The Beauty of Baking Soda

Like a lot of common kitchen items, baking soda is also a staple in the world of eco beauty. It’s a beautiful example of the simplicity of a natural, healthy beauty routine, as it can replace a slew of skin, hair and body care products, and do just as good (or better) of a job at the task at hand. There are about a zillion uses for the common white powder (many of them are detailed in this handy list), but I’m going to share my two favorite applications with you.

The first is using baking soda as an exfoliating face wash. I’ve only recently come around to this routine, after hearing rave reviews for the last year or two. I finally got around to trying it after a good friend of mine (with gorgeous, glowing skin) confessed to having replaced almost all of her facial products (washes, toners, exfoliants, masks) with baking soda concoctions. I can see why: mixed with a tad of water (one part to three parts baking soda), baking soda does wonders as a skin polisher, makeup remover, slougher, and cleanser. Just stir the two simple ingredients together and rub the pasty mixture on your face in gentle circles. It feels a bit rough on the skin, but no harsher than any store-bought exfoliant you’ve used. Make sure to rinse thoroughly. Using this instead of a conventional face wash earns you extra eco-friendly points, as bicarbonate (baking soda) is easy on the Earth once it’s swirled down the bathroom sink drain.  

My second favorite use of baking soda for beauty won’t come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention to toothpaste labels. Paired with a strawberry, baking soda makes a cheap and effective tooth brightening agent. (I know it may seem counterintuitive to rub a red berry on your white teeth, but strawberries actually contain malic acid, which gives them bleaching abilities.) There are several ways to go about this killer combo. One is to simply rub half a strawberry on your teeth and then brush with baking soda after. Another is to mash up a strawberry and mix it with a dash of baking soda, dip your toothbrush in the mixture and brush. Strawberries do contain sugar (not to mention seeds), so it’s important to brush well with toothpaste after either of these options. Like any tooth whitening exercise, you don’t want to do use this combo too often—throughout my research, I’ve found once a week to be the general max.  

Try these out and I can promise that you won’t think of baking soda as something that only belongs in the refrigerator anymore.