Does Toothpaste Work on Pimples?
Though toothpaste might seem like an ideal home remedy in an emergency situation, its ingredients designed to clean teeth (bicarbonate of soda and alcohol) may inadvertently cause inflammation on your skin and even worsening acne conditions.
Instead of simply applying that tube of whitening paste, consider these other spot treatments instead.
What is Toothpaste?
Imagine this: when waking up with an unsettling zit days before a major event, reaching for your toothpaste as part of an age-old home remedy of “putting toothpaste on pimples.” While this might make sense given that many acne products contain ingredients to dry out or shrink blemishes, this particular hack actually causes more harm than good as it irritates skin and increases chances of further breakouts.
This myth likely stems from the misconception that toothpaste has drying properties, given its typical ingredients such as baking soda, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). While these agents work to clean your teeth effectively and can even help clear acne scars effectively; overexposure can be too much for sensitive or dry complexions and cause them to produce excess oil production, leading to blocked pores and more breakouts.
Applying drying ingredients directly to skin can disrupt its natural pH balance, leading to inflammation. Furthermore, toothpaste’s abrasive particles may also irritate it further – especially those made for gel use.
Finally, it’s essential to remember that toothpaste wasn’t intended to be used on skin; its primary function is cleaning teeth rather than acting as a spot treatment for acne. Furthermore, toothpaste does not kill bacteria which contribute to acne formation – if you want to get rid of pimples fast use products specifically tailored for this task; such as those containing either 1% salicylic acid or 2.5% benzoyl peroxide.
If you’re having difficulty clearing away pimples, visiting a board-certified dermatologist could be beneficial. They’ll offer prescription-grade solutions and offer alternative home remedies without using toothpaste on the face; our favorite DIY options may include applying cotton balls soaked in green tea to any problematic blemishes to constrict blood vessels and reduce redness, or an ice cube on an active blemish.
Why Do People Think Toothpaste Works on Pimples?
Urban legend has it that toothpaste will clear away zits like magic; when faced with a pimple, many believe dabbing a small dot of paste onto it will do the trick. Unfortunately, however, this DIY spot treatment could make matters worse as toothpaste was designed specifically to work on teeth instead of skin.
Toothpaste contains harsh ingredients that can irritate the pores and lead to further breakouts, including chemicals like triclosan that were once thought to help combat acne by killing off bacteria; but after being found ineffective by the FDA, its use in toothpaste has been restricted significantly. Other ingredients in toothpaste, like alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda may be effective at drying pimples but do little for treating their root cause of acne.
For best results when treating pimples, turn to skincare products specially formulated for your face. Salicylic acid-containing treatments may help treat and prevent acne by dissolving oil and dead skin cells while benzoyl peroxide can reduce bacteria that cause inflammation.
Cleansers that include glycerin and sorbitol may also help prevent your skin from drying or flaking, and don’t forget a gentle exfoliator such as scrubbing pad or scrub brush can help clear away dead cells that clog your pores.
Avoid sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). While this surfactant helps make toothpaste foam, it can irritate skin, leading to redness and inflammation that could potentially result in acne breakouts.
Fluoride may have some antibacterial properties, but this won’t reduce p. acnes bacteria responsible for pimple inflammation and redness. While toothpaste abrasives might remove some residue left behind from keyboards or piano keys, they should never be used directly on delicate skin such as your facial ones as this could lead to irritation and potentially permanent scarring.
How to Use Toothpaste on Pimples
Rumor has it that dabbing a bit of toothpaste onto pimples will help them disappear faster for generations. People claim this works due to toothpaste’s ingredients helping dry out zits and reduce their size – these include baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol; additionally, menthol creates a tingling sensation on your skin that soothes itching while alleviating pain.
Applying these ingredients directly could cause more harm than good, however. Toothpaste contains much higher concentrations than acne products and could irritate or dry out your skin, creating an unpleasant chain reaction of irritation or dryness, which in turn produces even more oil, leading to even more pimples and breakouts.
And, the ingredients found in toothpastes containing fluoride may actually damage the protective barrier of your skin, making it more vulnerable to irritation. Additionally, fluoride toothpastes may further disrupt this balance and make your skin even more susceptible.
toothpaste on your skin may increase the amount of dirt and debris trapped within your pores, making it harder for your body to flush away bacteria that cause pimples.
To be on the safe side, it is wise to avoid using toothpaste on your skin as an attempt at treating acne. Instead, seek professional dermatologist-recommended solutions instead.
Although toothpaste ingredients might help treat pimples temporarily, for the best long-term results it’s wise to seek treatment tailored specifically to your skin type. That way, you can be certain you’re making the most out of your skincare regimen without risking further harm to your complexion. If stubborn or cystic acne persists despite best efforts at treatment, seek advice from a dermatologist as they may prescribe topical medication that can be used alongside your regular skincare regime to bring under control your blemishes.
Alternative Pimple Remedies
As most people can attest, pimples tend to strike unexpectedly and you might try anything possible to eliminate them, including toothpaste slathering. Unfortunately, this may irritate the skin further while further clogging pores with oily debris and potentially leading to burns and stings on your face. Plus, many ingredients in toothpaste aren’t exactly great for your health either; many contain drying agents like baking soda and alcohol while some also include chemicals which could irritate or even make peeling occur.
Rumors that toothpaste can quickly treat acne may stem from its drying ingredients; as an acne lesion contains oily deposits, using something drying would seem like it would help it go away faster. Unfortunately, however, this just isn’t true – spot treatments designed specifically to be applied directly onto your face are typically more effective in relieving zits than toothpaste tubes because they kill bacteria while dissolving dead skin cells and oil. Furthermore, they tend to be cheaper and can usually be found at any drugstore nearby.
Another effective solution for pimples and breakouts is using clear makeup setting powder as a cover up, which will prevent dirt accumulation around it while simultaneously diminishing its appearance until it breaks apart on its own or through heat treatment. Other ways of covering breakouts include acne patches that can be found at most stores selling skincare products – these work particularly well on oily skin types.
Tea tree oil is another natural remedy for acne that should be tried. To use it, dilute it with water and dab it on affected areas one to two times daily, taking care to avoid sunlight as tea tree oil makes your skin more sensitive to UV radiation. Also make sure that overly dry skin doesn’t lead to excess oil production that worsens acne problems.