5th December 2019

Does Applying Toothpaste on Pimples Really Work?

Last Modified: July 30, 2022

Are you constantly breaking out in unsightly acne? Not sure what you can do about those nasty whiteheads, or what remedies or cures are out there? Or, are you simply wondering whether or not the ones you’ve heard of like toothpaste on pimples actually work?

Well, no worries! We’re here to help! In this article, we’re covering the root causes of acne, and whether or not the popular method of putting toothpaste on pimples actually works. So, you can know more about what causes acne and find effective ways of working your way to clearer (and more radiant) skin.

What Is Acne, and What Causes It?

Acne is a skin condition with symptoms that can vary greatly depending on the severity of your condition. In most cases, it occurs when the hair follicles on your body become plugged up with oil and dead skin. This can cause many of the common symptoms associated with acne, including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, and pimples.

There are a few factors that can cause acne. One of them is overactive androgen, which is a type of hormone found in the body. Excess oil production, bacteria, and hair clogs can also cause acne, and factors like hormones, diet, and medication can greatly exacerbate the issue.

There are many myths people have come to believe when it comes to the cause or spread of acne. For example, some people think makeup and cosmetics make acne worse. But that usually doesn’t happen unless you use makeup that clogs your pores and rarely remove that makeup from your face.

Another myth is that dirty skin is behind acne. But that also isn’t true. In fact, if you scrub your skin too hard while cleaning or use irritating soaps or chemicals, you can actually make the problem worse.

Because there are so many potential causes and triggers, we recommend you speak to a dermatologist if you’re unable to get your acne under control. They’ll be able to better identify what’s causing your acne, what you can do about it, and whether or not medications or hair removal treatments make the most sense for your scenario.

But because those appointments can take time to book, we’ll also cover the ever-popular method of putting toothpaste on pimples and if it works or not!

Does Applying Toothpaste on Pimples Really Work?

Many people have turned to toothpaste at some point or another as a spot treatment for a nasty pimple. But is that method truly effective in the long run or does this DIY-trick cause more trouble than it's worth? Here’s the answer!

There is some logic behind why people choose to use toothpaste to treat their acne. That’s because, in some cases, it contains triclosan, which is an antimicrobial that can kill the bacteria on the skin that generally causes acne. This ingredient has become more controversial lately, however, so most kinds of toothpaste don’t even contain it anymore.

Other common ingredients in toothpaste, such as hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are somewhat effective at drying out pimples.  But it’s important to note that toothpaste was not designed to be used on the skin. And because your skin is a lot more sensitive than your teeth are, there can be adverse effects if you use it incorrectly.

Toothpaste can irritate and cause greater redness and peeling of your skin. It can even burn your skin and potentially leave acne scars if you overuse it for pimples. And flavored tubes of toothpaste can have an even nastier effect on your skin.

So, while toothpaste can effectively dry out your skin, it’s ultimately an ineffective way of addressing your pimples issue.

So, What Treatments Work for Pimples?

If you’re looking to address your pimples as they appear, you should be looking for spot treatment options. These use an active ingredient such as sulfur, salicylic acid, or benzoyl. They work by sucking the oil out of your clogged pore, which reduces the inflammation.

Vaseline in studies has proven useful as an effective tool in speeding up the healing process.

Ingredients like Benzoyl peroxide then work to kill the bacteria inside of your pores. While salicylic acid dissolves dead skin cells, and extract gunk from within your pores. Sulfur works similarly to benzoyl, although it’s more likely to dry out your skin than the former. Vitamin C treatments can also prove to be beneficial.

Additionally, you can look for hydrocolloid dressing, which is an adhesive bandage used to address blemishes. This dressing absorbs the moisture from the area and can take care of your pimple in just a matter of days.

How to Prevent Pimples

Now that you know how to address pimples, you’re probably wondering what you can do to prevent them from popping up in the first place. Here are some of the best ways to prevent pimples.

Keep Your Skin Clean

Clean skin is the best way to keep your skin clear of acne. You should aim to wash it twice a day so that you can effectively clear your skin of impurities, extra oils, and pollutants. It’s best to do this with warm water and a mild facial skin cleanser that won’t irritate or inflame your skin.

Always Moisturize

If you’re using acne medications, chances are your skin is dried out. And while drying out your skin can help deal with the acne problem in the short-term, it’s not a great solution for your skin in the long-term. By moisturizing your skin, you can keep your skin looking fresher, cleaner, and younger.

Cut Back on Makeup

Do you wear makeup every day? If so, that may be contributing to the creation of your acne. So, during breakouts, try to avoid wearing makeup products like foundation or blush.

If you choose to use these products, try to use options that are oil-free. Additionally, be cognizant of the products you’re putting in your hair. Fragrances, gels, and oils can irritate your skin if they get on your face.

Ready for Clearer Skin?

Acne can be a tricky thing to handle. Thankfully there are fast and easy ways to address it! Now that you know everything about acne, including whether or not toothpaste on pimples work, you can seek out the acne solutions that are right for you!

Did you find this skincare advice helpful? Need some professional help addressing your acne issues? Contact us now to see how we can help you!

Post Reviewed by: Dr Baldeep Farmah
Medically Reviewed on: 5th December 2019
Dr Baldeep Farmah is the Medical Director and lead Doctor of Dr Aesthetica, a Medical Aesthetic Clinic.

"We want to empower everyone who walks through our clinic doors, to be able to look in the mirror and see a happier, brighter version of themselves."

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