How To Get Rid of Pimples: The Myths and Truth

No one likes breakouts; it makes your skin sensitive and we all know how they affect our self-esteem. This ultimately means that we want to get rid of them as fast as possible. Unfortunately, not everything on the internet is to believed. So, put down the toothpaste – yes, we know you think it works – and continue reading, because we’re breaking down the myths and the truths of getting rid of pimples.

Let’s start with the myths:


There are a number of reasons why you should not be putting toothpaste on your skin. Firstly, it can block the pores in your skin; secondly, it can be a severe irritant and may lead to rashes, and thirdly, the chemicals in toothpaste may cause bleaching or pigmentation. Let’s keep toothpaste on toothbrushes where they belong. It’s not worth the risk.

Lemon juice:

Putting something that acidic on one’s skin is bound to have a couple of consequences. Not only does the acidic properties of lemon juice strip your skin of essential oils, which could lead to dryness and flakiness, but it’s also strong enough to kill off the good bacteria that help protect your skin.

Due to the fact that lemon juice is water-soluble, it’s mostly ineffective at getting to the root of the problem: the pimple-causing bacteria that reside under the skin.


A new trend has broken out that has people putting raw garlic on their pimples in the hopes of healing them. Sure, garlic has a number of microbial properties, but here’s the problem: the compound may not be enough to rid you of the blemish. Not only that, but it’s also been found that raw garlic could cause blistering and plant dermatitis. Leave the garlic for your pizza and read below to find out what actually works.

Sorta, maybe works

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has been found to be effective at spot treatment, since it’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. So, yeah, it reduces swelling and redness, and helps to kill off bacteria. That being said, in it’s pure form it’s also very strong and could cause a harm if not used correctly. It should only ever be dabbed on the skin, not rubbed in, and should not be used on your entire face, only as a spot treatment. Tread lightly with anything that could interfere with your skin’s natural pH, it could do more harm than good.

Now for the facts:


Ah, honey. Used in everything from burn care to lip balm, it turns out the honey could actually be great for treating pimples too. This is thanks to the natural antibacterial properties that fight acne- and pimple-causing bacteria, as well as being anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe skin, and reduce redness and swellin. It should be noted that raw honey is always the best option when trying this.

Topical creams:

Here’s the good news: topical treatments can work for getting rid of pimples. Look for products with Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Sulfur and Alpha Hydroxy Acids.

  • Salicylic Acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that helps with exfoliation and keeps the pores from becoming clogged and infected, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. It should be noted that some people who are sensitive to salicylic acid may experience stinging if the concentration is too high. A 2% Salicylic Acid formulation is considered good in the skincare industry.
  • Benzoyl peroxide kills pimple-and acne-forming bacteria, and acts as an exfoliant. Be sure to keep products with benzoyl peroxide off clothes and fabric, as it can be a bleaching agent.
  • Sulfur helps to remove excess oil, as well as reduce inflammation. The smell, however, might be a bit of a deterrent.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids like glycolic acid help to remove dead skin cells and reduce inflammation. It also helps to promote the renewal of skin cells, leaving you with soft and smooth skin.

Proper skin care:

Sure, this is less of an “overnight” treatment, and more of a long-term thing. But, you know what they say, “prevention is better than cure.” Make sure to properly exfoliate and wash your face at night, use the right moisturiser and drink enough water to ensure that all the toxins in your body are flushed out.

For more on this topic, check out our article on treating acne correctly.

What do you think about our list? Is there anything that’s worked for you that we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments.

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