3 Risks Of Using Toothpaste For Acne That Will Stop You From Reaching For The Tube

There's nothing worse than getting a giant pimple, and trust me, I've tried the toothpaste trick once or twice. After all, what's the harm? If it's safe for your mouth, it must be safe for your face! Well, as it turns out, toothpaste for acne isn't always the best idea.

Remember that movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Just because Tula's family used Windex to cure their pimples doesn't mean there's any science behind it! Similarly, just because a friend tells you they swear by the method, doesn't mean that toothpaste was or ever will be designed to use on your skin. I'll admit, I've been guilty of trying it, especially when nothing else seems to be working. But, after researching the topic further, it's clear to me that the risks outweigh the benefits.

The point? While toothpaste may be effective in helping you dry out acne, it may not always be the best method to actually clear it up without further complications. Especially if you have sensitive skin, be sure to proceed with caution. In case you aren't convinced, here's a few more reasons why you shouldn't turn to toothpaste to cure your acne:

1. It's Irritating To The Skin

Natalie Bell of futurederm.com, wrote, "Don't put toothpaste on your skin." She pointed out that ingredients commonly found in toothpaste, like sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate and sodium flouride, can actually be harmful to the skin. Bell interviewed cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, who said that these ingredients are "consistent irritators of the skin" that "strip the natural lipids from the skin" sometimes worsening conditions like dermatitis.

2. It's Not The Only Cure

Clean and Clear Advantage Acne Treatment, drugstore.com, $7.49

As I mentioned before, toothpaste simply wasn't designed for your skin. The reason toothpaste sometimes can work to clear up acne has to do with it's drying effects. The Huffington Post notes that ingredients like baking soda and alcohol help dry the skin and ingredients like calcium carbonate help to soak up the excess oil.

That being said, there are plenty of treatments that contain skin-approved ingredients that are designed to clear up acne spots without damaging the skin. Consider trying a spot treatment, like Clean and Clear's Advantage Acne Treatment.

3. It Can Cause Pigmentation Issues

Petro Gugliametti, an editor at Glamour, spoke to Boston dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch, who pointed out that skin that contains more melanin tends to be reactive, meaning that when it comes into contact with an irritating agent, dark pigmentation can occur. Dr. Hirsch also said that even after the irritation subsides, pigmentation can take much longer to heal.

So, ladies and gents — before you turn to toothpaste out of desperation — think twice! A simple spot treatment might just be the remedy you need.

Images: Pixabay; Drugstore.com; Andrew Zaeh/Bustle