Toothpaste On Pimples, Does It Really Work?

Getting any type of pimple on your face is never fun. And when you do get them you just want them gone. But that’s not how the universe works is it? You just know it’s going to get bigger and uglier and slowly eat away your self-confidence.

So what do you do? You Google for a quick cure.

Some things look promising but require a bit more work than you’re willing to put in.

And you don’t want to whip up another batch of pureed food to put on your face…again.

can toothpaste clear up acne?

But hey, toothpaste keeps popping up as a “promising remedy”. This is great because you already have it, so why not.

But does it work? Will something as simple as toothpaste get rid of that pimple? Or is it all too good to be true? Well, before you put that thing on your face read on.

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Does toothpaste work on pimples?

No, toothpaste does not work on pimples. Putting toothpaste on your pimple/zit/acne won’t help clear it up. What it will do is irritate.

Toothpaste wasn’t intended to treat acne so it doesn’t. Instead, try products with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Both work well to clear up and prevent acne.

Why you shouldn’t use toothpaste on pimples

  • Toothpaste can be an extreme irritant. Most toothpaste have ingredients like alcohol menthol, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. These can dry out the zit yes, but they’ll also irritate your skin’s natural protective barrier. And when you mess with that barrier your skin will go nuts. This unbalance can lead to even more acne and that’s not what you want.
  • Toothpaste won’t help heal acne. Some ingredients in toothpaste can help dry out your pimple. But that still won’t help it heal and go away. It just dries out the top layer of your skin without killing the bacteria inside the follicle.

What to use instead

Here are some better alternatives that won’t irritate your skin.

Benzoyl peroxide

Toothpaste On Pimples, Does It Really Work? 1Toothpaste On Pimples, Does It Really Work? 2 8 oz. Treatment (2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide)

Benzoyl peroxide is a common skincare ingredient often found in cleansers, toners, gels, and creams that helps fight acne.

Salicylic acid

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Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Exfoliator, 2% Salicylic Acid Exfoliant for Acne

Salicylic acid is an exfoliant, with the ability to penetrate your pore lining and exfoliate inside your pores and on the surface of your skin. It’s also effective at reducing acne breakouts.

Mandelic acid

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The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Using mandelic acid to treat acne can have significantly fewer side effects such as inflammatory reactions as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


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The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Solution

Niacinamide is ideal for treating blemishes because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It also works to suppress your skin’s inflammatory response which results in less redness, sores, and imperfections.

Other home remedies

Here are some home remedies to help clear up your acne:

  • Tea tree oil – for mild acne mix several drops of tea tree oil into your face products or use a few drops as a spot treatment.
  • Willow bark – a natural source of salicylic acid
  • Charcoal, sulphur or clay mask

So how do you make pimples go away fast?

If it’s cystic acne then there isn’t much that you can put on it. Cystic acne is too deep underneath the skin for OTC (over-the-counter) treatments.

Although hydrocortisone cream can help with inflammation.

To shrink cystic acne overnight only a cortisone shot will work and prescribed medication can help it heal over time.

For any other type of pimple try dabbing on a thin layer of a spot treatment after your moisturizer.

  • Whiteheads – use benzoyl peroxide to help kill acne-causing bacteria
  • Clogged pores – use salicylic acid which helps to dissolve oil and skin cells

Final thoughts

So putting toothpaste on pimples isn’t a good idea after all. Yes, it might help dry out your pimple, but at the expense of your skin barrier.

Which will just cause your skin to overcompensate and breakout even more. So do yourself a favour and keep the toothpaste off your face.

And try using an OTC (over-the-counter) treatment with salicylic acid, tea tree oil or benzoyl peroxide instead.