We’re willing to guess the only time your baking soda sees the light of day is during the holiday cookie rush or when you’re hit in the face with a funky smell every time you open the fridge. But within that bright orange, otherwise forgotton box is a component to an endless amount of household, medical, and yes, beauty solutions.
What makes beauty and sodium bicarbonate a perfect pair? It’s an antifungal, an antiseptic, gently exfoliates away even the toughest calluses, and tackles more smells than what’s in your crisper drawer. Read on to discover our favorite incredibly easy uses for baking soda in your beauty routine from our friends at Arm & Hammer, No More Dirty Looks, and a few more we picked up along the way.
1. As an all-over scrub
Just add oatmeal for a nourishing, refreshing body exfoliator gentle enough for daily use. Make a paste of three parts baking soda, one part water, and one part ground oatmeal. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells. Rinse clean with warm water.
2. To remove product buildup
Use baking soda in your shampoo to remove buildup.( Photograph by Lars H/Getty Images )
Get rid of extra product buildup in your hair by sprinkling about a quarter-size of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly. The baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.
3. As a prelude to a manicure
Dip a small nail brush into some baking soda and gently scrub under nails and around cuticles until clean. Then, make a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water, and rub in a gentle, circular motion over hands and fingers to exfoliate and smooth. Rinse clean with warm water and apply polish as usual.
4. To soften tough calluses
First, soften the calluses: blend two tablespoons of baking soda in a basin of warm water and add a few drops of lavender oil. After a nice long soak, scrub them away using three parts baking soda, one part water, and one part brown sugar. Follow with an application of a rich moisturizer and a warm towel foot wrap. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
5. As a bath soak
Put baking soda in your bath.
For a relaxing end to a long day, add ½ cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration while you soak. When combined with water, baking soda goes to work softening and soothing skin while calming irritants that the body brings to its surface as a result of a bite, skin irritation or mild sunburn.
6. As a deodorant
Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil and apply to underarms with a brush. To reapply throughout the day, just fill an empty mineral makeup container with it and use a stubby Kabuki brush for a no-mess application on the go.
7. As an acne spot-treatment
If you ran out of your favorite acne or drawing mask, try making a little paste from baking soda and water and applying it to the pimple like a spot treatment. We don’t recommend this for deep cysts, but it dries surface offenders out like a charm.
8. To whiten your teeth
For a quick way to whiten your teeth in the morning, sprinkle baking soda into your palm, dip a damp toothbrush into it, and brush. Then rinse and follow with your toothpaste. For an antifungal mouthwash, mix one teaspoon baking soda in ¼ glass of water and swish the solution through your teeth.
9. As a face wash
Exfoliating your face removes rough dead skin and reveals brighter, younger-looking skin. But if your scrub is too harsh, you could end up looking like you got a bad facial. Try this recipe for a gentle, antifungal (read: anti-acne) face wash: Combine one tablespoon raw organic honey and one teaspoon baking soda in your palm and rub together. Then, massage gently in circular motions. Let sit for a minute and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
10. To calm uneasy stomach
Okay, we know this isn’t exactly a beauty solution, but it works so well we had to share. Acid stomach, heartburn, gas, and other tummy issues are quickly relieved by baking soda because its slight alkalinity can neutralize the acid causing the problem. Just mix a teaspoon into a glass of warm water and drink it down.