My Baking Soda Beauty Routine

posted by Andrea | 01/15/2015

baking soda beauty routine

This time of year, I always rekindle my friendship with my box of baking soda. Not for baking, or cleaning, or freshening — although those are all excellent uses for baking soda.

I use baking soda to soften my skin, to soothe my hands, to scrub my face, and, in general, to simplify my beauty routine. 

Yes, baking soda is super frugal, yes it’s “green” and all-natural, yes it’s SO simple — but those are NOT the reasons I use baking soda in my beauty routine.

I use baking soda because it works!

It’s course enough to scrub away dry, rough skin but gentle enough that it doesn’t hurt. Plus, I always have it in the house.

I actually keep a box of baking soda under my bathroom sink, then once a week (approximately) I dump a bit into the palm of my hand and hop into the shower. I consciously keep that hand out of the water for a bit while I get my body wet.

I then use my other hand to rub small amounts of dry baking soda on my knees and elbows. Then I rub the rest of the baking soda together with both hands — scrubbing extra long in between my fingers. After it’s rubbed into my hands pretty well, I rub my hands on my face to slough off the dead skin.

Since my skin is already wet, the dry baking soda almost instantly makes a paste that seems to be just the right texture to scrub my skin. I know some people who add salt into their baking soda scrub, but that seems to be too rough for my taste, and it stings my cracked hands and lips!

This process takes me less than 5 minutes and makes a HUGE difference in the softness of my skin. Also, my oil cleansing feels even more amazing after a good facial scrub!


If you wanted, you could put the baking soda in an old spice jar and keep it in the shower (and then just shake it out as needed). I just don’t like extra stuff in my shower — especially if I’m only using it once a week.

Oh, and I should mention that I also use baking soda to “wash” my hair. It’s a fabulously frugal way to eliminate the hairspray and gunky build-up (especially for people who use a lot of product in their hair… ahem!) I wouldn’t recommend doing this daily, but I think you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes when you do it once a week, or even once a month!

Here’s another post where I go into more detail about my “baking soda shampoo”.

If you’re looking for a very simple, very frugal addition to your beauty routine, grab a box of baking soda and enjoy an extra long shower today! 

Your skin will thank you 🙂

Filed under: LifeGoing Green

Leave a comment


  1. Karla Tucker


    I use baking soda in the cleaning but I have never use it as some kind of cosmetic product. Sounds really interesting! I will definitely give it a shot! Thanks!




    I can’t find a good body scrub in the beauty shops and you just gave me an amazing idea! I will definitely try this recipe for my face. Thanks a lot for sharing!


  3. Pamela


    Who knew!?! I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the idea.

    I recently got a facial for the first time and the woman giving me the facial (a friend) said my usual St. Ives Apricot scrub wasn’t the best idea because it’s rather harsh and can leave tiny cuts on the skin. I wonder if she’d like the baking soda idea any better? Because it’s a paste (and not granular) it seems like it might be gentler.

    I love your blog and look forward to reading it every day. My only (trite) wish is that you’d publish posts a few minutes earlier each day because then I could read them BEFORE I go to the gym (5 a.m.) here on the west coast. Might make getting out of bed easier! 🙂

    Thanks for all you do, and congrats on baby #3! We have 3 also — our first was horribly difficult, but each one after that has been easier and calmer and sweeter. I’m wishing the same for you!


    Andrea Reply:

    Awww… thanks Pamela 🙂 We’re hoping baby #3 is an “easy” one too!

    And seriously, you go to the gym at 5:00am? That’s craziness — but good for you! Now you can “save” my posts as your reward for a great workout 🙂


    Pamela Reply:

    Yes – I know going to the gym at 5 a.m. is crazy! But I CRAVE alone time, and don’t get much of it now that I’m a mom. So I do it for me, and it also helps me have productive mornings. I can stop by the grocery store on the way home (with no kids!) if need be. Sometimes everyone is still sleeping when I get home. Then I can read your newest post in peace. 🙂

    Happy New Year to you and your family.


  4. Liane Goodrich


    Oh nooooooo… Not good!
    Not sure how to format a quote here so I wii just paste this in:
    “So Why Is Something Alkaline Bad for Skin?

    The pH of the products you use is super important for maintaining healthy skin. Here’s how the pH scale works: It runs from 0-14 with 7 meaning neutral. Anything above 7 is considered alkaline, or a base, and anything below 7 is considered an acid. The skin naturally falls somewhere around 4.5 to 6.5, and is maintained by sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and normal skin flora, among others. This skin acidity is called the “acid mantle” (Exogenus Dermatology).

    When you apply a product with a high pH, aka something alkaline, negatively disrupts the skin barrier. A study on skin products found that using an alkaline cleanser, even once, can do damage to the skin (Dermatology). An alkaline cleanser disrupts the skin’s acid mantle (affecting the skin barrier), and changes the bacterial flora composition on the skin and the activity of the enzymes in the upper layers of skin, as these have an optimal pH level. And the damage is cumulative: The longer you use it, the more damage it does to your skin.

    So, with baking soda and water, you’re already disrupting the acid mantle, but you’re also manually exfoliating, making it even more damaging and drying.

    Because of this, you want mildly acidic products, which help the skin hold moisture and also improve the skin barrier. But it’s important that they’re mildly acidic, as you can, in fact, go too low. If you go too low with products, you risk skin irritation, sun sensitivity, and hyperpigmentation (International Journal of Cosmetic Science). That’s why we don’t recommend that you use straight lemon juice on your skin, for example.

    Verdict: Trick

    Skip the baking soda skin exfoliating and stick to something gentler with a lower pH. This is why I highly recommend sticking to professionally formulated products for your beauty routine. It’s not that I don’t love a good home remedy, but I think it’s easy to become misinformed and misuse products like baking soda in ways that does more harm than good. ”

    Liane here. I use sodium bicarbonate to clean my fridge and it tears up my skin if I don’t use gloves. My water here has a pH of 8. Horrid nasty well water. I make sure everything I use on my skin has skin friendly pH. I would never ever use anything like that on my hair, skin or body. Do a bit of research. Please!


  5. Barb


    Hmmm…I never heard of baking soda for my face. I’ve had success using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser {I use Walmart’s Equate equivalent}. I apply it with my hands, and then rinse/rub it off with a clean, damp/wet washcloth. That is all the exfoliating I need. I’m in my 70’s and my skin still looks fine.


  6. ShellyL


    I actually have a big bag that I got from Sam’s Club. It has been sitting unopened for a while now. I think I will try this and the shampoo thing this weekend. Thanks for giving me another use for this. 🙂


  7. Jenn S.


    Oh no, Andrea – while using it as a shampoo is one thing, baking soda is not a good exfoliant for your face. I used to do it too because the instant gratification of using it once was nice, but it really can do more harm than good with repeated usage. Baking soda is alkaline and will damage your skin’s barrier and acid mantle. There’s a lot more information out there on this.

    I love using baking soda in the rest of my home and am trying to live more simply, but there are some things worth having a different product for – exfoliating the delicate (even if not sensitive) skin on your face is one of those things it is better to get a more-suitable product for.

    Even still, thank you for writing your blog and sharing. As someone passionate about skincare (who used to do this, even, before I learned better!!), I’d hate to see someone compromise their skin this way.