The Beauty of Baking Soda

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post, Hair, Skin Care


Written by Sam

Ladies and gentlemen, our next speaker asked if he could bring a pantry out on stage with him. Put your hands together for DIY beauty, and let’s give it up for Sam, as he shares the beauty of baking soda in today’s guest post.

The Beauty of Baking Soda

The girl before me finishes her story, and the applause of the crowd follows her off the stage. I take a breath, hold it. Release. The sound dies down, slowly. Someone just has to get that last clap. I let them do it, then walk up to the podium. I wish they had left some water or something up here.


“Hi, I’m Sam, and I’ve recently discovered the wonders of baking soda.”

They raise their eyes from their phones momentarily, then return to the glow of the screen. I get it. It’s been a long day of…well, the pamphlet called it a “Self-Improvement Seminar.” One kid in the front row rocks back and forth on his folding chair, the old metal creaking faintly. It’s distracting.

“You know,” I begin, “it started relatively tamely. I love to bake. Cookies, cakes, sachertortes… You name it. Anyway. Lots of recipes call for baking soda. It’s a leavening agent. Reacts with acids to release carbon dioxide. Simple stuff.

“But then one day, I spilled a bunch of it all over. My hands were covered in it, like, totally white.” It’s kinda funny how vividly I recall all of this stuff now. I really should have written a script or something, but winging it seemed appropriate in this venue. “So, just like anyone would, I went to the sink, pumped some soap out, and started to wash it off. But something happened. The stuff mixed with the soap, made a paste, ya know? Real bubbly. By the time I was done, my hands were soft. Like, soft soft. I couldn’t stop touching them. I’ve always had a thing for textures and the like. So I did it again.

“Maybe once a day to start, I’d grab a bit of the stuff out the pantry and just make a big bowl of paste with it and some soap, and just scrub. My hands felt so good. After a while, I thought, ‘What if there’s more?’. But it didn’t come to me until a few days later in the shower. As I was massaging a bit of my regular drugstore exfoliator over my face, I stopped, and it was just like… yeah. I could totally use baking soda for this!”

I wet my lips. A girl in the front row smiles, encouragingly. “So the next morning, I hustled some of the white powder up to my room and hopped in the shower. I got under the water, scooped a good-sized dollop of cream cleanser out of the pot, and eagerly lathered it up with about a tablespoon of baking soda. My hands shook, I was so excited, ya know? Like, that kind of excited when you’ve just stumbled across something that’s just so… revolutionary? I gently rubbed the mixture over my skin in small circular motions, just with the tips of my fingers. It stung, but also felt kinda good. A bit of it dripped into my eye, and boy did that kill. Well, when I’d rinsed and gotten all dried off, I stepped over to the mirror, and my face was red. Like, red red. And it hurt like… Well, it hurt real bad. I tried putting a bit of moisturizer on to see if it would soothe it, but it prickled so much I had to wash it off. It looked like I’d been out in the sun for way too long without any sunscreen.

Proceed with caution

“I knew I’d overdone it. Big time. So I waited a week or so for my skin to calm down. It was a long week. But then I finally decided to try again. This time, I just barely dusted my hands in the powder, and it didn’t really thicken the cleanser at all. Cautiously, I raised my hands to my face, and massaged it over my still barely-tender skin. Circular motions. I made sure to avoid my eye area this time, the skin there being so tender, ya know? The whole time, my skin tingled, but this time it wasn’t nearly as bad, and not at all painful. Kinda… funny. I did this for about a minute, and then washed off. This time, when I looked in the mirror, my skin looked… brighter. It was glowing, I guess. Pretty awesome. Oh, and it felt ridiculously smooth. I could stop touching it — with the backs of my hands, of course.

“I was careful now, though. I knew doing this more than once a week at first could be dangerous. So I kept it to that. And my skin kept getting smoother and brighter. My acne scars — the hyperpigmentation kind — started to fade. I loved it. Over time, I upped my usage to twice a week, monitoring my progress. After a while, I tried to do three times a week, but my skin started to feel raw again, so I settled on two.


“Even though I’d found out that I should concentrate my efforts around the creases of my nose and mouth, and anywhere else that tended to get flaky or rough, I felt that I’d experienced all I could by using this on my face. And then, again, it came to me. My hair was feeling pretty weighed down and rough after a bad experience with some styling products…”

I nod to myself, collect my thoughts, and continue. I stumble a bit over my first few words, but get back into it pretty easily. “My next shower, I squirted some shampoo into my hand, poured a bit more baking soda than I woulda used on my face into my palm, and mixed the two together. I worked this through my hair, massaging it across my scalp. I got every last strand of hair. It only took two to three minutes, but it felt like an hour. The feeling was amazing. I rinsed it out with some cold water, slapped on some conditioner, and rinsed that out too. Then I let my hair air dry, and waited impatiently for the results.

Oh, my god! Fantastic. My hair was smooth and shiny, and had…life. It moved and felt incredible. It was like the cuticle of each strand had been polished and smoothed to perfection. I only do this about once every three weeks because I also use a clarifying shampoo weekly. And, well, that’s it. The end.”

I laugh kind of nervously, embarrassed at my weak ending, and think, I really should have written a script.

Everyone claps enthusiastically, even though I’m pretty sure a good few of them were busy using their phones.


Written by Sam

Sam is a 17-year-old, oddly tall guy whose love of all things skincare, makeup, and fashion started when he entered the modeling world at 14. Since then, he’s established himself as a freelance makeup artist in the theatre and fashion worlds, and started his own blog to preach the wonders of orange eyeshadow, Asian skincare, and designer fragrances to the masses.


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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jessi says:

    Thanks for the tip to not use too much. I seem to be a believer in “a little more can only make it work better” but I think I’m going to learn from your experience this time instead of making the mistake myself! Thanks for the article!
    Jessi recently posted … Im Too Foxy For My Blush- Hard Candy Fox in A Box Blush swatches and review

  2. Cindy says:

    Ooh! I am going to give this a try tonight. Hopefuly it’ll work on my acne scars too.

  3. Swathi says:

    In India using baking soda paste to rub over your body is an age old tradition. And for marriages to make the bride glow more we use turmeric too. But everything in the right quantity.

  4. Melissa says:

    I’ve been using baking soda as long as I can remember for my teeth, and just the past few years for my skin. Love love love it.

  5. raquel says:

    can i use it on my sensitive skin?

  6. Emily says:

    Sam! I’m so glad you’re letting all of Karen’s subbies know about this trick! I used to use it just as a clarifying rinse, but I read on your blog about using it on the face and I haven’t looked back. It’s done wonders for my skin! Thank you!

  7. michelle says:

    Definitely have to try this! Thanks Sam, I always love your posts!!

  8. Charisse says:

    Baking soda? CHECK! Your posts are always awesome 😀

  9. Shrutilaya says:

    Baking Soda?
    I knew that we used Turmeric in India, never baking soda.
    I feel ignorant now. = O
    Shrutilaya recently posted … Look what I got P

  10. Diyana says:

    I do love baking soda as much as you do too! Just a warning for people who have colour treated hair though, the baking soda and shampoo lifts the colour off the hair making it fade A LOT faster than it should. I only tried it once on my hair and it already started to look bleachy and yellow. (I have dark brown hair which I balayaged)

  11. Vonvon says:

    Thanks for sharing, Sam! My hair kinda need some boost. Having tried various shampoos and conditioners, they worked for the first few times, then back to limp lifeless hair. Will get baking soda the next time I go grocery shopping.
    Vonvon recently posted … Cherry Blossoms &amp Daffodils

  12. Katie says:

    I use it on my teeth because whitening strips are too harsh for my sensitive teeth…and it really helps keep my teeth white. Good job with your presentation!

  13. Brittany says:

    Thanks, Sam! I have alot of hyperpigmentation from acne scars, and I am always looking for new ways to treat them!
    (p.s. the only thing that has lifted them thus far – clinique even better clinical dark spot corrector!!)

  14. Liz says:

    Thank you Sam! I really enjoy your articles, always interesting and something new to learn. 🙂
    Liz recently posted … Fresh and Easy Spring makeup

  15. Sara says:

    Some people mentioned baking soda for the teeth: how would you do that? Do you mix it with your toothpaste or … ?

  16. Doreen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing, Sam! Love your writing and your posts are always informative. I don’t think I’ll try baking soda on my face (sensitive dry skin) but I’ll definitely use it on my hair and scalp. Great tip!

  17. Cindy says:

    Sam, You’re a very talented writer with a lot of voice! Thank you for your informative, and entertaining, articles. Keep writing with style.

  18. BeautyMaven says:

    I am so excited to try this trick!! And it would save me so much money, haha!! 😉 That’s so neat about it brightening your face– I’m trying this first thing in the morning!

    I also bought the Mario B Silver Powder you posted about~ I love the effect right after I use it (blackheads are almost unnoticeable on my nose) but immediately after applying moisturizer they’re back. =( I think you’re right that it just “bleaches” the dark pores, haha!

    Great posts, Sam!
    BeautyMaven recently posted … FOTD Friday- Pink Eyes- but in a good way!

  19. Advah says:

    Love using it as shampoo – either when I run out of shampoo (ie last night) or every two weeks or so to get rid of some build up. Just make sure you follow with some heavy conditioning, and my hair gets super thick and curly and shiny!

  20. Harpa says:

    Awesome, I´m off to the pantry! but it ok to use it on dry sensitive skin?

  21. Alicia says:

    Baking Soda is a great at home beauty product! i use it as an exfoliator mixed with water and it brightens up skin right away… It might sound a little crazy but Im also a fan of apple cider vinegar used on skin as a toner!

  22. NeenaJ says:

    I mix about half a teaspoon of baking soda with Cetaphil cleanser and apply to my face once a week. So smooth… love it!

  23. Adam says:

    Added to the water when doing laundry, baking soda stabilizes the pH level, enhancing the detergent’s effectiveness. Baking soda may also be added to swimming pool water to balance the pH and keep the water clear.
    that is why i love baking soda.

  24. Stacie says:

    Years and years ago when my skin was very oily I was told to mix a past of baking soda and milk of magnesia and to use it as a mask. I would use it for my face and also on my upper back and shoulders. It did work but as Sam said you have to be careful not to overdo it. Also with oily skin you don’t want to get it too dry because then you will only produce more oil…I wish I knew this back then! I would have followed with a light oil-free moisturizer 🙂

  25. shiny says:

    Baking soda, eh? May I add a suggestion to use aloe shampoo? My hair is oily, but clarifying shampoo fries it – dries it out to a crisp. I use the aloe based shampoo from J.A.S.O.N, and add neem powder (found in Indian groceries). The hair is SO soft!

    Thanks for the rec – will try it!

  26. Stephaine says:

    I really enjoyed this article!!! I love baking soda for a good hand and foot scrub, but I didn’t know that you could use it on your whole body. I knew about using it on your teeth as well, but I didn’t know how to mix it, thank you to Anne-Marie for posting how to do that. I have Very naturally curly hair, so I am a bit nervous about the shampoo thing, but I’ll definitely give it a try. ~ Sam, you have a great writing voice! Keep it up.

  27. Mariana says:

    Awesome article! I’ve loved using baking soda in my hair but somehow never thought to use it on my face, should be great since I’ve been looking for something a little cheaper than my Clinque Even Better Skin Tone Correcter for my acne scars! Thanks a lot!

  28. Jan says:

    Beauticians have been recommending this for years to remove product buildup. It’s great stuff,and waaaay better than most of the expensive beauty products

  29. Soniya says:

    Would it be good to mix turmeric powder with baking soda an apply?
    I have heard that Turmeric too is good.
    Please let me know if someone has ever done this?
    Soniya recently posted … Simple Ways to Apply Nail Polish Perfectly

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