Friday, March 6, 2009

Toothpaste spot treatment

I'm sure most of you have heard of this remedy for troublesome pimples but not a lot of you have actually tried it. From my experiences, it has worked pretty well for me, without any irritation or redness. Here's a basic overview of the pros and cons and other stuff you should know if you want to try this method:

What you need:
• PASTE (white) toothpaste, NOT gel! Find one with minimal additives. Natural or organic toothpastes are a good bet, since they usually have a short ingredient list.

What to do:
• Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
• Dot a little paste on the pimple (usually after you take a bath).
• It's usually best to use this method on whiteheads.
• Leave it on overnight (or only an hour or so if you have super sensitive skin).
• Wash it off in the morning.

Positive Results:
• The pimple should be visibly smaller and dried out, or gone altogether.
• Results vary with the kind of toothpaste you use, the pimple, and your skin type.

Negative Results:
• The area where the pimple is might be too dried out, itchy, or red if you left it on too long or have extra sensitive skin.

How it works:
• Dries out the pimple (like a clay mask would do), while dehydrating and absorbing oil

Toothpaste method VS Rx treatments:
• Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are both common anti-acne ingredients, and both cause some drying of the skin.
• Salicylic acid has been shown to promote cell turnover, meaning that skin gets exfoliated and fresh skin cells come to the surface.
• Benzoyl peroxide fights acne bacteria specifically and also does not cause bacterial resistance.

IMPORTANT 411 for those with SENSITIVE SKIN:
• Menthol is an ingredient that often irritates skin and causes itching and inflammation. It is used in many toothpastes for that minty clean feeling. But in fact, you should avoid any skin product that lists menthol as an ingredient
• Fluoride in toothpaste may be another irritating factor if applied to skin.
• Avoid special whitening toothpastes because they have more hydrogen peroxide which can dry out your skin too much.

This method has worked nicely for me, but I don't really have sensitive skin. I suggest this method for people who know their skin type and what it can handle. So, if you have sensitive skin, use this method sparingly!I would only use this method as a SPOT TREATMENT, not for your entire face, and usually only if/when you don't have a regular spot treatment that you know works. This is not something for everyday use. Leaving it on too long over a large area could badly irritate your skin. So remember, SPOT TREATMENT ONLY!

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