Baking Soda on Skin: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Explore the uses of baking soda on the skin. What does sodium bicarbonate do on the skin? In this post, I dive deep into the applications of this homemade remedy for many skin issues.

Some of the points handled in this article include the use of baking soda for acne, pimples, beautiful skin, skin rashes, skin cancer, skin fungus, and discoloration. I will also touch on how to use it to minimize and unclog pores.

Baking Soda Skin Uses and Benefits

Below is a detailed list of the uses and benefits of using baking soda on the skin. While some of the benefits below are still debatable today, I recommend that as per our disclaimer, readers handle this post as purely informational and not necessarily as proven expert advice.

Baking Soda for Acne and Pimples on Skin

The procedure to use soda to remove acne on the skin is well highlighted on To generate a spot treatment method from sodium bicarbonate, you should follow the procedure below:

  1. Blend 1 part water with 1 part baking soda (i.e., in a ratio of 1:1) in a bowl or a small cup/mug to make a paste.
  2. Carefully and consistently apply the baking soda paste as a thin layer to the acne you intend to remove on the facial skin.

It is recommended that you let the baking soda paste stay on your acne for about 15-30 minutes each time.

However, if you have sensitive skin that may result in some allergic reactions, then you can reduce the time to about 10 to 15 minutes. Once this helps, you’ll be able to prolong the length of time you retain it on the acne or pimples.

Whenever you complete the acne spot treatment, take it off simply by cleaning the face. Alternatively, you can use a warm cloth to wipe off the baking soda from the face.

If you observe any sort of irritation and itchiness of the skin, it is advisable to stop using sodium bicarbonate. Also, you should discontinue use if the condition of the acne begins to worsen.

Baking Soda for Beautiful Skin

One can easily go ahead and take sodium bicarbonate face scrub mixture and then use it gently to tone the facial skin in circular motions before buffing it off with tepid to warm water. You should also keep on patting dry.

On the other hand, a person may make a thin paste, then put in little ground oats. It should be noted here the paste should be made by taking equal amounts of water and baking soda.

Also, the oatmeal should be about 15% of the mixture. Use the sodium bicarbonate detoxification scrub using the tips of the fingers in motions as is done in massage.

This particular recipe could also help with dark under-eye circles. All you need to do is to apply the paste under your eyes to gently scrub this particular area.

However, you must prevent exposure to your eyes. After all, this is done, the skin will appear all new and fresh.

Used for Skin Cancer

Can I use baking soda for skin cancer? Well, there is no conclusive or authoritative research in this area to justify any recommendation.

However, it is worth noting here that activists of alternative remedies for cancer believe that baking soda is one of the most effective remedies for skin cancer.

The argument is usually based on the fact that an alkaline environment is believed to counter the growth of cancer cells. It is argued that malignant cells usually have a lower-than-normal pH which points to acidity.

These arguments, therefore point to the possible counter-cancer effects when an alkaline compound is introduced into the environment around the cancerous cells.

So when one applies baking soda to the cells around the skin cancer, the sodium bicarbonate is believed to limit the growth of the cancer cells.

NB: As stated, this has not been proven authoritatively.

Baking Soda for Skin Discoloration & Lightening

Can I use baking soda for skin pigmentation or discoloration? Well, baking soda has been claimed to be an effective substance to achieve skin whitening goals.

If you have discolored skin and are looking for ways to get rid of the discoloration then all you need to do is use a sodium bicarbonate paste. The basic nature of the paste will remove the top ugly skin layers (exfoliation).

The procedure to do that is:

  1. Take about 1 tablespoonful of sodium bicarbonate and mix it with a small amount of water.
  2. Rub the soda paste on the affected parts of the skin. It should be noted here that the application should be uniform all over the affected areas or skin patches.
  3. Let it stay for about 20 minutes max.
  4. Wash off with cold water. Please avoid the temptation to use warm water

Baking Soda for Skin Diseases

Sodium bicarbonate has soothing properties that can come in handy for people battling skin diseases.

As we all know some skin diseases can be itchy. Therefore, using baking soda paste on skin diseases may just be the simplest way to deal with such skin discomfort.

Some of the commonly considered skin diseases, which can be eradicated using baking soda include: hives, rosacea, urticaria, skin rashes, skin cancer (handled above), psoriasis, and chicken pox

Baking Soda for Skin Fungus

Did you know that fungi (that cause yeast infection) breed inside the oral cavity, throat, digestive tract, or even the genitals?

Sodium bicarbonate can help deal with this kind of infection because of its unique combination of attributes such as pH balancing capacity, alkalinity, and anti-fungal qualities.

If you happen to suffer from yeast infection within the intestinal tract or other bodily organs, ingest about 1/4 tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate after mixing it with 1 glass of water each day for approximately 12 to 14 days.

To help remedy candidiasis on the skin, all you need to do is make/create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Then use this paste on the skin for 2 to 4 minutes before washing it off.

Baking Soda for Pores – Minimize & Unclog Pores

If you are struggling with enlarged pores and pimples, then the baking soda face mask will help make your pores smaller!

Baking soda has properties that help clear out the dirt and oil in your pores, and skin exfoliation is the main one. It also corrects the pH balance of your skin, which is commonly overlooked.

The sodium bicarbonate mask can be a superb do-it-yourself solution for large pores. It is an excellent option for reducing skin pores mainly because it has got gentle germ-killing as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

These attributes assist in the protection against acne breakouts. Acne, pimples, and zits are caused by the build-up of oil and dirt that subsequently becomes infected. For people who struggle with hyperactive skin pores which secrete oil, this could help you.

Sodium bicarbonate, which is the actual chemical in the baking soda aids with oil absorption. This then helps avoid the clogging of the pores.

Baking Soda Disadvantages for Skin

Baking soda for the skin is the newly recommended remedy for most of the skin problems that people suffer from. The question that many ask how is baking soda useful for the skin.

Is baking soda safe for your skin? In this post, I seek to answer these questions by majorly focusing on the baking soda disadvantages for the skin.

Top Uses and Advantages of Baking Soda on Skin

Before we delve into the negative effects of baking soda, it would be prudent to highlight some of the major uses and/or benefits of sodium bicarbonate on the skin, which are:

Used for Sunburn Relief

Sunburns refer to the scars and blemishes caused by being exposed to the sun’s rays, especially during the summer season. These sunburns and their blisters can be itchy and painful. Baking soda is alkaline. This alkalinity in the soda is what soothes the sunburned areas of the skin, thus resulting in reduced itching and burning.

Suitable Acne and Pimple Removal

Is baking soda effective for acne removal? Well, yes, considering the many testimonials on the web from users who have tried this approach for cane removal, sodium bicarbonate is effective for acne removal.

Acne breakout causes can be eliminated if it is appropriately used.

Body Odor Removal

Body sweat on the skin can result in an unpleasant body odor as the bacteria on the skin engage with the sweat. When used on the body, the baking soda absorbs the sweat resulting in dryer skin. A drier skin reduces instances of the body odor

Used for Skin Rash Treatment

Do you have skin rashes that sometimes get itchy? Well, you may find a suitable remedy in sodium bicarbonate. Due to its soothing properties, the soda can help get rid of the inflammation caused by skin rashes.

Baking Soda Disadvantages (Side Effects) for Skin

After assessing the ways through which sodium bicarbonate can be used on the skin, it is now time we dive into the disadvantages of using this soda on the skin and face. The common side effects reported are:

#1 May cause Hypersensitivity

Some baking soda users have reported having increased sensitivity when used on the skin. The issue is some people may not know their sensitivity to their t sodium bicarbonate until the day they start using it.

It is recommended that whenever you realize you may be sensitive to baking soda, you need to stop using it immediately. Some of the known symptoms or indicators of sensitivity to baking soda include redness and armpit rashes.

#2 Highly alkaline notes that baking soda can result in alkalization of the skin if used without proper moderation. By its nature, baking soda is a strong base.

This means therefore that overusing the base on the skin may extremely affect the pH of the skin. So it should be noted that while you may use it for some of the issues mentioned earlier, you need to take care of the required skin pH.

#3 Excessive exfoliation

Using baking soda for skin exfoliation can have some great positive results. However, this can have some serious side effects on the skin if proper care is not taken. For example, one suitable measure is to have suitable delays in between the exfoliations

#4 Acne Breakouts May Occur

While sodium bicarbonate has been hailed as a remedy for acne and pimples, it has been reported in some cases, to cause acne. This is attributable to the fact that over-exfoliation may increase the skin’s vulnerability.

#5 Causes Skin Reddening

Excessive use of baking soda baths may cause the skin to develop a red color. This red color may in itself be a new bother for baking soda users.

#6 May Increase Scar Visibility notes that using baking soda regularly may to some extent play the role of highlighting the scars on one’s skin. This is mainly attributed to over-exfoliation which then makes the soda a substance of doom.

How to counter the side effects of baking soda on the skin

The common and recommended approach to minimize the possible disadvantages of baking soda on the skin is to use it in moderation.

As they say, too much of something can be harmful, the same should be considered when dealing with baking soda baths and paste for exfoliation.

In some cases, one may have to reduce the excessive alkalinity by mixing it with lemon juice. This has been handled in another article on this website.

FAQs on Baking Soda Disadvantages for Skin

Before we close up this post, let us look at some of the frequently asked questions regarding the safety of baking soda on the skin

Is it Bad to use baking soda on the face?

The answer to this question is not straightforward. However, considering the pH of sodium bicarbonate, it is safe to state that when the baking soda applied on the face is of high alkalinity, it is bound to interfere with the natural skin pH. This may then result in some other facial skin complications or eruptions.

Is baking soda good or bad for you?

The good or the bad aspects of baking soda vary according to its use. If baking soda is used for the correct purpose, in the correct amounts, and using the correct procedure, the results will be great. Similarly, improper usage of baking soda compounds can be harmful in some cases.

What are the side effects of baking soda?

The known side effects of baking soda include skin reddening, sensitivity, diarrhea, and skin breakouts. It should be noted that the side effects vary from one person to another and depend on the purpose for which the soda was intended.

Using baking soda on the skin has its inherent risks and disadvantages. The listed side effects of using sodium bicarbonate on the skin are:

  1. Baking soda can cause over-exfoliation of the skin: Because the soda can be extremely rough on the skin, it can result in the removal of non-loose skin on the face. This can then result in even uglier skin patches.
  2. May cause acne and pimples: It has been reported that baking soda may leave the soft parts of the skin exposed. This exposure may cause infection of the skin, thus resulting in acne or pimples
  3. Reddening skin and increased scar appearance: Some baking soda users have reported increased vision after scrubbing with baking soda.
  4. Affects Skin pH mantle: Since baking soda is a strong basic (alkaline) solution, it may affect the normal pH of the skin. The human skin at any time acidic. Using baking soda may, therefore, hamper this state of the skin.

Baking Soda vs. Baking Powder for Skin

When it comes to choosing between baking soda or baking powder for skin, there should be no debate. You may use baking soda for skin, but DON’T use baking powder for the same. Let the baking powder remain a baking agent for the cookies or pancakes in your kitchen.

For the record, baking soda is one of the ingredients or components in baking powder. However, baking powder contains other compounds that may be harmful to the skin.

For example, it contains cornstarch acids that may have adverse effects when applied to the skin.

EXTRA READ: Is Baking Soda Good for Under Eye Circles?

About NW Khats

Khats is a beauty and personal care research writer with over 12 years experience in the industry. With deep knowledge in the subject, Khats provides invaluable research articles and guides to help all manners of beauty enthusiasts.

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