Is Baking Soda a Good Skin Care Exfoliator?

When it comes to finding a good skin care exfoliator, many people suggest baking soda as an easy, affordable home remedy. But the truth of the matter is, baking soda is ineffective and damaging to your skin.

Baking Soda Disrupts the Natural Acid Mantle of the Skin

When you’re making a baking soda skin care exfoliator, you’re mixing baking soda, which is sodium bicarbonate, with water. Here’s the chemical formula:

HCO3- + H2O → H2CO3 + OH-

See what happens there? Because it’s a stronger base, it tends to create HO-, rather than H3O+. What this means is that when you dissolve sodium bicarbonate in water, the solution tends to be more alkaline. The pH strip below proves this.

When we mixed baking soda and water (more than you’d use for a scrub) and tested it, the pH was about 8.

The pH of the products you use is super important for maintaining healthy skin. The skin acidity needed to fight bacteria and maintain skin’s optimal functioning is called the “acid mantle” (Exogenus Dermatology).

When you apply a product with a high pH (above 7), it 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).

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.

The Best Skin Care Exfoliator is Not in Your Refrigerator!

Skip the baking soda skin exfoliating and stick to something gentler, with a lower/neutral pH. While home remedies may sound good, it’s too easy to become misinformed and misuse products like baking soda in ways that do more harm than good. In short, the best skin care exfoliator is not a chemical like baking soda (i.e., sodium bicarbonate), but rather an skin care exfoliator like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or own our ViaBuff exfoliators!

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