Should You Use Baking Soda and Coconut Oil For Your Face?
Published Oct 19, 2020
Since the dawn of time, people had been using DIY beauty hacks that range from impressively effective to downright questionable. For this post, we’ll focus on a DIY combo that is touted to have almost miraculous properties: baking soda and coconut oil.
If you do a quick search on the internet, you’ll find hundreds of articles about using baking soda and coconut oil for your face. Many of them claim that this all-natural combination can make your skin have that sought-after youthful glow. Yet, no evidence can support such claims. Except for sworn statements by beauty “gurus”, that is.
Yes, baking soda and coconut oil have properties that may benefit your skin. Coconut oil, for one, is proven to help relieve physical symptoms of atopic dermatitis. While baking soda has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it ideal for treating skin irritations and insect bites.
But when it comes to your face, scientific evidence says they could be doing more harm than good.
Why Coconut Oil Isn’t For Your Face
Coconut oil has been a staple in the cosmetics industry for many years. Recently, it has become all the rage and beauty experts can’t seem to recommend it enough. Aside from being a natural moisturizer, it also has excellent anti-microbial effects.
Yet despite its myriad of health benefits, coconut oil has one major flaw: it’s highly comedogenic. Meaning, it can clog your pores. For people with acne-prone skin, this poses a considerable problem.
You see, unlike other essential oils, coconut oil doesn’t absorb into your pores. Instead, it sits on top of it forming an impenetrable barrier. So the dirt and bacteria within those pores get trapped. When mixed with the oils that your skin naturally produces, they can cause inflammation. This is why some people wake up to angry red bumps after using coconut oil as an overnight moisturizer.
Ironically, coconut oil is often marketed as an anti-acne miracle. This is partly due to its anti-microbial properties and also because it may help soothe inflammations. But since it cannot be absorbed into your skin, these benefits won’t apply
What Baking Soda Does To Your Skin
Like coconut oil, baking soda is also an in-demand ingredient in today’s skincare market. It’s also usually marketed as the answer to your acne problems.
But while baking soda may help reduce acne inflammation, it’s not recommended for everyday use. Doing so can dry out your skin and may even worsen acne breakouts.
That’s because baking soda can mess up your skin’s pH level. If you’re not familiar with pH levels, it’s a measure of a substance’s acidity. The pH neutral number is 7. Anything below it is an acid and anything above is alkaline.
Our skin is mildly acidic with a normal pH level of around 4.7 to 5.75. At this level, our skin is acidic enough to protect itself from harmful bacteria and damaging free radicals. This acidity also helps our skin maintain its natural oils.
Baking soda, on the other hand, has a pH level of 9 making it a strong alkaline. When mixed with acid, it alters the pH level of that substance.
Applying a strong alkaline base like baking soda to your skin can strip it of its natural oils. As a result, it won’t be able to maintain moisture and loses the ability to fight off dirt and bacteria. Without proper moisture, your skin will also be more sensitive to the elements like the sun and wind.
I guess we’ve made it pretty clear in this post that using baking soda and coconut oil on your face is a bad idea. Even using coconut oil or baking soda alone is not recommended. And no, combining the two does not cancel out their negative effects.
But while it may not be effective for your face, this controversial DIY combo can be used for other purposes.
For example, you can use it as an alternative to toothpaste. Multiple studies show that coconut oil and baking soda may help kill bacteria in your mouth. Baking soda has also been traditionally used to clean and whiten teeth.
About The Author
As a self described fanatic of beauty and fashion, Judy Ponio loves to write blogs about style and beauty lifehacks. Her blogs are full of useful knowledge surrounding trends in the fashion and beauty world.