How to Use Baking Soda for Gorgeous Face and Skin

How to Use Baking Soda for Gorgeous Face and Skin
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Baking soda (aka Sodium Bicarbonate) is an all-natural wonder agent that can do literally hundreds of things around the house far more effectively than conventional (and more expensive) cleaning products.


I’ve already written on how to use baking soda as a kitchen medicine and on how to whiten your teeth in 3 minutes using baking soda. But did you know that it can also make an effective edition to your regular beauty regime? Read on to find out the best beauty uses for baking soda and how to use it for gorgeous face and skin.

Baking Soda: Physical vs. Chemical Exfoliation

The skin is the largest organ of the human body and it renews itself on a regular basis. As old skin cells die and flake off while new ones replace them.

Exfoliation simply helps this process along; by removing the dead cells from the surface of the skin it helps the new, healthy ones appear at the surface. A good exfoliant has to be effective enough to remove the old cells but not so harsh that it damages the newer growth underneath.

Although there are many different exfoliants on the market they fall into two broad categories:

  • Chemical exfoliants such as Alpha Hydroxy Acid that work by burning away the top layers of skin.
  • Physical exfoliants (like brushes or scrubs) on the other hand remove the skin cells from the top layer by physically scraping them off.

Baking soda falls under the category of physical exfoliants. It works by physically removing the top layer through the abrasive action of the particles within the baking soda mix. What makes it especially effective is that it is a fine, yet hard powder, making it highly effective at removing the dead skin cells without causing excessive irritation.

How To Use Baking Soda for Your Skin

Baking soda is so versatile that you can use it as either a daily cleanser, as an exfoliator or even as a face mask.


Although many people swear by the use of baking soda on their faces and claim that using it makes their skin look younger, there are also other people who report that they have suffered side effects from this popular home remedy. Before using baking soda for your skin, please make sure to read the section at the end of this article: “Precautions you should be aware of “.

Baking Soda Face Wash

Baking soda can be used as a facial cleanser to remove dead skin cells, oil or dirt from the skin. This helps to unclog pores and prevent skin conditions such as acne.

To make a baking soda face wash simply take some baking soda and place it in the palm of your hand. Add some warm water and mix to form a paste. Generally a ratio of two parts baking soda to one part water works best but experiment to find a consistency that works for you.

Dampen your face with warm water and then gently, using your fingertips apply the baking soda paste all over your face before rinsing thoroughly with warm water and then patting dry.

For more DIY face wash ideas read the article: How to Get Great Skin With These Top Homemade Facial Cleansers.

Baking Soda and Coconut Oil

I’ve already mentioned that coconut oil is a natural moisturizer for the skin (this is one of the ten reasons you should keep it in your bathroom). Coconut oil helps to soften the skin and is especially beneficial for dry skin. It may also help to treat eczema due to its anti inflammatory properties. And it is also one of the natural ways for treating razor burns and possibly razor bumps.

A paste of baking soda and coconut oil makes a natural and gentle exfoliator for the face.

You first need to know what your skin type is. For more sensitive skin, use at least a 2:1 ratio of coconut oil to baking soda (2 parts of coconut oil for every part of baking soda). If your skin is not sensitive, you can use a 1:1 ratio (equal amounts of coconut oil and baking soda).


Simply mix the ingredients together and apply to your skin, wet or dry. You can leave it on as a mask for a few minutes for an even deeper conditioning treatment, or simply wash off with warm water using gentle circular motions.

Baking Soda and Lemon Face Mask

The combination of baking soda and lemon is a powerful mixture to alkalize your body but this combination can also benefit your face!

Lemons are packed with vitamin C and citric acid, which naturally disinfect skin and remove oil.  Their natural acids can gently exfoliate and cleanse oily skin, leaving it toned and even.

Liquid lemon juice can penetrate buildup and remove impurities, leading to tighter, cleaner skin less prone to breakouts. Lemon juice is one of the best natural remedies for age spots and hyper-pigmentation.

You can combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of granulated brown sugar in a cup. Stir until the ingredients are evenly blended, and then apply the scrub to damp, just-cleansed skin. Massage the skin gently with your fingers, concentrating on dry patches or problem areas. Let the mask soak in for 10 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water.

Alternatively you can add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your baking soda face wash mixture to create a mask that will help to brighten and tighten your skin. You can also experiment with this turmeric face mask for glowing skin.

Exfoliate with Baking Soda

You can simply take the face wash mixture and use it gently to buff your face in circular movements before buffing it off with warm water and patting dry.

Alternatively you can make a thinner paste (equal parts baking soda and water) and then add a small amount of ground oats (about 1/6th of the baking soda mixture). Apply the paste with your fingertips using a circular, massage, motion.

This recipe can also help with dark circles under eyes – apply it below your eyes to gently exfoliate this area, but avoid contact with the eyes. Your skin will look fresh and new. If you have puffy eyes you can also try these 7 natural ways to get rid of puffy eyes, or use this one natural ingredient to diminish under eye bags.


Adding Baking Soda to Other Products

If you want to reap the benefits of baking soda but like the way your other products work, you can simply add a little bit of baking soda (about ½ to 1 teaspoon) to your ordinary cleansing or treatment product.

Baking Soda Acne Treatment

Baking soda makes an excellent base for an acne treatment, particularly when combined with another all-natural wonder product – witch hazel! I’ve already written about the ten genius uses of witch hazel for a great health. Combining the two will help soothe and treat breakout spots as well as reduce blackheads and shrink pores.

Baking Soda Make-up Remover

Simply replacing the water in the original recipe (above) with olive oil (which is one of the best oils for your skin) produces an effective and non-irritating make up remover. Just dab a cotton wool pad in the mixture, swipe across your face and watch even the most stubborn make up disappear.

Precautions You Should Be Aware Of

Although many people swear by the use of baking soda on their faces and claim that using it makes their skin look younger, there are also other people who report that they have suffered side effects from this popular home remedy. For this reason it makes sense to apply caution when using baking soda and being aware of potential problems.

Baking soda is effective as an exfoliant and facial treatment because of the huge number of small but abrasive particles. The chemical within baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is, however, quite alkaline while the human skin is naturally acidic.1

Many successful commercial facial exfoliants and cleansing products are also alkaline – and for many people this does not cause a problem. Some people with sensitive skin do, however, find that they do not tolerate alkaline cleansers and products particularly well.

Baking Soda – Common side effects

If you notice any unusual side effects, you should stop using baking soda to cleanse your face. Commonly reported side effects for those with sensitive skin include tingling, itchiness, smarting or generally painful skin. Some people report that their skin feels dryer when using baking soda or more prone to irritation.


What to do

If you are sensitive to ordinary, off the shelf products, you should consider trying a small ‘patch’ test before using it all over your face.

If you notice any of the side effects listed above (or, indeed, any other unusual problems) you should stop using baking soda. Some people with sensitive skin find that they can tolerate a baking soda face wash and sometimes even an exfoliant but cannot use it as a face mask as it dries the skin too much. The key is to find what works for you.

Some people report that applying an acidic ‘toner’ such as apple cider vinegar to the face after cleansing or exfoliating with baking soda helps to keep the side effects at bay. Others report that this does no more than alleviate the impact of the damage of the baking soda but does not prevent it.

Others suggest using distilled water to mix with the baking powder. In areas where the tap water is untreated it is probably not an issue. If, however, you live somewhere where the water is treated with chemicals such as chlorine or fluoride, you might prefer to use an alternative water source to prevent chemical reactions occurring in the mixture that might cause problems for your skin.

If you have a sensitive skin or feel that baking soda over-dries your skin, you can also follow up the baking soda applications with a good moisturizer soon afterwards.

Other Natural Skin Treatments

There are many other natural alternatives to baking soda that you may want to consider:

Turmeric beauty masks

Turmeric beauty masks have been used across Asia for centuries. They are known in Chinese and Indian traditions, and are an element of the Ayurvedic medical system. It is very easy to make a turmeric face mask and you can get the recipe is my article on how to make a turmeric face mask for glowing skin, acne, rosacea, eczema and dark circles.

Apple cider Vinegar (ACV) for your face

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has amazing health benefits and you can use it to treat skin problems such as age spots, acne, pimples as well as other skin conditions. Get more information in my article on why you should wash your face with ACV.

Aloe vera for your skin

Aloe vera’s moisturizing potential leaves the skin well-hydrated. The plant’s antioxidants include vitamins E and C and beta carotene, which fight free radicals in the body, and ward off the aging process. Your skin will be grateful if you regularly apply aloe vera gel. Learn how to use aloe vera for your skin.

Honey face masks

One of the many health benefits of honey is the way it can help treat acne, reduce the appearance of pimples, scars, and blemishes and generally improve the skin appearance. It’s very simple to make honey face masks in order to enjoy all the healing benefits of honey. I have already mentioned the top 10 honey face masks for all skin types.

Rice water for your skin

Rice water, is the water that is leftover after washing off rice in preparation for eating. It can be concentrated or diluted and even fermented to bring out most of its benefits. It contains nutrients that can fortify hair and renew skin when used as a facial wash or hair rinse. You can read a detailed article on how to use rice water for gorgeous hair and skin.

Read these related articles:
1. How to Get Rid of Pimples: Top 12 Natural Ways
2. How to Get Rid of Acne Scars Naturally
3. This Paste Can Suck Out Toxins Through The Pores Of Your Skin
4. The Most Effective Homemade Acne Face Masks

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63 Responses to How to Use Baking Soda for Gorgeous Face and Skin

  1. anam says:

    Baking soda has a amazing results.i am using since from 1 month .
    All my dark spots acne mark an blemishes has disappear an all above my dark circles around the eyes has become lighter.

  2. mattea mateo says:

    I want to learn more the benefits and uses of baking soda

    • Jenny says:

      You can use the “search” option in the website (upper right hand side or at the bottom in some mobile devices) to find more information.

  3. Karen St.John says:

    I use regular cinnamon spice to wash my face.Just dampen my face with water,sprinkle some cinnamon in my hand and rub gently all over my face and rinse off with water. It’s a gentle exfoliant and non drying.It leaves a little tingling feeling,but that goes away quickly.I don’t use anything else to wash my face. It’s great!

  4. Sara says:

    yap baking soda rlly does wonders..
    i nw feel sooo great bze all d scars wch were on ma face were done with it’s paste

  5. Adria says:

    Baking soda is absolutely the wrong pH for skincare. The skin has a natural acid mantle to protect itself in the 4.5-5.5 range, which is acidic. Baking soda is around 9, which is a base. Using baking soda on the skin leaves it vulnerable to bacteria, viruses, infection, drying, etc.. Please, when you hear about amazing stories of a healthcare, beauty, or skincare regime, remember to research the opposing view too. In this way, folks can make a more well-informed choice.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Adria, the first thought I had when I read your comment is why using soap to wash our bodies? After all soap has an alkaline pH. And here I think you’ve missed an important point. The whole point with using baking soda for skin is not to over-do it and to use it sensibly, like many other good things, and this is why I’ve added the section of “Precautions You Should Be Aware Of” to this article. Many successful commercial facial exfoliants and cleansing products are also alkaline – and for many people this does not cause a problem. Some people with sensitive skin do, however, find that they do not tolerate alkaline cleansers and products particularly well. And for these people baking soda might not be the best option. But for many other people using baking soda for a short period of time once or twice a week will not cause any issue, vice versa. As I’ve said in the article, if you are sensitive to ordinary, off the shelf products, you should consider trying a small ‘patch’ test before using baking soda all over your face, and if you notice any of the side effects listed in the article (or, indeed, any other unusual problems) you should stop using baking soda. Some people with sensitive skin find that they can tolerate a baking soda face wash and sometimes even an exfoliant but cannot use it as a face mask as it dries the skin too much. The key is to find what works for you. So I think my article balances very well the precautions of using baking soda on the skin so the readers can make an informed decision.

  6. Davidson tevi says:

    Baking soda has amazing results.

  7. krishana says:

    Can I used cream after used it

  8. Bhawna bhatt says:

    Yesterday i applied baking soda on my face and its looks very bright and clean but when i woke up today i saw small small pimples on my head only…and now i am confused that is it of baking soda or something else as i am having pimples on my head only not on the whole face..should i continue the use of baking soda??

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I would wait until the tiny pimples disappear and give it another try. On the second trial make sure to apply a moisturizer after removing the baking soda application. If it happens again, don’t use it.

      • Bhawna bhatt says:

        Ok thnku and yes when i applied it,my skin was little bit burning also…its happens with everyone?

        • Jenny Hills says:

          Every person is different, and it might be that baking soda applications are not suitable for your skin. If so, you can try other applications such as this turmeric face mask or honey face masks.

          • Abime says:

            I applied baking soda.nd my skin feels really smooth.but I think it’s burning alil.i sincerely like Wat my skin looks now. Should I continue?

          • Jenny Hills says:

            When applying baking soda it should be for a short period of time. You may need to experiment with even a shorter period of time or reduce the frequency of using baking soda. Also you must always follow with a moisturizer after removing the baking soda. If you find that baking soda application is not suitable for you, you can find alternative facial masks that don’t contain baking soda, such as this turmeric face mask or these honey face masks.

  9. Paula says:

    I really appreciate this article. Its really educative.please I want to know if baking soda is the same thing as bicarbonate of soda,secondly ,can I mix baking soda together with turmeric for facial mask and I have dark circles round my eyes and black patches on the sides of my skin,can this mixture clear it permanently, if not could recommend a better remedy.thank you

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Baking soda is also called bicarbonate of soda. The use of turmeric for creating a more even skin tone is well known in the East. You can refer to the popular recipe for turmeric face mask in this article (the recipe does not include baking soda).

  10. Saleha says:

    Hi jenny
    Can u please tell me does baking soda dries skin as i have combination skin…does it make your skin dry ?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      As I’ve written in the section of “Precautions You Should Be Aware Of”, baking soda may not be suitable for everyone. If you are sensitive to ordinary, off the shelf products, you should consider trying a small ‘patch’ test before using it all over your face.

  11. nerissa pagulayan says:

    that baking soda make whitter our face in how long it takes to use

  12. James says:

    Is it safe to use baking soda mixing it with my face wash I do this twice a week am trying to remove my dark spot.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I think that for lightening hyper-pigmentation and creating a more even skin tone, you’d better try this turmeric face mask (see recipe HERE). However if the spot is very dark, home remedies will not do the job and you will need to consult with a dermatologist.

  13. Alpha-gal says:

    First let me say, great article! I have been reading some of the comments and Questions and I think I might be able to help…..1) Though there are many skin types and they react differently to things, there are a few things that most every skin type is going to react to the same way. And one is when you start a new “pore cleansing remedy” most everybody is going to have a few flare-ups of acne for the fist few uses. This is due to the active agents getting into your pores and pushing out the “yucky stuff”, cleaning them out. My advice if this happens, Be Patient, continue to the treatments and observe after a few treatments if it is not getting any better then stop use. 2) For the ones that have tried it and say that it feels like a “tingling that is a little irritating, like scrubbing to hard causes (not a reaction)”, try mixing the baking soda with Coconut oil and then apply the mixture to your face and see if that helps. Now…I’m not talking about the ones that are having a reaction to the product itself, if you are having a reaction you should stop using it immediately (consequently if you do find yourself having a reaction to it, applying coconut oil to the irritated area can help soothe it as well) Anyways, this is what I do for my very sensitive combination adult acne-prone skin 2 times a week….mix baking soda & coconut oil and exfoliate my skin at night. Then the next morning I use my Honey and Coconut oil mixture to wash my face (like every morning) and I works great! The other nights I use my oil cleansing mixture of Avocado oil and Castor oil. But like everything, you have to find the right things that work for your skin through research, trial & error! Hope this helps!

  14. Amir says:

    Hi I loved the artical.
    But my question is that. Can I apply baking soda during the night and wash it off in Morning. Is ok to leave it on the skin while I sleep ?? Hope I make sense

    • Jenny Hills says:

      No. Don’t leave baking soda overnight or for a long period of time. It will irritate the skin and over-dry it. It’s not suitable for such long periods of time.

      • johnrio.escultor says:

        How many times a week can I used baking soda,if my skin is acne prone?or baking soda suitable for me? reply is needed tnx.

        • Jenny Hills says:

          There are no “set rules” as per how many times per week you can use baking soda. You need to experiment and see what works for you and how your skin feels. You can try 2-3 times per week and see how your skin reacts. Please remember that using baking soda may dry the skin so you need to follow it with a moisturizer.

  15. Kavitha says:

    Hi jennyi am having marriage in 3 months i am having dark patches all over my neck and some on my both sides of my face.i use soap to clean my face can i try baking soda mixture after cleaning my face with many time should i use this in a week will it gives best result in 3 months.

  16. Rima roy says:

    I want to b fair mam so Wat I have to do ….my skin is oily n I’m using fair n lovely my complexion nt so much black bt still I want to b fair more so please mam give some advice to me please please please

  17. chy says:

    Hi jenny pls how do handle my sensitive with rashes and uneven tone. A friend told me she mixes baking soda and oil in her cream,Do u thing it will ok fir my sensitive skin and how safe is it?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      If you have sensitive skin and an uneven skin tone, I wouldn’t use baking soda. I would try this turmeric face mask – click Here.

  18. Judy m says:

    Sodium bicarbonate is the same with baking soda..can I use it on my face which is oily and having same pimples..

  19. Ndane says:

    Hello I have pimples and ance and just started to used baking of soda and I want to put it overnight to sleep with this ance has been there for long and it disappeared and appear so I don’t really know what it can cure it

  20. Grace Aloga says:

    nice article,am going to try it right away, I also have dry skin, what can I use to more it soft and glow.

  21. Hasina says:

    Hi. Can one mix the baking soda with the turmeric mask

  22. Neha says:

    Hi, I have a dry skin and on my legs and hands I got a ingrowth hair and bumps on both the places. And my hand area and back s getting darker day by day and on legs I have dark pores and ingrowth… What should I do to get rid of all this problem. Should I use baking soda to reduce it on daily basis??

    • Jenny Hills says:

      If you have ingrown hairs and have dry skin with dark patches you can use a simple sugar scrub: Mix 2 tbsp. raw sugar with 1 to 2 tbsp. natural oil such as extra virgin olive oil. To help lighten the skin you can add to the mix the juice of half a lemon. Make sure that the sugar is as fine as possible and not too coarse. Apply to the affected areas with circular movements and leave for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Repeat this once or twice a week to reduce the chance of ingrown hair.

  23. grace says:

    Hi maam, is it good to apply baking soda mixed with lemon juice in removing scars? answer pls

    • Jenny Hills says:

      Hi Grace, the older the scar is, the more difficult it is to get rid of it. It also depends on how deep and big the scar is and your skin tone. Also some people are more sensitive to scarring than others. Generally speaking, it’s very difficult to completely remove scars. It’s more about improving its appearance. You can try baking soda and lemon, as well as many other natural application which you can find in my article about acne scars (also good for scars that are not only caused by acne). Using home remedies to improve scarring takes time. It’s not a quick fix, and patience is required.

  24. Yosh says:

    My cleanser says that I shouldn’t use any other cleanser.
    Could I apply baking soda in the evening then my cleanser in the morning?

  25. Charles says:

    Is this truely effective ? I want to use the baking soda for my face because its really oily and my pimples really pop out since i use many products for my skin . I hope someone will notice this Message . Thank you

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      You will need to give it a try and see if it works for you. Not every solution is helpful for everyone, and the only way to know is to try it.

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