Natural Skin Care: Baking Soda for Blackheads

baking soda for blackheads

Last week, I shared with you my no-soap facial cleanser: The Oil-Cleansing Method (OCM). Honestly, I didn’t expect that post be so popular, mostly because it’s been discussed so many times by so many other blogs! But it just goes to show time and time again, it’s the post that you never expect, that are the ones to take off. :)

So this week, we’re tackling blackheads. Yeah, I said it – black. heads. We all have them. We don’t like to talk about them. But they’re there, nuzzled ever so comfortably in our pores. Some more visible than others. And honestly, they’re more annoying than harmful when you really think about it.

Crunchy Betty gives a pretty good run down of what exactly those little black things are:

Blackheads are just pimples that don’t have skin over them. That’s all they are. Because there’s no skin, and they’re exposed to the air, the top layer of gunk in your pores oxidizes and turns that darkish black color. (Source)

Alright, easy enough. So now that we know what they are, let’s get to the real point of this post and talk about how were going to get rid of those bad boys once and for all – or at least as best as we can.

I present to you, the cheapest, homemade skin exfoliant/blackhead warrior:

baking soda for blackheads

Baking soda! Yep, that good old box of baking soda that we talk about so often here at Nature’s Nurture. The box says it’s for baking, cleaning, and deodorizing, but I’d like to add yet another use for this stuff: exfoliant.

This stuff is awesome at not just scrubbing away dead skin cells, leaving your skin soft and smooth; it’s also an excellent contender against those nasty, pesky blackheads. And because baking soda helps neutralize your skin’s pH, your skin will start to produce less oil, and eventually, with regular treatment, your blackheads will be a thing of the past!

baking soda for blackheads

So here’s the super easy “recipe” for fighting black heads with baking soda. There are also some helpful notes at the bottom with extra tips and pointers to help make this method work better for you. And finally, I’ve included some other sources, which provide some extra information on fighting blackheads.

Natural Skin Care: Baking Soda for Blackheads  
 
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon water (or enough to make a paste)
  • a little organic apple cider vinegar (as toner)
Instructions
  1. Mix the baking soda and water to form a paste.
  2. Splash your face a few times with warm water to open up your pores. Or wet a wash cloth with very hot water and drape it over your face until it cools down. This helps open up your pores to loosen up the dirt and impurities.
  3. Apply the baking soda paste to your face, concentrating on the blackhead areas (usually the T-zone).
  4. Gently massage (don’t rub too hard!) the paste into your skin to exfoliate and loosen up dead skin, blackheads, and any other dirt lurking underneath the surface.
  5. Leave the paste on your skin for at least a minute.
  6. Rinse off the paste with warm water.
  7. Give your face a final splash with cold water to help restrict the pores, preventing more dirt from entering.
  8. To help bring your skin back to its natural pH, use a little diluted apple cider vinegar as a toner afterwards. I do equal parts vinegar to water.

 

baking soda for blackheads

Extra Notes

  • If you are allergic to baking soda (or have sensitive skin), your skin may become irritated and red after using baking soda. Please take extra precaution, and stop using it immediately if you feel you are damaging your skin.
  • Splashing your face with warm water beforehand is very important, as it helps open up your pores to loosen the dirt and impurities. For extra pore-opening action, you may wish to do a mini-facial steam for a few minutes. Just hold your face over a pot of boiling water while draping a towel over your head to keep the steam in.
  • Although this post is about blackheads, I still use this all over my entire face, because it’s just such a great exfoliant! I used to use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, but it’s been replaced with simple baking soda.
  • I use this just once a week, which is perfect for a good deep cleaning at the end of a long week.

More Resources

What products have you tried to help fight your blackheads? What worked, what didn’t work? Please share with us in the comments!

This post is part of a series on Natural Skin Care. To view more posts in this series, click here.

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Sarah UmmYusuf is a former school teacher turned stay-at-home wife and mama with a passion for all things simple, natural, and homemade. She loves the natural world, and believes the solutions to many of the world’s ailments lie in nature. Her blog, , began as a way to document her family’s journey to a greener home, but has since become a thriving community and resource for those wishing to take small steps towards a more eco-friendly, natural and sustainable lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Laura says

    I use this all the time and it really works! I like to mix mine with a little honey instead of water, because honey has natural antibacterial properties. Thanks for your post :)

    • Sarah says

      You’re very welcome, Audrey :) It’s amazing how simple most things are when we really try to get back to the basics!

  2. says

    I just used baking soda the other night as an exfoliant. My skin definitely felt better but I didn’t let it sit in for a minute. I’ll definitely try that next time. And I’ve heard of the OCM too – I really want to try it. Do you have a homemade moisturizer recipe?

    • Sarah says

      I would definitely let it sit for a minute, Tracey, since it helps kill any lurking bacteria beneath the surface. But when I’m in a hurry, I just exfoliate and go 😉 OCM is amazing, you should definitely try it out for at least a week and see what you think! As for moisturizer, I just rub a tiny dab of coconut oil between my fingers and apply it to my face – a little goes a long way!

  3. Candace Young says

    Going to try this right away. Thx! Do you also have anything that helps tighten pores? (Perhaps this will!) I have developed a few large pores around my nose, which just ages the look of my skin.

  4. says

    Hello =D Just tried this trick on hubby yesterday and it works! However, next time I will try to perform mini-facial steam that you recommended, before applying the baking soda paste. Even though we managed to get rid of some blackheads, but there are still a lot to clean. They are quite deep in the skin. Plan to do it again next week =) Can’t wait to see my hubby’s blackheads-free face =D

    Thanks for the tips!!!

  5. Mauri says

    Hi there,

    How would you pair this up with the oil cleansing method? I just started using the oil method (75% jojoba, 25% castor). I don’t want to overload my skin but this sounds too good to pass up. If I did it once a week- would I do this before oil method or after?

    Thanks!

    • Sarah says

      Hi Mauri!

      I just do it about once a week and on a day (or night) that I’m not doing OCM, since I don’t do that everyday. Hope that helps and good luck! :)

  6. Ash says

    You forgot the most important step here. After you do all of this, you NEED to tone your face skin with apple cider vinegar, as it brings back skin’s natural pH (baking soda has different pH then our skin, so it makes our skin more sensitive and we need to tone it.) THIS IS CRUCIAL.

    • Sarah says

      Thanks Ash! You’re absolutely right, I can’t believe I forgot to put that in the post, as I usually do tone with either ACV or some lemon juice. I’ll update the post now. Thanks again! :)

  7. Ashley says

    After exfoliating with the baking soda, how long before you can cleanse your face using the OCM? Can you do it immediately following the exfoliation to help moisturizer your skin?

    • Sarah says

      Hey Ashley, actually right after the baking soda scrub, it’s best to neutralize your skin’s pH with something like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, etc Then I you feel the need to moisturizer afterwards, you can use a little coconut oil (or oil of choice).

      What I do is I do the baking soda scrub in the morning (about once a week or so) and the OCM.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Marcie Pez says

    Baking soda works for me but I feel like it’s only short term like before a big day or something. I’m looking for more long term solutions. My friend recommended off with those heads by b.liv she says it works like magic, in two weeks or so, she said it even closed up her pores. I’m doing a little more research on the product. http://www.cellnique.com/cellnique/off-with-those-heads-45m.html

    It has a guarantee so I’m thinking it’ll work. I’ll let you know the results!

  9. says

    is it okay if you use baking soda, honey, and olive oil everyday or baking soda everyday? are you suppose to use any face lotion after you wash your face with the baking soda, because my face is oily and has a lot of acne and sunburn and i would like to try this and if it works for my acne and sunburn. Thank you

    • Sarah says

      The honey is ok to use everyday. The baking soda, however, is a bit harsh to be using it everyday. I only use it about once or twice a week at most. After the baking soda scrub, it’s best to use a toner to help tone the skin. Either apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or witch hazel are great for this.

  10. Katie Ramey says

    Yes, baking soda works wonders for cleansing and tightening pores! Afterwards, I usually apply a thin layer of vitamin E ointment.

    • says

      I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work out the same since baking soda is known for its exfoliating action. Plus I don’t know how much of a paste the powder would make. I’m not sure if there’s an actual safety issue involved with using the powder instead though, so you may want to do a search on that.

  11. says

    I just tried the baking soda mixed with pure honey (didn’t have the raw kind) and lemon (the vitamin C is good for your skin). Unfortunately, my face itched like crazy for after using the scrub. Will probably try using an oatmeal scrub instead.

    I’ve also heard that because baking soda is alkaline, it will destroy the acidic mantle (your body’s natural protective coating of oil) on your skin, and therefore should never be used as a skin cleanser. Has anyone else heard this as well?

    • says

      Hey Heather, I’m so sorry this made you itchy! As I’ve mentioned in the notes, your skin may be sensitive to baking soda, so you’re advised to stop using it if it causes irritation. And yes, baking soda is alkaline, which is why I also say to use some apple cider vinegar as a toner to help balance the pH after using it. Wait, I just realized that you said you did the honey scrub (but you’re commenting on the baking soda for blackheads post), so I’ll go ahead and add those to disclaimers to the notes section on the honey scrub post. :)

      And an oatmeal scrub sounds lovely!

  12. Megan B. Henderson says

    This is a very useful article. I think that this is this the best remedy of all. have been using this formula for at least 6 months and I have seen less than 5 pimples in that time.

  13. Yella says

    I love this ! And i absolutely love that you are so friendly. Thanks for the help, my face looks absolutely softer and no blackheads with one use ! :)

  14. Fawn says

    Thanks for all the useful tips! I’ve been looking for an easy, natural, homemade exfoliant. Baking soda is a miracle! Dirt cheap, and cleans everything from bathroom mildew to odiferous laundry to pimples! My husband has been using baking soda as a dandruff shampoo–he loves it, but I find it dries my scalp out too much. (I’m doing the coconut oil massage instead.)

    I just wanted to add: some people find success treating acne with dietary changes. For me, for example, dairy products reliably make me break out. (Sometimes I just can’t resist, and know I’m going to pay the price for that yummy cheese plate with pimples later.) Wish I’d known about that when I was a teenager!

    My husband had atrocious acne when he was a teen–the dermatologist told him it was the worst case he’d ever seen. He was prescribed strong antibiotics that led to chronic health problems for years later. In his quest to heal from those, he discovered that he is extremely sensitive to gluten–probably undiagnosed celiac sprue. What if he had known to try a gluten-free diet back when he was a pizza-faced kid? Certainly acne of that severity is a sign of some internal imbalance. After all, our skin is the body’s means of excreting toxins–whatever our particular body finds toxic.

    Ah, life. A journey of self-knowledge. Thanks for your blog.

  15. misael ordenal says

    I have been amazed when i open this website i have been starting using baking soda since from January 2013, what i have done is to observe first a hand sanitation so i have seen that it smoothies my skin, so i planned to use as a bathing cleanser so it was great i feel comfortable, i feel younger i am 45 years old now i feeling back as early 30 years of age, i did not look the internet how to use as it what i did i have made a study with, Baking soda is a miracle healing power for the past four months i have using it every taking a bath even without using a bath soup. My experience in using soda is too long to tell here because there is so many result as what i have get while using the baking soda. every taking a bath i used baking soda even i used it for a toothpaste so great. even in an insect inside the ear of my son i used it about two hour he sleep as well,what i did i used a cotton bud deep in the water and deep into the baking soda and wait the soda dissolved and i dip inside into ear my son just like cleaning your ear that is it. I have many more thing to tell you just email me misael_ordenal@yahoo.com thank you.

  16. Tracy says

    I have been using baking soda as a facial cleanser for the last few months and cannot
    believe the difference in my skin! My only regret-I wished I would have used it sooner. I
    alternate in between with an olive oil/sugar scrub but my skin has never felt or looked
    better. baking soda is inexpensive and a miracle worker on the skin.

  17. Teri says

    The oil method was a NIGHTMARE for me! I am still trying to recover from it! Going to try BS and water, someone said milk but I will try this first!

    • says

      Using this daily would be too harsh on the skin, since although baking soda is fairly gentle, it’s still an abrasive. I wouldn’t do more than 2-3 times a week at most.

  18. Christine says

    What are your thoughts on using the clarasonic Mia for exfoliating with the baking soda? Do I still need to cleanse before using the baking soda?

  19. Zach says

    hey guys, i tried this and it didn’t work well for me at all… the baking soda paste is a great exfoliate, but make sure you rinse it ALL off good, especially us that wear glasses, the grittiness can become a real bother lol trust me, I found out the hard way. It also took way more than a teaspoon of baking soda to make the “paste”… I made it per instructions and it didn’t even dry on my face because it was too wet. It also didn’t do anything for my blackheads, save making them slightly more noticeable lol I’ve also heard that using baking soda and honey was a viable alternative, any ideas on that one?

  20. Jenne, LE, LMT says

    In the aesthetics world we call this desincrustation,. Appetizing word, huh?! Baking soda as a mask and exfoliant for oily and acneic works wonders. It can be drying, so more than once a week is not advised. Use a pH balancing toner (diluted acv or witch hazel would work) and a moisturizer after. Yay baking soda! In an aesthetic office we add a galvanic machine to the service for even better results.

  21. Tabitha says

    We spent thousands of dollars on facial scrubs and dermatologists for our daughter who had acne as a teen & finally did my own research and baking soda & honey cleared up her face & was much cheaper :-)

  22. amanda says

    You should be aware that in different countries baking soda has different names. In the UK baking soda is bicarbonate of soda and baking powder is not baking soda it can cause confusion. I’m always getting them the wrong way round 😉

    • says

      I wouldn’t use this more than once or twice a week because baking soda is pretty abrasive. I’ve never heard of calamari juice so I wouldn’t know about that – sorry.

  23. Blackhead extractor says

    My mum told me NOT to use pore strips. They strip and enlarge your pores and do more harm to your pores than help.
    I would like to try lemon/honey though.

  24. Judie says

    I’ve recently discovered that my son has a really bad case of back blackheads. Think this would work for him?

  25. Gelly says

    Is it okay if I don’t tone my face ? Like massage my face with baking soda then rinse it .. Coz I really dont

    • says

      The baking soda changes the ph of your skin, so the toner helps bring it back to a balanced ph. You shouldn’t be using this scrub more than once a week or so, so you’d only be toning once a week, really. :-)

    • says

      No, only raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar should be used. If you can’t find it near you, you can try diluted lemon juice or witch hazel.

  26. Tanya says

    What exactly is supposed to happen when using this? Will it make the blackheads completely disappear?

    If that’s the case, I’m guessing some people it may take longer for it to make them disappear?

    • says

      Baking soda acts as an exfoliant so it helps scrub away the dead skin cells. It also neutralizes your skin’s pH which helps it produce less oil, leading to less blackheads. It’s not going to work from the first time (although your skin will definitely feel much smoother after the first time), but with regular use (once or twice a week), your skin should show signs of improvement.

  27. says

    Hi. I will definitely be trying the baking soda. But what will you suggest a person use as a daily cleanser?
    Some soaps dry to much and others just causes more breakouts. So I am also desperate to try new things as I have been buying a lot of products. Would appreciate any help. Thanks

  28. Shannah says

    I am going to try this tonight! hope it works for me, my skin is horrible! I only joined this website today and im so impressed! Woohoo 😀 😀 😀

  29. asm613 says

    the simplest & quickest way i’ve pulled black heads out of my face was to press sticky masking tape over my forehead/nose-wherever black heads were_ waited about 15 minutes- pull tape off_ look at tape & it’s covered with little oil/dirt/black head slugs. it worked better than expensive pore strips

  30. Hina says

    I just tried this and my skin felt softer and cleaner, but I didn’t notice a huge difference in pore size or that the blackheads were gone… will it take more than one try to work? And how often should this paste be applied? Is once a week good, or even twice a week?

    Great tips though, thanks!

    • says

      I try to do this about once a week. Anymore than that and the baking soda may be a bit irritating for the skin. And you definitely won’t notice a difference in blackheads after just one time. It took me a good few weeks before I noticed anything. The instant soft and clean skin made it easy to keep using it though. Good luck! :-)

  31. christina says

    Hi,

    Is there such thing as white heads?
    I have a lot of those around my nose and chin area. Do you have a recipe for that?

    thanks

  32. ceejy says

    Baking soda is amazing for me, I have a lot of blackheads and pimples, and I tried baking soda. First I wash my face with lukewarm water to open the pores and I used Johnson’s soap, and wash again with water, then apply baking soda mixed with water until it dries. And wash again with cold water let it dry then after few minutes I used cotton balls with eskinol classic white (facial deep cleanser) see the cotton u will see all the dirts.. Don’t forget to apply moisturisers after. Better to use before bedtime. :) God Bless

  33. says

    Thank you for the idea! I’ll definitely try it! I use baking soda in my cleaning routine, I didn’t know that I can use it also for my skin!

    Best regards!
    St Paul’s Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  34. Danielle says

    So i only use this once a week? and I’ve also saw were people use a toothbrush toothpaste baking soda and water then scrub it with the toothbrush. Or I’ve seen were they just mix water and baking soda then let it dry.

  35. says

    Scrubbing the face with a toothbrush? No, I think that’s a bit harsh on the skin. Just using your fingers is fine. And yes, you can also just let it dry on the skin after you’ve scrubbed, and let it act as a mask, then wash with warm water. Yes, only once a week is enough, as baking soda can be quite abrasive, especially for sensitive skin. Just remember to tone afterwards!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Natural Skin Care: Baking Soda for Black Heads:  Nature’s Nurture.  Very cool supplement to the “oil cleansing” method. Not just a “rub your face with soda” tutorial. […]

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