Does Toothpaste Get Rid Of Pimples?

Does toothpaste get rid of pimples? It’s easy to see how such a question comes to mind.

An important occasion is looming on the horizon, maybe a date, a job interview, or another public function in which you really want to look your best.

But then you wake up one morning, go to the bathroom to brush your teeth and disaster strikes.

An outbreak of angry red pimples stares back at you from the mirror, and with just days to go you are running out of time!

You quickly search your mind for any home remedy that can help, and then your eyes fall into focus on the tube of toothpaste in your hand and you remember…

Yes, you remember hearing somebody swear that toothpaste helped to remove their pimples. Maybe it can do the same for you?

Does It Work?

The simple answer is that yes it can do. But it’s not that simple. Before you start to squeeze the tube on your face, there are some things you need to consider.


How Does Toothpaste Get Rid of Pimples?

Toothpaste contains a number of ingredients that help to get rid of acne such as baking soda, silica, alcohol, menthol, hydrogen peroxide and triclosan (1).

Together, these ingredients give toothpaste its cleaning, antibacterial, and absorbent properties.

  • Triclosan is a common antibacterial that is also found in many other soaps, gels, and acne treatment products. It can kill the harmful acne causing bacteria. (2,3)
  • Baking soda acts as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and helps to exfoliate the dead skin that contributes to the blocking of pores. (4,5)
  • Silica has absorbing properties.
  • Alcohol acts as an antiseptic and kills bacteria. (6)
  • Menthol is an antibacterial that also has anti-inflammatory properties. (7)
  • Hydrogen peroxide is another antibacterial. (8)


What Does Toothpaste Do To Pimples And Acne?

With so many active ingredients that destroy the bacteria that’s present on your face, you can see why toothpaste can be effective in getting rid of pimples.

The anti-inflammatories also help to calm the irritation and redness that’s noticeable when pimples appear. The absorbent properties of toothpaste help to soak up excess sebum from the skin, and with its exfoliant properties, help to clear blocked pores. does toothpaste get rid of pimples

What Kind Of Toothpaste Is Best For Pimples?

There are many different types of toothpaste available for purchase in the shops and online, but not all of them are suitable for using on your pimples. Some people are left disappointed when they try this method on their zits because they use a toothpaste that’s not effective. When choosing a toothpaste to use, it’s important to follow these guidelines:

White Toothpaste

Choose a toothpaste that’s completely white in color. The useful ingredients like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and triclosan are all contained in the part of the toothpaste that’s white. Toothpastes that have colored stripes may contain ingredients that irritate the skin.

Avoid Gel Toothpastes

These have a different composition than ordinary white toothpaste, and therefore may not have the right ingredients to effectively treat your spots.

Low Fluoride

It’s best to select a toothpaste that’s low in fluoride, as some people find that it irritates their skin and can cause a rash. (9)

Avoid Whitening Toothpastes

Toothpastes that are used to help whiten your teeth should be avoided, as they contain bleaching agents that can burn and bleach your skin. This is especially important for people with dark skin, as the active ingredients can react with the melanin in the skin leaving blemishes and an uneven skin tone.

Organic Toothpastes

If you can, it’s best to use an organic toothpaste on pimples. These don’t contain fluoride or other chemicals that can irritate your skin and cause side effects, but still have useful ingredients like baking soda, menthol, and tea tree oil which can help to treat acne.

How To Use Toothpaste For Pimples

Directions For Use:

1. Before you apply the toothpaste to your face you should test your skin’s reaction to it.

Place a small amount of the toothpaste on your wrist and leave it there for at least 15 minutes.

If your skin is free of irritation then you can progress to trying it on your face.

2. Wash your face and dry with a clean towel.

3. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto your finger.

4. Using your finger, place a small amount of the toothpaste onto each pimple.

Don’t cover your whole face in the toothpaste, as it’s very drying for the skin. You just want to carefully spot treat your acne.

A clean toothbrush can also be used for putting toothpaste on spots.

5. Leave the toothpaste on your skin for at least 30 minutes. If you can, try leaving it on your face overnight.

If your skin is quite sensitive, you can start by leaving it on your skin for a shorter period of time, gradually increasing it if your skin is dealing with it okay.

6. Use your hands or a clean face cloth to clean the toothpaste off your face using warm water. Then pat dry with a towel.

7. Apply a moisturizer if your skin is feeling dry.

8. After using this treatment 2 or 3 times you should notice that the pimples have reduced and improved in appearance, and can be left to fully heal of their own accord.

Try not to use this method more than 4 times per week as it’s very drying on your skin.

Does Toothpaste Get Rid Of Pimples Fast?

It won’t remove pimples overnight, but you should start to notice an improvement quite quickly. The swelling and redness should be noticeably reduced after using it 2 or 3 times.

The Benefits

Using toothpaste can be a very cost-effective method as toothpaste is usually very cheap to buy. It also has the benefit that once you find a brand that works for your skin you can easily buy more at almost any shop.

For people who find that their skin easily tolerates toothpaste there are no harmful side effects, and toothpaste can remove pimples fast.

The Negatives

While toothpaste can be effective in drying out pimples, it’s not a treatment that dermatologists would generally recommend.

The New York based dermatologist Dr. Schultz, while recognizing its ability to dry out spots, states that:

“there are no ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments…over-drying and even burning can occur on skin from applying it to pimples.” (10)


Does Toothpaste Work On Acne?

It probably shouldn’t be the first method that you turn to if you are looking for a long term remedy for acne, and is best considered as an emergency pimple treatment.

You should cease using it if your skin shows signs of reacting badly to it and consider a more gentle natural acne treatment as an alternative. If you have sensitive skin it might be best to avoid this method altogether.


Additional Enhancements

If you have decided to go ahead with using toothpaste, consider these additions that are commonly found in the home and that will enhance the pimple fighting effects:

Aloe Vera

Add Aloe vera to your toothpaste pimple treatment. Mix it with 2 parts Aloe vera to 1 part toothpaste.

The best Aloe vera gels are useful for acne treatment because they soothe inflammation (11) and moisturizes your skin, and will act as a counterbalance to the harshness of the toothpaste.

It’s also a good idea to apply this to your face afterwards as well.


honey for acneAnother useful ingredient for treating acne is honey. Mix your toothpaste with an equal amount of honey. Scientific studies have proven that honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (12).

It will also help to soothe your skin and protect against over-drying caused by the toothpaste.

Sea Salt

Mix 1 part toothpaste with 1 part sea salt to make a potent acne-fighting facial scrub.

Gently rub into wet skin for 2-3 minutes, and then leave on your face for about 10 minutes. Then wash the mixture off with warm water.

The salt increases the ability to exfoliate the skin. As you are applying this mixture to more than just the pimples themselves you don’t want to leave this on too long.


Alternative Home Remedies

These are some alternative home treatments for you to consider:

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil for acneTea tree oil has proven antibacterial and antifungal properties and is an effective treatment for pimples. It can soothe inflammations and will not strip your skin of its natural oils. (13)

After purchasing a bottle of tea tree oil, use it as a spot treatment. If it’s undiluted then first mix it with water, approximately 9 parts water to 1 part tea tree oil. You can leave it on your face overnight, or wash off after a few hours. Apply every day.

Baking Soda

One of the main helpful ingredients in toothpaste is baking soda, and this can be used on its own to treat acne without any additional chemicals.

It will exfoliate dead skin away from clogged pores, absorbs excess sebum, reduces the painful inflammations, and kills harmful bacteria.

Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of water to form a paste that can be applied to your skin. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes and then wash it off your face. It can be drying on your skin so you should consider using a moisturizer after use. Use 1-2 times per week.

Lemon Juice

Lemons can be found in most kitchens, and by squeezing the juice you have a simple and effective treatment for acne.

The L-ascorbic acid in lemons can exfoliate your skin, unblock pores, and kill acne-causing bacteria. (14)

To use, take the juice and apply it to your pimples using a small piece of cotton wool. Leave it on your skin for about 20 minutes and then wash it off again. Some people leave it on overnight, but it can be very drying for your skin. It can be repeated each evening.

Always use a sunscreen when going out in the sun after using lemon juice, and if possible avoid it.

Green Tea Extract

Next time you make a cup of delicious green tea, remember that this has also been proven as an effective treatment for pimples.

It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will reduce the painful swellings on your face and improve skin health. (15)

After you have made a cup of green tea, allow it to cool and then apply the tea to your face. Leave it overnight and then wash it off the next day. This can be repeated every day.


Is Toothpaste Effective For Pimples? Final Thoughts

Does toothpaste get rid of pimples? As you have discovered, the answer is that it can be helpful, but it should probably be considered as an emergency method of treatment.

There are other home remedies that are kinder on the skin, while still being effective.

It has the benefit of convenience and price, but toothpaste dries your skin, and can cause irritation if used too regularly.

And while it will help reduce the size of pimples and acne lesions, it’s not a cure for acne breakouts.

It’s not a method that is generally approved by dermatologists, and if you are looking for a treatment option that you can continue to use into the future it is best to look for a different remedy.

Related Post

Leave a Comment