Toothpaste For Acne? 6 Surprising Ways To Use Toothpaste As An Overnight Acne Remedy

Toothpaste For Acne

Surprising and probably unbelievable would describe a dermatologist who would advise people to use toothpaste to treat their acne.

Would I prescribe it to my patients? No.

But how exactly did the practice become popular? What are the facts? Can toothpaste be used as a treatment for acne? Up to this day, there are only a few articles about the efficacy of toothpaste in treating acne. A recent report claims that toothpaste, specifically Colgate, can improve acne lesions by targeting the acne-causing bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes. Some toothpaste also contains ingredients that can also help in drying out pimples, like baking soda.

However, we should be cautious in using this as acne treatment and limit its use to spot treatment and avoid whole face application; why?Because despite the said benefits, toothpaste also contains irritating substances like hydrogen peroxide and triclosan that can surely irritate the skin. Furthermore, fluoride, found in famous toothpaste brands, can cause skin conditions like perioral dermatitis and even acneiform (acne-like) eruptions. 

Triclosan is a controversial ingredient that’s believed to cause a number of health issues. One of them is hormonal imbalance which is one of the most common things that trigger skin breakouts.

Ironic, right?

This is why I suggest you use toothpaste for acne as a last resort. And make sure to have these things in mind:

When choosing the right toothpaste for this remedy, go with one pure white.

The white part contains the stuff that you need. Colored toothpastes have ingredients that may cause irritation.

Also, avoid toothpaste that whitens the teeth. Skip those that come in gel-form and have high fluoride content.

Most importantly, choose organic ones as much as possible.

Now that you already know the basics, let’s dive into it!

Toothpaste For Acne? 6 Surprising Ways To Use Toothpaste As An Overnight Acne Remedy

1. Applying Toothpaste Directly to Zits

If you don’t want to make a lot of fuss with your skincare, check this method out.

We start this list with the simplest of all. As you already know, toothpastes make a popular overnight acne remedy because of its cooling and drying effect on zits.

The cooling effect you can get from toothpastes can soothe your angry spots and reduce inflammation.

To do this, just follow these easy steps.

Grab a tube of toothpaste and squeeze an adequate amount to your fingertips. Gently apply it on the affected areas of your face using circular motions.

As with all the remedies on this list, apply it to a clean face. Washing your face helps make the ingredients penetrate the skin better.

Also, avoid rubbing it to your zits as this may cause more irritation.

You can leave it on overnight and rinse it off the moment you wake up. However, if overnight seems too long for you, you can let it sit for around 30 minutes.

2. Use a Honey and Toothpaste Mixture

Toothpaste For Acne? 6 Surprising Ways To Use Toothpaste As An Overnight Acne Remedy

The addition of honey boosts the effectiveness of this remedy.

Honey has a number of skin-loving benefits, thanks to its healing qualities. It is an effective antibacterial agent that helps keep your acne at bay.

It’s anti-inflammatory, too.

This means that it can help soothe and calm those angry zits. Also, if toothpaste proves to be too harsh, honey can make it less irritating.

For this one, simply grab a bowl and mix a small amount of toothpaste to ½ teaspoon honey. Use organic honey and avoid processed ones to make this more effective.

After mixing the two together, apply the mixture to your problem areas. Allow it to sit for around 20 minutes before washing it off with water.

3. Make a Toothpaste and Green Tea Paste

When it comes to acne, you can never go wrong with green tea.

What makes green tea great for acne is its high EGCG content. It has antioxidant properties to protect the skin from free radicals and, possibly, to reduce skin cancer.

A study revealed that 64 out of 80 women showed improvement in their acne after a 4-week treatment. There were less acne lesions and their zits were less inflamed, too.

For this method, you’ll need powdered green tea or the tea itself.

But whatever form you choose, mix ½ teaspoon of it with ¼ tablespoon of toothpaste. Mix the two together until you create a paste.

Toothpaste For Acne? 6 Surprising Ways To Use Toothpaste As An Overnight Acne Remedy

Carefully apply it to acne-prone areas. You can let it sit for 30 minutes before washing it off, but I suggest leaving it on overnight.

4. Create a Toothpaste and Turmeric-Cinnamon Paste

In case you didn’t know, these two spices are great acne busters.

The list of skin benefits of turmeric is basically endless. One of those is its antibacterial property.

Just be careful in using this ingredient as it stains everything.

Cinnamon, on the other hand, boasts of its antimicrobial property. It kills a number of bacteria, such as Candida albicans, Staphylococcus and E. coli.

It also acts as an astringent. Meaning, it can reduce pore size for a more even and smoother skin.

Simply grab a small bowl and add ½ teaspoon of toothpaste, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric and a dash of cinnamon. Mix these three together until you get a creamy paste.

Gently apply the paste to areas where you have acne. Allow it to sit for around 20 minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water.

5. Make a Garlic Juice and Toothpaste Mixture

This may sound weird, but allow me to explain.

Garlic is effective against acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its high level of antioxidants. It also contains allicin which is highly-antibacterial to prevent acne from forming.

Toothpaste For Acne? 6 Surprising Ways To Use Toothpaste As An Overnight Acne Remedy

Just make sure you don’t have any allergies to garlic to avoid having contact dermatitis.

To prepare the solution, simply combine equal amounts of both ingredients in a small bowl.

You may even add some drops of tomato juice if you like.

Then, apply the paste on acne-prone areas. It is important not to apply it all over the face since garlic increases blood flow and thus, may irritate the skin.

Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes maximum. Use cold water to rinse your face.

6. Create a Yogurt and a Toothpaste Solution

Aside from keeping your tummy healthy, did you know yogurt is great for the skin as well?

Toothpaste For Acne? 6 Surprising Ways To Use Toothpaste As An Overnight Acne Remedy

Yogurt is loaded with good bacteria that help fight the bad ones. And since it has lactic acid, it fights the bacteria that could cause acne.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties to calm those big, red zits. It helps moisturize the skin, too, so those with dry skin will benefit from this remedy.

Add ½ teaspoon of toothpaste and 1 or 2 tablespoons of yogurt in a small bowl. Mix the two together, and apply it on affected areas.

Allow it to sit for around 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water.


People have different views on using toothpaste as an acne treatment. If it works, great for you!

But if it doesn’t, at least you tried, right?

If you’re going to use these methods, make sure to follow the points I mentioned above. This is so you’ll have a good experience rather than making acne even worse.

Have you tried using toothpaste as an acne treatment? Can you suggest other methods to get the most out of it?

toothpaste for acne

Dr Kathleen May Eusebio-Alpapara

A board-certified dermatologist who practices both medical and cosmetic dermatology

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