Baking soda has a long and interesting history of how humans use it. The versatile compound was first used in ancient Egypt to make mummies. In the mid-1980s, it was used to clean almost 100 years of grime off the Statue of Liberty.
In more recent years, we have turned to baking soda for beauty remedies. While it probably can’t wipe 99 years of age off of us like it did for Lady Liberty, it can help clear up embarrassing skin blemishes and leave your skin looking better.
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda is the common name of sodium bicarbonate. It is a chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. It’s a mineral that can be found naturally in different areas of the world, such as Kenya, California and Mexico.
The reason baking soda can be useful for your skin and face is because it helps to balance the body’s pH.
Baking soda has a pH of 9 and works as an alkaline to balance out the stronger acidic pH.
Despite their names and appearance, baking soda and baking powder aren’t the same thing. Both contain leavening agents and are used in baking. However, baking soda is 100% sodium bicarbonate while baking powder is a combination of baking soda and acid salts.
Aside from baking recipes, baking soda is also used to clean various things in the home. Many people put a box of baking soda in their refrigerator to keep the food fresh. Since baking soda can help balance the pH, there are numerous health and beauty benefits for adding baking soda to your beauty routine.
Is Baking Soda Good for Your Face?
Baking soda can be good for the skin. The alkaline properties can balance out the skin’s natural acidity. This helps reduce acne problems, skin blemishes and oily hair. It has great skill as an exfoliator for radiant skin.
However, some people may have a reaction to baking soda that causes red, blotchy patches. Before applying it to your face, try using a baking soda and water mixture on your arm or leg to see if you have a reaction.
Baking soda works for acne by drying out the pimples and the face in general.
For that reason, it shouldn’t be used daily on the face or it will cause dry skin.
Using Baking Soda in Your Beauty Routine
Baking soda can be used to make your skin smoother, your hair is healthier and your face blemish-free. Many store-bought toothpastes contain baking soda for whiter teeth.
Here are more ways to add baking soda to your beauty regimen.
Baking Soda Uses for Your Face
Baking soda can be used as a facial exfoliator. The alkaline properties and coarse crystals help remove dirt and debris from the face. It also helps clear pores by removing excess oil. This prevents the pore from clogging, which is the main cause of acne and other skin blemishes.
Exfoliating your face is an important part of any beauty routine. Exfoliators remove dead, dry skin which allows fresh, new skin to flourish. Baking soda also contains many antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that help ease and prevent skin irritations and infections.
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp baking soda
Mix water and baking soda into a paste. Gently apply to face in circular motions. Leave on for one to two minutes and wash off with warm water. Continue your beauty routine with a moisturizer. Coconut oil is a great option for an all-natural moisturizer.
Use exfoliating face scrub just once or twice a week to maintain the face’s pH balance.
Baking Soda Uses for Your Skin
Detoxing Bath Soak
Baking soda can be used with Epsom salt for a detoxing bath. The combination will help you remove toxins from your body while also reduce bloating, promote healthy skin and encourage a good night’s sleep.
Add ½ cup baking soda and a scoop of Epsom salt to your bathwater. You can also add in a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. Soak in the water for 30 minutes before drying off. Hydrate your skin by applying a moisturizer and drinking some water.
The bath soak recipe can also be used to help ease sunburnt skin.
Many people put baking soda in their fridge because baking soda repels odors. You can turn this property into an all-natural deodorant. Baking soda also contains antibacterial properties that are an excellent replacement for the harsher chemicals found in store-bought deodorants.
Mix ½ cup baking soda and water with 15 drops of an essential oil into a paste. Apply to underarm area after a shower. It can also be used to help stinky feet.
Remember those dead skin cells on your face that a baking soda scrub can exfoliate? Your entire body can use a regular exfoliating. The body sheds almost 50,000 dead skin cells per minute. Removing the dead skin cells can help ease dry skin and replace it with radiant, new skin.
Dry skin can be painful and embarrassing. A baking soda body scrub can help reduce itchy skin caused by insect bites, poison ivy, or dry skin. Baking soda has anti-inflammatory properties that offer relief to itchy, swollen skin.
Mix 1 cup water to ½ cup baking soda. Rub mixture onto skin and let dry. Wash with warm water. Moisturize as normal.
In addition to antibacterial properties, baking soda acts as an astringent that can cut through all of the grim your hands come in contact with throughout the day. The baking soda hand soap will have a high pH level, which will help keep the skin’s pH balanced and your hand soft.
A simple, quick hand soap can be used by combining baking soda with warm water that will naturally clean your hands. Another recipe calls for a mixture of castile soap, essential oils and baking soda to nourish hands as well as clean them.
Baking Soda Uses for Acne
Reduce and Prevent Acne
The pores on the face naturally produce oil that helps moisturize the skin. Dead skin cells and bacteria caused by dirt can clog the pores, which causes small pimples to form on the skin.
Acne is particularly common during the teenage years, but it can happen at any age.
A mixture of 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp baking soda and 2 tbsp water can be made into a paste and applied to the face. Rinse with cool water.
The tiny crystals of baking soda can absorb the excess oil that clogs pores. This helps prevent new acne from forming. If left untreated, acne can leave marks and scars that can be embarrassing and ruin your complexion.
A paste of baking soda and water can be used to exfoliate the acne scars to help remove scarred skin. The paste should be applied several times a day for a few minutes before washing off with warm water.
Either mixture can also be applied directly to pimples to help reduce the swelling of the clogged pore.
Face Mask for Oily Skin
Oily skin is a big contributor to pimples, blackheads and other blemishes. Baking soda has been shown as an effective natural exfoliator. Exfoliators don’t just remove dead skin cells. They also absorb excess oil that oftentimes clogs the skin’s pores. The pores on the face are really just small hair follicles that can easily become clogged.
The face mask also uses apple cider vinegar, which has additional antibacterial properties that help balance the skin’s pH.
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine baking soda, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Mix into a paste and apply to face. Let it sit until dried and then remove with warm water. Use only once a week, as baking soda and lemon dry out the skin.
Baking Soda Uses for Hair
Clarifying Shampoo for Hair
Hairsprays, gels and other products can leave build-up on the hair, as well as cause dry hair and breakage. This leaves the hair looking limp and greasy. Since baking soda can dissolve grease and dirt, it is a great ingredient for making a clarifying shampoo. The baking soda will wash away the build-up and leave the strands of hair healthy, clean and shiny.
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda to your regular shampoo. Massage into your hair, including the ends. Let sit for two minutes before rinsing with warm water. This trick to healthy hair should only be used once a month. The alkaline properties of baking soda can wreak havoc on your body’s pH balance.
Baking soda might have gotten a humble start when used for mummifying bodies. However, experts now understand more about the healing properties found in the natural chemical compound typically used for cleaning and deodorizing homes.
When using baking soda in your beauty routine, it is important to remember that the alkaline properties are good but can also have negative effects when overused. The baking soda can put the body’s pH level off-balance, which leads to dry, irritated skin. The mixtures shouldn’t be used more than twice a week and even less for dry skin.