Soda bicarbonate, or baking soda, is a multipurpose remedy popular in previous generations. The renewed interest in natural remedies and holistic approaches to common concerns has brought this humble household ingredient to be recognised again for its multitude of uses.
Baking soda works remarkably well for acne-prone skin. It is particularly effective in reducing blemishes and removing blackheads by cleaning the skin's pores deeply and dislodging impurities. To see improvement quickly, baking soda should be used to treat the skin twice a day for at least a week. Continued use will prevent blackheads from returning.
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Things you need
- Facial cleanser of your choice
- Small bowl
- Soda bicarbonate (also known as sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda)
- Apple cider vinegar (optional, but recommended)
- Cotton balls
Clean your face, using a facial cleanser tailored to your skin's needs, to eliminate surface bacteria. If you don't normally use a cleanser, very mild soap and warm water will do. Pat your face dry.
Place 3 tablespoons of baking soda into a small bowl. Add at least 1 tablespoon of water to the baking soda and stir to create a smooth paste. If the mixture is too thick or too dry, add a few more drops of water.
Spread the paste over your face with your fingertips. Gently massage your skin, using light pressure. Baking soda is abrasive, so aggressive scrubbing is unnecessary and not advised.
Wash the remaining paste off your hands and allow the baking soda mask to dry on your skin for at least three minutes. If your skin is not sensitive, the mask can remain for up to 30 minutes.
Rinse off the mask with warm water. Your skin will feel noticeably cleaner and softer after the first use. Apply apple cider vinegar to clean cotton balls and rub them over your skin to restore your skin's pH balance.
Repeat this process twice a day, once in the morning and once before going to bed at night. Within three to seven days, you will notice fewer blackheads and breakouts. Ongoing use will give you a fresher, clearer complexion.
Tips and warnings
- Occasional breakouts or isolated areas of blackheads can be treated with a modified version of the method above. Clean the area as described, then apply the paste only to those areas. Leave the mixture on for several minutes, then rinse. It's not required to apply the mask to clear skin unless you do so for maintenance purposes.
- As with any skin care regimen, if you experience extreme discomfort, wash your face with plain water immediately and consult a dermatologist. Slight redness for a few minutes following use of the mask or a mild tingling during treatment are normal. Painful burning is not.
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