I've tried it enough times to tell you that it's a very bad idea.
You've heard the advice a million times: Use toothpaste for pimples.
One of the worst things you could ever try is literally that.
Have you ever wondered why dermatologists never recommend using toothpaste on acne?
I can understand why you would put toothpaste on zits as I have been there, and we can all agree that using toothpaste on acne is the perfect recipe for a disaster.
Here is why.
How Do Pimples Develop In The First Place?
Pimples are basically pores that have been clogged through the overproduction of a natural substance known as sebum.
Then the collection of oil, sebum and other bacteria are what swell and inflame acne prone areas of the face and body.
The tip of a pimple is often white in color.
The white part is pus which often indicates that a pimple is ready to be popped.
(Do not pop it though, you might just end up making it worse.)
Where Did This Toothpaste Remedy Emerge From In The First Place?
You might be wondering: ‘why am I being told that this age-old remedy for acne is not actually good for me?’
Well, there are a few reasons why toothpastes for pimples used to be considered a viable solution for acne in the past, but are not applicable anymore.
Other reasons that people thought that using toothpaste on acne was a good idea was due to its ingredients.
Common ingredients found in toothpaste, such as alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are thought to be critical in shrinking pimples.
Another reason was that the menthol found in toothpaste can also help to sooth the skin and reduce inflammation caused by zits.
OK, I know what you’re thinking: Well, if toothpaste can help with pimples then why are you advising me against it?
Not Applicable Anymore for Acne
So, it is silly to think that the toothpaste on zits remedy is completely baseless.
There is logic behind it that everyone can agree upon.
However, here is why those logics cannot apply to pimple problems anymore.
The components, like triclosan that were previously used to formulate toothpaste are no longer used.
Also, triclosan can have negative effects on thyroid hormones, which is not a risk anyone would be willing to take in my opinion.
The Harms Using Toothpaste on Acne Can Cause
Wouldn’t it be great though, if toothpaste really was the cure for everything?
Besides solving and preventing problems relating to dental hygiene, there is not much else that toothpaste is good for.
Toothpaste on zits is likely to harm you more than help you.
The reasons for that are as follows:
Toothpaste is not developed to suit your skin, like you can see from this article.
It is a product made specifically for the less sensitive surface of your teeth.
The basic pH level of toothpastes can be too much for your skin to handle.
You could easily upset your skin’s natural pH levels due to the amount of baking soda that is present in toothpaste, due to which you could get rashes and burning.
Do you see where we’re going with this?
The basic problems that using toothpaste for pimples can cause is all related to toothpaste not being a product suited for using externally on the skin.
Irritation and Over Drying
You might have heard that toothpastes contain an ingredient known as sodium lauryl sulfate.
This ingredient can be detrimental for those with sensitive skin, as it can greatly irritate skin.
Now you might be thinking, well, I do not have sensitive skin, so, what’s the problem?
Irritating sensitive skin is only one of the harmful side effects of using toothpaste on acne.
The drying agents found in toothpastes might end up over-drying your skin, causing even more acne.
Think I’m exaggerating? Trust me when I say that over-drying caused by using toothpaste on pimples is way worse than the initial trouble pimples cause.
Possible Scarring & Pigmentation
If you cower in fear of potential scarring caused by pimples more than the visibility of the pimples themselves, I completely understand you.
Scarring can ruin the look of your face forever.
And I am pretty sure no one wants that to happen.
It is very possible that applying toothpaste on zits can actually cause scars to develop.
This is because the intense drying out that toothpaste does to inflamed pimples can lead to ending up with acne scars.
For those that have more melanin contained in their skin, pigmentation can occur.
I have been there.
Using toothpaste on acne caused my skin to feel irritated and become pigmented.
It took ages for the pigmentation to subside.
I am not exaggerating, I was afraid that I would have to live with my darkly and irregularly pigmented skin for the rest of my life.
I am sure no one thinks toothpaste on pimples is worth a try anymore, right?
What You Can Use Instead Of Toothpaste For Pimples?
You know what acne professionals are tired of hearing?
“Toothpaste could surely not be that bad!”
So many people say, “but toothpaste is so easy to apply! Why should I bother in finding other remedies when this can work faster?”
I know it may be extremely tempting to apply toothpaste on zits, but I have a few things you can do for far better results and less cause of concern.
The simplest solution is: use products that are actually MADE to treat acne, instead of toothpaste which is meant for teeth.
Using retinoids to treat pimples is a classic remedy that never goes wrong.
Applying salicylic acid to cleanse your skin can also greatly clear up your skin.
These key ingredients can be found in skin friendly products such as masks, face washes and moisturizers.
It is just as easy to dab on some toothpaste on pimples, you just have to do it with a different and more suitable product.
Simple Home Remedies
For those who prefer all natural products and home based remedies, no problem.
Tree tea oil is an essential oil that is absolutely perfect for treating your acne.
No side effects and great results!
Another natural remedy is willow bark, which is a naturally extracted version of salicylic acid.
Using charcoal based skin products, such as charcoal masks, are also a great way to get rid of acne.
Clay masks and sulfur-based skin products are also recommended for those that want to shoo their pimples away.
Other Treatments for Moderate to Severe Acne
Ever hear of oral antioxidants for acne?
They are a somewhat newer type of treatment in the past 5 years or so.
These treatments were made for people who need something much stronger than a face wash or benzoyl peroxide cream.
These aren't antibiotics, but I they work much better then anything my dermatologists has given me.
Ever notice how the days when you feel your skin being extra oily than usual, that is when more annoying pimples start showing up?
And what’s worse?
If you have oily and acne-prone skin, you feel all clogged up and frustrated.
Well, an easy way to reduce this issue and prevent breakouts is to exfoliate your skin, preferably with a salicylic acid skin treatment.
If you are looking for a quick fix, benzoyl peroxide is a safe bet.
Only use it every once in a while though, and only on 1 or 2 pimples.
Honestly, any skin moisturizer, exfoliator or face wash that promises to clear up acne is still better than using toothpaste for pimples.
What’s the Bottom Line?
The bottom line is that everyone should always keep in mind is that prevention is better than cure.
Instead of waiting with a face full of acne like I used to do, and feel terribly helpless, it is better to instead take the preventative measures necessary (as mentioned before).
We all can agree, that none of the skin care tips that I have listed are costly or hard to execute.
So, start putting them into action for a healthy, glowing and acne free skin.