Toothpaste is often thought of as an inexpensive spot treatment for pimples, but this is one home remedy you don't want to try. Although some swear toothpaste dries up their pimples quickly, most people will find the toothpaste leaves their skin red and irritated.
The idea to use toothpaste as a spot treatment is probably due to the fact that many types of toothpaste contains triclosan. Triclosan is an antibacterial ingredient often added to personal care items like soap, deodorant, and body wash. Triclosan effectively kills bacteria. It is actually a common addition in acne treatment products, although as a preservative and not an active ingredient.
But toothpaste also contains ingredients that can irritate the skin, especially the delicate skin on the face. Using toothpaste on an already inflamed pimple can cause more redness and irritation. Many unfortunate souls say toothpaste burns really badly when applied to a zit, and leaves the skin feeling sore for days afterward. Bottom line: Toothpaste can make your pimple look worse instead of better.
If you're looking for a way to make a monstrous blemish heal quickly, try an acne spot treatment instead. These products contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or (my personal favorite) sulfur, all of which can help reduce redness and speed healing. Acne spot treatment products are milder for your skin than toothpaste ever will be, and they're inexpensive to buy. You can find many spot treatments at your local drugstore for less than $10. Of course, if you're under a doctor's care, ask before using any spot treatment.
So save the toothpaste for your teeth, and save your skin.