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Could Baking Soda Cure Your Acne?

Does a baking soda scrub help acne? Used in the right way, baking soda masks sometimes make a difference in acne. But they are not for everyone who has acne.

baking soda for acne
Baking soda can be used to make safe, inexpensive treatments for acne.


  • Baking soda can be used to make safe, inexpensive treatments for acne.
  • A baking soda mask used to treat facial acne once a week can loosen tough skin around blackheads and soothe inflammation around pimples.
  • Baking soda can stop the sting caused by alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid treatments for toning the skin.
  • Alternating baking soda masks and vinegar soaks, used on different days, can slowly erase acne scars and brown pigmentation left when acne heals.
  • Baking soda added to shampoo (1/2 teaspoon to a bottle) can help reduce accumulation of hair care products that causes acne at the hair line and on the forehead.

How to Use Baking Soda to Treat Acne

The way baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is used to treat acne is in the form of a baking soda mask. It’s extremely simple to make a baking soda mask for acne. Simply spoon out about 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of baking soda into a clean bowl. Add warm tap water until the mixture makes a thin slurry that is moist enough to spread across your skin but firm enough that it does not drip off your skin. If you make the mixture too thin, add more baking soda, and if you make the mixture too thick, add more water. Don’t add anything but water to your baking soda mask.

Splash your face with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel. This step helps the baking soda mask stick to your face. Then spread the baking soda mask all over your face but keep the mixture out of your eyes. Allow the mask to dry for 15 to 30 minutes, and then rinse your face with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel once again. Repeat the treatment about once a week.

You get the greatest benefits from baking soda you take from a fresh box. The baking soda you have had sitting in your refrigerator for weeks or the baking soda that has been sitting on a shelf in your cupboard for months may already have reacted with other chemicals. It is useful as a scrub, but not for alkalizing your skin.

Who Benefits from Baking Soda Masks?

Some people have extremely sensitive skin. Since most of the irritants of sensitive skin are acidic and baking soda is alkaline, a baking soda mask can neutralize some of the chemicals that cause skin irritation. The baking soda mask adheres to clumps of dead skin as it dries, and rinsing off the mask rinses off dead skin cells along with it. Baking soda masks neutralize all kinds of acids, and can soothe the skin after treatment with glycolic (alpha-hydroxy) or salicylic (beta-hydroxy) acid exfoliants.

Baking soda also “calms” the skin. In the very topmost layers of cells in the epidermis, the tough outer layer of the skin, small amounts of bicarbonate from the baking soda can enter the skin. The bicarbonate encourages the transportation of sodium into these cells. Their metabolisms slow down so they go into their normal life cycle, dying about 21 days after they are formed in the basal layers of the skin.

As the top layers of skin flake away, newer and healthier skin cells can come to the surface. They add more natural color to the skin, and they loosen the skin around tight pores.

Do Baking Soda Masks Really Work?

There is no doubt that baking soda masks can neutralize excess acids applied to the skin. They are also useful for soothing itchy skin, especially when the itch is caused by eczema or contact dermatitis. They can reduce foul odors caused by certain kinds of skin infection.

When Is It a Bad Idea to Use a Baking Soda Mask?

Baking soda is fine for soothing the skin after you use a skin toning exfoliant such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. But using baking soda before you use glycolic or salicylic acid will neutralize the product and make it useless.

What About Baking Soda and Vinegar Used Together?

Some people suggest mixing baking soda with vinegar for use as a face mask. If you dump the vinegar into the baking soda all at once, the mixture will just fizz all over the table where you are mixing your mask. This just makes a mess.

A slow mixture of vinegar into baking soda drop by drop makes an exfoliant scrub that may pick up loose flakes of dried skin and leave your complexion looking a little more deeply colored. However, the only advantage of using baking soda and vinegar mixed in the same bowl is as a scrub, and alpha-hydroxy (glycolic) and beta-hydroxy (salicylic) acids are much more useful for this purpose.

What About Alternating Baking Soda Masks with Apple Cider Vinegar Soaks?

Some days you can use a baking soda mask to exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin and loosening blackheads and whiteheads, while encouraging growth of collagen to fill in indented acne scars. Other days you can dab a clean cloth soaked in vinegar on your face (don’t forget to rinse 15 minutes later) and also remove dead skin and loosen blackheads and whiteheads while encouraging the growth of collagen to fill in indented acne scars.

Neither treatment is going to produce dramatic results on your skin. Both treatments will give you modest results no matter what your type of skin without any danger of harmful side effects.

Other Uses of Baking Soda in Acne Skin Care

Baking soda has many other uses in acne skin care.

  • A baking soda bath (add 1/2 cup or 100 grams of baking soda to warm bath water) helps refresh the skin after exposure to heavily chlorinated swimming pool water. This will also help prevent breakouts caused by Pseudomonas infections of the skin.
  • Adding half a teaspoon (2 or 3 grams) of baking soda added to a bottle of shampoo will help get rid of mousse and volumizer, reducing acne on the top of the forehead at the hair line.
  • A clean wash cloth dipped in a mixture of 1/2 cup (120 ml) of cool water mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of baking soda well stirred together can help relieve sunburn and may slow down the formation of pigment in the skin.
  • A sponge bath with the same baking soda and water mixture may help loosen up the skin around blackheads on the back.
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Taki Reply

I really I want to thank u for ur good ,simple and amazing homemade remedies. The baking soda is really working 4 me though I had my doughts at first. My skin has changed for the better. I used to have oily skin and I didn't have confidence in myself and iv tried so many expensive products but none of them worked. Thank you so much you saved time and my money with the magic 'baking soda'

November 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm Reply
kendra Reply

i just started to use baking soda now...i don't know if this gonna work,,, but i noticed after i used baking soda my skin so smooth,,, lets see after a month.....

August 12, 2013 at 2:24 am Reply
chiqui Reply

I was skeptical, considering I've tried top of the line pricey products, everything from Clinique to Proactive,even Nerium AD etc...I have to say I purchased a box of baking soda for .49 cents and in 4 days my skin already looks about 70% better. I've tried tea tree oil which didn't really work that well for me, tried apple cidar vinegar and that too didn't work great and it smelled like an old foot. I should of tried this years ago! I'm just hoping it works on the scarring eventually.. so guys and dolls I totally recommend this.

May 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm Reply
jordan Reply

Just tried it, burned because I think I had an allergic reaction to it lol. Ill just stick with proactive and Snap face wash lol

August 25, 2014 at 1:41 pm Reply
averee Reply

Recently i have seen that i am m having bacne ,i tried out many products but nothing seems to be working ,i read in a magazine that baking soda does help in reducing bacne ,but i have a very sensitive skin ,i hope i do not get any get any kind of allergic reaction ,is it safe to use baking soda in my skin ?

September 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm Reply
Neha Reply

hiii i have bad acne and scars and my skin is oily too currently i am using epiduo gel with isotine baking soda will help me?????

October 22, 2014 at 7:58 am Reply
megz Reply

hi what i noticed of baking soda is its very good for scars.but as soon as you stop using baking soda the scars return again.its maybe my skin doing it dnt know

January 1, 2015 at 2:26 pm Reply
Anne Reply

Hi guys, I'm not pretty sure if it safe to be used on those severely dry, or sensitive skin. But I have oily/combination. I'm happy what it does for my skin. But I don't overdo it, only twice a week of treatment with baking soda with lemon juice. We must understand that our skin still needs some breathing. And please stay out of the sun harmful rays. smile!

January 12, 2015 at 6:19 pm Reply
Ghanshyaam Reply

Try baking soda soap cream, which is not a scrub, but a smooth cream which the skin absorbs. Since it does not exist, I made it myself. And it works great. The more baking soda, the stronger the cream. Grate a small amount of bathing soap. Add some water and melt it in a pan on the stove. Meanwhile add 2 spoons of baking soda in a hot cup of water. When dissolved, add it to the melted soap in the pan. It will rise, so take it off the fire and stir. Add some essential oil to it or just some vegetable oil and stir. Pour into a vaseline jar if you have any. Use it for pimples and boils. This one is not grainy, but smooth. So it feels pleasant. But it is strong, so after a while wash your face and massage with a favourite oil. The effect will be felt the entire day even if you wash it off. Repeat washing your face through out the day. You can feel the baking soda soap cream is doing its job. Ghanshyaam

June 9, 2015 at 2:21 pm Reply
Bongani Reply

Well....i have been using baking powder and worked pretty well for me

November 24, 2015 at 2:12 pm Reply
abbas Reply

hi I'm a black man but not too dark, I'm very light, I'm having this acne living a lot of scars on my face...can I try this baking soda? I don't want it to bleach my skin but wanna get rid if the scars

November 26, 2015 at 2:02 pm Reply
scarlet Reply

Hi! I try baking soda mask.. my face become itchy and smarting.. is that normal for the first try?

December 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm Reply
cecy Reply

I have used baking soda on my face n it worked magically!my face is not very oily but I had pimples on my cheeks and forehead I even didn't want to look at some of my friends directly on the face!when I was on my way to town to buy the baking soda I met a friend n he was like'whats wrong?you have changed...are you sick?your face,I felt bad.. but now I have something to celebrate!

June 17, 2017 at 4:55 am Reply
richa Reply

Hello, I have a sensitive skin. Till date nothing worked for me. Not even the dermatologists could help. Is there any home remedy which could help me?

August 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm Reply

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