Ever heard of a baking soda bath? What does a baking soda bath do? Well, once you learn more about the effects of baking soda on your skin, you might start wondering what can’t baking soda do.
Baking soda might be known as a household cleaning and baking staple, but it also has its place in your skincare routine. Don’t rule out this plain white powder’s possibilities when it comes to skin health — or even helping you de-stress after a long and tiring day.
Just a cup of baking soda (or two) and some warm water in your bathtub could change the way you approach skincare. Read on to learn more about what makes baking soda such a skin savior.
Sodium Bicarbonate: A Long-Held Skin Care Secret
What makes baking soda so good for the skin? The secret lies in its chemical composition. Baking soda is known as an alkaline compound, which can help impact your body’s pH levels. When ingested or applied topically, its high pH helps neutralize acidity both inside and outside the body (such as an upset stomach, or on the skin). Baking soda’s alkaline nature may also help soothe irritated skin.1
However, while it’s a popular home remedy, it’s always best to consult with your dermatologist before trying baking soda on your skin.
Popular Baking Soda Bath Benefits
Here are some of the reasons many people turn to baking soda and warm water to support their current skincare routines. From a simple soak to more elaborate relaxing detox baths involving a few other beneficial household ingredients, baking soda can support your skincare in a number of positive ways.
Some studies suggest that a baking soda bath or soak may help soothe irritated or itchy skin.2,3,4
If your baby is bothered by a minor case of diaper rash, a baking soda bath might help calm down their tender and sensitive skin (as guided by your pediatrician, of course). Simply sprinkle baking soda into baby’s bathwater and soak the affected area for a few minutes.5
Baking Soda Bath Versus Epsom Salt Bath: What’s The Difference?
Both popular DIY or home spa suggestions, enriching your warm bath water with either baking soda or Epsom salt can be a great sensory experience. But they offer different benefits: Baking soda helps with skin issues, while Epsom salt is often relied on for help finding muscle pain relief.6
However, this salt and baking soda combination can make a relaxing detox bath, which may help soothe sore muscles, ease your skin issues.
Drawing A Revitalizing Detox Bath: Just Add Water
With such potent active ingredients as baking soda and Epsom salt, all you really need is to fill your tub with warm water and sink in. But there are best practices you can observe to ensure your detox bath is both safe and restorative.
- Mix two cups of baking soda and one cup of Epsom salt in a mixing bowl beforehand. If adding relaxing essential oils (like lavender), mix a few drops into the soda and salt combination before adding to the water — this makes sure the oil is incorporated well.
- Make sure you are properly hydrated before stepping into the bath, as the steam from the warm water can induce perspiration. Observe for symptoms like lightheadedness, and don’t soak for longer than 30-40 minutes. Rinse your skin well after.
- Consider dry-brushing your skin before soaking, and make sure you replenish lost moisture by massaging coconut oil or lotion into your skin afterward.7
You can also consider an oatmeal bath (oats and baking soda) to help with itchy skin and help restore some of your skin’s moisture.8
How To Make Your Own Baking Soda Bath Bombs
A convenient way to soak in a baking soda bath is to have bath bombs handy, ready to be tossed into a tub full of water whenever you feel your skin needs a baking soda fix. These fizzy bombs not only contain baking soda, but they can also be customized with other ingredients like salt and essential oils to give you the best results.
What You Need
Bear in mind that you’ll want to keep your bath bombs as plain or fragrance-free as possible if you have any skin issues or sensitivities (or better yet, discuss with your dermatologist beforehand).
- 8 oz. baking soda
- 4 oz. Epsom salt
- 4 oz. cornstarch
- 4 oz. citric acid
- Big mixing bowl
- 2 ½ Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. water
- Optional: Dried flower petals, biodegradable glitter, essential oils, food coloring
- Silicone bath bomb molds
- Whisk together all dry ingredients in the mixing bowl until clump-free. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together oil, water, and other optional ingredients if using.
- Slowly and gradually add the wet solution to the dry mix, whisking as you go. There should be no fizzing action — slow down if you experience any. Aim for a consistency similar to damp sand.
- Stuff the bath bombs mixture into the silicone molds, working swiftly so it doesn’t dry out. Make sure your molds are properly filled. Let out to dry and form completely before use.9
Discuss Baking Soda Benefits With Your Dermatologist
While relatively safe, baking soda is not meant to be a treatment for more serious skin concerns. It’s best to consult your dermatologist beforehand if you’d like to try baking soda, salt, and water-based home remedies to supplement your skincare routine — especially if your skin leans to the more sensitive side.