For a facial scrub, this actually makes my skin condition worse. I don't know why I listened to Paula Begoun's advice on using this as a gentle scrub. Well this was a bad idea for my skin type but it might work for someone else. I do use it to clarify my hair, as a body exfoliant, a foot scrub (when mixed with castor oil), and an occasional toothpaste.
My skin is dry and sensitive. AHAs, BHAs, and retinols are too strong for my skin.
I discovered that baking soda is a wonderful exfoliant. Once or twice a week, I mix baking soda into my lotion cleanser and gently massage it onto my skin in a circular motion, avoiding any red or irritated spots.
After rinsing, my skin feels clean and smooth and ready to absorb my serum and cream.
There is a lot of trial and error associated with using baking soda as your shampoo. (not just adding it to regular shampoo) I toyed around with this a while ago and I think the main reason I stopped was purely because of the convenience of regular shampoo. The "no poo" method, which a lot of people call this requires a bit of dedication. There is an adjustment period for your hair because it continues to produces the oil that was previously being stripped away by your regular shampoo. To cope with this transition period I used dry shampoo and even baby powder (I think dry shampoos are just aerosol baby powder)
I had very thick hair which was falling out, one of the reasons I started using this, which I must say has halted a fair amount of hair loss. Also I have curly hair that I sometimes straighten and this works either way.
the ratio of baking soda to water is really up to your hair type and how dirty it is but you NEED to dilute it. You can make a paste from it or dilute it entirely and make more of a rinse. Either way the key is to massage it into your scalp and rinse well with warm not hot water. If your hair is really dry put some conditioner on your ends before you use the baking soda. Once you get your own personal recipe down, you'll notice the difference. I not longer get dandruff in the winter, I save a ton of money. My hair looks and feels great. It no longer falls out in massive clumps. It even holds styles better. Oh and, I know a lot of people buy their shampoo based on scent sometimes, my hair doesn't smell bad at all but you can add your own essential oils if its a concern for you.
My routine consists of washing my hair 2-3 times a week with a 5oz bathroom cup of baking soda water. I put a little in the bottom of the cup and dilute it with water before I get into the shower. I generally only pour the mixture on my scalp, unless I have used a fair amount of product I make a thin paste for my scalp and the water rinse for my ends. I follow up with just a little conditioner on my ends. If I know I will be wearing my hair curly that day I use a light leave in conditioner. I hope this helps anyone that wants to try this method.
When used CORRECTLY, this is a miracle treatment. I had gotten to the point where I was completely fed up with drugstore, prescription, and high-end products that did NOTHING to improve my skin condition. (I have oily, sensitive, acne-prone skin.) So I essentially got rid of my whole medicine cabinet, and replaced everything with natural treatments, either homemade, or store-bought with minimal, healthy ingredients. I had been reading about using this as a scrub, and I am so glad I tried it. Just mix about 1/2 teaspoon with water, after cleansing, and scrub lightly in circular motions, then rinse. Not only were the flakes and blackheads gone (!!!), but my face continued to clear up after this one-time use (and the use of my other homemade treatments, including lemon juice, honey, oatmeal, egg-whites, etc.). It left my skin so incredibly smooth and "clean" feeling. It felt soft, not tight or dry. Immediately after, I used a non-alcohol natural toner, and moisturized with grapeseed oil.
Here's a tip: DO NOT USE MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK. This is incredibly abrasive and should only be used once a week at most. Also, be sure to follow up with toner and moisturizer.
I use baking soda for both my skin and my hair.
For Skin: I have acne prone skin, and was getting really fed up using expensive products and harsh chemicals. I have also recently tried to make a shift to all cruelty free products, so this too has limited the types of things that I put on my skin. It took a while for my face to adjust to cruelty free face washes, and my acne was becoming worse. Then I discovered that adding baking soda to my face wash not only produced a scrub but prevented further breakouts! I lather up with my face wash and apply it to my face, then I mix about a tsp of baking soda with a little water and scrub over my face wash layer. Wash it off and have smooth wonderful skin! It does dry out your face a little, so proper moisturizing afterwards is required.
For Hair: My switch to cruelty-free shampoos came with mild dandruff. I didn't want to cave on the whole cruelty free thing, but was grossed out by the dandruff. Baking soda came to the rescue again! I add about a tablespoon of baking soda to my shampoo. It not only increases the lather, but also leaves hair squeaky clean. Again, it is really drying so you NEED to use a good conditioner afterwards. I also finish my shower with an ACV rinse. The combination has left me dandruff free for over three months now.
Just two of several really wonderful uses for baking soda. I will suggest though that you purchase your baking soda from Whole Foods or another organic store and look for the type that says "aluminum free" baking soda. Aluminum intake has been shown to have some bad health effects, and since your body absorbs the stuff you put on it, might as well play it safe.
EDIT: I've had to stop using this on my hair because it started to bleach my hair! It was great at keeping dandruff away, but i didn't like that it highlighted my pitch black hair with red streaks. Still great for my face, but I try not to get it into my hair when I wash it off.
I have been using this 3 or so times a week for the past month. I don't really think my acne has improved, however baking soda does a good job of exfoliating, and of course it's great that it's natural. I just put some in with my cleanser and add some water. It does just as good of a job as other exfoliators I've tried and costs way less.
Okay, first of all, I've had problematic skin for a while. After going off of birth control, I've had blemishes and my pores seemed to get wider, which I am severely obsessive compulsive about. I hate large pores more than blemishes. My acne was mostly an androgen problem. I've tried a lot of products with Benzoyl Peroxide in them and though they worked somewhat, it seemed that it was never a permanent fix. Sadly, ProActiv did nothing for me, and I spent $70 on it.
I finally went to my Family Doctor to ask her for advice. She does a few seminars a week on women's beauty. She told me to wash my face with baking soda. She told me it would make my face more alkaline. This actually made sense to me, so I went ahead and tried it.
I've only been using this for two days, a total of three times so far, and it's already working wonderfully. I was very surprised. I've been cleansing my face with St.Ives apricot face scrub (the original one for me, I don't have sensitive skin) and then mixing a little bit of water with a bit of baking soda. I never really measure the amount, I just sort of eye-ball it. I leave it on for 15-20 minutes and then wash it with warm water. I immediately wash my face again with very cold water-- this closes the pores and is an astringent, apparently. My pores are smaller and less noticeable. I've been watching them very carefully with my 2x mirror. They are less deep and starting to disappear. My skin looks much better. I've read other reviews on here that claim that this can make the skin feel dry, but I haven't had that experience. It feels tight, but dehydrated. I'm really happy with baking soda. It's also very cheap, which is always a good thing. Try a patch of this on your skin, and if you're not allergic to it, TRY IT. It may save you money and time in the long run.
Update: I've been using this for a couple weeks. It is making a huge difference on my skin. I'm very happy with it.
I, too, use a bit of baking soda in my shampoo. Really works, however, I have also tried it straight up as a shampoo and it wrecked my hair! It became a straw like tangled mess, not to mention that I had chunks of it falling out! I also like to rinse with a vinegar/water rinse.
I have been using baking soda as a body scrub for several years now. It is good stuff; better than the St Ives Apricot scrub with AHA that I recently picked up just for a change. I take a small bowl of baking soda into the shower with me and mix a little into my Trader Joe's Citrus shower gel. Leaves my skin smooth. On areas that are a little rougher (elbows and feet), I increase the proportion of baking soda to gel (about half and half). Just like anything else, don't overdo it.
Add a tsp to your regular shampoo and it degunks better than a clarifying shampoo.