Skin Matters

Baking Soda For Acne - Does It Work?

Maybe it's better if you don't try this at home.

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Baking soda is a multi-tasking wonder in the kitchen. It can help neutralize odors in the fridge and help the cupcakes you’re baking rise beautifully. But now, more people are using it as a DIY acne treatment since it also contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities that can kill bacteria and lessen swelling.

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The Real Deal
Because baking soda is amphoteric, it can react as either a base or acid. This means that it may help balance your skin’s pH level and make it less acidic (pH imbalances on your skin can be cause acne). Most DIY beauty practitioners like to make a paste or a face mask out of baking soda by mixing it with water or apple cider vinegar. The problem? Because you’re not using this under the supervision of a licensed dermatologist, it can cause stinging, irritation, and even worsen your current acne condition—especially if you leave it on your skin for several minutes. Another reason why it’s a no-no? Baking soda granules are uneven, which can cause microtears on your skin when used as an exfoliant.

So What Do You Do?

A safer solution to banish acne is to use a pimple gel that contains salicylic acid. This effective zit zapper can help clear out any oil trapped in your pores without drying your skin. If you still want to give baking soda a try, make sure you consult with a trusted dermatologist first and do a skin patch test on the side of your jaw to see how your skin reacts to it. Most of all, never leave the mask or paste on for longer than a minute to make sure you don’t overdry or irritate your skin.

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PDS is the only specialty society in Dermatology recognized by the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) and the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP). PDS is not an endorser of any product found in the site.

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