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Is Toothpaste Really an Effective Cure for Pimples?

Time to debunk those acne-healing myths!
Is Toothpaste Really an Effective Cure for Pimples?
ILLUSTRATOR Lalaine Abella
Time to debunk those acne-healing myths!

We've all gotten annoying pimples and had to Google about the quickest ways to get rid of them. Look it up online and you'll get tons of hits about various home remedies that may or may not work. Here are a few of the most popular ones and whether or not you should go ahead and try it out.

1. Toothpaste

Verdict: It works! But there's a catch...

Toothpaste is a popular home remedy for acne—especially if you need to obliterate a particularly pesky pimple overnight. It definitely works as ingredients in toothpaste such as baking soda, alcohol, and triclosan work towards drying the pimple out. But remember: Toothpaste is especially made for your teeth, not for your skin. Treating facial acne this way could lead to redness or irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.

2. Tea tree oil

Verdict: It works, but it's best to dilute it first if you have sensitive skin.


Tea tree oil is definitely more reliable than toothpaste when it comes to zapping zits, but be careful not to overdo it! While it's gentler than benzoyl peroxide as an acne buster, it could still dry your skin out when too much is applied, making your acne even worse! To use tea tree oil responsibly, apply only one or two drops to the affected area. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to dilute it with other oils such as coconut oil.

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3. Baking soda

Verdict: It works, but make sure to moisturize after.

Treating pimples always involves drying the zit up and baking soda is a great way to do that. Sodium bicarbonate (a.k.a. baking soda) is great for exfoliating, but some people may find that they're allergic to it. Try testing it on a patch of skin on your neck or hands first before fully committing to putting this on your entire face. Also, don't apply it every day! Twice or thrice a week will be fine, then moisturize after.


4. Cinnamon and Honey

Verdict: It works, but you have to have a specific kind of honey and cinnamon for it to be fully effective.

Honey is great because it's not harsh, but it still works as a great anti-bacterial treatment. The only drawback is that it's sticky. Cinnamon, on the other hand, works to exfoliate. It also adds extra strength to the anti-bacterial properties of honey. However, you can't use just any type of cinnamon or honey off the market. The honey you use has to be raw (not the processed stuff you use for your pancakes!) and the best kind of cinnamon for this is Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, also called "true cinnamon."

5. Lemons

Verdict: It works, but don't use it directly on your skin.

Lemons work by drying out the pimple and it can cause a stinging feeling because of how acidic it naturally is. If you want to try this but have sensitive skin, consider mixing it with other ingredients such as honey so it won't completely dry out the sensitive skin on your face.


What other prescription-free ways do you treat your acne?

*This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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