Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a common staple in most kitchens. It’s a key ingredient in many baked goods, and you can even use it for a green way to clean around your home.
Baking soda is found in many oral healthcare products too, and some people even use baking soda to help clear up several common skin conditions. However, there are potential risks to using it on your skin.
Read on to learn the benefits and risks of using baking soda on your skin, and tips for using it safely.
Baking soda is easy to find and affordable. In some cases, it can take the place of more expensive skin care products.
Baking soda may be used for a variety of conditions affecting the skin. Some of these uses are backed by research, while others only have anecdotal evidence and should be used with caution
Baking soda is a natural antiseptic with antibacterial propertiesTrusted Source. It may help reduce bacteria that causes acne when applied topically. However, it’s not widely recommended that you wash your face with baking soda or use it for acne.
This treatment may be used with caution on the shoulders or back, but should not be used on large areas of the body or on the face.
To use, make a paste of baking soda and water. Leave on acne patches for up to 15 minutes and rinse.
Baking soda is not a cure for eczema, but it may help relieve the itch associated with it. The National Eczema Association recommends adding 1/4 cup baking soda to a warm (not hot) bath and soaking for 10 to 15 minutes. Gently towel dry your skin and moisturize afterwards.
Some researchTrusted Source suggests baking soda is not beneficial for psoriasis when used as a topical paste. However, some people with psoriasis claim they find relief from itchiness and redness after taking a bath with baking soda and oatmeal. To use in a bath, follow the steps above for treating symptoms of eczema.
Taking a baking soda and oatmeal bath may help reduce itching and redness caused by chickenpox. Add one cup of each to bath water and soak for 20 minutes.
While not a cure, the pain, itching, and inflammation of hemorrhoids may be soothed in a baking soda bath. Follow the instructions above for making a baking soda bath.
Ichthyosis refers to a group of skin conditions that can cause dry and thickened, scaly skin all over the body. Immersion in bath water treated with baking soda is an old treatment for this condition.
It’s theorized that baking soda alters the pH of bath water, helping to exfoliate the scales caused by these conditions. More research is needed to support these claims.
7. Mosquito bites
A paste of baking soda and water may help alleviate the itching caused by bug bites.
To make a paste, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to form a paste. Apply to your bug bite and let sit for up to 10 minutes before washing the paste off your skin.
8. Bee stings
Anecdotal evidence suggests baking soda paste may neutralize bee venom, plus reduce the pain, redness, and swelling of bee or wasp stings.
9. Poison ivy
If you get poison ivy, sumac, or poison oak, a baking soda bath may help reduce itch and alleviate redness, according to anecdotal evidence. There is no scientific evidence to support these claims, however.
To use, add 1 cup of baking soda to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes.
10. Fungal infections
Fungal infections of the skin and nails, such as onychomycosis, have been shown to improve when soaked in a solution of baking soda and water.
11. Yeast infections (candidiasis)
Yeast is a type of fungus. Baking soda’s positive effects on fungal infections may also make it an effective treatment for the itchiness, redness, and swelling caused by candidiasis, an overgrowth of Candida yeast on skin.
Research is limited, but you may try soaking in a baking soda bath to help treat candidiasis. Be sure to fully dry your skin after the bath.
12. Ingrown hair removal
Baking soda can be used as a gentle exfoliator to remove ingrown hair from skin. There’s no data baking up this use for baking soda, but lots of people swear by its effectiveness.
Try making a paste with water or a non-comedogenic oil. Then gently scrub the area of skin containing ingrown hairs in a circular motion.