Putting Toothpaste On A Pimple Is Riskier Than You Think

We've all been there — a pimple emergency has you ready to try anything, even the most unlikely facial products. An old trick circulating for ages is an overnight treatment involving toothpaste. But before you break out your tube, though, you may want to consider these risks.

Although toothpaste contains ingredients like alcohol, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide that are known for their drying out tendencies, you risk irritating your skin even more with other ingredients (via Healthline). According to VeryWell Health, skin that is too dry can result in more breakouts, or even cause a chemical burn called contact dermatitis. So not only will you have a pimple or blemish, you may end up with an even redder, itchy rash. Ouch!

A chemical ingredient found in some toothpastes called triclosan acts as an antibacterial agent, and some studies show that triclosan could kill the bacteria that causes acne. However, there is a specific way to formulate triclosan to work against the acne-causing bacteria, and just having it in toothpaste doesn't guarantee its success.

Why you should skip the toothpaste for acne treatment

There is also some debate if triclosan is even commonly used in toothpastes anymore. Coupled with a concern from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that triclosan could have negative impacts on thyroid hormones, according to Healthline, it may be your best bet to skip the toothpaste for your pimple.

So how can you treat those pesky emergency pimples?

Over-the-counter acne spot treatments and allowing some recovery time are two safe ways to deal with your pimple problem. The benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid typically found in these products can reduce the redness while allowing the breakout to heal, according to VeryWell Health.

However, if breakouts are becoming a recurring issue for you, it may be wise to see a dermatologist for additional treatment.