Does Putting Toothpaste On A Zit Actually Work?
Does Putting Toothpaste On A Zit Actually Work? (Photo: solar22/Getty).

You’ve probably heard the beauty hack about putting toothpaste on pimples but does it actually work?

Putting toothpaste on pimples is a beauty hack that you’ve probably heard countless times, but does it actually work? If you’ve ever tried it, and I’m sure you’ve been curious or desperate enough at least once, you’ll have noticed it does seem to dry out pimples. (And it makes your face smell like mint.) But is it a good substitute for your regular acne treatments? We asked makeup artist and co-founder of The Glam App, Joey Maalouf, and Jurlique Education Manager Sara LaBree what the real deal is.

(Related: This Is Why You’re Breaking Out In Certain Spots)

According to Joey, there are two ways toothpaste can affect a pimple. “In the first sense, toothpaste can act like a mask, drawing impurities out of the skin; it may also dry the skin slightly as it does so, which can reduce the size of a pimple.”

The type of toothpaste you use is important. Most toothpaste will dry out a pimple, but they won’t technically treat it. Joey recommends that you skip the gels and look for natural or organic toothpaste with minimal additives. Baking soda is a common toothpaste ingredient that can help with zits. Sara states that it can help dry out the pimple or help draw it closer to the surface. Both experts say that you would have to be using a toothpaste that contains ingredients like tea tree oil and triclosan for it effectively treat the blemish. However, you should be wary because triclosan can irritate your skin.

Even though toothpaste can help dry out pimples, you should still avoid putting it on your face. It’s not something you should use for emergency breakouts—it’s more of a last resort item. The bottom line is that there are far better products formulated for acne. There is less chance they will irritate your skin because they are formulated to be used on your face, not your gums and teeth. Using toothpaste on your face can put you at risk of irritation, redness, inflammation, and dermatitis cautions Sara.

Toothpaste is only effective on certain types of blemishes. Whiteheads or pimples that are close to the surface are the best ones. You’re wasting your toothpaste if you’re using them on blackheads. Instead of hoping that your toothpaste will shrink your zit without irritating your face, buy an acne cream that you can keep handy in your cupboard. It was formulated to tackle that blemish, and you won’t have to worry about your face smelling like mint.

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