Why You Shouldn’t Use Toothpaste To Get Rid Of Pimples

by Gio
is toothpaste an effective acne treatment

Does toothpaste help pimples?

It’s a legit question. When I was 15, I read in a magazine (hey, we didn’t have the internet back then!) that putting toothpaste on pimples would get rid of them.

I know, it sounds crazy. But if you were a young and clueless teenager desperate to get the attention of that cute guy next door, wouldn’t you try it? You know what: it worked.

But that doesn’t mean you should do it. Here’s what really happens when you put toothpaste on pimples (hint: it’s NOT good):

Why Did People Start Using Toothpaste For Pimples?

Believe it or not, toothpaste is an effective treatment for pimples. Thank Triclosan for that. It’s an antibacterial agent you’ll find both in toothpaste and anti-acne treatments.

Triclosan dries out pimples, making them disappear faster. It doesn’t play alone either. Other common toothpaste ingredients, like menthol, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol, do the same thing.

No wonder your pimples look so smaller the next morning! But, there’s a catch….

Related: Is Alcohol Bad In Skincare?

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Does Toothpaste Help Pimples?

Here’s the thing: you can’t dry out pimples without drying out and irritating your skin, too.

That’s not even the worst of it. Leave that toothpaste on your pimple a little too long and your skin could literally burn. Ouch!

I’m not kidding. Just because an ingredient is safe in a toothpaste, doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want with it. Things that are safe for their intended use can turn nasty when you use them for stuff you shouldn’t…

Is it worth risking all that when there are much more effective and safer spot treatments available? Thought so.

The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Pimples

In my experience, nothing gets rid of pimples faster than sulfur. This natural mineral plays an essential role in the health of your skin. It’s especially good at keeping acne away. Here’s how:

  • It has antibacterial properties, so it kills the bacteria that cause acne
  • It helps prevents acne-causing bacteria from spreading
  • It helps exfoliate dead skin cells, accelerating cellular turnover and preventing breakouts
  • It helps dry out blemishes
  • It helps reduce oiliness, keeping breakouts at bay

Whenever I use a spot treatmet with sulfur, I can get rid of pimples in two days. It’s that powerful!

The catch? Sulfur is very drying and irritating. Brands will tell you you can safely use sulfur treatments as masks, but don’t fall for it. Sulfur is a spot treatment only!

P.S. If sulfur is too harsh for you, try Benzoyl Peroxide. It has antibacterial properties that kills the bacteria that give you acne. The best part? Bacteria don’t grow resistant to it. Again, use it on pimples only.

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Related: Benzoyl Peroxide VS Salicylic Acid: Which One Should You Use?

The Bottom Line

Putting toothpaste on pimples isn’t a good idea. It’s true it can help you shrink them and make them go away faster, but the price to pay for that is serious irritation. Heck, in the worst case scenario it can burn your skin! Stay safe and opt for a dermatologist-approved spot treatment, like sulfur or Benzoyl Peroxide.

Have you ever used toothpaste on pimples? Share your experience in the comments below.

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Chic Readings September 25, 2014 - 4:18 pm

I’ve tried it once and not just it didn’t help but it made it a lot worse and my sensitive skin had to recover for a week, wish I had your blog to read few years ago:)

Gio September 29, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Helena, oh no, how awful!

MonicaP September 25, 2014 - 5:21 pm

Noooo .. lol. There’s so many good acne products on the market these days. No need for this crazy remedy.


Gio September 29, 2014 - 1:35 pm

Monica, I agree!

Janessa September 25, 2014 - 5:38 pm

I tried this once or twice back in middle school and it did nothing for my pimple but leave the skin flaky and dry.

Gio September 29, 2014 - 1:36 pm

Janessa, that’s terrible!

Natalye September 26, 2014 - 3:45 am

I’ve tried toothpaste in the past but it doesn’t really do anything for me

Gio September 29, 2014 - 1:50 pm

Natalye, it’s disappointing, isn’t it?

Anshul September 26, 2014 - 9:34 am

Thank you!! I actually agree with you…!! Toothpaste seems to aggravate the problem more than to combat it! At least for me, it did!! PEOPLE NEED TO STOP MISLEADING US!!


Gio September 29, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Anshul, sorry it worsened things for you too. Better stick to properly formulated products, isn’t it?


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