of Zinc oxide (or some Zinc compound) as an active ingredient which is antiseptic & antifungal. If you find it definitely helps, you could try plastering Sudocrem on your skin at night which is like a thick cream, so you can just wear it as a mask & wash off in the morning. I'm just guessing there though, but since it's cheap, it might be worth a shot.
It seems like you have a few problems that only a derm can really help you with. If your current one isn't being much help, you can always find another who may have a second opinion.
I actually am going to my derm this Thursday, and I'm going to ask him about Accutane. I know that antibiotics won't help me at all. Not just because I don't want to build up a resistance, but I was on them a few years ago and they didn't help, and I've been on moderate courses of antibiotics more recently for chronic sinusitis and those never seem to help my acne. Plus, my skin is just so oily, I really think Accutane would help there. I'm just worried about how expensive it will be.
I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I used to equate foam/suds= cleanliness. I started using products on my face (and hair) that did not contain it, and it felt like I was washing my face with lotion so it took some time to get used to it. But many of the products work well for me and they're not harsh on my skin and hair.
I've never heard H + S for your skin before, but if that's what's working for you, maybe you can ask your derm if it's okay for you to use as a facewash. Good luck!
I understand what you and Rorius are saying about foaming/suds equaling cleanliness. I've used some cream cleansers, but afterwards my face doesn't feel nearly as clean as with foaming cleansers.
I'd stick with it. Millions of poeple have been washing their hair with sulfate shampoos for decades. Some believe it is carcinogenic. I respect those who don't want to use it because it contains 1,4-dioxane for example. I believe it's scaring people needlessly. Also, lots of sulfate-free shampoos actually contain sulfates disguised as something else or they have other harsh surfactants like L'Oreal's EverPure Sulfate-Free Shampoo. I jumped on the bandwagon and used it exclusively for 2 months. Never have I lost so much hair and never was it so dry after shampooing than after using it. I'm back using sulfate shampoos, barely lose any hair when I detangle and my hair feels clean afterwards.
The salicylic acid shampoo my derm gave me last year doesn't have any sulfates in it, and I must say that when I used it I noticed I lost a bit of hair. I'm slowly balding anyway, but that sped the process up while I was using it. At the time I figured it was just because it was salicylic acid and I know how much it tears my skin up, so I didn't really think about that, but you make a valid point.
Basically, I'm at the point of having no avenues left except for Accutane, because that's really the only thing I haven't tried. I guess I should mention that the mild success I had with H&S in the beginning of this post was a false alarm, my facial acne is just as bad as before, and I've stopped using H&S to wash.
I know there is no "one size fits all" acne treatment, but I have used so much (salicylic acid, BP, prescription creams, antibiotics, p. zinc, the OCM, caveman, water-only, fasting, changing diet, vitamins/supplements) and nothing seems to help. I know when I was younger and started using products, I generally wouldn't give them enough time to work. But now that I am older, I give everything a fair chance, and so far nothing helps. I've done so much research on Accutane and am more than ready to deal with the side effects. Plus I'm just tired of putting crap on my face, and I'm sure that it is probably making my situation worse.
If my derm doesn't prescribe Accutane, I really don't know what the next step will be for me. I'm happy with the rest of my body, but that isn't what people see when they look at you...
I am grateful at the same time, because I know my acne could always be worse. But no one wants it at all. So maybe the next time you see me post something on this site it will be the beginning of my Accutane journey!