At bh, we’re big fans of DIY kitchen beauty, but we love it even more when it’s dead easy. Because really, who has time for elaborate recipes? That’s why we rate bi-carb soda so highly – it’s a standalone beauty wonder with a ridiculous number of hair and skincare uses.
If our enthusiasm isn’t enough to convince you, you may be swayed by the fact that Emma Stone recently told ELLE France that she uses bi-carb to make her skin glow. And she’s not the only one – Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tyra Banks and Queen Latifah are also self-confessed devotees.
Feeling curious as to just how you can use this baking staple in your beauty regime? Here are a few of my favourite uses, in no particular order…
#1 Wash or scrub your face
Bicarb soda may not be as glamorous as a fancy facial scrub, but if you’ve run out or reached your beauty budget for the month, it’s a fabulous quick fix.
To make a scrub, mix roughly a ¼ teaspoon of bicarb with some liquid cleanser (try QV Face Gentle Foaming Cleanser) in the palm of your hand. Make sure it’s well dissolved, and then apply it in gentle circular motions to your face and neck (avoiding the eyes). Rinse off with warm water before patting your face dry with a soft towel.
#2 Minimise blackheads
Pore strips are great for removing blackheads, but bicarb soda can also be used to treat problem areas on your face and body.
Create a paste using 3 parts bicarb and 1 part water, and spread it over the affected area. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse off with warm water.
#3 Soften skin
Is the winter weather wreaking havoc on your usually baby-soft skin? Bicarb soda could be the answer.
To restore that super-soft feel, add a handful of bicarb soda to your bath water and soak for 20 minutes. For the best results, pat your skin dry and apply a nourishing body cream such as Environ Vitamin A, C & E Body Cream immediately after.
#4 Relieve sunburn and windburn
This may not be too helpful during the winter months, but believe me when I say you’ll be glad to have this DIY saviour up your sleeve come summertime.
To soothe your sunburn, dissolve roughly 100g of bicarb in a tepid bath and soak your poor, burnt bod for about 15 minutes.
#5 Whiten teeth
Is your coffee addiction taking a toll on your teeth? Bicarb can help to remove plaque, freshen breath and remove stains.
For a double-duty whitening effect, mix bicarb soda with some whitening toothpaste (we rate Colgate Optic White Express Paste) and brush your teeth as usual. Just be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after.
#6 Remove fake tan
To get rid of that flaky old tan without scrubbing your skin raw, try using some bicarb.
We recommend running a bath and repeating the skin softener steps above – but once you’ve finished soaking, rub your skin with an exfoliating mitt (try TanOrganic Tan-Erase). You’ll be left with a soft and streak-free bod. Yay!
#7 Clean make-up brushes
Usually we can’t go past a cleaner such as Manicare Brush Cleaner, but a bicarb clean is great in a pinch.
To do it, soak your brushes in a bicarb soda solution (3 tablespoons of bicarb soda in 1 litre of warm water) overnight, then rinse well and pat dry with a towel. You can use this technique for cleaning brushes and combs as well as oral appliances such as retainers.
#8 Make shampoo more effective
If you’ve been using a lot of styling products lately, you probably have some build-up your regular shampoo just can’t lift. Enter bicarb…
Add about a teaspoon of bicarb to your shampoo bottle, or dissolve a teaspoon in a glass of water and saturate your hair with it, then rinse off. Do this just once a week to ensure you don’t strip your hair of its natural oils.
#9 Soothe shaving rash
We all get a bit too vigorous with our razor from time to time, but don’t worry, bicarb’s got you covered.
To alleviate the burn, add one tablespoon of bicarb soda to one cup of warm water, then pour the solution over your legs. Ahh, that’s better.
#10 Prep your nails for a mani
The key to a great mani is a smooth nail surface. And – you guessed it – bicarb can help with this!
To get your nails polish-ready, run an old toothbrush under water, dip it in some bicarb and scrub your cuticles and nails.
*Please note: As with all skincare products, it is advised users do a patch test first in case of an allergic reaction.
For more clever ways to use bicarb, check out this nifty article from our sister site, homeheaven!
Would you use bicarb soda in your beauty routine? Which of these tips sounds most beneficial to you?