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Does toothpaste work on spots?

So the other morning I woke up with Mount Vesuvius on my face and a meeting to go to... aargh! With a couple of hours before I had to head out I searched the house for something that would at least take the redness away. After a long look in the bathroom cabinet came up with nothing (that all important tea tree oil was missing), I glanced at the tube of toothpaste sitting on the sink... could this be my saviour? I've heard the tales about how it can help with spots and with nothing else to lose I dabbed a bit on and left to dry. After a couple of hours it didn't look nearly so angry, so what is it about toothpaste that makes it work on spots? Read on and I will tell you...

It seems after researching the subject, that toothpaste has long been a favourite home remedy for spots, but I needed to know if it really works (or was I fooling myself?) and are there any other factors to consider before smearing tooth cleaner over your face?

The simple answer is toothpaste does work on spots, here is why...

The characteristics of toothpaste that help it to treat spots are its anti-bacterial properties, the cleaning properties and its ability to absorb oil. But you need to remember they have all been developed to treat the relatively hard surface of tooth enamel.

Also remember that by treating the spots once they have erupted you are only treating the symptom not getting to the cause of the acne or making any attempt to prevent further out breaks. For this you could try help: clear skin that works from the inside to fight the bacteria associated with skin breakouts.

All cautions accepted, toothpaste is a very effective treatment for individual spots and can dramatically reduce the appearance. The cleansing and absorption properties of the paste will reduce the size of the spot and the anti-bacterial properties will make a very noticeable difference to the inflamed redness that accompanies spots.

You first need to clean your skin with a gentle facial cleanser, then simply apply a small blob of toothpaste directly onto the spot. Try to avoid the surrounding skin, use a cotton bud for more accurate application . If it is the first time you have used this treatment clean the paste off with warm water after 20- 30 minutes and check for any irritation of your skin.

Once you are sure your skin is OK with the toothpaste treatment you can leave the paste in place for a couple of hours or even overnight if you don't have sensitive skin. The toothpaste treatment is really only an emergency treatment for occasional use. Regular use will result in patches of dry skin, which is the reason for avoiding the skin surrounding the spot.

Never use toothpaste as a whole face treatment. I have seen advice given that suggests smearing a thin layer of toothpaste over the entire face for 20 minutes. This will cause skin irritation and will result in over dry skin and in extreme cases will stimulate the production of excess sebum ( the lubricating oils that are essential for soft youthful skin). Excess sebum will result in an increase of spots. - so use sparingly and with caution!