By Petra Guglielmetti, Glamour magazine
Last week, we discussed the dumbest pieces of beauty advice we've ever received, and several of you mentioned that old skincare trick about putting toothpaste on a pimple. Turns out, doing this can actually cause an entirely different skin problem.
Commenter nezz says that not only did putting toothpaste on her pimple not dry it out, it produced a long-lasting brown mark that sort of resembled a burn. Another reader, mszesty, had a similar experience, ending up with reddish spots after dabbing toothpaste on her blemishes. Spikesnsilk also ended up with red, sensitive skin after trying the 'paste trick.
Crazy that something so seemingly innocuous as toothpaste could cause such skin issues, right? I emailed one of my favorite dermatologists, Ranella Hirsch (Boston-area girls, go see her!), to get some scoop on this weird phenomenon. She surmises that this is probably happening to women who have more melanin in their complexions--a.k.a. olive skin or darker. Skin with more melanin tends to be more "reactive", meaning there's often a darkening of the skin at the site where an irritating ingredient is applied; these spots and patches can take quite a while to fade (long after the irritation has subsided). Dr. Hirsch thinks there's probably an ingredient in the toothpaste formulas you ladies dabbed on that irritated your skin and caused the red/brown patches. Weird, right? It makes sense, though, given that there are now so many high-tech toothpastes with strong whitening and breath-freshening ingredients. No surprise that some of that stuff would probably piss your skin off.
Meanwhile, some commenters, like olsoer03, say putting toothpaste on a pimple is a trick that does work for them: "It has to be plain white toothpaste and you only use it as a spot treatment, NOT an all over mask," she notes.
Hmmm. Well, I haven't tried this trick since I first heard it back in junior high, and I don't recall it working particularly well back then (or else I would have kept using it, right?). How about the rest of you ladies chime into our toothpaste-on-pimples discussion: Have you tried this old-school tip? How did it go for you? Did any of you experience adverse effects like long-lasting brown spots?
What's your absolute best, go-to method for drying out a bad pimple?
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