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Can you think of anything more inconvenient than waking up with a sudden pimple?
We've all been there, and there's nothing more tempting than seeking out a quick fix - but if you're about to reach for the toothpaste, then we recommend you stop right now as experts say it could actually do more harm than good.
Using toothpaste on our spots is an old wives' tale that goes way back to our school days when that girl with perfect skin said Colgate was her pimple-buster of choice. We've all been guilty of trying this skincare hack more than once in our lives.
To debunk the myth once and for all, we spoke to Debbie Thomas, skincare specialist and founder of the D.Thomas Clinic.
"The skin is the biggest organ in the body and it has a delicate ecosystem that requires management to keep it healthy in today's not so skin friendly modern life," Debbie told PRETTY 52. "Most skincare products are made with this balance in mind - think PH levels, ingredients that penetrate down to work on the deeper issues rather than disrupting the barrier function - and surprisingly toothpaste doesn't tick any of the skin health boxes."
"Every toothpaste now has such different ingredients it's hard to even guess which one's may have a slight benefit or not. Over the years I've seen burnt skin from toothpaste application - it leaves the skin red scaley and sore. If the barrier function becomes comprised you actually open up the skin to a higher chance of infection and also slower recovery."
So why do so many women and girls around the country so often reach for the white stuff?
"It's down to triclosan which is antibacterial and antifungal. It is in some, but not all toothpastes," explains Debbie. "Triclosan in toothpaste is in the right percentage for managing bacteria in the mouth but won't be in a formulation or delivery system to allow it to penetrate into the skin so it can work on the bacteria deep in the pores, basically making it ineffective for spot zapping."
Instead, Debbie recommends investing in a dedicated spot product that contains all the right ingredients to tackle your spots once and for all.
"Look for products containing salicylic acid and mandelic acid, or if you want an antibacterial get a prescription from your GP," she told PRETTY 52. "Alternatively get a deep pore cleansing clay mask and dab a bit of that on overnight as this will have a drying effect."
Debbie recommends Medik8 clay masks that contains mild acids combined with traditional purifying clays all specifically designed for the skin.
Take note, people!
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