Fact or Fiction: Toothpaste clears pimples.

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Pimples happen to the best of us. No matter how diligent clients are with their cleansing routine, every now and then a pore can become blocked and an uninvited guest takes up residence on the face.

For some reason, pimples always tend to emerge when a fabulous event is coming up and the beauty arsenal is not prepared. When a client finds themselves in a pinch, one thing they can reach for is toothpaste. Toothpaste contains many of the same anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients found in over-the-counter acne medications, such as hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel, alcohol, baking soda, sodium pyrophosphate, menthol, and triclosan. While toothpaste can dry out and irritate the skin if misused, it can actually be a wonderful, emergency spot treatment.

Not all Toothpastes are Created Equal
The type of toothpaste being used can make a difference when it comes to clearing up acne or making it worse. The reason many skin care professionals actually advise against using toothpaste on the skin is because clients tend to use the wrong kind. Gel-based or colored toothpastes should not be used because these formulas tend to be different from regular toothpastes. Instead, advise clients to opt for all-white toothpastes only. These types of toothpastes typically contain pimple-fighting ingredients, like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. If the client has a whitening toothpaste that contains bleach, they should not use it on their skin. Bleach can actually create light spots, or worse, burn the skin. If the client tends to use natural toothpastes, they are in luck because this type of toothpaste often contains antiseptic and healing ingredients, like menthol, aloe, tea tree oil, and eucalyptus, all of which are great components in combating pesky pimples.

Applying Toothpaste Correctly
As with any product that is applied to the face, it is important to test it on a small area of the skin to ensure that an adverse reaction does not occur. After about 15 to 20 minutes, if redness or a rash does not develop, the client should be good to go. Make sure that the client’s skin and hands are clean before they apply the toothpaste. Clients should dab a small amount of the paste onto the pimple. There is no need for them to rub it in or cover an entire area of their face. They should never apply toothpaste to their entire face like a face mask. This will cause peeling, redness, and irritation. While it is common for people to go to sleep with acne medications on their face, they should not do that with toothpaste. Clients should leave the toothpaste on the desired area for about two hours, rinse it off with lukewarm water, and follow with a non-comedogenic moisturizer. Toothpaste can be conservatively applied to the pimple on a daily basis until it is dried out and ready to heal.

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