Take a look through the web nowadays, and you’re bound to find a billion ways to get acne. From the things you eat to the things you do, almost everything seems to trigger a breakout. Common knowledge might tempt us to break out the salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide acne treatments. But another school of thought states that we try limiting whatever causes our acne in the first place. But sometimes, the trigger can come from the most unusual of places—like toothpaste. But can toothpaste cause pimples, actually?
This might be a surprise for a lot of people. Toothpaste, after all, is probably one of the most common spot treatments for acne. The thought of it actually being a trigger, then, feels counterintuitive. But as it turns out, there is some backing to this. Some ingredients in toothpaste might contain chemicals that cause skin irritation, like sodium lauryl sulfate and essential oils.
Aside from the ingredients in toothpaste, however, can toothpaste cause pimples in other ways? Let’s find out.
If you wash your face before you brush your teeth, you could be bringing your acne risk up
When it comes to the old brush and floss, the order matters just as much as doing it. Previously, we talked about how flossing before you brush your teeth can reduce the amount of dental plaque on your teeth significantly. Especially as opposed to the other way around.
You can say the same thing goes for brushing your teeth and washing your face. While a select few can brush their teeth without much of a mess, the rest of us often tend to dribble a bit of it. When this happens, we don’t just expose our skin to the ingredients in toothpaste. In essence, we expose it to the bacteria coming from our mouths. If you find that most of your pimples surround your mouth, then this might be the reason. And the answer to “can toothpaste cause pimples?”
Fortunately, the solution is relatively easy. After you brush your teeth, wash your face right after to get rid of any skin irritation and bacteria. You might find your mouth pimples lessen over time.
Using toothpaste as a spot treatment could be doing you more harm than good
Remember when every magazine and home-remedy video told you to put toothpaste on your pimples? The time when toothpaste was a convenient at-home spot treatment? Well, I have news for you—it might actually be doing you more harm than good.
Toothpaste, in itself, can be very harsh on your skin. And when it comes to treating acne, inflammation plays a significant role. Self-induced skin irritation then is probably the most counterproductive way to solve your pimple woes. Instead of reaching for the good old tube, it might be better to find other solutions, like a clay mask or a facial.
Check the ingredients in your toothpaste
Some ingredients in your toothpaste can make your skin more susceptible to acne and other skin ailments. The use of sodium lauryl sulfate, for instance, can clog up your pores. Hydrogen peroxide and alcohol, on the other hand, can dry out your skin and make it more susceptible to bacteria.
Bottom line? Check your toothpaste ingredients before making a purchase. Otherwise, invest in a skincare routine that balances out the effects.