Home remedies for acne come in all flavors of strange. There’s the egg yolk mask, handyman soap scrub, lidocaine rub and even a urine toner. And like any trial therapy, homemade treatments may work sheerly because of the placebo effect. But, does toothpaste posses any properties that support its usage as an acne treatment?
The first place to begin answering this question is to consider the ingredients in common toothpastes and what effect they have on the skin.
In almost any tube of toothpaste you’ll find sodium monoflurorophosphate, or simply put, some chemical variety of fluoride. Fluoride prevents tooth cavities. But in the skin, fluoride typically causes more damage that it corrects. For example, medicals studies have reported that large does of fluoride could cause systemic poisoning. Though the amount of fluoride in tooth paste is less than one percent you may not want predispose yourself to risk.
If toothpaste does help acne prone skin, it’s most likely not due to the fluoride because this chemical can irritate or burn the skin and sometimes provoke skin allergies.
Glycerin, sorbitol and alumina:
Skimming down the list of toothpaste ingredients, we arrive at agents with the potential to delete zits like hydrated silica, sorbitol, alumina and glycerin. Silica and types of aluminum are used to treat acne via dermabrasive products. However, in the toothpaste, they are too fine to profoundly exfoliate the skin. Sorbitol is a flavoring agent while glycerin makes the toothpaste feel good in your mouth.
Moving on, we come to sodium lauryl sulfate, or the toothpaste bubble maker. You don’t need suds to get rid of zits. Next!
Getting rid of calcium:
Now we encounter sodium pyrophosphate, or some relative of this chemical resting in our toothpaste. Sodium pyrophosphate controls tartar deposits on the teeth by removing calcium and magnesium from saliva. It is with this calcium evicting phosphate that we may find a potential acne curative.
Skin levels of calcium directly influence skin cell growth and differentiation. One of the traits of acne includes improper shedding of the skin or improper skin cell separation. And according to research done by Chia-Ling L. Tu and colleagues, too much calcium in the epidermis skin causes more hair follicles to grow, makes the skin more susceptible to outside attacks and increases cell growth.
None of these activities help contain acne so taking away a little calcium from acne prone skin may eliminate a cluster of zits. So we allot a point to pyrophosphate as a possible acne taming agent.
Try these ingredients in a better product and they will help with acne:
Rounding out the toothpaste ingredients are minimal amounts of titanium dioxide and or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). As far as the skin is concerned, these two agents are wonderful exfoliators, yet in some toothpastes, their presence may prove too small to positively affect the skin.
These guys may also absorb excess facial oils which will definitely help bumpy skin heal faster. As predominant skin care ingredients, titanium dioxide and baking soda sever as wonderful dermbrasion agents, so you may want to try them in this form.
In short. proving whether or not your toothpaste will get rid of acne would require some costly research and you would still have to face the ominous doubt cast by the placebo effect. Toothpaste does contain ingredients with the potential to control acne like pyrophosphates that improve skin cell shedding, and skin exfoliators like titanium dioxide and baking soda.
The only problem is, toothpaste is formulated to treat and prevent cavities, not pimples. You really can’t fully benefit from toothpaste’s zit fighting agents because they are not concentrated enough. Instead, use acne therapies that contain right proportions of bump fighting ingredients, whether you buy them at the drug store or make them at home.
Tu, Chia-Ling L; Oda, Y; Komuves, L & Bikle D. The role of the calcium-sensing receptor in epidermal dierentiation. University of California Postprints; 2004; vol 35, no3, pp 265-273.