Baking soda, with its many varied uses, can make a great treatment for acne problems. Sodium bicarbonate is a well documented medicinal component and has many uses in personal hygiene as well. The relative safety of the ingestion and use of this substance make it a perfect addition to a skin care and anti-acne routine. It can be combined with other acne treatments as well. Be it a mask, a shampoo additive, or even just adding some to bathwater, this product can be used as an effective acne and skin care treatment.
What is Baking Soda?
Baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) is a compound with the chemical structure NaHCO3. It’s a white powdery substance that is a solid at room temperature. It’s similar in texture and taste to washing soda (sodium carbonate). It has a huge variety of uses within the home. It makes an excellent fire extinguisher and is capable of easily putting out small grease or electrical fires. It is also used in some dry chemical fire extinguishers. In the kitchen it’s used as a leavening agent, as a method of making vegetables softer when cooking, and as a raising agent in baking. And as the name suggests, it’s used for baking.
There are a number of medicinal uses as well. It’s use as an antacid when mixed with water and ingested to treat ailments like heartburn and acid indigestion. It is also used in order to treat ailments like aspirin overdose (through its alkalinity), acidosis, hyperkalemia, and a number of homeostatic blood conditions including strokes and congestive heart failure.
Does Baking Soda Help Acne?
Baking soda is amphotoric. This means that it can act as either an acid or a base depending on the specific chemical environment it is in. It’s amphotoric nature gives it the useful characteristic of acting as a pH neutralizing compound. It can correct pH imbalances in the skin which may contribute to the formation of acne. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which allow it to alleviate some of the irritation that can be caused by acne inflammation. Finally, since it’s comprised of individual hard and round particles and often has a fine powdery texture, it can be used as an exfoliate.
There are a number of ways to use baking soda to treat acne. Adding two to three grams in a shampoo bottle will get rid of some of the harsher chemicals that can be found in most commercial shampoos. This will leave hair clean while also alleviating some hairline acne issues.
The Baking Soda Acne Mask
A mask can be made and applied to the face that will remove oil and help fight blackheads. This mask can be made easily by combining around eight teaspoons with enough water to form a creamy paste. Clean your face thoroughly and then apply the paste to the skin of the face or onto pimples. Leave the paste on the skin for fifteen minutes or so and then remove it. Moisturize afterwards and repeat a few times a week until the pimples are gone.
If you are looking to buy a specific type, I would recommend Bob’s Red Mill baking soda. It’s a quality gluten-free brand. It’s available for sale in most stores, and also online.