Chances are good that at some point you’ve put toothpaste on a pimple in an attempt to obliterate the thing. While it’s a pinch-hitter for drying out skin when legit acne spot treatments aren’t handy, how truly effective is this method “Toothpaste contains certain ingredients — baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, menthol, essential oils, triclosan — that cause pimples to dry out. However, “there are no ingredients in toothpaste that make this method more effective than conventional treatments.” Baking soda alone can be an alternative that helps with breakouts. While the formula does indeed have a drying effect, there are reactions associated with applying toothpaste to breakouts. It’s meant for teeth and not skin! Toothpaste irritates the skin, so some may believe that it dries out pimples, but what it really does is irritate and cause redness and peeling. Over-drying and even burning can occur on skin from applying it to pimples. Over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid work great to clear acne — and help prevent it, as well. Conclusion: While toothpaste does dry out skin, it’s not a recommended method for acne spot treating due to the possibility of irritation, peeling and redness.