Five Baking Soda Beauty Tips

Floating around in our cabinets is a magical ingredient that can help deodorize, exfoliate, and cleanse. Let us introduce to you: baking soda. This chemical compound, whose proper name is sodium bicarbonate, can be a key ingredient in your beauty regimen just as readily as a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

This white powder works differently when mixed with acids or bases. Mildly abrasive and pH-balancing, baking soda helps to neutralize acids, oils, and odors. And that means you can use it lots of different ways. Here are five beauty remedies to try with the everyday ingredient hiding in your cupboard.

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Hair Cleanser: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with your favorite shampoo and lather up. This mixture will remove buildup caused by hair products and will pH-balance your scalp. An added benefit: it will remove any flakes if you've recently been sunburned.

Teeth Whitener, Plaque Removal, and Toothpaste: You'll find baking soda often listed as a toothpaste ingredient. But you can use baking soda as a single ingredient to brush your teeth or mix with toothpaste, too. Simply dip your toothbrush in a small cup of baking soda and brush. It helps to balance the acidity in your mouth, creating a better environment for you teeth and gums while fighting bad breath. It will help to remove coffee stains and give your floss a boost by loosening and removing built-up plaque. It is mildly abrasive, but it won't scratch your teeth. Limit this treatment to one or two times per month.

Nail Cleaner: Nail polish can end up staining nails a yellowish color. And buffing it off every polish change leaves nails weak. Mix baking soda and a few drops of water (or hydrogen peroxide for extra-stained nails) into a paste and brush it on with an old tooth brush. Removing those stains will help your fun summer polish really pop.

Deo- for the B.O.: Sodium bicarbonate works as a powerful deodorizer that neutralizes stink. Dust onto your pits to help fight odor and soak up moisture. Sprinkle a teaspoon into stinky sneakers to help fight wretched foot stench and absorb extra moisture.

Skin Exfoliant, Facial Scrub: Use three parts baking soda and one part water on an exfoliating glove and apply to wet skin; ditch the glove and use your finger tips for your face. Open up the surface of the skin and scrub away dryness. Repeat the same trick and exfoliate away any scaly self tanner mistakes (especially around ankles, elbows and wrists).

All of these remedies are to be used in moderation. Baking soda will react chemically to other items found around your house, so experiment with caution.

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