Baking Soda for Acne and Pimples – The Complete Guide

Baking Soda for Acne and Pimples - The Complete Guide

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is one of the cheapest home remedies you can use to help you get rid of acne and pimples. As anyone with acne knows, it can be very difficult to effectively treat acne and get rid of spots and pimples. However, many home remedies that contain baking soda can be very effective in clearing up acne and preventing further outbreaks.

Acne can affect any person and, depending on the severity, can cause embarrassment, discomfort and also cause scars. Although acne usually affects teenagers, outbreaks of spots and pimples can continue into later life. Very often, acne treatments can be expensive and in some cases make the problem even worse. However, many people don’t realize that they already have natural remedies for acne in their cupboard.

In this article, I’m going to look at many ways you can use baking soda to treat acne and pimples.

Why Baking Soda is Good for Acne

Baking soda has a number of properties that makes it an effective way to alleviate and prevent outbreaks of acne.

Acne causes spots and pimples to appear on the skin. Dr. Kathleen Romito on WebMD says that acne is caused when oil (sebum) and dead skin cells clog the skin’s pores. If the pores become infected, the result can be swelling, redness, and pus.1

Baking soda has a slightly grainy feel making it an effective exfoliant to remove excess oil and unclog pores. Baking soda can also reduce redness and infection in spots and pimples. For example, a study published in 1997 found that baking soda has antibacterial properties.2 A baking soda paste can also help treat acne by drying up excess oil.

Even though baking soda is alkaline, it can act to neutralize and balance pH levels on the skin.3 The journal Annals of Dermatology says that pH levels on the skin are affected by sebum secretions and the presence of acne.4

Baking soda can help relieve acne because it also acts as a mild anti-inflammatory agent on wounds and skin lesions.5

Precautions of using Baking Soda

Even though many people find that baking soda is an effective home remedy for acne, it doesn’t work for everyone, especially if you have sensitive skin. Therefore, it’s always important to test it on a small patch of skin to see if there are any side effects of baking soda.

It is also not recommended to use baking soda over a long period of time because it can affect the skin’s pH levels too much. Therefore, it is best to use baking soda as a home remedy for acne and pimples only 1-2 times a week.

If you have a sensitive skin or feel that baking soda dries your skin too much, then follow up the baking soda applications with a good moisturizer soon afterwards.

Baking Soda for Acne and Pimples

There are many natural remedies that use baking soda to treat acne and breakouts. These remedies use ingredients which have properties that help reduce the appearance of spots, pimples as well as blind pimples. Also, these natural treatments for acne don’t have many of the side effects that come with many traditional acne treatments.

Baking Soda as a Spot Treatment

The simplest way to use baking soda for clearing acne and breakouts is to mix it with some water to form a paste.

How to Use

  • In a bowl, mix equal amounts of water and baking soda to make a smooth paste.
  • Cleanse and dry the affected skin.
  • Apply the baking soda paste directly to pimples and to the areas with acne.
  • Leave for 15 minutes and rinse off.

Because baking soda can dry the skin, it’s important to use a good natural moisturizer after rinsing off the paste.

Baking Soda Face Scrub / Exfoliator

You can also use baking soda to help unclog pores and exfoliate your skin. This can help to prevent acne breakouts and clear up pimples.

How to Use

  • Make a paste with some baking soda and warm water.
  • Dampen your face and then gently massage the baking soda paste to your face to help unclog the pores.
  • Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

Baking Soda as a Facial Mask

Baking soda can also help to treat acne breakouts if you add some lemon juice to it. Lemon juice acts as a natural astringent to help reduce excess oil and redness and it can also help to lighten acne scars and prevent blackheads.

How to Use

  • Mix 2 tbsp. baking soda with 2 tbsp. water and 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice.
  • After cleansing your face, gently apply the baking soda paste to your face.
  • Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
  • Apply a good natural moisturizer.

Some people may find that their skin is slightly redder after removing the paste, but this will soon fade. However, for some people, the lemon juice may sting too much so this recipe may not work for everyone.

Baking Soda Bath

Adding baking soda to a bath can help you get rid of acne, especially if you have spots and pimples on large areas of your body.

How to Use

  • Fill your bathtub with warm water and add 1/2 cup of baking soda.
  • Soak for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Rinse off in the shower after your bath.

To help you relax in the bath and help clear your skin from spots and pimples, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil. Lavender oil is one of my top essential oils to get rid of acne.

Baking Soda and Coconut Oil for Acne

You can use a mixture of baking soda and coconut oil to lessen the appearance of acne. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties which treat the infection of the pimples. A study published in the journal Dermatitis, showed that coconut oil can help to moisturize and treat skin infections.6 Other studies have shown that coconut oil is a natural antibiotic against Propionibacterium acnes – the bacteria which causes inflammatory acne.7

How to Use

  • Mix baking soda and some coconut oil into a smooth paste. (You may need to warm the coconut oil so it becomes liquid).
  • Apply to the affected skin area and gently massage it for a few minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.

You can also apply a small amount of pure virgin coconut oil to the affected area to use as a natural moisturizer for acne prone skin. This can also help to prevent further outbreaks of acne and pimples.

Baking Soda and Aloe Vera for Acne

A paste of aloe vera and baking soda can help you get a relief from acne. Aloe vera is well-known for its use in helping to treat damaged skin. In the journal Annals of Plastic Surgery scientists showed that a topical application of aloe vera can help speed up the healing of skin wounds.8

How to Use

  • Mix some baking soda with aloe vera gel to form a smooth paste and gently apply to your acne and pimples to help with the healing process.
  • Rinse off with warm water and gently dry your skin

Baking Soda and Tea Tree Oil

Baking soda and tea tree oil can be used together to get rid of spots, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Tea tree oil has powerful antimicrobial properties which makes it a great home remedy for back acne and chest acne. One study in a dermatology journal showed that tea tree oil can effectively treat acne vulgaris.9 In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends using products with tea tree oil to treat acne because it can reduce the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions.10

This home recipe for acne uses baking soda, lemon juice, and tea tree oil.

How to Use

  • Mix 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 2-3 drops tea tree oil to make a paste.
  • Apply to the affected skin area and leave for 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water and gently dry your skin.

Baking Soda with Cinnamon and Honey

Another great way to use baking soda to reduce the appearance of acne is to mix it with cinnamon and honey to create a face mask. Honey is a great all-around healing ingredient which can help to treat acne. For example, studies into honey have shown that it has many antioxidant properties that can help to kill infections.11 It is also effective in helping wounds to heal faster.12

It is very easy to make your own honey face masks, and you can find some great recipes in my article about the top 10 honey face masks – for all skin types.

By adding cinnamon to the paste you also increase the antibacterial potential because studies have shown that cinnamon helps to kill off bacteria.13

How to Use

  • Mix together 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder, and 1 tbsp. honey with a little water to form a paste.
  • Apply the paste to your skin to reduce the appearance of acne.
  • Leave for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
  • Repeat twice a week.

Baking Soda and Oatmeal

You can use oatmeal together with baking soda to get rid of acne and reduce the inflammation of pimples. The Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology published a report showing that oatmeal has various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The report said that oatmeal can help treat acne and various other skin conditions.14

To make a face mask from baking soda and oatmeal to help treat acne you can mix them together to form a paste.

How to Use

  • Mix 2 tsp. oatmeal and 1 tsp. baking soda with some warm water to form a paste.
  • Gently rub the paste into the affected skin area and leave for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

You can also use oatmeal and baking soda in a bath to help you get rid of acne from larger areas of your body.

How to Use

  • Put 2 cups of oatmeal into a long tube sock or an old pair of pantyhose.
  • Set the sock with the oatmeal under the faucet and draw a bath with warm water.
  • Add 1/2 cup baking soda and make sure it’s mixed well in the water.
  • Occasionally squeeze the sock to get more of the oatmeal liquid out.
  • Soak in the tub and use the sock to dab onto the affected skin areas to lessen the appearance of acne and pimples.

Oatmeal and baking soda bath can be an especially useful way to treat back acne. The oatmeal gently soothes and cleanses the skin and therefore it’s not necessary to use soap.

Remember that baking soda can dry out our skin, therefore it’s always important to moisturize your skin after applying baking soda.

For more information on how to get rid of pimples, please check out my article about the top 12 ways to get rid of pimples naturally.

Read these related articles:
1. How to Use Baking Soda for Gorgeous Face and Skin
2. How to Get Rid of Acne Scars Naturally
3. Why You Should Wash Your Face With Apple Cider Vinegar
4. The Best Essential Oils for Acne
5. Witch Hazel for Acne – The Ultimate Guide




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