Baking soda is one of those jack of all trade, superhero items that is more or less a necessity in most households. From acting as a leavener in baked goods to deodorizing your toilet, this stuff has some serious multitasking abilities.
The situations in which baking soda would not be helpful are few and far between. Seriously, you can whiten your teeth and take care of the gross smell in your gym shoes. You can remove soap scum build up on your shower head and deep clean your hair.
You can even treat your acne with it!
Use Baking Soda on Skin to Treat Pimples
Baking soda has been used in skincare for decades. If you ask your grandma how to clear up a pimple, chances are she is either going to rattle off a warning against popping them and a bit of info on an old school brand like Noxema or tell you to go to the pantry and grab the jumbo box of baking soda she’s had in their for like ten years.
As silly as it may sound to slather on a cooking and cleaning agent, grandma’s recommendation actually has some scientific traction. Baking soda is a natural antiseptic with antiinflammatory properties.
This means that it just might actually help kill off the bacteria causing your breakouts and help ease the inflammation and discomfort associated with the bumps.
Baking Soda on Skin Side Effects
A bit of warning before we get into how to use baking soda for a plethora of skincare woes and worries, many dermatologists do not recommend using it very often. Baking soda can be quite drying and actually very harsh.
You run the risk of stripping your skin’s natural protective oil layer, leaving you open to future breakouts, if you use it too often. It can also be irritating on sensitive skin.
If you feel there is a chance you could have a negative reaction, many brands make products that contain smaller amounts of baking soda with other ingredients to counteract the dryness. Pick up such a product, like the one from Biore, and test it first before moving on to actual baking soda from the grocery aisle.
The concerns surrounding baking soda usage on your face stem from its chemical formation. Your skin is naturally very acidic. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is basic.
When the two mix it can throw off your skin’s pH and cause some nasty issues if you are not careful. It can also be overly exfoliating, which can cause microtears in the skin and let bacteria sneak in.
This means it could have the opposite effect of what you want, causing more acne. The changes in the skin’s pH can allow bacteria to more easily travel, causing acne to spread at a faster rate, as well.
A way to combat these common issues is to use baking soda mixed with other ingredients. The smaller dose of baking soda mixed with a blend of skin friendly oils and beneficial liquids can really make a difference.
You get the antiseptic upside of baking soda along with the moisturizing of avocado oil or toning of apple cider vinegar. The combinations are endless!
A lot of people swear by mixing it with witch hazel to really clear out clogged pores or into a clay mask to deep cleanse. Either way, mixing it makes baking soda safer and easier to use and is certainly the way to go!
Does Baking Soda Exfoliate Skin?
The most common use for baking soda is as an exfoliant. When mixed with something like castor oil and used once weekly to scrub the face, baking soda can help clear up closed bumps and remove dead, dry skin.
Follow up with a good moisturizer to help offset the dry factor and perhaps try toning to restore the pH and you are all set! You can also mix it with apple cider vinegar or even just water.
The goal is to make a paste that can be rubbed on your face without powder flying everywhere. Play around and see what mixing medium works best for your skin’s needs! You can create a face wash with this method, as well. Just beware that using it too often can pose a few problems.
How to Use Baking Soda for Skin?
The best way to prevent a huge pH shift is to only use baking soda as a spot treatment. Make a thick paste with the mixer of your choice and apply it directly to a pimple. Let it dry then rinse it off or leave it on overnight.
When you remove the crusty paste the next morning the pimple should have decreased dramatically in size and will continue to go down through the day. Repeat the following night and keep the routine going until it is all gone.
This method has proven to be very effective and is probably the safest way to go about incorporating baking soda into your skincare routine.
If you want to try targeting blackheads, make a paste of baking soda, water, and apple cider vinegar. Gently rub the area with the scrub, making sure to not apply too much pressure.
Leave the residue on the target area for a couple of minutes or until it dries then wipe it away with warm water. Follow up with a moisturizer and use this treatment very sparingly, as it can be quite harsh, especially if used on the eyes or chin, as they are typically rather oily areas and can become stripped.
The general opinion on baking soda in skincare is rather mixed. Many dermatologists advise against its usage due to its potential risks but will admit that it works.
The best advice is to test it on a small area and see if your skin can tolerate the harshness of the treatment. If so, proceed with caution and always be on the lookout for irritation or dryness.
Any skincare changes should be run by a dermatologist if you are under the care of one for acne treatment so be sure to keep them in the loop, as well. Play around with treatment mixers and style and see if one works for you!
You just might find your holy grail spot treatment in the kitchen aisle!