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 am frequently covering up my face with makeup. With this time has caused my skin to get really rough. Though I did try to care for my skin through exfoliation using St. Ives and other products they were too harsh on my skin. My skin is extremely sensitive. Then I found the reviews on Baking Soda and I figured I should give a try, though there were several reviews on how harsh this too would be so as a precaution I did the skin patch test my skin didn't produce anything unsightly not even redness. So after dampening my face I used the mixture of baking soda and water (essentially produces a paste) and gently rotated the paste onto my face. However, when applying this I did not apply it all at once I applied it by portions. For instance, on chin for 30 seconds, cheek side 30 seconds, forehead 30 seconds nose 30 seconds. Everything I did approximately at 30-40 seconds. The results were amazing the roughness of my skin vanished I guess I got rid of the excessive gunk. Most importantly my face lost its excessive redness, and I did allow a great deal of time to pass in order to examine the results. I feel like my skin is finally breathing.
If someone truly does have sensitive skin and does wish to give this a try I would recommend:
1) Do the skin patch test first
2) After you believe sufficient amount of time has passed gently apply onto the face by proportions in a timely manner no longer than 30 seconds try to stay in between 30-40 seconds. Each time you gently massage onto face in circular motion to portions of the face, remove it after 30 seconds each time!
When washing the baking powder paste off do not do it with warm water somehow may aggravate skin!
I have been using baking soda for over a year on my face. I usually mix a little bit of water with it and use it as an exfoliate or if I have enough time I'll use the same mixture as a face mask. The only thing about using it as a mask is that once its dried you can't move your face at all because the baking soda just crumbles off. I like to leave it on for 15 minutes tops.
After using the mask my skin always glows and just looks really clean. It feels baby soft and appears more even. I love this so much that every time I travel overseas I buy one wherever I am to use whilst I'm there. The beauty is that its only a couple of dollars (in Australia that is, in the USA I think it was under $1!) and it is so effective! I used to use St Ives Apricot Scrub but this is so much better.
I personally use this about two times a week.
AMEN!!! I'm SO happy I decided to try this as an exfoliator, it's simply amazing and dirt cheap! I recently paid over $50.00 for a dermalogica exfoliator and I want to cry. It doesn't come close to this. I took the advise of threejane, making sure the baking soda/water mix is runny versus pasty, and to be VERY gentle when rubbing it onto the face. I instantly noticed how soft my face felt after rinsing and BRIGHT!!!! Lastly, I noticed this lightened two red marks (from pimples) on my face. For now, I'll do it every 2-3 days. I'm in love.
I loved using baking soda on my face. My face is pretty oily and have lot blackheads mostly on cheeks and chin and whiteheads on cheeks and nose and to mention pores on my cheeks too.
I gave it a try, and holly smokes, I kind of exfoliated my face for like 3 minutes and washed it off with a little cold water. I saw change in my complexion and pores decreased a bit and white heads were not completely gone but you can't notice them unless you get real close. I just let the water dry on it own and didn't even pat dry it. My skin felt smoother and soft.
I would say if your skin is DRY or normal, DO NOT USE IT. Plus, if it dries out your skin a lot, just have some castor oil afterwards. It helps a lot. I like using it every other night, and put castor oil on my face after washing off baking soda. I have noticed my blemishes fading away, and had like plenty of them on my cheeks and now they are just 2 left. I would stick to it along with castor oil.
I guess it depends what type of skin you have. Might want to check it on your hand first before putting anything on face.
Baking soda has so many helpful uses. The way I use it is by sprinkling some on top of my toothpaste before brushing my teeth. This is an EXCELLENT, cheap, & effective whitener. You get a big box (& a little goes a long way), for only about 65 cents. How much cheaper does it get? The only other ways I'd use baking soda are for my hair, for actual baking, or for cleaning purposes. I haven't tried this on my face/skin, but it doesn't sound like a good idea from reading many of the previous reviews.
The only complaint I really have is the packaging. I would like if the box had a secure way of opening & closing, rather than the little punch-out hole/opening on the side of the box that doesn't close at all. This can get messy, easily. Other than that....for 65 cents, I'm not really complaining.