Can toothpaste really help clear spots?
…Or is this an old wives tale?
It’s your sister’s wedding day and you are the maid of honour. You wake up that morning and notice a bright red spot on your chin and you know that is going to grow during the day – disastrous position to find yourself in… but we’ve all experience a pimple at the most embarrassing time.
You’ve heard of toothpaste working for spots as a home remedy, but have never tried it for yourself.
Should you reach for that tube of toothpaste and try it out?
Yes, you should.
Toothpaste is a wonderful and powerful product that can be used for spots in an emergency situation, and this would certainly qualify as an emergency!
You don’t have to cancel your important meeting because of an unsightly spot – applying toothpaste may actually help.
Why It Works
Toothpaste has antibacterial properties and can absorb oil. It dehydrates the spot or pimple quickly thanks to its ingredients, which may include hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, alcohol, essential oils and triclosan. The menthol found in the toothpaste is soothing for the spot, which helps to reduce the size and redness of it. While this type of product should by no means be considered a cure, it can effectively reduce the amount of redness and swelling in a short amount of time.
Use It Only for Emergencies
If toothpaste works this well, why wouldn’t you be able to use it every time you see a spot erupting?
To answer this you need to remember exactly why toothpaste was invented. It’s supposed to be used to clean the hard enamel on teeth. It contains chemicals and cleansers that are hard on the skin and should only be pulled out for emergency use.
Overuse can leave dry patches on the skin and can actually promote access sebum production, which can lead to more spots. It’s a quick fix but not something that should be used on a regular basis. Certainly don’t assume that it’s an acne treatment – it’s not!
Only a small amount should be applied to the spot, and left there for at most, overnight. Although the spot may not be gone completely by morning, you should start to see it lessen.
Which Toothpaste Can I Use?
Stay away from gels, coloured toothpastes or any pastes that have stripes running through them.
These colours contain certain chemicals that are irritating to the skin. You should also avoid any toothpastes that can be used for skin whitening as well as pastes that contain a high amount of fluoride.
Too much fluoride can actually lead to a skin rash. If you aren’t sure about the toothpaste you currently have on hand, don’t use it. Instead, take a trip out to your local drugstore, supermarket or even a handy convenience store to purchase regular white toothpaste that doesn’t have any fancy ingredients added for whitening or any extra fluoride.
How to Apply the Toothpaste
Before applying the paste remove any makeup from your face and wash it with warm water and a cleanser. Apply a small amount (pea size) on the spot being careful to avoid the skin surrounding it.
Remove the toothpaste with a warm washcloth in 20 minutes and look for any redness or signs of inflammation.
If everything looks good then reapply it and then take it off in 2 hours.
While some people recommend keeping it on overnight, you are really taking a chance by leaving the toothpaste on for this amount of time. If you don’t see any results in 2 hours, the chances are good that leaving it on overnight may not work either. It’s important to use common sense whenever you’re trying a home remedy that is not recommended by doctors or dermatologists.
It’s always great to have something that you can pull out in a time of need that really works well and provides results. You can remember this fix and use it in times of desperation when a spot on your face is devastating. For regular use, however, use only cleansers, toners and creams that have been specially designed to be used on the face.