How many of us have ever wondered (hoped and prayed) that toothpaste could get rid of pimples overnight? It’s a question we’ve all asked at some point in our lives when we wake up with a zit the size of an erupting volcano the day before an important event. The answer to the question is yes, it can help.
There was a time when many of us found success with smothering an angry pimple with toothpaste. The result was usually a visual shrinkage in size, however, turns out that was because toothpastes (before) contained a chemical called triclosan that was known to kill bacteria.
If you added toothpaste to a pimple that contained triclosan, you may have seen a positive result in the reduction in size, but nowadays, triclosan is no longer found in toothpaste. Turns out (after testing) that the US Food and Drug Association determined that triclosan could negatively affect thyroid hormones.
Don’t worry though because newly formulated toothpastes still work. Some commonly-found ingredients in toothpaste such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and alcohol can help dry out a zit.
But dermatologists warn against using toothpaste as an anti-acne treatment since it can be harsh on skin. An Anti-Acne Activity of Toothpaste — An Emerging Pimple Treatment report says that since toothpaste can dry out a pimple, applying it to pimples that are not ready can actually make things worse.
However, the report does outline the success of using toothpaste to be rid of pimples. It’s authors point out that the cost-effective toothpaste method was only successful on pimples that had already turned into whiteheads. If you are going to use toothpaste as an emergency acne-fix, doctors have found that using a white paste rather than a gel, yielded better results.
It’s important to understand that pimples are blocked, oil-filled follicles where bacteria grows, which leads to inflammation, redness and eventually pimples, and that not all acne problems can be resolved or even controlled using a quick method like toothpaste. In some cases, professional treatment is necessary.