Coconut Oil and Baking Soda: Why It’s a Great Combination for Your Skin According to Science

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda - A Great Combination for Your Skin

Coconut oil and baking soda are a great combination for your skin. Mixing together coconut oil and baking soda helps to keep your skin healthy and free of blemishes. Coconut oil benefits skin because it contains fatty acids that nourish your skin, helps reduce visible signs of aging, and has an antimicrobial effect. Baking soda is a great natural exfoliating agent that removes dead skin cells and helps unclog pores.

Because of its antibacterial properties, using baking soda and coconut oil for your face can help treat pimples, blackheads, pustules and other symptoms of acne. Also, a coconut oil and baking soda scrub can help you get glowing skin and improve your complexion. A face mask made by combining coconut oil and baking soda can help deal with wrinkles and fine lines.

You may be wondering if the benefits of coconut oil and baking soda for skin care really work to keep your skin healthy.

In this article, I will look at what scientific studies into the properties of these 2 natural ingredients have revealed about their usefulness in skin care. You will also find helpful recipes to easily combine coconut oil and baking soda to get great-looking, healthy skin.

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Skin

Coconut oil is a versatile natural ingredient that has many uses when it comes to skin care. Unrefined coconut oil really nourishes your skin because it contains nutrients, vitamins, and various fatty acids.

Coconut oil is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral

Studies into the benefits of coconut oil for skin have shown that it contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. According to the Natural Medicine Journal, the antimicrobial properties of coconut oil are due to the high content of lauric acid. The research has shown that coconut oil is a useful topical remedy for skin conditions like itchy rashes, dermatitis, fungal skin infections, and soothing bacterial dermal infections.1

Coconut oil is gentle on your skin

Another reason for using coconut oil on your skin is that there is a low risk of allergic reactions. According to the International Journal of Dermatology, coconut oil is gentle enough to be used to treat mild to moderate atopic dermatitis in young children and babies.2

Provides deep hydration

The International Journal of Molecular Sciences says that coconut oil helps to keep the skin soft and smooth and provide deep skin hydration. This provides relief from dry skin conditions and helps to provide a protective barrier to the skin.3

Let’s look at specific reasons why coconut oil is good for your skin.

Coconut oil for face

Coconut oil can help to treat blemishes, inflammation, fine lines, and wrinkles on your face. For example, according to the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, virgin coconut oil helps to boost collagen synthesis in the skin. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties that destroy free radicals on the skin and reduce signs of aging.4

Regularly applying small amounts of coconut oil as a facial moisturizer can help keep your skin hydrated and give your skin a smoother look.

Coconut oil for acne

Coconut oil can help treat symptoms of acne on your face, shoulders, chest, and back. Acne pimples form when sebum and dead skin cells clog pores and become infected with bacteria.

The Journal of Investigative Dermatology reported that lauric acid has antibacterial properties that are effective against Propionibacterium acnes. It was found that lauric acid helps to reduce symptoms of inflammatory acne and also kill off other strains of dermal bacteria.5

When using coconut oil for acne, it’s important to only use a small amount to prevent clogging pores. Also, coconut oil may not be suitable for all skin types, so it’s best to do a patch test before using it.

In my article about coconut oil for acne you can find how to use coconut oil with other ingredients that are good for acne, such as essential oils and aloe vera.

Coconut oil for eczema

Coconut oil is also an effective natural remedy for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. For example, the journal Dermatitis published a study showing the benefits of coconut oil on atopic dermatitis (a common name for eczema). Researchers found that coconut oil not only moisturized dry flaky skin but also killed off bacteria and fungi that can lead to secondary skin infections.6

Another study in the journal Dermatitis showed that coconut oil helps to treat rough, scaly skin rashes that itch. Applying coconut oil to itchy skin rashes also help to calm the itch and break the itch-scratch cycle.7

Benefits of Baking Soda for Skin

Baking soda is also called sodium bicarbonate and shouldn’t be confused with baking powder. The benefits of baking soda for your skin are not just limited to its effectiveness as a natural exfoliator. Baking soda also contains antibacterial properties that can help to treat skin infections and inflammation associated with conditions like acne and eczema.

For example, the Journal of Food Sciences reported that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) has antimicrobial potential. It was found that in certain conditions, baking soda was effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains of bacteria. In many cases, this was because it altered the pH levels.8

Many people regularly use baking soda for gorgeous skin without any problem. However, some people report that baking soda leaves their skin irritated. To make sure that baking soda benefits your skin, you may not want to use baking soda on your skin too often at the start. To use baking soda as a mask or scrub, applying it once or twice a week should be enough, following with a natural moisturizer.

Baking soda for face

The most compelling reason for using baking soda on your face is that it gently exfoliates your skin. Getting rid of dead skin cells, unclogging pores, and eliminating excess oil helps to keep your skin glowing and blemish-free.

It is also very easy to make a baking soda and water face mask if you need to quickly and cheaply cleanse your skin.

Baking soda for acne

Baking soda can also help to treat the symptoms of acne and help remove blackheads or pimples from your skin. Some people mix baking soda with a little water and use it as a spot treatment to dry out infected pimples. Others combine baking soda and coconut oil to create a natural scrub for acne.

In my article about baking soda for acne and pimples you can find detailed recipes of baking soda and other ingredients to fight acne, as well as precautions to be aware of.

Baking soda for eczema

Baking soda can also help to soothe many itchy skin conditions that are connected with eczema or psoriasis. For example, the Journal of Dermatological Treatment reported that sodium bicarbonate baths are helpful to reduce skin irritation and itching in people with psoriasis.9

Also, the National Eczema Foundation recommend applying a baking soda and water paste to skin affected by eczema to ease itching.10

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Face Mask

A face mask made from a combination of coconut oil and baking soda can help to remove dead skin cells from your face, moisturize your skin, and reduce inflammation.

How to make:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil with 1 tablespoon baking soda to form a thick paste.
  2. Apply to your forehead, nose, chin, and cheeks to cleanse your facial skin.
  3. Leave for a few minutes to allow the properties of coconut oil and baking soda to kill off germs and moisturize your skin.
  4. Rinse off with warm water using gentle circular motions to give your face a deep cleanse.
  5. Apply your favorite natural moisturizer.
  6. Use 2-3 times a week to help keep your facial skin looking gorgeous.

If you have sensitive skin, you should try using more coconut oil in proportion to baking soda.

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Scrub for Acne

To help get rid of the signs of acne like blackheads, pimples, and pustules, combine baking soda, coconut oil, and some tea tree oil as a natural scrub for acne. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties will work great for acne-prone skin.

Studies into tea tree oil have shown that it is as effective as some pharmaceutical anti-acne treatments. The antimicrobial effect of tea tree oil also helps to prevent your skin becoming more infected.11

How to make:

  1. Mix one tablespoon virgin coconut oil and one-quarter to half tablespoon baking soda. Add 3-4 drops tea tree oil.
  2. Put some of the natural acne scrub on your fingertips and gently massage for 30 seconds at a time on your skin where you have acne.
  3. Leave it for a few minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat your skin dry.
  4. Repeat 1-2 times a week to help clear the symptoms of acne from your skin.
  5. Apply a little coconut oil as a moisturizer to keep your skin well hydrated.

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Mask for Uneven Skin Tone

To help get a better complexion, use a coconut oil and baking soda mask that has lemon juice added to it.

Lemon juice helps to lighten dark patches of skin to even out your skin tone. According to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, lemon juice is a natural ingredient added to skin-lightening products. This can help treating various pigmentation issues that you may have with your skin.12

How to make:

  1. Mix together the following ingredients: 1 teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon raw honey.
  2. Apply to your face using gentle circular motions.
  3. Leave for 10 minutes to help cleanse your skin and lighten it at the same time.
  4. Rinse off with warm water.
  5. Use once or twice a week as part of your healthy skincare regime.

For more ideas on how to improve your complexion, please see my article on how to get even skin tone using natural ingredients.

Skin Cleanser with Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, and Honey

Combining honey with coconut oil and baking soda is a great way to deep cleanse your face. This helps to eliminate blemishes, clogged pores, blackheads and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth.

The addition of honey to this skin cleansing treatment works wonders for your skin. The Central Asian Journal of Global Health says that honey has an antimicrobial effect on the skin and can treat various skin disorders. Some of the benefits of honey for your skin include treating itchy skin rashes, dermatitis, intertrigo, boils, and fungal infections.13

In my article about the top 10 honey face masks you can find recipes using honey and other ingredients for all skin types.

How to make:

  1. Mix thoroughly 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, a teaspoon of raw honey, and 2 teaspoons of baking soda.
  2. Apply the natural cleansing treatment by gently massaging the remedy to your face and neck to get rid of dirt and grime from your skin.
  3. Leave for few minutes to help kill off germs on your skin and hydrate it.
  4. Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry.

Coconut Oil Mask with Baking Soda and Turmeric

Another excellent ingredient to add to a combination of coconut oil and baking soda is turmeric. Turmeric is an amazing herb that has many uses, and helping to improve your skin tone is just one of them.

According to the journal Phytotherapy Research, turmeric is antimicrobial with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Compounds in turmeric are helpful in treating many skin diseases including acne, eczema, itchy skin, and signs of aging.13

How to make:

  1. In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon turmeric powder. Mix until it is a smooth paste.
  2. Take a teaspoon-amount of the turmeric mask and apply to your face using circular motions to help remove dead skin cells.
  3. Leave for a few minutes to nourish your skin.
  4. Rinse off with warm water.
  5. Repeat 2 times a week.

Other Ways to Use Coconut Oil and Baking Soda

This article has mostly discussed the many benefits of using coconut oil and baking soda on your skin. However, there are other ways to use the combination of these natural ingredients.


You can use coconut oil and baking soda as a substitute for deodorant because of their natural antibacterial properties. Coconut oil also has a pleasant smell that can help to deal with underarm odor. However, you can also use some essential oils to create a wonderful natural deodorant.

Coconut oil and baking soda deodorant recipe:

  1. Mix 1/4 cup of coconut oil with 1 tablespoon baking soda and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender oil or lemon oil.
  2. Put the natural deodorant mixture in a clean glass jar and store in a cool place to keep it solid or semi-solid.
  3. Keeping the natural deodorant cool is important to prevent the ingredients separating if coconut oil liquefies, as the baking soda will sink to the bottom.
  4. Apply your DIY deodorant to your armpits every day after showering.


Keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy by making your own coconut oil and baking soda toothpaste. The antibacterial properties of coconut oil have been discussed in this article. However, research into baking soda has shown that it makes an excellent antibacterial toothpaste.

The journal Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry reported on the power of baking soda to kill off dental bacteria. It was found that baking soda reduced the number of plaque-causing bacteria in the mouth.14

Natural baking soda toothpaste recipe:

  1. In a bowl mix equal amounts of coconut oil and baking soda.
  2. Store in a sealable glass container.
  3. Use a teaspoon to take out some of the natural toothpaste and put on your toothbrush.
  4. Use as your regular toothpaste and brush your teeth at least 2 times a day to keep cavities and tooth decay at bay.

Precautions When Using Coconut Oil and Baking Soda

When using coconut oil and baking soda for your skin, there are a few precautions that you should be aware of.

Coconut oil. Some people experience an allergic reaction to coconuts and skin products containing coconut oil. Therefore, you should do a small skin patch test prior to using it. Check for itchy red skin if you have an allergic reaction.

Baking soda. Some people find that the high pH levels of baking soda dries out their skin too much and causes irritation. Before using, do a patch test to see how your skin reacts. You may need to adjust the quantities of baking soda in the natural remedies.

Also, baking soda can affect your skin’s pH levels if used over a long period of time. Therefore, use baking soda remedies on your skin only a few times a week. Always moisturize your skin well after use.

Read my other related articles:

Medical Sources:

  1. NaturalMedicineJournal. Treatment of dermal infections with topical coconut oil.
  2. Int J Dermatol.2014 Jan;53(1):100-8.
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Jan; 19(1): 70.
  4. Skin Pharmacol Physiol.2010;23(6):290-7.
  5. J Invest Dermatol.2009 Oct;129(10):2480-8.
  6. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
  7. Dermatitis. 2004 Sep;15(3):109-16.
  8. J Food Sci. 2006 Aug;53(3): 981-982.
  9. J Dermatolog Treat.2005 Feb;16(1):26-30.
  10. NationalEczema. Eczema and bathing.
  11. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol.2007 Jan-Feb;73(1):22-5.
  12. Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Dec; 10(12): 5326–5349.
  13. Phytother Res.2016 Aug;30(8):1243-64.
  14. Compend Contin Educ Dent Suppl.1997;18(21):S17-21;quiz S46.

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