Baking soda on your face/armpits? bad DIY ideas 101 !!!

Hey everyone!!

Hope you all had a great weekend ! I generally love all sorts of  DIY stuff from face masks, knitting, storage ideas to making stuff from brown paper bags but sometimes I feel people go overboard! I am sure you have come across a fair share of DIY beauty ideas that have made your eyebrows go up quizzically.  Recently a friend of mine who has been battling acne well into her late 20s was talking about trying out the baking soda mask everyone says works like magic for controlling acne but was told a big no no by her doctor.

File:โต๊ะจีนbaking soda.jpg

(Source: wikimedia commons)

Most of the baking soda mask recipes I saw online called for making a paste out of 2 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon water and applying on your face and letting it sit for 10 minutes. yikes!! That mask has such a freaking high concentration of baking soda! and the reason I freak out is because our skin has a natural pH of around 5.5. If you remember some high school chem, a pH of 5.5 means your skin is slightly acidic and the reason it is so is to ward off bad bacteria and fungi from taking up residence. Skin problems occur when this delicate pH balance of the skin is disturbed. Also, this acidic pH value helps keep the good bacteria on your skin attached to the skin. The moment you start using a highly alkaline substance on your skin (baking soda has a pH of around 8 to 9!) you are disturbing this delicate pH balance. Once your skin pH has been disturbed recklessly the good bacteria can no longer stay around and they are really important ! (responsible for fighting off some of the harmful bacteria and also keep skin inflammation in check) (International journal of cosmetic science)(New Scientist).

A lot of people see using baking soda as being a natural way to fight acne or other skin problems. But here is the thing, it is at the end of the day a chemical compound which does not become ‘natural’ just cause its sitting in your kitchen. Even if you purchase naturally obtained soda bi carb it still does go through some chemical process before being packed…it is not some powder you mine and pack off to the supermarket!

I have also heard of DIY baking soda deodorants and the internet is full of reports of people getting itchy skin and rashes from using them! Again concentration of baking soda in the final product is very important! If you look at commercially available baking soda deodorants you will see that baking soda is listed some what towards the bottom of the ingredient list (means overall concentration is very low). This is in stark contrast to the amount of  baking soda that is called for in a DIY recipe like this one where its 3 tablespoons of baking soda in 6 tablespoons of coconut oil…if you do the math..30% of the deo is baking soda and no way does the commercially produced one have that much since it is listed in the bottom of the ingredient list! Do you want to know why your skin will break out into a rash or a bad case of itch? Take a look at the MSDS sheet for baking soda. It is shown to be a mild skin irritant so I don’t really understand why anyone wants to put it on their face or armpits in such high concentrations as mentioned in DIY recipes.

I could keep writing on and on about this but I guess it might become too long and boring!!  😛

Enjoy your week everyone..until next time ciao!!


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