Monday, May 9, 2011

The Beauty of Baking Soda

This week, I’m devoting my posts to common household items and their not-so-common uses. There are lots of reasons why I love this topic:

  • The items are food-based which means that they are generally safe, non-toxic, and biodegradeable;
  • They’re usually on hand and can be used at a moment’s notice;
  • They help simplify and save space in our cabinets and closets by allowing us to buy less “stuff”;
  • They save us money since we can use them to replace other, often much more expensive, products.

One of my favorite multi-use items from the kitchen is baking soda. Over the years I’ve come to use it for so many things and lately as a simple but effective personal care tool. Here are some of the ways I use it:

To brush my teeth. I’ll either use it alone, or dip my toothpaste into it and gently brush to remove stains. Incidentally, years ago I mentioned to my dentist that my back teeth were sensitive when I would eat tart apples. He said to try brushing with baking soda first to see if it would help. It did, and the sensitivity is actually gone. I’m not sure if it’s the baking soda that did it, but it did help with isolated incidents.

To clarify my hair. Even without using lots of gels and crèmes and mousses in my hair, every few weeks I like to strip my hair of the residue that builds up from shampoos, conditioners, and the environment. I add a teaspoon of baking soda to the shampoo in my hand and mix it together. Then I apply it to my hair and wash as usual. It works just as well if not better than clarifying shampoos and costs much less.

As a exfoliating face wash. You’re probably thinking, what? Well, I wanted to exfoliate one day and decided to put some baking soda into my face wash, similar to what I do for my hair. The result was glowing skin that wasn’t dry. I sometimes use it alone to wash my face as well. It has a very fine abrasive texture that is gentle on the skin, unlike some scrubs on the market that contain, for example, crushed nut shells. And once again, I no longer feel the need to buy a face scrub.

There are hundreds of uses for baking soda, but I’d love to know if and how you use it in your beauty routine? Please share it here!

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