When you start searching for acne home remedies, you’ll probably come across some pretty bonkers suggestions on the internet with people recommending everything from shampoo to toothpaste and everything else in between.
The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to treating medical conditions such as acne, often the home remedies are the ones that work the best, but you do need to find the one that works for you.
Toothpaste might help to clear up your friend’s spots but there’s no guarantee it will work on you or your skin!
One of the best things you can try if you want to combat this skin complaint is to use baking soda for acne. Why? Let’s take a closer look…
Why use baking soda for acne?
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate as it is more technically known, is one of those things thats always great to have int he home because it has so many uses. It can help to eliminate bad smells from carpets and fridges, can be used in place of toothpaste, antiperspirant and even within various beauty treatments.
There are three main reasons why baking soda for acne works. Firstly, it’s a drying agent which means when there’s excess oil (often the root cause of acne), it can be absorbed and cleaned away. Secondly, it offers anti-inflammatory properties which helps to reduce redness and inflammation. Thirdly, it’s a rough-textured powder which makes it great as a natural exfoliant and for getting rid of the top layer of dead / damaged / unhealthy skin cells.
Not only that but baking soda can also be a pH balancer or a base. If your skin doesn’t have the right levels of oil, baking soda will sort it out by clearing up that excess acid and ensuring your skin is just at the right acidity.
Warnings: Baking soda will dry your skin out so you must ensure you counteract this with a good, natural moisturizer that doesn’t contain other drying agents such as perfume or alcohol. You should also make sure you’re not using baking soda for acne too regularly. Once or twice per week will all you need to start seeing results without running the risk of causing more damage and harm.
How to use baking soda for acne?
There are plenty of ways you can use baking soda for acne and one of the easiest is to mix a little of the power with your regular cleansing. A couple of times per week, simply add your soda as you wash like normal in the morning, rinse off with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel. Never rub your face as this can cause damage to the skin cells.
You could also look at using a baking soda mask, mixing just enough of the powder with some cool water to make a thick paste. You can either apply this paste to the entirety of your face, or just to the affected areas. The latter is the more recommended approach, particularly when you consider that many of us have combination skin. You don’t want to cause further drying out of already dry skin.
Apply the paste to the worst areas and leave for ten minutes before rinsing with cool water and patting dry. It might sting a little as it works, this is the baking soda drawing out the impurities.
For an added boost and some serious hydration and nutrition for your skin, you could also consider mixing the baking soda with a base oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or even shea butter heated up and melted down.
You will want to finish this treatment with a good, natural moisturizer but if you’re using a moisturizing oil at the same time, you’re doing two jobs at once.
If you suffer with acne on other areas of your body such as your chest, arms, back and legs (which can often happen in both kids and adults), you could try adding a little baking soda to your bath to give yourself an all-over treatment. You could also use the baking soda mask that we recommended, but ensure you’re not adding it to damaged or broken skin such as grazes or cuts. Again, always make sure you complete your routine with a good, high-quality moisturizer to counteract any dryness.
Further warnings: Never mix baking soda with anything citrus-based, especially if you are planning on going out in the sunlight. This will heighten the burning sensation and cause increased dryness.
If you experienced redness and stinging that doesn’t go away once you’ve washed away your baking soda treatments, it’s advisable to stop using it. The natural cleansing agent might be too harsh for sensitive skin and could, once again, cause more problems than it solves.