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Baking soda and its effects on our skin

a woman scratching her face due to irritation

Baking Soda on Skin

For many decades baking soda has been known for its majestic cleaning and a natural beauty booster. It almost championed all of the fields and there are no spaces left on the internet of its users that it does not claim.

Yes, baking soda is indeed known for treating many skin issues and neutralizing many unwanted body odors but that does not mean that you can start rubbing it on your face for some skin issues. Here’s why you should be careful.

Major Benefits of Using Baking Soda

Several beauty gurus are of the firm opinion that baking soda for the face can prove beneficial for those who are suffering from inflammation caused by some bacterial infection or are suffering from acne as it reduces oiliness and is also effective in skin peeling.

Baking soda for the face is used in many OTC creams that are used for skin irritation, rashes, redness, bug bites and in some other cases also due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sodium bicarbonate due to its ability to neutralize acidic conditions is proven beneficial to get rid of indigestion due to over-acidic conditions of your stomach.

Keeping the same concern, a large number of baking soda face masks are on the market for those who are suffering from any of these skin problems.

However, the real point of concern that we need to understand here is that despite all the good exfoliation that this powder does, the strong alkaline base present in it can in turn do more harm than good it claims to.

How To Check If Baking Soda Suits Your Skin?

In case you want your skin to be unaware of the baking soda benefits and still want to include it in your weekly skincare routine, it is very highly recommended to do a small patch test before going ahead with it for any remedial treatments.

Despite all the great benefits of baking soda and other popular beliefs of baking soda be of great help in many skin issues, especially in reducing acne still many dermatologists don't suggest its prolonged use by making it a part of your daily skincare treatment or say count on it to be a part of skin care remedies.

Baking soda for skin whitening

Baking soda is used profoundly in various foods regularly. It is a natural antiseptic that helps clean our skin and the bacteria formed on it. So it helps treat rashes and other skin infections when applied. The PH of baking soda is 9 which is alkaline while our skin is slightly acidic. So this PH imbalance when brought together makes the reaction on the skin which results in the removal of dark spots, skin tan, pigmentation and other skin problems. But using baking soda in excess can also cause other skin problems.

How to use baking soda for skin whitening?

The simplest and easy way to use baking soda for skin whitening is to use it with water.

Step 1:  Take a bowl, and add two tablespoons of baking soda, now add enough water to make it into a paste. 

Step 2: Now apply the paste with cotton on the affected areas/skin you desire. 

Step 3: Gently massage in circular motions on the skin for 15-20 minutes. 

Step 4: Leave it dry and then wash it off with lukewarm water and wipe it out with a dry and soft towel.

Use this process twice a week and you will be getting your fair skin in one to two months.

Baking soda and lemon for skin

We know lemon for its Vitamin C properties and its benefits for glowing skin. Now combining baking soda with lemon can be the facial scrub you can ever have for skin whitening. 

Squeeze a lemon out, add it to a bowl, add one tablespoon of baking soda to it, and mix them. Now take a piece of cotton and dip it in the solution, and start applying it on your affected areas and gently massage the areas in a circular motion. Once applied leave it dry for 15-20 minutes. Now clean that of your skin/face using lukewarm water and wipe that out with a soft towel. 

Note: Apply this scrub only during the night, and avoid sunlight for at least a day.

Does baking soda burn skin?

Yes, baking soda can bring skin burns. It is because of the PH variations that are brought on after applying baking soda. The nature of baking soda is alkaline or basic. Our skin PH is between 4.5 to 5.5 which is slightly acidic. While coming to baking soda has a PH value of 9, which is strongly basic. When baking soda is applied to the skin, the PH value of the skin is raised towards basic/alkaline, which causes the skin to dry out and depletion of all the natural oils. This disruption in the PF value of skin from acidic to basic causes breakout and skin burns if baking soda is applied regularly.

Baking soda disadvantages for skin

There is no concrete evidence available that suggests that baking soda is much helpful in various skin problems, especially those which are concerning acne. Since baking soda has an alkaline base but there might be times when it could badly react to certain skin problems. In some cases, these side effects can be worse, leading to a pile-up of several other skin problems.

It must be understood here that healthy skin is always acidic. Which further helps in building up a protective barrier for your skin and saves you from several severe bacterial infections. However, if in any case one directly rubs baking soda on the skin, it might destroy that barrier by changing the ideal pH balance that the skin requires to be healthy and glowy.

Even though we are all aware of the fact that our skin is acidic in nature, baking soda on the other hand with a high pH level of 9, makes for an alkaline nature substance that causes more damage to our skin.

1. It Triggers Dryness 

The ideal pH balance for the skin is said to be between 4.5 to 5.5, with the skin's healthy bacteria, its natural oils, and moisturisers helping in creating a perfect balance for the skin to nourish. However, in the case of the skin becoming dry, the pH can go above 5.5, making it more acidic for undernourished and dry skin.

Adding to this, any face wash, cleaners or face masks containing any ingredient that alters the pH level of the skin is only going to cause your skin more harm. So what needs to be considered here is that baking soda is alkaline in nature when mixed with anything that is acidic, and can alter the pH balance of that substance.

Hence, your dry skin will be impacted by more dehydration and dryness since the alkaline nature will strip your skin of essential oils. This can also make your skin worse by the appearance of wrinkles and evident fine lines.

2. It Worsens The Acne Breakout

With a high level of pH, applying it directly onto your skin can leave the skin unprotected from severe bacterial infection. Hence any type of skin that is already troubled by acne may witness an increase in its breakout. 

3. It Leads To Skin Inflammation

Baking soda is also known as sodium bicarbonate, it's a direct application over your skin and can cause irritation to a great extent.

Further worsen the symptoms it can cause skin irritation, redness, burning sensation, and rashes since it majorly causes a drying effect over your skin when you apply it frequently or directly over your skin.

Take Away

Taking care of your skin is always a task that no one would want to skip. But it is possibly unsafe to take baking soda in high doses.

When baking soda is applied to the skin for its acne-reducing benefits, there are still not enough reliable sources of information on whether it is safe to use and what other side effects it has. To mention here that it is very unsafe to take baking soda during pregnancy as it increases the risk of water retention or causes a PH imbalance in the tissues of the body.

FAQs

Can we apply baking soda directly to the face?

Although baking soda is antiseptic and had antibacterial properties it is not recommended to apply it directly to the face. Because it can cause skin irritation and harsh reaction.

Can I use baking soda on my skin every day?

No, using breaking soda every day on the skin cause dry out the skin. Which can cause skin irritation and also dullens the skin.

How long does baking soda take to lighten?

Applying it twice or thrice a week for 15-20 minutes and following this procedure for two to three weeks can yield the desired results.

References:

Can I use baking soda for face wash? By Healthline, Sep 18, 2018.

5 ways to use baking soda to fake dark spots. By IMBB, Jul 16, 2018.