One morning I woke up and suddenly became really aware of my appearance. I looked in the mirror and saw an angry, inflamed spot right in the middle of my face that was painful, red, and very hard to miss, even for a 12-year-old tomboy who was used to dirt, scabs, bumps, and bruises.
Somehow, this new “blemish” was different from all the rest and I didn’t like how it made me feel.
My Experience Using Toothpaste as an Acne Spot Treatment
Growing up with all male cousins, I never cared about how I looked. I was more concerned about where our next fort was going to be, what sort of animals I would come across that day… I was really interested in nature and how nature looked, not how I looked.
But when I saw my first pimple, something inside me said: “Get it off!” I hated it. I hated when family members and friends pointed it out. I hated that it wasn’t “cool” like all my scrapes and bruises from my adventures. I hated that I felt really embarrassed about it.
In the desperation that only a child can muster, I went onto this new thing called “the internet” on my grandfather’s old computer and looked up what I could find about acne. I had asked my aunt what was on my face and she informed me that it was my first acne breakout. What I found was an article about putting toothpaste on blemishes to make them dry up and disappear. It seemed like a lot of people had success using toothpaste and an effective acne treatment and I decided to try it out.
I ran to the bathroom and put a nice glob of toothpaste on the blemish (which was actually a very cystic blemish to be exact which is not the kind you would typically use toothpaste on) and left it on overnight even though it started feeling uncomfortable. When I rinsed it off the next morning, it looked worse and certainly didn’t look like it had dried out. If anything, the blemish was exponentially more irritated. When it eventually healed, it left the largest scar I have ever gotten from having acne and is a scar I still have more than 10 years later.
If I had known better, I would have tried a different approach, but I was a child and didn’t know any better. Even my family thought that using toothpaste for acne was a good idea.
Why You Should Never Use Toothpaste for Acne
Besides potentially being loaded with harmful chemicals depending on whether it’s commercial or natural, toothpaste is really quite harsh and drying for the skin, especially for acne sufferers.
If you’re trying to improve and heal your acne, toothpaste is not the answer you’re looking for. Causing more irritation by using toothpaste can actually create more acne because your skin will be trying to overcompensate for the loss of your skin’s natural oils, even in small areas. The drying effects of toothpaste can trap bacteria in the skin too, so it’s really just better to avoid using it altogether for acne skin care.
Toothpaste Alternatives for Acne
Click here for a whole list on Acne Spot Spot Treatments That Actually Work, to learn about some useful and effective acne remedies. Additionally, try out this homemade acne serum treatment that uses the power of thyme essential oil to help heal blemishes quickly.
Here are a few more you can make easily at home to help lessen redness and irritation.
Fresh Aloe and Tea Tree Oil
Preparation and Use
• Mix the ingredients together and dab onto blemishes
• Leave on or rinse off after 20 minutes
I like to keep aloe gel in the fridge. Its cooling properties will further soothe angry blemishes and reduce redness.
Aloe Vera and Baking Soda
• Mix equal parts baking soda and fresh aloe vera gel (do not put baking soda on open blemishes)
• Apply to unopened blemishes and leave on for 20 minutes
• Rinse with warm water
The aloe and baking soda will work together to help dry up acne blemishes to help reduce their appearance.
Facial Clay and Honey
Use Manuka Honey for best results.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Essential Oil
• Add 1 drop of essential oil per 1 TB of raw apple cider vinegar
• Shake to mix well in a little bottle and apply to blemishes with a cotton ball
• Leave on or rinse off after 20 minutes
Raw apple cider vinegar is known to kill bacteria and reduce redness and inflammation associated with acne.
Whether you choose to use toothpaste for your acne healing journey, just be armed with information because it CAN make things worse. The path to clear skin goes deeper than just slathering on some toothpaste.
Have you ever used toothpaste for acne? What have been your experiences? Please share in the comments below!
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