Baking Soda & Acne:
Not only is baking soda an essential ingredient in most cakes and baked goods, but some believe this powder is an effective agent in clearing acne. Here we look at baking soda and acne: its benefits and its limitations.
The benefits of baking soda and acne:
Baking soda is very versatile. Besides fluffing up your pastries and pancakes, it is also an antiseptic and has anti-fungal qualities. So how does it help your skin? Well baking soda is a very effective exfoliant in that it removes the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. This can even help your skin tone and decrease some redness.
Baking soda is a great exfoliant choice if you are avoiding chemicals or synthetic products. It is all-natual: the chemical compound is sodium bicarbonate which can be found dissolved in many mineral springs. In fact the egyptians used it thousands of years ago for washing and bathing.
Finally, baking soda is extremely cheap. You can find it at your local grocery store for under $5.
The negatives of baking soda and acne:
Baking soda may help reduce some symptoms of acne like redness, but in no way does it treat the cause of acne (over-production of oil and bacterial infection). Therefore, it will not decrease your likelihood of breakouts or decrease their severity.
Also, baking soda, like many exfoliants, can cause overly dry skin. If you are prone to dry skin, baking soda is probably not for you.
Lastly, applying baking soda to any open sores will be painful. These could include razor-burn or nicks from shaving, cuts and scrapes, or pimples that you’ve recently popped.
What this means:
If you want an exfoliant that is all-natural, easy to find, and relatively cheap, baking soda could be just what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your acne severity or your frequency of break outs, baking soda just won’t cut it. If you have very mild acne, over-the-counter products like benzoyl peroxide should do the trick. For those with moderate to severe acne, a dermatologist appointment is most likely necessary.
If you want to give it a try, here are the best practices:
- Create a paste to apply to your skin. Mix 1/3 tablespoon of baking soda with a full tablespoon of water (you don’t need much).
- Test for an allergy: apply a small amount to your arm, let is sit for 5 minutes and make sure no reaction occurs.
- If all seems well, use your fingertips to lightly massage the paste onto your face. Continue doing this for about a minute or two.
- Let the past sit on your face for 5 to 10 minutes. It may dry, but don’t worry, it’s still working. Don’t let it sit for much longer or you may risk getting a minor chemical burn.
- Use lukewarm water and your bare hands to rinse off your face. Pat dry with a soft towel.
Baking soda is the bee’s knees when it comes to a natural exfoliant, but for treating acne, look elsewhere.