Thanks to to the unsightly appearance and inconvenience of pimples — especially when they pop up on the face — people have come up with a number of home remedies to get rid of pimples fast. Toothpaste is one of the longtime, at-home treatments for this problem. When using toothpaste to get rid of a pimple, it’s important to use it only as spot treatment and to be aware of the risks, which can include skin irritations such as reddening, dryness and peeling.


How Toothpaste Works on Pimples

Although there’s been some debate on whether toothpaste actually works to eliminate pimples, dermatologists agree that toothpaste contains ingredients — such as “baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils and triclosan” according to skin doctors featured in The Huffington Post — that help dry out pimples.

Toothpaste dries out a pimple by dehydrating it and absorbing its oil. Because toothpaste targets pimples directly, it’s important to use it as spot treatment and not as a cleanser or a mask.

Choosing Toothpaste

It’s important to choose the right type of toothpaste if you attempt to treat pimples with it. Toothpastes with whitening and breath-freshening ingredients can cause skin irritations such as reddening or brown patches. To avoid these skin problems, select a nongel, non whitening toothpaste.

Applying Toothpaste

Wash your skin with warm water and pat it dry with a towel. Take a nongel, nonwhitening tube of toothpaste, squeeze out a pea-sized amount and dab some directly on top of each of the pimples.

Leave the toothpaste on overnight, washing it off in the morning with warm water. Because of toothpaste’s drying effect, be sure to moisturize your skin as well, especially if it starts feeling a bit dry.

Recommendations and Warnings

Toothpaste as spot treatment works best when the pimple has come to head, so apply it when the pimple has fully formed. People with sensitive skin should avoid using toothpaste to treat pimples because of the negative effects it can have, such as over-drying, burning, redness and peeling.

These skin irritations can lead to more pimples as the skin tries to compensate for lack of moisture by producing excess oil. Overproduction of oil can clog pores, which leads to pimples. Toothpaste has been known to cause skin irritations, even in those who don’t have sensitive skin, so If you notice burning, redness, dryness or peeling when trying this method, stop using it immediately.