How to Use Toothpaste for Acne Treatment

Acne is one of the most common chronic skin disorder affecting millions of people across the globe.

It is characterized by the outbreak of pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and inflammations along with redness and marks on the skin.

Over time, a lot of new medicines have been developed to prevent, if not completely cure, the problem of acne.

This article shall discuss the importance and effectiveness of an over the counter product, toothpaste, that is popularly believed to have a positive effect towards reduction of acne.

The Toothpaste!

toothpaste is a product that is available in every household and forms an important part of the day to day routine. It is probably the first thing you require in the morning.

However, apart from its obvious function of cleaning the teeth and making it healthy, it is also believed to offer an effective treatment for acne.

Though there are no scientific studies that prove this theory, it has long being held that some components contained in toothpaste help in effectively fighting bacteria and microbe and thereby fighting the acne breakouts as well as reducing inflammations.

It has been used as a spot treatment for acne since a long time by people around the world.

Using Toothpaste for Acne

toothpaste is recommended for acne or pimples not as a long term treatment but as a quick fix for short terms.

Its effectiveness in the treatment has largely been attributed to the presence of triclosan which exhibits anti bacterial properties and help in fighting the P. acne bacteria.

Additionally, toothpastes may contain baking soda and other components that may cause a drying effect thus helping in draining out the excess oil or sebum.

The drying effect also tends to dehydrate the bacteria which are destroyed as a result. The baking soda acts additionally to exfoliate the skin thereby removing the dead skin cells and unclogging the pores.

How to choose the correct kind of toothpaste

While deciding on a toothpaste to use as a spot treatment, you must keep the following things in mind:

  • You must always choose a toothpaste that is mostly white. It is the white part of the toothpaste that contains baking soda, triclosan and hydrogen peroxide, and these are the components that help in fighting pimples
  • Do not use a toothpaste which has whitening agents in it as it contains bleaching agents and may bleach your skin causing it to burn or cause discoloration. This should particularly be taken care of by people with darker skin tones as they have more melanin and any such reaction will be more visible on their skin.
  • Do not use a gel based toothpaste as their components are different from the normal ones and are not helpful in drying out pimples
  • Try using a toothpaste that has low fluoride content as fluoride is known to cause skin dermatitis if used excessively. For this reason, it is best to use organic toothpaste as it contains less or no fluoride. It is also less on pesticides and other unwanted chemicals and therefore reduces the risks of side effects.

Toothpaste application on acne

Before going on to apply the toothpaste, you must clean your hands and your face with a non-medicated soap or cleanser.

You can use a glove or sponge to apply a small amount of toothpaste in form of a thin film, only over the affected area or pimple.

This can then be left to dry for a few hours or over the entire night. Therefore it can be removed with a sponge or cotton ball to see the results.

Benefits and possible issue with using toothpaste for acne

The benefits that this product may cause are enumerated below:

  • It is good for oily skin because of its drying effect
  • It tends to reduce the size of the pimple over night
  • It is believed to contain zinc which exhibits anti oxidant properties when topically used
  • It is also believed to contain calcium carbonate which further helps in absorbing the excess oil.

Side effects:

The use of toothpaste on your skin may cause the following side effects:

  • When used in excess amounts, it can cause irritation and redness
  • The presence of menthol in toothpaste may aggravate your inflammation
  • Fluoride in the toothpaste may cause contact dermatitis
  • It can cause chapped lips
  • Its use can result in the development of dark spots though such instances have been relatively rare


In order to get the best results while at the same time avoid any side effects, the following precautions must be maintained:

  • Preferably use a toothpaste that does not contain additives
  • Apply the paste only on the affected area as a spot treatment and not on the entire face as it might further damage the skin
  • It is not advisable to use toothpaste if you have extremely sensitive or dry skin
  • The application of toothpaste must not be repeated more than four times a day.

What users say about this treatment?

We did an analysis of online consumer reviews to determine the effectiveness of toothpaste in treating pimples. Here is a summary of what consumers liked and disliked about it:

What they liked about the treatment

Reduces swelling: Many consumers were of the view that apart from being an effective spot treatment for big and small pimples, it also proved helpful in reducing the inflammation induced swelling.

Reduces pain: A lot of consumers noticed a significant reduction in the pimple induced pain on application of this paste. The cause of this reduction in pain is not scientifically known but was nonetheless affirmed to by a lot of consumers

Cystic acne: It has also been known to be quiet effective in treating cystic acne by spreading its drying effect deep down under. Also, it is known to heal with speed and in some cases affected a reduction in the size of pimples in less than a night’s time.

What they did not like about it

Burns: A few consumers experienced a burning or stinging sensation on their skin immediately after application. This might be because of the extreme drying effect that it has on your skin

Rough: Some consumers were of the view that it was quiet a rough treatment to go forward with. It hardened their already existing pimple making them worse than ever before.


Though not medically verified it is a known and widely spread spot treatment or pimples and acne.

In order to try this, you do not have to bear the burden of going out and getting it from a medical store, but it is already present on the shelf of your house.

It is an inexpensive treatment as it won’t require any extra spending and moreover it will reduce simultaneously the swelling and pain developed as a result of acne breakouts.

It is an easy option for those looking for a quick solution to fix their face and must be given a try.

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