Before talking about Baking soda let me explain the difference between Baking Soda & Baking powder. To make it simpler, Baking soda is the base, naturally available Sodium carbonite. Whereas Baking powder is a mixture of Baking soda and a dry acid.
Baking soda is very alkaline with a high PH of about 8.3. Our skin PH level is around 5.5. When it is directly used on the skin, it may disrupt the natural PH level of the skin. Also, it will affect the moisture barrier of our skin by damaging the acid mantle which is protecting the moisture barrier.
Hence before applying Baking soda to the skin, it is very important to know whether your skin can tolerate it. Alkaline products when used on skin alter the PH balance which leads to skin problems.
Baking soda is very powerful and has a lot of benefits. Some dermatologists suggest not to use whereas few disagree with them. If you use it, don’t leave it for a long time on skin and use only when it is required.
1. Baking soda facewash
Which is best for washing face- soap or face wash? This is the most commonly asked question. Before telling why facewash is better let me explain about our skin.
Our skin natural barrier is made up of acid mantle which means our skin is naturally acidic. Well, what is acidic?
PH scale of 7 is neutral, anything above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic. Since our skin PH level lies between 4 to 6.5 it is acidic in nature.
Hence it is very important to balance the PH level of our skin to avoid any skin problems.
Now the question is why Soap is not good for skin? Well, soap is said to be very harsh on skin and it will not cleanse skin end to end. Dermatologists recommend facewash because of its cleansing nature and easy flow on skin.
Coming to Baking soda, it acts like a face scrubber, removing dead skin cells from the skin. It is more effective than face wash because along with cleansing it also works as an exfoliator.
- Mix one tbsp of Baking soda with water (2tbsp or add accordingly to make a smooth paste)
- Gently massage this paste on face in circular motion for 2-3 mins
- Don’t rub vigorously which might damage the skin cells
- Wash thoroughly with lukewarm water
This exfoliates dead skin cells, absorbs excess oil leaving skin smooth and clear. Don’t forget to apply the moisturizer.
2. Baking soda for dark underarms
Frequent use of shaving cream, deodorants, perfumes may cause darkening of underarm. If you are worried about dark armpits and not wearing sleeveless then here is the good news!
Since Baking soda is a very good skin exfoliator it works effectively to lighten dark skin and helps to achieve even skin tone. The only thing to care is about skin sensitivity.
Underarms skin is very delicate. If you feel burning or rashes then stop using Baking soda.
- Combine Baking soda with milk. Quantity of baking soda and milk can be adjusted accordingly.
- Apply this on underarms. Please note rubbing or massaging may cause scars or burn.
- Leave it for 5-7 minutes and wipe with wet cloth.
While baking soda cleanses the skin and removes dead skin cells, milk moisturizes the skin.
3. Baking soda for hair
Have you ever checked the ingredients of your regular shampoo? If yes you can guess what I’m going to say.
Common ingredients of shampoo are Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Recently sulfate free shampoos are coming yet, they contain a lot of chemicals.
Well, what is wrong with sulfate? Sulfate is a very harsh chemical which dries hair very badly. You already know what happens when shampoo goes inside eyes. Our eyes burn so much because of the harsh sulfate content.
We can avoid shampoo completely and use Baking soda to clean our hair. But there will not be any lather 🙁 It will be hard (very hard) to adjust to a life without shampoo.
- Mix Baking soda with 3 portions of water. This might vary depending on hair length. This mixture will be sufficient for medium (shoulder length) hair. If you have long hair increase the quantity of baking soda and mix water accordingly.
- Apply this mixture to every strand of dry or wet hair.
- Massage thoroughly to apply baking soda into hair roots.
- Leave it for a minute then wash with lukewarm water.
- My advice is to wash 3-4 times to remove every single particle of baking soda. Little leftover also might cause dryness, frizzy hair condition.
- Once after this process apply Apple cider vinegar(ACV) to your hair tips. Since baking soda makes hair dry, ACV is necessary to maintain moisturization in hair. If your hair type is dry, apply a little portion of ACV at roots. People with oily scalp can skip applying ACV at roots.
- After 2-3 minutes wash thoroughly.
It might be difficult until your hair adjusts to this new process. Don’t come to conclusion after a single use. You can reduce the quantity of baking soda if hair gats more dry.
4. Baking soda for dark lips
Dehydration, smoking, drinking, sun exposure, pollution etc turn lips darker over a period of time. Using products with cheap chemicals can also cause a lot of damage to the lips.
You are lucky if you have soft, moist, rosy lips. Maintain the same because today most of the people are suffering from dark lips.
As per the research, first upper lip gets pigmented which is also termed as Melasma. This can be lightened using lemon and Baking soda. Remember, this is not a quick solution. If you are looking for an instant solution then better stop searching because there isn’t one. All the home remedies will take their own time to show results.
- Mix baking soda with lemon to make a lightly thin paste.
- Using a toothbrush, smoothly brush this paste on lips in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes.
- Wash thoroughly and apply coconut/almond oil.
Repeat this process daily before going to bed. Baking soda exfoliates the dead skin cells, lemon helps to lighten the dark skin. Overnight moisturization with coconut oil or almond oil leaves lips soft and smooth for the next day.
5. Baking soda for blackheads
Have you ever wondered why blackheads occur more on nose? Because nose is oilier than the rest of our face. When you apply moisturizer or makeup products, it clogs up the hair follicles of nose resulting in blackheads.
Once these blackheads occur they will live forever, they are very stubborn! Whatever you do they never stop coming. You have to maintain a proper skin care routine to keep them away.
Baking soda is a natural cleansing agent which helps to unclog pores. When Baking soda is mixed with Honey or Apple cider Vinegar it can be considered as the best product for skin care.
- Mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.
- Apply this paste on the affected area and leave it for 2-3 mins.
- Wash with lukewarm water.
- Use this method twice a week to get better results.
This paste can also be used like a face scrub to exfoliate dead skin cells.
6. Baking soda for dark under eyes
I have been using glasses for almost 10 years now. Since I wear it all the time I have a slight (Very slight) layer of dark circle. Though they are not noticeable I keep on checking just to make sure that they are not growing!
For dark circles, I prefer Aloe vera & Cucumber which are healthier than Baking soda. Because skin under the eyes is very sensitive. It may get worse if you deal roughly.
If you have black holes around your eye, making you self-conscious then only go for this method.
- Mix few drops of water with Baking soda to make a thin paste.
- Smoothly apply this paste under eyes
- Wash after 2-3 minutes. Don’t leave until Baking soda becomes too dry.
Repeat this process until you get desired results.
7. Baking soda for teeth whitening
There are many reasons why teeth turn yellowish over a period of time. Yellow teeth may occur due to stains that are left over on teeth. Colored foods like pomegranates, sauces, beetroot, strawberries, soft drinks may cause the teeth staining.
Stains can be internal (inside teeth) or external (over teeth). Stains that are not deep can be cleaned effectively using Baking soda.
- Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda with few drops of water. You can use lemon instead of water for more effective results.
- Make it a smooth paste, apply to your teeth using a toothbrush.
- Brush for 2-3 minutes.
- Rinse and repeat the process every day.
If you are too lazy to do this simply add a pinch of Baking soda on toothpaste before brushing. Regular use of this will remove the stain from teeth making it white and shiny.
8. Baking soda to lighten Elbows and Knees
Why our elbows and knees turn dark compared to other parts of the body? Elbows and knees are the joints that help us to stretch our hands and legs respectively. Skin around these parts always keeps on stretching and shrinking depending on movement.
As the skin grows long to help the stretch, dirt and dead skin cells accumulates in between skin making it look dark. There is no need to worry because it is the common thing in people.
I feel more conscious about my dark knees whenever I wear shorts or dresses. Recently I came to know about Baking soda which can help to lighten skin around the elbows and knees.
- Mix Baking soda with milk to make a thick paste.
- Gently scrub this paste on elbows and knees for 5 minutes.
- Wipe clean with wet cloth.
Repeat this process every day to get desired results. This remedy also can be used to lighten dark skin around the neck.
9. Baking soda for darkened gums
Dark gums are caused by tobacco/Nicotine use, improper oral care, health problems, ulcers etc. There is no problem in having dark gums unless you are having pain, swelling, fuss on the gum layer.
Green tea, cloves, sesame oil etc are the effective ways to treat discoloration of gums. Baking soda is more effective than any of these because of its cleaning and exfoliating properties.
Gum discoloration can be avoided by brushing twice in a day, regular dental check-up, healthy oral regime and avoiding smoking and tobacco usage.
- Mix Baking soda with clove oil
- Rub this paste along the gum line
- Leave it for 2-3 minutes
- Wash with warm water
10. Baking soda for dark spots/acne
We have already seen Baking soda facewash. Along with skincare routine, this also can be added to acne treatment. The concern here is, for few people it may worsen the situation by altering the natural PH level of skin.
To reduce the alkaline nature of baking soda, Organic honey can be added. Honey acts like a moisturizer while Baking soda treats breakouts, scars & pimples.
- Combine 1 tbsp of Baking soda to 3 tbsp of Organic Honey
- Add a pinch of Cinnamon.
- Mix well and apply on affected area
- Wash after 5-6 minutes.
Cinnamon dries out any fuss or a pimple. This method can shrink a pimple in an overnight. Use this regularly to fade out dark spots caused by acne.
Disclaimer: As already mentioned Baking soda is very alkaline in nature. It may cause sensitivity, burning, rashes and other side effects. Before using any of the above methods take a sensitivity test. Apply a small portion of water mixed Baking soda on your skin (Behind ears) and check the for any reaction.