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The best beauty uses for baking soda

© / Diego Cervo © / Diego Cervo

Alexandra Kerr

You may already use baking soda around your home for the many cleaning purposes it’s great for, but this ingredient can do much more than scrub pots, sinks and bathtubs. Try one of the many beauty uses for baking soda to discover cheaper, more effective ways to clean and pamper your hair, skin and teeth.

Body Scrub:
For an easy, DIY body scrub, simply mix baking soda with Epsom salt and a little water, forming a rough paste. Scrub your body in the bath or shower with the paste to reveal smoother, softer skin.

Cleansing Bath: For a soothing and detoxifying bath, pour at least one cup of baking soda into your tub. The baking soda helps remove dirt, cosmetics and toxins from your skin, leaving you truly clean without harsh and drying chemicals from traditional beauty products.

Facial Cleanser: There’s no need to spend $10-$50 or more on expensive facial cleansers, when baking soda can offer the same cleansing and softening benefits for far less. Simply mix baking soda and water to form a paste, then rub around your face to remove dirt and makeup. Rinse away for a fresh, inexpensive and gentle clean.

Facial Scrub: For an exfoliating facial scrub, simply mix baking soda, water and Epsom salt to form a rough paste. Scrub your skin with the paste until you’ve reached the desired level of exfoliation, then rinse away. Exfoliation leaves your skin softer, smoother, brighter and less tired and aged looking. Gentle exfoliation can also help treat acne.

Facial Mask: For a deep cleansing facial mask at home, mix baking soda and water to form a thick paste (more baking soda and/or less water than the cleanser mixture), and allow to sit on your skin for five to 15 minutes. Rinse away when you’re done.

Shampoo Booster: For a quick shampoo booster one to several times per week, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with shampoo in the palm of your hand. This will help remove product buildup on your hair gathered throughout the week.

Shampoo: Baking soda can also be used as a shampoo itself. Gentler than traditional chemical shampoos, this method of cleansing hair has become increasingly popular. Simply mix one tablespoon of baking soda with water to form a paste, then spread across your scalp. Massage and rinse away for gently cleaned, soft and shiny hair.

Remove Chlorine From Hair: After a day at the pool, use baking soda to remove harmful, drying chemicals. Use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, mixed with water, to create a thin paste. Spread over hair, then rinse.

Dry Shampoo: Finally, use baking soda as a dry shampoo for days you want to remove dirt and oil, but don’t have time to wash and style your hair. Lightly sprinkle a small amount of baking soda across your scalp and particularly oily parts of your hair, then brush. Lighter hair colors can absorb more baking soda without being noticeable.

Teeth Whitening: Store bought tooth whitening kits can cost $40 or more, while trips to the dentist for professional whitening treatments cost hundreds. For a safe, effective and incredibly inexpensive at-home tooth whitening system, use baking soda. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with water, salt (to gently scrub teeth) or 1/4 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide (for extra whitening). Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and brush as normal. If the taste of baking soda is too unpleasant, simply dip your toothbrush, with your regular toothpaste on it, into the baking soda for an extra cleansing and whitening boost with better flavor.

Mouthwash: For fresh breath without the burn of alcohol, mix water with one teaspoon of baking soda and gargle. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out your mouth afterwards to remove any remnants of baking soda.

Clean Nails & Cuticles: For soft, clean nails without a trip to the manicurist, simply dip your hands and feet in a bowl of warm water mixed with baking soda. This will leave nails and cuticles cleaner and softer than water alone.

Using baking soda in place of your regular, store bought facial cleanser, scrub, body wash, shampoo and toothpaste is an easy way to cut costs, reduce exposure to chemicals and see an improvement in your hair, skin and nails. Since a box of baking soda will likely only cost you $4 or less, you’re guaranteed to benefit from this must-have home product.

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