Baking soda is the common name for a chemical compound called sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). It is most famously known for cooking purposes as it reacts with the acidic components of the batter, releasing carbon dioxide which is exactly what gives us a good texture in all our goodies to eat. However, this fine powder is also used for a variety of beauty and health-related purposes. This compound is becoming a growing need in the category of health and beauty. Although baking soda does have side effects, it does work wonders in cleansing skin, hair and nails.
Baking soda has a variety of uses. It’s used for our hair, skin and teeth. It is used as a hairbrush and makeup brush cleaner. Baking soda is even helpful to scrub and exfoliate nails. It is also widely used in pedicures. The rough patches of the elbows and knees can also be smoothened. Other uses of baking powder are to remove blemishes, warts and moles, make the pores larger, among tons of others.
10 home remedies of baking soda mask for skin
- Mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with water, enough to form a paste is really helpful for pimples and acne. Applying this paste for 2-3 minutes and then washing it off with water is said to reduce pimples and acne. Once a day should be fine and reduce the frequency as the pimple subsides.
- Baking soda, along with granulated sugar and water forms a paste that is very useful in removing blackheads. Apply this paste after steaming your face with hot water and after the paste, wash it off with cold water.
- Darkness in the under-arm region can be removed by using a paste of baking soda and coconut oil. Steadily rub the paste in the area and leave it for about 6 mins and rinse it off.
- Using 2 parts baking soda and 1 part water gives a paste that can be used on the face to help whiten and brighten the skin. Apply it in a circular motion and rinse it off after 2-3 mins.
- ¼th cup baking soda combined with 3 tbsp of water and 3 tbsp of vinegar (quantity should be proportionately lesser if being applied to the face), forms a paste that helps in removing tan from the skin. Apply the paste in the required tanned areas and keep it on for 10 mins (2 mins if it is on the face) and wash it off.
- Baking soda can act as an excellent exfoliator when it is mixed with oats and warm water. Apply it on your face, after damping it, in a circular motion and leave it on for 5 mins after which it should be rinsed off.
- Baking soda and cold water are said to help sunburnt skin. Place a cloth in this mixture and dab it on the necessary area of the body. Continue this for about 10-15 mins. Do it twice a day to soothe the burning skin.
- 2 tsp baking soda and ½ tsp coconut oil are also used to treat rashes as baking soda has antibacterial properties. Leave the paste on for 4-5 mins and wash it off till the rashes go away.
- A combination of 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of honey forms a paste that can be used as a face mask for dry skin. The honey moisturizes the skin and lemon juice brightens it up.
- Baking soda acts as a neutralizer when applied instead of antiperspirants as it nullifies the acid and base which causes odour. It is very useful for those with sensitive skin.
10 home remedies of baking soda for hair
- Using baking soda as dry shampoo is known to be quite helpful for last-minute hair washes. Apply it on the roots of the hair and give yourself a nice massage with it on. It absorbs and the excess oil from the scalp and removes it by washing it off.
- Applying a quarter of baking soda along with the regular shampoo helps in enhancing the volume of hair. It gives it a nice bounce.
- Add some scented castor oil to 3 parts baking soda and one part water to not only neutralise the odour of hair but also make it smell great.
- Baking soda is known to fix a swimmer’s chlorine-filled hair. Mixing water and baking soda and using that as a shampoo followed by a conditioner and rinse it off.
- Mixing the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of baking soda to make a paste to get rid of dandruff. Apply it to your scalp and leave it for 3-4 mins and rinse.
- One teaspoon of baking soda on a dollop of shampoo mixed and applied on the scalp helps in eliminating product build-up. Leave it for 3-4 minutes and then rinse.
- Using 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water as a cleansing agent for the hair also helps in hair growth and stops hair loss.
- Baking soda with the juice of ginger, when applied to damp hair can remove dandruff.
- Baking soda and apple cider vinegar combination can sometimes also be used as a conditioner, along with the shampoo.
- Mixing baking soda and corn starch in equal parts can also be used as a dry shampoo to eradicate the foul odour that hair sometimes has.
The human skin is mostly acidic and baking soda being alkaline, a reaction is caused but since it doesn’t affect most people, the use of baking soda is being advertised quite vocally as the days go by. However, those with especially sensitive skin get very affected by this and should avoid the use of baking soda for their skin.
- Baking soda acts as strong a compound for sensitive skin and thus makes the skin very dry. So be sure to moisturize your skin well after using baking soda.
- The treatment of baking soda should not be used more frequently than once or twice a week.
- Before starting anything with baking soda, put a little on your skin before applying liberally (patch test), so that you can test how sodium bicarbonate reacts with your skin type as different people have different types of skin. You can choose to use it or not depending on the result.
- Be sure to note that baking soda is completely different from baking powder and not mix the two.
- If the baking soda combined with water goes into the eyes, wash it off immediately with cold water.
- Try to use baking soda in limited quantities.
- Do not leave it on for a long time, it could damage the hair and scalp.
- Avoid using baking soda for the hair if there are any cuts or wounds on the scalp.
- Drink a lot of water to keep the scalp hydrated.
- After applying the required mixture, wash the hair extremely well to eliminate any trace of baking soda.
- Initially, the hair may seem dry but over time, it regains its moisture and removes any sign of dandruff.
Health Benefits of Baking Soda
- Baking soda helps to eliminate the yellowish stains from teeth and whitens them. Apply a paste of baking soda and water on the teeth for 2-3 mins and wash it off. Do this process once a week.
- This compound is also known to relieve a person from heartburns, acid stomach and gas as this alkaline compound reacts with the acid in the body and neutralize it. It provides a calming sensation.
- Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and treats mild to severe body odour. It absorbs sweat and moisture and has antibacterial properties that destroy the bacteria responsible for body odour.
- Applying the combination of baking soda and warm water on areas with splinters, twice a day, allows the splinters to come out naturally after a few days.
- People with low functioning kidneys should consume baking soda as their kidneys are unable to remove the acid from the body and thus baking soda can help neutralize it and balance the pH level in the body.
- Baking soda has the capability to enhance a person’s performance in physical exercises. The chemical compound absorbs the lactic acid accumulated in the body that causes fatigue and pain thus allowing the individual to stay active for a longer duration and delays the tiredness.
- Baking soda increases the pH of acidic tumours without harming the healthy tissues and cells. The imbalance of pH makes the blood and organs prone to damage, compromising the immune system. Consuming baking soda provides immune support for those with cancer.
- Baking soda can treat ulcers in the body.
- It also relieves a person from insect bites due to its antiseptic nature.
- Baking soda can be used as a mouthwash as it kills the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- On sensitive skin, baking soda can cause a tingling sensation, itchiness and pain.
- Skin can become dry and a source of irritation
- The chemicals attack the skincare barrier which is like the immune system of the skin and lays down a surface that is prone to bacteria.
- If used too much, or for a long time, the skin can lose moisture and increase the chance of being infected.
- Skin is also prone to chemical burns since baking soda is of a higher pH than what the skin can handle. It is too alkaline for human skin.
- If the combination of baking soda is not proportionately sound as per the skin type of the person using it, it can have adverse effects.
- Over a long period of time, with continuous use of baking soda for cleaning hair, the hair tends to become dry and easily breakable.
- Commercial shampoos have natural oils in them like jojoba oil or almond oil that is used to replenish the scalp of oil when washing, but when using baking soda, there is no oil in it and thus the hair doesn’t have a natural shine to it. It can be quite unhealthy in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Should one use baking soda as a facial cleanser?
One can use baking soda as a facial cleanser, however, if there is doubt regarding the effect it has on the skin, then, a patch test can be done to confirm. Otherwise, it’s completely alright for using this pocket-friendly household item as a facial cleanser.
- Can I use these processes on my children as well?
For the consumption of baking soda for children, it’s better to avoid using it on their skin and for hair, do not use it on those who are under 10 years old and for those older, it is advisable to use less baking soda and gradually increase it. Be sure to keep it well away from their eyes.
- Can I continue to style my hair once I start using baking soda for hair?
Yes. Even though you are using the ‘toxin free’ method of washing hair, there is full liberty to style it any way preferable, even the use of hair products is permissible. (Point 6 confirms that baking soda helps in removing product build-up)
- Is baking soda suitable for all hair types?
Except for curly hair, baking soda is known to be quite useful for all other hair types.
- Can I use dry shampoo even if I tend to sweat a lot?
Since is water-soluble, it is advisable to use water to wash your scalp alternatively with dry shampoo.
- Since baking soda helps treat irritation on the skin, can it also settle the irritated skin post waxing?
If waxing peels off the skin, for those with sensitive skin, it is better not to use baking soda as it will worsen the situation, but with others for whom waxing just stings, a bit of baking soda may calm down the shocked skin.