Baking soda isn’t just a kitchen cupboard staple that’s used for baking cookies and getting rid of lingering odors from the fridge, it’s also widely used by the beauty-obsessed who love a good DIY. There’s a plethora of ways this multitasking grocery product can be incorporated into your beauty routine, from mixing it with your favorite hair cleanser to an effective toothpaste that leaves your mouth fresh, like you’ve just left the dentist’s office.
On the skincare front, baking soda can aid in relieving common complexion woes. "It can be used for numerous purposes including as a mild exfoliant to help gently remove dead skin cells from the skin surface (or even to help remove remainders of spray tan), or as a topical acne treatment to calm a breakout with antibacterial properties,” says Dr. Jessica Weiser, Dermatologist at New York Dermatology Group in New York.
Before you stash your current skincare product lineup in your bathroom drawers and run into the kitchen, Dr. Weiser warns that like overdoing any type of skincare treatment, excessive use of baking soda can lead to dryness or irritation, and if you have any skin conditions where there is significant dryness, irritation, or open wounds you should avoid using baking soda to treat your complexion.
But if you're not in the mood fro DIY, there are also a few products on store shelves that list the all-purpose powder as its active ingredient. Two to try now are: Bioré’s Baking Soda Cleansing Scrub ($10; ulta.com), a powder formula that when applied to a wet face will activate the exfoliating scrub that deep-cleans pores and smooths skin, and Bioré’s Baking Soda Pore Cleanser ($7; ulta.com), a foaming cleanser that lifts and removes dirt and impurities while gently exfoliating skin for a squeaky-clean complexion.
When incorporating baking soda skincare products into your routine, start slowly. “Given the risk for dryness and sensitivity, start using baking soda products only once a week," Dr. Weiser says. "If treatments are well tolerated treatments can be increased to twice weekly.”
Intrigued? Consider reserving a space for the yellow-boxed wonder on your bathroom shelf in addition to its place in the kitchen. Better yet, it'll also keep odors—talk about a multi-tasker!