I grew up with vinegar and baking soda being the best and least irritating cleaning agents for the house, a great additive to toothpaste for whitening and gentle scrubbing, and now I LOVE it as the most gentle scrub for my face. Used as a paste and left on for 5-10 minutes, it will dissolve blackheads (it is basic, while the skin is slightly acidic) or you can use it with organic coconut oil for the cheapest, non drying, and most gentle scrub you have ever tried-even daily use. I can even use soap* after scrubbing.
*I use Skylar Farms Tumeric Oatmeal Goat's milk soap (handmade; get it on Etsy and be amazed. Gentle and super fatted.
Stop paying for expensive scrubs!
Baking soda should be in every household for about a million reasons. It has that many uses. I use it to clean, to do laundry, to wash my face (mixed with a bit of coconut oil as a paste) when I'm out of my usual scrub or wash, I use it to put out kitchen fires, I put it in my bath water sometimes to smooth over my mild psoriasis, I mix it with my toothpaste, I use it with vinegar to unclog minor sink drains. I also add it to shampoos to make a homemade and very effective clarifying shampoo. I take it internally sometimes too, mixing a teaspoonful or so into a cup of hot water gets rid of heartburn and nausea and gas in about 15 minutes. I don't think there's much you can't do with baking soda. If a study came out that showed that this stuff turned sand into gold, made money grow on trees and cured cancer I wouldn't be a bit surprised.
Perfect multi purpose product. As the other reviews state, it is not for sensitive skin. PLEASE bear in mind that baking soda is fairly abrasive on skin - if you find the effect too strong or too harsh, switching to a larger grain, smoother exfoliator would be a better route (ie, sugar or salt).
I use baking soda in my hair to remove smells - most recently, I went camping for 4 days and sat by the campfire every night and several hours of each day. After one wash with shampoo, which normally does nothing in terms of campfire stink, and one wash with baking soda, it smelled like I'd never left home.
I use baking soda on my skin so exfoliate. If I find my skin is getting rough or excessively dry and flakey, I'll get a small palmful and mix it with water to rub over my face and body. Leaves skin super smooth, but be sure to moisturize after! You can also add some to a hot bath and let it work its magic without having the abrasiveness of rubbing it right into your skin.
Great for cleaning and general odor absorption, great for brushing teeth (be careful to your gums and don't brush too hard or too long!), great for skin and hair (leave the ends alone - they're usually dry enough). Price is more than right, easily accessible, and extremely useful in so many ways. Would recommend, would buy again.
IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN DO NOT GO NEAR THIS!!
I tried it after reading countless reviews from various sites recommending the use of baking soda to treat acne, I made the paste and applied it. After about a minute my skin felt like it was burning but I left it on for another five minutes before washing it off.
There was no difference to my skin except it looked like I had stayed out in the sun without suncream for a whole day. It was horrible. My skin was so red and it kept burning even though I had washed all of the baking soda off. Even water felt like it was burning me!
I guess this works quite well for other people but if you are anything like me and your skin is quite sensitive, don't even bother.
First a little background (sorry its long), I used to wear Almay foundation (the blemish clearing type). The only time my combo skin would breakout would be if I left the makeup on too long. Years passed and the Almay company reformulated my dear foundation, including the shade. The new formula was crappy and I could not find the right shade anymore! So I watched a few you tube makeup videos and so many "gurus" raved about revlon color stay whipped and Makeup Forever HD foundations. I fell for their BS and tried it out. Big mistake, my pores looked huge, the makeup settled into very fine lines, I looked old, and the shade was way off, but more importantly, my pores clogged to infinity! So I developed bumps all over my cheeks. Then after 6 months (so sad) I finally decided to look for my discontinued Almay and found it and bought 10 bottles! Meanwhile, my dad says you need to see a derm. immediately! I said no, I don't want to take any antibiotics and soon discovered witch hazel. Tried that morning and night for about a month and my skin purged like crazy, and it hurt too! At this point both my parents and younger sister would look at me in disgust. Then I said ok I'll stop the hazel for now, but I still have faith in it, just no time for the purging reaction to it, since its pretty embarrassing being in your 30s having bad break outs at your new internship! So I then discovered BAKING SODA and WATER mask. SO FAR SO GOOD! Finally! This mixture has polished my skin, got rid of blackheads, shrinks my pores without purging like the hazel, and is fading my acne scars! I don't even wash my face before using this treatment. Steaming would be nice, need to try that next. But I started using baking soda mixed with a few drops of water as a mask for 7 mins 2 nights in a row last week, I saw some results. Then I stopped. A few days later, my sister urged me to try Garnier 3 way cleanser...Big mistake...it dried out my skin badly and it was peeling! So the next night I went back to baking soda mask and all that peeling skin disappeared, and my skin became smooth and normal again! So for 3 days in a row now I have used it and skin is improving, but I think I will try to use it every other day because I don't want to risk it getting irritated, or at the very least, use it as a spot treatment because it works! I will update in the near future!
I've been using baking soda for years. I keep it in a pretty jar in my bathroom. It's my favorite exfoliant. I put a spoonful in my hand, add a little water (sometimes cleanser or glycerin if I want it more creamy, but usually just water) and gently rub into my face. It leaves me totally polished -- all dead skin off but it doesn't strip away the good stuff. I've never found a commercial scrub as good as this, and it's certainly one of the cheapest you can buy. Good for hands & body too. I also brush my teeth with it. Great for travel -- since it's not liquid there's no problem carrying it on.
How did I ever live without this product?? I absolutely credit this (along with a couple of other products) for clearing my acne. I first used it to exfoliate which it does brilliantly and makes my blackheads disappear, no mean feat when I've tried every scrub, salicylic acid wash, clay mask etc out there to get rid of them. However, make sure to use it once every two days to keep them at bay. Recently though I read a review of using it as a face mask. I was a tad sceptical because it is fairly drying, even for my very oily skin but I had broken out badly and nothing was working so I though what the hell! You mix two spoonful's of baking soda (if in England, its called bicarbonate of soda, not baking powder as I thought at first!) with one spoonful of water and apply evenly to a damp face. I wait around half an hour but at first I would start by leaving for ten mins. It does slightly sting at first but this shouldn't feel really bad. Then to wash off I wet my hands so I can scrub a bit before washing it off completely. It leaves my skin so smooth and I have noticed it even fading my stubborn scars. I have been using for a few weeks and have literally got one tiny spot in that time, when usually its a couple of new ones every few days! I use this once or twice a week.
I should also note that I use witch hazel to tone after to clean my pores and tighten them and jojoba oil to moisturise to stop my skin over producing oil and refilling my blackheads!
I never realized how sensitive my skin actually was until I used this as an exfoliant. It took a few tries to get the hang of how to use it efficiently & pain free. Before I'd use it by itself & it really stung my face, to the point I had to wash my face a 2nd time with oatmeal in order to soothe it. I was under the impression that it was milder than using Aspirin but I was unfortunately incorrect! I found that the best way is to just add it to my cleanser(Simple refreshing Facial Gel) After I already have my cleanser sudsy on my face. If I add it to the cleanser before putting it on my face, it gets too thick. So I mainly scrub around my nose avoiding my cheeks. Its the most gentle way for me & I can do it everyday without problems. It actually doesn't feel like much of a scrub but my face feels clean & smooth after. Keep in mind I wear face makeup everyday so it helps to really get the stuff off.
Edit *June 2014*: I don't use this stuff on my face anymore (I think there are gentler ways for me to exfoliate), and it's WAY too strong (alkaline) for my hair. I find that I enjoy mixing this with Dr. Bronner's Castille Soap when cleaning my brushes. Especially my foundation brushes, this has really changed everything!!! And every week, I like to deep clean my hair tools with this. So it's used mainly for cleaning, and NEVER on my body!!!!
As I was searching for home made face mask, I came across a recipe for a scrub using baking soda. It's the best thing I have ever used. I have extremely oily skin. I have notice that it has even control my oil. It's lighten my complexion, it's more smooth. My skin is so thick, and blackhead prone. I have really noticed the difference, and other people have too. I use it as a face scrub everyday. I have not had any problems or allergies to it.
I used to use this a lot and used to work on my skin but then a few weeks ago i used this mask and i was about to take it off and i saw that my face was bright red and was so dry and tight and my face was burning. It took so long for my face to get back to normal. Do not recommend this at all!