What toothpaste should I go for?

Using toothpaste as a quick-fix for pimples is a popular home remedy that’s been around for years.

When choosing a toothpaste for acne treatment at home,

✔ Go for an all-white version, not a toothpaste with red, blue or green stripes.

This is because the ingredients which help to dry out pimples – such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and triclosan – are contained in the white part of the toothpaste,

✔ Avoid whitening toothpastes as they contain bleaching agents (for making teeth whiter) which may actually bleach or burn the skin, causing patchiness.

Gel-type toothpastes have a different formulation than actual “paste” toothpastes, and so may be lacking the active ingredients necessary to effectively dry out pimples. Avoid using, as it will not do your skin any good.

✔ Find a toothpaste with as low a fluoride content as possible (or fluoride-free.) to minimize the risk of skin irritation

Organic toothpastes are probably your best option when it comes to treating pimples.

They contain no fluoride (unless it’s naturally derived) and no nasty growth hormones, pesticides or other chemicals.

On the other hand, they still contain the ingredients necessary for drying out pimples – such as baking soda and tea tree oil – with the addition of natural soothing and anti-bacterial substances like aloe, myrrh and eucalyptus oil

How do I apply the tooth paste?

1. As with any spot treatment, it is important to apply the toothpaste to clean, dry skin.

This ensures that there is no dirt or excess oil on the skin that may limit the effectiveness of the treatment.

Wash your face well with warm water and your favorite cleanser, then pat dry to lock in moisture.

2. Squeeze a little toothpaste onto your index finger or the back of your hand.

A pea-sized amount should be enough, depending on the number of pimples you’re treating.

3. You will only need to apply a very small amount of toothpaste to the pimple for the treatment to be effective.

Just make sure that you apply the toothpaste directly onto the pimple itself, not on the surrounding skin.

  • Toothpaste should never be spread all over the skin or used as a face mask. This is because the toothpaste works by drying out the skin, which can cause redness, irritation and peeling if applied anywhere but the pimple itself

4. Leave the toothpaste to dry on the skin anywhere from two hours or overnight, for best results.

However, if you have extremely sensitive skin, it may be best to remove the toothpaste after 15 minutes to half an hour, in order to gauge your skin’s reaction.

If it seems to be handling the toothpaste okay, you can leave it on for increasingly longer periods.

5. You can wash off the toothpaste with a damp washcloth, using small, circular motions.

Make sure to do this very gently, as rubbing too hard might irritate or damage the skin.

When all the toothpaste has been removed, splash your face with some warm water and pat dry with your hands or a clean, soft towel.

You may want to apply a soothing moisturizer if your skin feels very tight and dry.

N.B: Toothpaste may be irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin, so this is not a treatment you should be using multiple times a day, or more than four times a week.

After applying the treatment once a day, 2-3 days in a row, you may notice an improvement in the size and color of the pimple. From that point on, you should allow the pimple to heal on its own.

What are other alternatives?

There are many other spot treatments you can try, as safer, more effective alternatives to toothpaste.

  • Try benzoyl peroxide.
  • Give salicylic acid a try.
  • Use sulfur
  • Try tea tree oil
  • Apply crushed up aspirin
  • Use baking soda
  • See a dermatologist
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