Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is one of those multi-purpose substances. It is used in baking, cleaning and in creating fun science experiments like bubbling volcanoes, prompting every household to have at least one box in their home at all times.
But baking soda isn’t just for the aforementioned purposes. As it turns out, it can be good for your hair, skin and body. Keep in mind, due to its alkaline compounds, when combined with water, it becomes mildly acidic and can be harmful if used in excess. If using it on your skin, test it out on a spot on skin to see how your skin will react to it.
Now, the benefits
- Helps acne and pimples
Baking soda kills germs and stops swelling — two key components to fighting acne. There is little research on this, but taking into account that acne is a condition with increased oils that clog pores, the alkaline in baking soda can dry out these areas, killing the bacteria that results.
Simply mix 1 tsp of baking soda with warm water and put on skin for 1-2 minutes, then wash with cold water. Do this for 2-3 days, then continue once a week until the acne subsides. If you find that the baking soda is causing irritations in your skin, you could be sensitive to its uses, and should stop immediately not to cause further damage.
- Makes teeth shiny
Many toothpastes contain baking soda as an ingredient, but you could add some baking soda to your regular toothpaste to increase its power. Due to the rough texture of baking soda, it can better break down food particles and even yellow residue/stains. Its alkaline/acidic properties also helps fight plaque, the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, according to research.
Simply put baking soda on your toothbrush with toothpaste and brush for two minutes. Do this once a day for a few days. However, it is important not to use too much or do it too often because it could remove protective enamel.
- Removes sunburns and sunburn blisters
The bicarbonate in soda has been found to helps treat sunburns by soothing the skin and even drying out blisters.
To do this, there are two methods. First, you can use it in the bath. Simply fill your tub with cool water, and as the water is running, add one cup of baking soda. As you relax in the tup your skin should begin to feel better. The second method is creating a paste with ½ cup of soda and enough cool water to create a thin paste. Spread this on your skin and let sit for about 15 minutes, then remove dry paste with fingertips.
*Again, try a test strip first to see how your skin will react.
- Improves skin complexion
Millions of people experience uneven skin tones caused by dead skin cells and dried tissue. Baking soda can help this by cleaning out the dead skin cells and tissues, evening out the acid level.
Baking soda is a substance that can exfoliate your skin by acting as a gentle scrub to help remove these skin cells and tissues for a smooth, healthy glow.
A way to do this is by mixing 1-2 tbsp of baking soda with filtered rose water. Put paste on face and for one minute. Rub off with fingers, then wash with warm water and pat dry. Do this 1-2 times per week.
*When doing this, it is important to use moisturizer, as the baking soda will dry out your skin.
- Removes body odors
Baking soda’s bacteria killing abilities are great for neutralizing body odors. It’s moisture wicking components also act as a natural sweat remover. There are even many deodorants and antiperspirants available on the market with baking soda as a key ingredient.
If you want to create your own, however, simply mix ⅛ teaspoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water to wick away moisture and neutralize odors. If you want to ensure that your body smells good, you can add your favorite essential oil to the mix. Then, take a cotton ball, and wipe the affected areas, and walk out the door with newfound confidence.
- Removes dandruff
Millions of people around the world suffer from dandruff, particularly in extreme hot and cold climates. One great way to get rid of dandruff is by using baking soda. This is due to the gritty texture that can remove loose/dead skin and tissues.
To do this, rub 1 Tablespoon of baking soda on wet hair, and scrub scalp. Do this for one minute, them wash it out. Do this once a week.
- Helps with oily/smelly hair
Just as baking soda neutralizes oil and odors on the skin, the same can be done on the hair. Oily hair has a tendency to trap debris and odors more than dry hair, causing it to get dirty and smelly more quickly.
To help with this, mix one part baking soda to three parts water, and put it on damp hair for five minutes before rinsing. You can even add your favorite essential oil for scent purposes. Do this once a month for for a silkier, more balanced hair texture.