Most Common General Questions

Stiefel Laboratories stopped producing the "ZNP Bar" in 2010. We don't know why. The product was well liked by professionals in the medical community and the public. Stiefel Labs was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in July 2009 to create a new specialist dermatology business. Glaxo, we gather by their actions, was uninterested in the soap business, likely due to lower margins and lots of competition. Availability of Stiefel Labs ZNP Bar ceased shortly after the acquisition. They also discontinued SAStid (their Salicylic Acid and Sulfur soap), Acne-Aid, and their Sulfur Soap. PanOxyl (the BPO cleansing bar) went into short supply in 2012. Zeasorb was discontinued in the UK in 2013. And the formula for the PanOxyl foaming wash was changed in 2018 leading to lots of consumer dissatisfaction. On the flip-side, we love our business and plan to make our products for many years to come. The DermaHarmony Pyrithione Zinc soap is very similar to the original Stiefel Labs ZNP. Many customers of ours say that they like our soap as well or better than the original ZNP bar. Others say that the liked the original.  Give us a try and let us know what you think.

If you're suffering from a severe chronic skin condition, it is always helpful to see a doctor or dermatologist to get a diagnosis. Our products are a top choice of dermatologists worldwide. Many customers that buy our products "self diagnose" and see great results.  There's lots of information on the Internet and most of the ingredient information about Pyrithione Zinc, Salicylic Acid, and Sulfur is true and factual.  It helps to do a little homework before purchasing.  If you're not sure which product to use, buy a combo kit containing all three ingredients and then test on a small area of skin to see which product or combination of products provide the greatest benefit.  There’s no substitute to a formal diagnosis!  If you’re not getting good results from one of our products, see a medical professional.

We make all of our products in the USA.  Where possible, we purchase raw ingredients from large US distributors who make ingredients in the USA.  We support the use of sustainable growing and harvesting practices and source from suppliers that value human & labor rights.  Some of our products use RESPO palm oil. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RESPO) promotes the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards. Learn more about what we value. All of our products are shipped from the Maine coast about 2 hours North of Boston where we have corporate offices, manufacturing, and warehousing.  We have 4 additional USA warehouses - giving us 2-day shipping coverage of the 48 states. In mid-2019 we opened a UK distribution facility/warehouse located 95 Kilometers from central London.

DermaHarmony Products are not tested on animals, nor do they contain any animal ingredients (with the exception several products that contain honey and/or beeswax).  All of our products are cruelty free.

2% Pyrithione Zinc Soap Dermaharmony bar soap

Sodium Palmate Sodium , Cocoate and/or Sodium Palm Kernelat (listed as saponified oils from palm and coconut), Water, Glycerin (from vegetable oil), Titanium Dioxide (a natural white mineral), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Table Salt, Salt of Pententic Acid

Lather your hands with the soap (no wash cloth) and cover your face and do some lathering, then with comfortable warm water rinse thoroughly and dry with clean towel. The zinc in that soap is strong, but cleanses the pores well.  30-90 seconds is fine.  Don't leave in contact with sensitive areas longer. DermaHarmony Pyrithione Zinc Soap is safe to use every day.

The DermaHarmony soap has no added fragrance. It smells like good old fashioned soap - we struggle to find words when asked to describe the soap's smell. Everything smells like something, right? Most non fragrance soaps, well, they smell like soap, but are slightly unique to one another due to their different ingredients. The best answer is simple, clean, and organic-like. The smell is very slight. A nice faint soap smell. A slight fragrance of what you would expect from a natural soap made from oils.

None of the DermaHarmony branded soap contains sulfates. We now have a second brand called Grace of Me the offers a wider range of cleansing products. Several of these new bars contain sulfates (e.g. Goat's Milk & Honey, Oatmeal, Lavender Flower soap). Others don't (e.g. African Black, Aloe-Cucumber-Bentonite-Clay). We're very cautious about how we use sulfates in these new products. None of the Grace of Me or DermaHarmony branded soaps or shampoo bars contain parabens, preservatives or PEG. The Grace of Me bars that are Sulfate Free are clearly marked so.

Yes.  We have thousands of customers that do so.  Notwithstanding, we think that our 2% Pyrithione Zinc Bar Shampoo by Grace of Me is a better option because it reacts better when used with 'hard water'.

You'll see results in 2-5 days if you wash your face daily.

No, not at all. It helps to remove oils.  If you find it drying, follow with a natural lotion or cream. 

Our zinc bar soap consistently tests at a pH of 8.25. We quote a range of 9 to 9.5 pH, as testing methods can vary.

Yes, oats are gluten-free.

Yes - it can be used on children under adult supervision.  Keep away from eyes. Zinc Pyrithione will irritate the eyes (flush eyes for several minutes if soap comes into contact).


The 2% Salicylic Acid Bar Soap is a cleanser formulated with 2% Salicylic Acid to minimize breakouts. Start with one application daily, then gradually increase to two or three times daily if needed. The soap is gentle enough for most to use multiple times per day.  If bothersome dryness or peeling occurs, reduce application to once a day or every other day. When using this product, skin irritation and dryness may occur if you use other topical acne medications at the same time or immediately following use of this product. If this occurs, use only one medication at a time unless directed by a doctor.

Sodium Palmate, Sodium Cocoate and/or Sodium Palm Kernelate (saphonified oils from palm and coconut), Water, Glycerin (from vegetable oil), Titanium Dioxide (a natural mineral), Table Salt, Olive Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Pentasodium Pentetate (a water soluble salt used to bind ingredients), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)

Salicylic acid works as an exfoliant , helping your skin to shed dead skin cells more effectively. It is a keratoytic, meaning it dissolves the bonds that hold dead skin cells together and helps them to shed away more effectively. It's naturally occurring in white willow bark and wintergreen. Salicylic Acid encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, helping keep the pores clear. Keeping pores clear is the first step in getting all types of blemishes under control. Salicylic Acid works best against non-inflamed breakouts, and blackheads. It helps to decrease oil and inflammation. 

Similar to BPO or Benzoyl Peroide, salicylic acid is most effective only if applied continually -- even after acne has cleared. In the absence of the exfoliating and cleansing effects of salicylic acid, the pores will clog again resulting in the return of acne.

Most folks can use Salicylic Acid without issues. The most common are: Dryness; Peeling and flaking; Stinging or burning; Skin irritation. Side effects are just a nuisance, and can most often be kept under control by using an oil-free moisturizer every day.

Yes, we have thousands of customers who use 2% Salicylic Acid bar soap as shampoo.  You may need to follow-up with a natural conditioner.  We developed our Shampoo Bars as a better alternative to using soap as shampoo.  At this time we don't have a Salicylic Acid Shampoo bar.

You can leave it on for a few minutes. The product is designed to be used as a bar soap.  Wash and then rinse away.

10% Sulfur & 3% Salicylic Acid DermaHarmony Bar Soap

Any product made with both Sulfur and Salicylic Acid cannot be a drug (with the Dandruff exception mentioned below). That's because the combination has not been approved as a drug.  There are multiple brands of soap that contain both ingredients in similar concentrations - this has been a popular concentration for 30 years. It just means that the soap is not intended to affect the structure or function of the body.  This product is marketed only for use as soap. This product is NOT intended to treat or prevent disease, such as by killing germs, or treating skin conditions, such as acne or eczema. Its main purpose is to cleanse skin. It is interesting that Salicylic acid at 1.8-3% may be combined with sulfur at 2-5% for treating Dandurff.  This would be permissible as an OTC Drug.

Saponified Oils (from palm and coconut), Water, Precipitated Sulfur, Glycerin (from vegetable oil), Salicylic Acid, Soyethyl Morpholinium Ethosulfate (soy-derived natural odor control), Table Salt, and Salt of Pentetic Acid.

There are lots of little differences.  Here are the top two: 1) DermaHarmony uses a precipitated sulfur. Precipitated sulfur, aka "Milk of Sulfur", as a raw ingredient, is a topical scabicide, antiparasitic, antibacterial, antifungal, and keratolytic. Sublimed sulfur, as a raw ingredient, aka "Flower of Sulfur (FOS)", is a topical scabicide and antiparasitic ointment. Sublimed sulfur is sulfur that has been purified through sublimation (gas-to-solid without transitioing through a liquid state) transition. We find milk of sulfur to be a bit more mild than flower of sulfur.  It has a more mellow smell and interacts well with Soyethyl Morpholinium Ethosulfate (a soy-derived natural odor control). The result is a much nicer smelling soap. SAStid, made by Stiefel Laboratories prior to being acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, was the most popular 10% Sulfur & 3% Salicylic Acid soap in the world.  Glaxo discontinued SAStid after acquiring Stiefel in 2009.  It is noteworthy that SAStid also used Precipitated Sulfur. 2) DermaHarmony soap does not contain lanolin (also known as wool wax or wool grease because it is secreted by the sebaceous glands of wool-bearing animals). DermaHarmony soap does not contain animal ingrdients.

2% Pyrithione Zinc Grace of Me Shampoo Bars

Yes, sciences shows that SLES is safe if the ingreidient is processed to remove excess 1,4-dioxane. Despite being used safely and successfully for more than 70 years, SLES has a poor reputation. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a very effective cleansing ingredient. The surfactant wets body surfaces, emulsify or solubilize oils, and suspend soil. SLES contributes to foaming and lathering properties. There has been information circulating on the Internet for several years which falsely states that Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) used in rinse off products can cause cancer. The allegation is unsubstantiated and false. Concerns about SLES stem from confusion surrounding the manufacturing process. It is common to contaminate SLES with high levels of 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen, during the manufacturing process. Since 1980 most manufactures have taken extra steps to remove the 1,4-dioxane. Good manufactures take extra steps to ensure that SLES is cleansed. That’s the case with our raw ingredient. It goes through a purifying process and is monitored for trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane. Our SLES contains less than 5 parts per million (PPM) of 1,4-dioxane. With low levels of 1,4-dioxane, SLES gets a good score from Skin Deep (overall hazard: low). Even with trace levels above 10 PPM, the score is still "low". SLES was reviewed in 1983 and re-reviewed in 2002 by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel and found to be safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products. SLES can cause skin irritation, but the ingredient makes up less than 5% of our shampoo bars because we’ve chosen to limit SLES use in our products. Some people become sensitized to SLES over time and that’s why we’re using so little SLES in this product. We’re working on different shampoo bar formulations and we’ll have more options for you over time. We’re trying to find another formulation that does not have SLES. Not because we believe that SLES is unsafe, but, because it’s just hard to cut through all the junk science. Until then, sleep easy - there is no cancer risk from the SLES in our shampoo bars.

The pH of this shampoo bar is 10. Cold process natural soap is alkaline with a pH between 9-10 (alkaline). That’s not bad! Skin doesn't need balancing because it balances itself. Sebum is secreted by the sebaceous gland and when mixed with sweat becomes the acid mantle. The pH of the skin balances naturally between 4.5 and 6.2. Always! The acid mantle is a protective natural covering to skin. After you wash your hair, your scalp immediately begins re-balancing the mantle. It is nearly impossible to change the natural pH of your scalp with shampoo. Any shampoo more acidic (e.g. neutral) than cold process soap is due to substituting synthetic detergents in place of natural ingredients.  This Grace of Me shampoo bar is vegetable-based - all vegetable-based soaps and shampoos have a similar pH profile.

We don't use artificial colorants or synthetic dyes. There are plenty of ways to create beautiful colors in skincare products without relying on synthetic substances. Unfortunately, natural colorants tend to be more expensive. We just absorb that cost.  We use natural micas, ores, herbs, and botanicals to color our shampoo bars. 

We don't use artificial fragrances either. We use essential oils and absolutes, typically the highest grade available.  Many fragranced personal care products contain phthalates, which are carcinogenic chemical plasticizers, solvents, and fixatives. That’s because natural fragrance is pricy.  Again, we just absorb the cost.  Our lavender shampoo bars contain pure Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil. The cost of the oil is roughly $125 per pound.  Standardized 40/42 lavender (standardized in a lab to ensure consistency in smell) costs $45 per pound. Synthetic lavender fragrance can be purchase for as little as $2.25 per pound.  All of these bars are scented with natural fragrance.