Using baking soda to treat blackheads? Does it work?
Blackheads are a result of clogged hair follicles. These are very small black or dark bumps on the skin, specifically found on the nose and the chin, but you may find some at the chest, arms, neck, shoulders, and or back. Blackheads form when the open bump is exposed to air, causing the collected dead skin cells and oil in the hair follicle to look black.
There are several ways to treat blackheads, including over-the-counter treatments, prescribed medication, manual removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser or light therapy. But did you know that there are recommendations to use baking soda in treating blackheads?
Baking soda as a blackhead treatment
Yes; this ingredient found in your kitchen can also be used as a blackhead treatment and prevention, according to several medical sources.
Sometimes, baking soda is used to reduce acne breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads. Also, it is used to manage skin pain and inflammation. The reason behind this is the baking soda has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Also, it is a mildly abrasive substance and is excellent in exfoliating the skin.
However, using baking soda as a blackhead treatment is not widely recommended by dermatologists and other healthcare professionals because it can also remove essential protective oils, leaving your skin dry, causing your skin to irritate.
So, is using baking soda to treat blackheads good or bad?
One of the reasons why baking soda is not widely recommended is because of its pH level. Baking soda has a pH level of 9, which is alkaline, while the skin has a natural pH level of 4.5 – 5.5. So, using a substance with a high level of alkaline to the skin can strip its essential oils, causing unpleasant side effects, such as:
- Dry skin
- Early appearance of wrinkles
- Worsening of acne breakouts
- Skin irritation or inflammation
On the flip side, baking soda can still be used as a treatment for blackheads, only if you use it accordingly. When you use baking soda as a blackhead treatment, never use it without proper measurement. For instance:
- As an exfoliant
You need to mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda with warm water to form a paste. Next, carefully massage the mixture to the skin. And then, wash it off right away. You may include your facial cleanser in the mixture, and or you may use the cleanser after washing off the mixture.
- As a facial mask
Similarly to an exfoliant, mix 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda with warm water to form a paste. Next, apply the mixture to the skin and leave it for 10 – 15 minutes. Lastly, wash it off with warm water.
- As a facial wash
To use the baking soda as a facial wash, you need 1 or 2 teaspoons of baking soda to an adequate amount of facial wash. Next, apply it to your face. And then, wash it off with warm water.
Take note, do not use baking soda more than 2 teaspoons because it can do more harm than good.