Beauty Uses For Baking Soda! Why is this a thing?

Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda is an alkaline powder that most people would use to bake, clean their silverware or deodorise the fridge. It can also be used to give you brightened, smooth skin and shining hair. Who knew!?

What is baking soda?

Baking soda is also known as Sodium Bicarbonate. It is a salt comprised of both sodium and bicarbonate ions. Baking soda is basic or alkaline and is used as a leavening agent to help your cookies or cakes rise.

You have probably heard of baking powder as well. There is a difference between baking SODA and baking POWDER. Baking soda is simply bicarbonate of soda whereas baking powder contains bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch. You want to use baking soda as a beauty treatment, not baking powder.

According to Brightnest:
Around 3500BC 
Bicarbonate of soda dates back to Egyptian times. Ancient Egyptians used natron which contains bicarbonate of soda as a soapy cleansing agent and even as one of many ingredients in the mummification process.
In 1843 Alfred Bird created baking powder to help his wife who was allergic to yeast.
In 1927 women’s magazines begin to promote baking soda as a useful and natural product in the home.
In 1970 Arm and hammer sponsors the first Earth Day where baking soda is promoted as an eco-friendly cleaning product.

Careful with baking soda

  1. Baking soda is basic and will neutralise the acid mantle on the skin if used too often which can cause breakouts and skin irritation.
  2. Baking soda can irritate and dry sensitive skin especially on the face or if used on the armpits.
  3. It is easy to over exfoliate with baking soda so don’t use it more than once or twice a week or it will cause redness and irritation as well as dry patches.
  4. Always moisturise your skin after using baking soda.

Beauty uses for Baking soda

baking soda

Why use baking soda?

  • Antibacterial and antifungal
  • Controls oil
  • Astringent
  • Exfoliating
  • Mild bleaching properties
  • Absorbs and removes odours
  • Softens hard skin and calluses
  • Removes product buildup

For your skin:

Spot treatment:
Make a paste out of baking soda and a little water. Apply it to individual spots to dry them out and exfoliate away dead skin cells and sebum. You can also add a drop of tea tree oil to the paste for extra bacteria killing power. Leave the paste on for 15 minutes then rinse away with warm water.

baking soda acne

Oily Skin
1/2 cup baking soda – removes excess sebum
2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar – balances the skin’s PH and kills bacteria
Combine the ingredients to form a paste and apply to your T-zone or other oily areas. Leave on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm, then cool water.

Dark Spots / Pigmentation
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Make a paste and apply to individual scars or dark spots. This is quite a strong mixture so only use it on individual areas and not the whole face.


For larger areas:
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 mashed strawberry
1/2 a banana
Wash and steam your skin. Leave your skin slightly damp. Mash the ingredients together and apply it to your hyperpigmentation. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with warm water.

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup rose water
1/2 cup plain water
Mix the ingredients together in a bottle and use it as a toner on a cotton pad instead of your usual product up to twice a week. Baking soda helps to control oily areas and make pores appear smaller.

baking soda glowing skin

Glowing Skin
2 tablespoons mashed papaya or banana – brightens the skin
1 tablespoon baking soda
Apply the paste to your skin for 5 to 10 minutes. If you feel any burning then remove it immediately. Remove the mask with warm water and splash your face with cool water.

Body Scrub
1/2 cup coffee grounds
1/2 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine the ingredients in a plastic bowl and take it into the shower with you. Wash your body carefully until your skin is warm. Use the scrub on knees, elbows and rough areas then work around the rest of your body in circular motions. Rinse away and use a good moisturiser or oil after your shower.


1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup hot water
Combine the oats and hot water and leave to cool until warm to the touch and thickened. Add the baking soda and mix into a paste. You can also add some rose essential oil for a pleasant scent and it’s softening properties. Use in the shower to scrub your body and rinse off.

baking soda underarms

Lighten Dark Areas and Underarms
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine the ingredients to form a paste and apply it to dark underarms or dark neck skin. It can also be used to treat darkened skin in the bikini area. Gently scrub the skin and leave on for a few minutes. Use twice a week to see results.

For your hair

aloe vera hair

Clarifying Shampoo
Simply add a teaspoon of baking soda to your usual shampoo. Not the kind with built-in conditioner though. Wash your hair as usual and rinse with warm then cool water.

Clarifying Rinse
2 litres of warm water – More or less depending on the length of your hair
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
Combine the ingredients and take the container into the shower with you. Wash your hair with your usual shampoo and rinse. Use the baking soda solution to rinse your hair once or twice. Gently massage your scalp with the solution. This will also help if you have dandruff to loosen dead skin. Rinse with warm water.


baking soda nails

Hand & Nail Scrub
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Make a paste out of the ingredients. Apply it to your hands and scrub, focusing on any dry areas and cuticles. You can also use it to scrub the nails. Leave it on for 5 minutes then rinse with warm water.

Nail Discoloration Remover
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 old toothbrush
a little water to make a paste
Don’t use too much water. You want to paste to be quite dry. Dip the tip of your toothbrush in the mixture and gently scrub the nail and cuticles with it. Do this twice a week to get rid of discolouration due to brightly coloured nail polish.

Fungal Nail Infections
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 drops tea tree oil
a few drops of water
Apply the paste to the infected nail and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. You can use this up to 3 times a week until the infection goes away.

For Your Feet

baking soda feet

Foot Deodorant
Soak your feet in a basin of warm water with:
3 tablespoons baking powder – removes oil and odours
5 drops tea tree oil – kills bacteria
1 tea bag – tannins help to remove and prevent odours
5 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Shoe Deodoriser
Simply sprinkle a tablespoon of baking powder in sweaty or smelly shoes and leave overnight. Shake the shoes out before wearing them again.

Callouses and Rough Patches
In a basin of warm water combine:
3 lemon slices
1/2 cup baking soda
5 drops lavender essential oil
Soak your feet in the solution for 5 minutes then use a pumice stone or more baking powder to scrub rough patches or heels. You can also use sugar to scrub your feet. Rinse in warm water and dry your feet properly.

Other uses for Baking Soda

baking soda teeth

Teeth Whitening
You can add a little baking soda to your usual toothpaste or use a little baking soda on a toothbrush to gently scrub your teeth in circular motions. This can be done up to twice a week.

Bug Bites
Make a paste out of baking soda and a little water. Apply the paste to individual bug bites and leave on for up to ten minutes or until the itching stops. Rinse away with warm water.

Mouth Ulcers
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 mug warm water
Swish the solution around in your mouth to relieve the pain and swelling of mouth ulcers. Spit out and rinse your mouth with clean water.

As I said before, be careful with baking soda. It is a natural “chemical” that can be quite drying. It’s great if you struggle with oily skin and large pores but dry skin can be too sensitive.

Happy Brightening and Scrubbing!

Lots of love,


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