There is one ingredient in nearly every kitchen cupboard that can do wonders for your hair, skin and body. This inexpensive, multitasking item is nothing but baking soda! In fact, baking soda can help you look your best from head to toe.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a natural substance that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. This alkaline substance has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a powerful medical tool effective at combating everything from colds to oral problems to skin issues.
Baking soda is effective when used for short periods. However, excessive use can damage your skin and hair. Also, you should do a patch test to determine whether your skin is sensitive to it.
Ditch your conventional facial exfoliator with microbeads for a homemade baking soda version. Those tiny plastic pellets are wreaking havoc on the environment – with an estimated 19 tons of microbeads being discharged annually into New York’s waterways alone!
Baking soda will help remove sebum and dead skin cells from the face and its antimicrobial properties will prevent skin infections – although it may be too harsh for very sensitive skin.
For a thoroughly cleansing scrub, mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of water and some optional Vitamin E oil to form a paste. Massage onto the skin using circular motions, avoiding the sensitive eye area. After one to two minutes, rinse your skin with warm water followed by a cool rinse to close the pores, and pat dry.
Follow up with your favorite natural moisturizer or a little virgin coconut oil.
Dry shampoo is an amazingly useful product to have on hand. Apply it on those mornings you hit snooze one too many times, after a gym session, or to simply give your hair some added lift.
Baking soda makes for a fantastic all-natural dry shampoo which really keeps the oiliness in check. Use it on its own, or mixed with a few drops of essential oil – like lavender, lemon or rose – for a pleasant scent.
Those with light colored hair can just work the powder evenly through the hair, before brushing. Brunettes may need to add a little cocoa powder to the mix first to avoid a gray tinge.
Use baking soda to both whiten your nails and exfoliate the cuticles.
For healthy cuticles, dip a nail brush into a paste made from baking soda and water. Rub this in a circular motion over the hands and fingers and rinse off.
Those with yellow nails – caused by too much bright nail polish – can blend baking soda with the juice of half of a lemon and apply to the nails. While the lemon serves to lighten and nourish, its acidity means it is best avoided if your hands have cuts or scrapes!
Freshening Mouth Rinse
Kill the bacteria that cause bad breath and reduce the risk of canker sores with a baking soda mouth rinse.
Stir a teaspoon of baking soda into half a cup of water until dissolved. Swish this around your mouth and gargle with it, making sure not to swallow. Repeat daily for healthy teeth and gums.
This is also the ideal mixture to rinse with after oil pulling.
As you already know if you keep a box of the stuff in your fridge, baking soda has natural deodorizing properties, which makes it a great DIY natural deodorant. Just mix it with water until it makes a slightly moist, not runny, paste, and apply to your underarms to prevent sweat stains and body odor. You can also add cornstarch for even better wetness-absorbing ability.
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