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Does toothpaste get rid of spots?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Gemma Wheeler

(GDC Number: 259369)

Does toothpaste get rid of spots?

Does toothpaste get rid of spots?

Does it actually work or is it just another old wives’ tale?

It does…kind of. 

Of course, it won’t remove a spot completely, but it can reduce its ugliness rather rapidly.

Toothpastes dehydrate pimples/spots and absorb oil, effectively drying them out.

A number of chemicals are present in toothpaste that can dry out spots, including baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, triclosan, alcohol and essential oils.

Menthol can soothe irritation, while the antibacterial properties of paste can reduce inflammation and fight infection.

While applying toothpaste won’t get rid of the spot, it should reduce swelling and redness, making the spot less noticeable.

Why is toothpaste bad for spot removal?

While toothpaste can dry out spots, few dermatologists would recommend it as it dries out skin. In severe cases, it can even burn or scar the skin.

There is a simple reason you shouldn’t treat spots with toothpaste: it’s designed to work on the hard enamel of a tooth, not our delicate skin.

The foaming agents can aggravate sensitive skin, leaving burn marks or inflammation. Therefore, toothpaste must only be used in an emergency and only applied to the infected area for a short amount of time.

I recommend other remedies and creams here that work much better without the same risks of irritating or even burning sensitive skin.​

Woman squeezing spot on forehead

Using toothpaste in an emergency

If you have found yourself in a situation where you really need to reduce the size and redness of a spot, I suggest that you look in your local shop or about your house for an organic paste without additives.

Many natural pastes use tea tree oil and baking soda – the simple components that work on the spot. If you have either tea tree oil or baking soda about your home, use these instead!

Don’t use

  • Colored pastes: any other color of paste (such as red or blue stripes) contains agents that will irritate skin.
  • Whitening pastes: These can actually burn the skin. People with darker skin are especially susceptible because of the higher levels of melanin in their skin type.
  • Gels: The formula is different to paste, meaning that you could be worsening your pimple without even drying it out.
  • High fluoride pastes: High fluoride content may cause a skin rash.
Charcoal toothpaste on round brush head

How to use toothpaste to get rid of spots

  1. First of all your face must be clean, so remove any makeup.
  2. Wash your face with a cleanser and warm water.
  3. Apply a pea-sized amount of paste without touching the surrounding skin.
  4. After 15 minutes, remove paste and check for signs of irritation. If there are not signs of irritation or inflammation, re-apply paste and leave it for two hours. Some people prefer to leave the paste on overnight, but I don’t recommend this as it could scar the skin.
  5. Use a warm facecloth to gently remove the paste from your face.

Does toothpaste get rid of acne?

No, it’s not a solution to a skin problem of this magnitude. I recommend visiting a dermatologist, as everybody’s skin is unique. Some highly recommended organic treatments include Beauty by Earth Hydrating Face Mask and Aloe Pure Aloe Vera Gel.

If your acne is severe, you might even consider speaking with a nutritionist about how your diet might be affecting your skin. Remember to get plenty of rest, fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise and water.

Face with acne

Other tips for getting rid of acne

  • Change your pillowcase on a daily basis to prevent a buildup of oil and bacteria.
  • Keep your hair away from your face as the oil in your hair could be making the problem worse.
  • Avoid harsh exfoliants.
  • Try using warm water instead of a cleanser.
  • Avoid touching infected areas as you could spread infection.

6 of the best home remedies for removing spots

  • Baking Soda and Water

Baking soda is a natural antibacterial. Combine three teaspoons of baking soda with one teaspoon of water to make a paste. Gently massage into skin around infected area then leave for five minutes, before washing off with warm water and patting skin dry with a clean towel or face cloth.

Does toothpaste get rid of spots? 1
  • Vaseline and Cling film

Open pores by washing your face with warm water, then apply vaseline to infected area. Cover with cling film for five minutes then wash face as normal. This treatment is especially effective on blackheads.

  • Lemon Juice and Apple Cider Vinegar

The vinegar balances the acid levels of our skin, helping the skin to protect itself from unhealthy pollutants. Mix half a teaspoon of lemon juice with half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Apply to spot. Wash off as normal when you next wash your face.

Lemon halves and slices
  • Tea Tree Oil

The natural chemicals in tea tree oil kill fungus and bacteria. Use a pure tea tree oil rather than a tea tree oil product. Apply with a cotton bud to the spot. Leave on overnight.

  • Crushed Aspirin

This one should be a last resort, as the long term effects of this treatment are unknown. Crush an aspirin, mix with water (3 parts of water to 1 part aspirin). Leave on spot for 15 minutes before washing off. There is a high risk of chemical burns with this, so wash off as soon as you feel any irritation.

  • Ice

Ice reduces inflammation, swelling and redness. Using ice on the spot helps to reduce the spot’s lifespan. Wrap a cube in a clean face cloth and hold against the infected area for one minute.

Ice cubes

6 Store-bought alternatives that are safe for skin

If you persistently suffer from skin problems, chances are that DIY remedies will not help in the long term.

While it can be tempting to buy into natural, homemade remedies, it is also important not to neglect the products put on the market by leading skin-care companies. By using these products as directed, you are benefiting from the extensive research goes into these specially-formulated creams and gels.

You are also reducing the damage you could potentially do to your skin by trying using something like toothpaste on sensitive skin.

If you only suffer from spots on rare occasions, it’s still a good idea to have a recommended product in your cabinet for emergencies, so you are not tempted into anything that could irritate your skin, potentially making the problem worse.

Here are 6 ways to prevent and treat spots that you may not have known about:

  1. Benzoyl peroxide: Benzoyl reduces the bacteria that causes acne, causing the skin to dry and peel. (View on Amazon)
  2. Salicylic acid: The highest strength of acne medication allowed without a prescription. (View on Amazon)
  3. Sulfur: An effective germicide and fungicide.
  4. Glycolic Peel: A face peel that also reduces acne scars. (View on Amazon)
  5. Retinol cream: Imbues your skin with Vitamin A. (View on Amazon)
  6. Konjac sponge: Made from konjac root fibres and bamboo charcoal, this sponge fights the bacteria that causes acne. (View on Amazon)

5 easy natural masks for cleansing skin​

  1. Turmeric mask: 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of raw organic honey, 1 teaspoon of milk
  2. Egg White mask: 1 egg white, 1 cup of beer, 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
  3. Cucumber mask: 1 tablespoon of crushed cucumber, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of organic cinnamon.
  4. Avocado mask: 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, half of a ripe banana
  5. Coconut oil mask: 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
Does toothpaste get rid of spots? 2

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

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