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If there’s one job we LOVE it’s dispelling a good beauty myth (we get our thrills where we can). There is some beauty advice that just hangs around with us for centuries and none more so than ‘pop toothpaste on spots to clear them up’. Yep. We’ve all heard/tried that bad boy.
We can see why it seems like a class A plan. Mint is an anti-inflammatory and the baking soda in toothpaste dries skin out. It all adds up so far.
On the flip side, although you think soaking up oil is great news, regular use of toothpaste on your face will really dry it out, and not just the spot but the skin around it too (hello scarring, irritation oh and hi to you premature ageing too!). That will also send your skin into panic mode and so it’ll pump out more sebum to overcompensate. And that equals, yep you guessed it, MORE spots.
Someone firmly against the use of toothpaste is Noella Gabriel, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Elemis. Instead she advises the following to clear up spots without ruining your skin in the process…
- ‘Apply a warm compress with tea tree oil on it and place over the affected area. This will help soften the skin and in some cases ease out the spot naturally without having to dig nails in (which will mean you’re less likely to have a scar).’ Tea tree is a natural antiseptic too so will ward off the pimple’s friends and family from joining the party.
- Make-up brushes are a breeding ground for pore cloggers. ‘Try to clean you make up brushes regularly (every couple of weeks) as dirt and bacteria builds up in them, which you then brush over your face’. You can buy fancy make-up brush cleansers but we find baby shampoo works just as well, and it won’t irritate the skin either.
- Go NUTS! Not literally, but scoff as many as you can. ‘Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and help lower inflammation to reduce the swelling of break-outs’.
- It sounds silly, but try and get to bed earlier. ‘The more sleep you get, the longer your skin has time to regenerate.’ Beauty sleep is actually a thing!
- Flush out toxins from the inside (glug green tea and heaps of water) and you’ll notice a difference on your face.
- You’re probably doing this without even realising (if you’re hand is resting on your chin as you read this, we’re talking to you!). ‘Don't touch your face if you can possibly help it and definitely stop picking! Every time you do, it can cause more damage AND stress AND inflammation.’ Like any habit, it’s tricky at first – a post-it note with ‘if you pick your skin you will have spots until you’re 100’ stuck to the bathroom mirror helps.
- ‘Be patient with products. Your skin takes a good month for new cells to come to the surface and results to be visible.’ Give that poor bottle a chance.
Guess that’s why they call it toothpaste not skinpaste, right?