A Quick Chemistry Review: Acids Alkalis And Acne
The best way to tell if an internet craze is reliable or not is to understand the science behind it for yourself. Whether or not you should use baking soda for acne depends on the pH of your skin, so lets dig into how pH works real quick.
pH stands for potential hydrogen, and all substances can be ranked on the pH scale, from 0 to 14. At the bottom of the scale, from 0 to 6, are the acids. These substances include battery acid, orange juice, or even milk, and they release hydrogen molecules when mixed in a solution. Substances that rank from 8 to 14 are bases, or alkalis, and they absorb hydrogen molecules instead of releasing them. Ammonia, bleach, and eggs are all examples of alkalis. The middle, 7, is pure water. It is neutral, neither an acid nor an alkali.
Baking soda is an alkali with a pH level of 9. Your skin on the other hand, is usually somewhere between 5.0 and 5.5 on the pH scale. It might sound weird, but your skin is actually acidic, which is a good thing. The acid helps protect your skin from bacteria and toxins in the air, but its always possible to have too much of a good thing.
How Baking Soda Helps In Acne
Baking soda can help to neutralize the pH level of the skin by acting as either an acid or an alkaline base. This is because of its characteristics of being an amphoteric.
It has been suggested that acne can also result from an imbalance of the pH level of the skin and thus this provides a great solution to such breakouts.
It is also known to possess anti inflammatory properties which help in reducing the acne induces inflammation and the swelling and redness caused as a result. Its drying effect further helps in drying out the excessive oil or sebum that is an important cause of acne breakouts.
When added to a paste of powdered sugar or other such ingredient of a similar texture, it can work to exfoliate the skin, clearing it of dirt and removing the accumulated dead skin cells which will therefore unclog the pores and give space to the trapped sebum to move out.
There are various ways in which baking soda can be used on the skin. Some of them are enlisted below:
There are other uses of baking soda apart from acne. Some other key benefits of using baking soda include:
- When used for your teeth it can cause whitening of the teeth
- It can be mixed with your essential oil and the lotion thus made can be applied to your underarms. This will work like a deodorant
- It can be used to wash your hair and will help in driving off dandruff and lice from it
- It is an effective solution to heartburn, acidic stomach and gastric issues
Baking Soda And Tea Tree Oil
Baking soda and tea tree oil can be used together to get rid of spots, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Tea tree oil has powerful antimicrobial properties which makes it a great home remedy for back acne and chest acne. One study in a dermatology journal showed that tea tree oil can effectively treat acne vulgaris.9 In fact, the Mayo Clinic recommends using products with tea tree oil to treat acne because it can reduce the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions.10
This home recipe for acne uses baking soda, lemon juice, and tea tree oil.
How to Use
- Mix 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 2-3 drops tea tree oil to make a paste.
- Apply to the affected skin area and leave for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water and gently dry your skin.
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Baking Soda Bath For Heat Rash:
Heat rash or sun rash or prickly heat is generally caused due to the clogged sweat glands and trapped sweat along with bacteria. As the sweat gets blocked in the pores and from flowing out, thus creates rashes or blisters. This problem is most commonly faced by the people those who live in hot and humid climates.
Baking soda is alkaline in nature that gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin with its gritty texture to unclog the pores and removes the trapped sweat. It also dries out the rashes to get rid of it.
Steps to be followed
- Add 1 cup of baking soda to the bathtub which is filled with lukewarm water.
- Stir it and soak yourself in this water for about 10 15 minutes.
- Then take your normal bath and dry the skin thoroughly.
- Apply some anti prickly heat powder before wearing clothes to prevent those heat rashes.
- Continue doing this baking soda bath for twice daily until you healed those heat rashes.
Note: Or else mix 2 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a container filled with water. Dip a clean washcloth in this mix and wring out to remove excess water. Apply this cloth as a compress on the affected skin areas. Remove the compress after 20 30 minutes and repeat it for 2 3 times daily.
Whip Up A Spot Treatment
ohlamour studio / Stocksy
In a hurry? You can use baking soda to create a spot treatment for pesky pimples. Simply create a paste with equal parts baking soda and watertwo tablespoons are recommended for most treatments. Blend until it becomes a well-mixed paste and then apply the solution directly onto your pimple. Let it sit and dry for 15 minutes and then rinse. Be sure to moisturize after to keep skin from drying out.
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How To Use Baking Soda For Eczema
There are several ways you can incorporate baking soda into your eczema skin care routine.
One strategy to relieve the itchiness caused by eczema is to add it to bathwater. The study mentioned above as well as the National Eczema Association recommends adding one-quarter cup of baking soda to a full bath of lukewarm water and soaking for 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure the warm water is lukewarm. Hot water can exacerbate the inflammation and irritation of eczema flare-ups and make dry skin worse.
After the bath, pat the sensitive skin dry carefully . Leave your skin damp, and then apply moisturizer or emollients.
Alternatively, you can make a baking soda paste and apply it to the skin. This can be done by mixing the baking soda with a few drops of water until it has reached a paste-like consistency. If youre not sure how much water to add, keep in mind that the paste should be able to remain on the itchy, affected skin without sliding off. The amount of baking soda you use depends on how much paste you need to cover the affected areas.
Leave the paste on the skin for two to three minutes, then rinse clean with lukewarm water. Pat dry carefully, again leaving the skin damp, and moisturize.
Can Baking Soda Help With Eczema
Can baking soda help manage eczema symptoms? Evidence indicates that, yes, baking soda may temporarily relieve itching. Researchers have found that adding baking soda to lukewarm water in a bath or applying it directly to the skin as a paste usually relieves the itching caused by eczema. The effect can be attributed to baking sodas innate therapeutic properties. Its naturally antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing, and baking soda has been studied for various inflammatory skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema. These studies on baking soda are often supported by anecdotal evidence word-of-mouth recommendations from people who have had success with the ingredient.
Dangers Of Using Baking Soda Acne Treatments
Doctors and researchers suggest using approved medical treatments for acne breakouts and other skin conditions, even if there have been some anecdotal success stories in the use of baking soda.
While theres little research on baking sodas effects on the skin specifically, this ingredient can do more harm than good.
Some side effects of using baking soda on your skin and face include:
- skin irritation and inflammation
This is because baking soda can interfere with the skins pH level.
The pH scale is from 0 to 14. Anything above 7 is alkaline, and anything below 7 is acidic. A pH of 7.0 is neutral.
The skin is a naturally acidic organ with pH of 4.5 to 5.5. This range is healthy it keeps the skin moisturized with healthy oils while also protecting the organ from bacteria and pollution. Disrupting this pH acid mantle can have damaging side effects, specifically to the skin.
Baking soda has a pH level of 9. Applying a strong alkaline base to the skin can strip it of all its natural oils and leave it unprotected from bacteria. This can cause the skin to become more sensitive to natural elements, such as the sun.
Consistent use of baking soda on the skin can affect how quickly the skin can recover and rehydrate.
Face Mask Or Exfoliant
To help remove dead skin cells or soothe inflammation, some people include baking soda in a facial scrub or mask.
After using a facial cleanser, mix no more than 2 tsp. of baking soda in a small amount of warm water until it forms a paste. This can be applied with your fingertips and massaged into your skin.
Leave it for no more than 10 to 15 minutes if used as a facial mask. If used as an exfoliant, rinse immediately after massaging the mixture onto your face.
After both types of uses, immediately apply a facial moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out.
Dont repeat this method more than twice per week.
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How To Use Baking Soda For Rashes
August 18, 2016 By Sruthika
Skin rashes are accompanied by small bumps or other changes in the skin that makes the skin red, irritated and itchy. These rashes can occur on any part of the skin and might be distributed to a large area of the skin.
Generally, rashes on the skin will appear due to many reasons like allergies, psoriasis, acne, insect bites, excessive sweating, eczema, mites or getting contact with certain poisonous plants or using soaps, shampoos, detergents or cosmetics that doesnt suit your skin.
Rashes might be a symptom of certain microbial infections and the use of natural remedies will provide relief from the rashes without harming your skin like over the counter creams or medicines. But remember to consult your doctor, if you didnt get any relief from the rash or if it is growing on the skin for immediate diagnoses and treatment.
Here in this article, we are going to know all about how to cure certain skin rashes like poison ivy, eczema, chicken pox, bug bites, ringworm, hives, shingles and spider bites using baking soda.
What To Keep In Mind When Using Baking Soda For Eczema
The amount of baking soda to add to the bathwater is somewhat flexible. Consider what weve learned: one-quarter cup of baking soda in a full bath is recommended. Yet, a paste of baking soda can be safely applied to the skin.
The difference between the paste and the bath comes down to time: If youre using one-quarter cup of baking soda in the bath, you soak for 10 to 20 minutes. If youre applying a paste, you leave it on for three minutes. This means you can add more baking soda to the bath for the soak if needed, as long as you reduce the soaking time. The more baking soda you add to the bath, the less time you should soak.
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Does Baking Soda For Acne Work
For some people, baking soda can help alleviate low level pain and inflammation associated with acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, baking soda is often used in topical over-the-counter skin care products.
However, people who use baking soda for acne should not use it on a daily basis. Baking soda can irritate the skin and negatively affect the skins pH.
How To Make Your Diy Mask For Acne Using Only Water And Baking Soda:
Overall, baking soda is a great option to get rid of acute and inflamed pimples. But if you want your skin to get better in the long-term, your diet plays a big role, too.
A good example for elements that should be included in your diet is Zinc an essential trace element which plays an important role if you want to get clear skin. Many people, especially vegetarians and vegans, might have a zinc deficiency. If you want to fill up your zinc storage again, have a look at our Womens Best Zinc Capsules.
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Baking Soda Acne Treatments
Although not widely recommended, there are a few baking soda treatments you can use for acne. Because of its alkaline properties, only small amounts of baking soda are necessary.
For each treatment method, use a fresh box of baking soda. Dont use a box of baking soda you use for baking or to deodorize your fridge. These used boxes may have already interacted with other substances and chemicals that could be harmful to your skin.
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Why Put Baking Soda On Your Skin
Also known as the compound sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is alkalizing, so it helps manage pH levels and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
One of the most effective ways to treat acne is to balance out the skins pH levels, which is what baking soda is supposed to do.
Board-certified dermatologist of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Centers, Marisa Garshick, says that while baking soda isnt something she would typically recommend as an acne treatment, it does make sense why one would use it that way. It has been shown to be helpful for some people with acne due to its ability to reduce inflammation, absorb excess oil, and have an exfoliating effect.
Garshick notes that baking soda has been used as a cleanser, spot treatment, mask, scrub, and even as deodorant, thanks to its ability to absorb excess moisture.
Basically, it seems like its a quick and easy fix for acne, which many would prefer to try over spending hundreds of dollars on various treatments and dermatologist appointments.
What About Side Effects
Overusing baking soda, such as cleansing your face with it daily, can cause inflammation and irritation. So take it easy and listen to your skin. We suggest frequencies for each of the treatments below.
Some people experience breakouts when using baking soda on skin. This could be a type of purging , but it is more likely from overusing and inflammation. And pimples are inflammation.
If you do experience any irritation, just stop using it and let your skin recover.
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Baking Soda As A Facial Mask
Baking soda can also help to treat acne breakouts if you add some lemon juice to it. Lemon juice acts as a natural astringent to help reduce excess oil and redness and it can also help to lighten acne scars and prevent blackheads.
How to Use
- Mix 2 tbsp. baking soda with 2 tbsp. water and 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice.
- After cleansing your face, gently apply the baking soda paste to your face.
- Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
- Apply a good natural moisturizer.
Some people may find that their skin is slightly redder after removing the paste, but this will soon fade. However, for some people, the lemon juice may sting too much so this recipe may not work for everyone.
Risks And Side Effects
Using baking soda on the face could be potentially harmful. The harsh texture could irritate the skin its neutral pH could interfere with the skins normal pH.
Generally, skins pH should be slightly acidic around 4.5 to 5.5 pH. Acidic pH is at the bottom of the scale, from 0 to 7. Alkaline substances range from 7 to 14. Baking soda has a pH of 9, which means its alkaline and will lower the pH of anything acidic it comes into contact with.
Skins natural acidity, the acid mantle, helps to protect it from bacteria and damage from the environment. If the skins pH is neutralized, its natural protections are compromised. Baking soda can strip the oils that are naturally produced by the skin, leaving the skin prone to harmful microbes and increased sensitivity.
Some of the side effects of using baking soda for acneespecially overusing itinclude:
- Extreme dryness
If you experience adverse side effects from using baking soda for acne, discontinue use immediately.
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