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.
baking soda and a mild cleanser is an excellent gentle yet effective facial exfoliation, it has a comparable granule feeling as microdermabrasion crystals and leaves your skin absolutely glowing and refreshed.
The only face scrub I will use is baking soda. You can buy it at the dollar store for next to nothing, and it does everything a scrub should do. It is extra fine, really exfoliates, and washes completely off. From what I have read, you probably should't use this if you have really sensitive skin. There is simply no point in buying a face scrub when you could just buy this. I also use this in my shampoo when I really need to clarify, but I'm not sure about using it on chemically treated hair. I also use it as a body scrub with whatever soap I'm using.
I'm definitely a skeptic when it comes to using natural or household items as beauty care products, but I have to say using baking soda as a daily facial scrub has changed my life (been using it a year now)! I mix about a teaspoon of it in the palm of my hand with my cetaphil gentle cleanser (which alone didn't do anything for my non inflamed acne) and it works wonders. The baking soda is so fine that is perfectly scrubs my face without being too harsh and washes away SQUEAKY clean (ready for my witch hazel no alcohol moisturizing toner, followed by mandelic serum). My skin used to get dry patches, yet have white heads and black heads too, since using the baking soda in my face wash, my face has transformed. I know using a scrub daily sounds crazy but if you have non inflamed acne like I described it is necessary; Using a gentle scrub allows your topical treatments to penetrate the skin and work.
Wow. I used this before reading the reviews here as a face scrub, I'm kinda disappointed that others have had bad experiences with it. Well, I just dove right in and used it mixed with my usual cleanser, alone, and as a microderm scrub (I tried a concocction that I made up myself by using the soda as a scrub/mask, then applying a mix of lemon juice and honey over it and I swear it works just like those foaming crystal microderm scrubs do, foams up and everything, leaves a glow to skin as well) and I love it so far. Right now I'm piecing together a regimen that uses nothing but cheap natural cupboard products. Oh the money I'd be saving if I could find everything I need at the food store for less than $5!!! So far I'm up to crisco as moisturizer, baking soda as a scrub, and bentonite clay *coughkittylittercough* and variations as masks, and so on. But yeah, if you want to try something similar to say Philosophy's or Olay's microderm scrub try that. So far it works identically.