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I Tried Baking Soda Beauty Hacks And Was Surprisingly Impressed

Good lord, baking soda tastes horrible.

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Hello, I'm Jemima, and I'm very stingy when it comes to spending money.

Jemima Skelley

The reason I look so pleased in this photo is because that GIANT glass of wine only cost me $5.

Because I hate spending money but also want to look good 24/7, I'm constantly on the hunt for cheap beauty products. I've seen heaps of low-cost DIY tutorials on Pinterest, but I've always been pretty wary of how good they could actually be.

I feel like there are a lot of DIY beauty recipes where baking soda is the main ingredient. Because it's cheap AF, I figure there's nothing to lose with trying them out, right?

Jemima Skelley

I tried six different "hacks" to find out what actually works, and what's just a waste of time.


The hack: Baking soda can be used in place of dry shampoo to soak up oil and freshen hair.

How to do it: Get a small handful of baking soda and sprinkle it into your roots. Flip your hair upside down and use your hands to tousle it in.

Did it work?: Technically, yes. My hair was definitely less oily. But I didn't like the way it made my hair feel, kinda straw-like and gritty. It also made my hair static-y, but I get the same thing with dry shampoo from time to time. This solution would be good in a pinch, but I wouldn't actively choose it over real dry shampoo.


The hack: A mask of coconut oil and baking soda helps remove impurities and smooth the skin.

How to do it: Put two tablespoons of baking soda in a dish, and make sure all the clumps are gone. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil, and mix until it's a thick, runny consistency. It takes about a minute of mashing the oil into the powder with a spoon. I microwaved my oil for about 15 seconds to make it softer, but not to the point where it was warm. Then scrub the mixture into your face for a few minutes, and leave to sit for 10 minutes, before washing off with warm water.

Did it work?: My face felt hella fresh afterwards, and the cleanest it's felt for a while. It was also super soft, though that is probably just from being covered in oil. Even the next day my skin felt incredibly soft and tight. I wouldn't say that this hack is any better than every other store-bought mask out there, but it sure costs a lot less.


The hack: Using baking soda and water in place of shampoo gives your hair a deep clean, clearing away product buildup.

How to do it: Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with three tablespoons of water. If you have long hair, double the recipe. Wet your hair in the shower, then pour this mixture over your head. Massage into your roots for about a minute, then rinse. After that, rinse your hair with vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar) to neutralise it.

Did it work?: Um, yes! I had low hopes for this. I had very dirty hair that was also pretty clogged up with dry shampoo, so I assumed the baking soda would do nothing, and I'd just have to wash it again. It felt weird washing my hair without any lather, but it was a pretty straightforward process. I just made my mixture in a glass which I took into the shower with me. I HATED rinsing it with vinegar though – do yourself a favour and make sure none gets in your eyes. That shit STINGS. But once I'd "washed" and dried my hair, I was very surprised by how clean it was. It lacked the bounce and volume that comes with regular shampoo, but it felt soft and silky AF. The only downside was the smell of the apple cider vinegar. I smelled like when you spill wine on the counter but don't bother to clean it up until the next morning.


The hack: Baking soda can help remove fake tan. Perfect for getting rid of orange hands.

How to do it: Make a paste of baking soda and water. I did this just by putting a spoonful in my hand and adding small amounts of water until it was gluggy enough. Then use this paste to scrub your hands together for about two minutes. Wash with soap and the tan should be gone! You could use the same process on legs/knees/elbows/anywhere else you need it.

Did it work?: It sure did! These photos don't do it justice because my bathroom light makes my skin look very red. But I had tan-stained palms that would not go away with soap. After just a minute of baking soda scrubbing, they were clean as ever. I will definitely be using this hack again in the future.

The hack: Brushing your teeth with baking soda is supposed to whiten your teeth and freshen your breath.

How to do it: Dip a wet toothbrush in baking soda and use it to brush your teeth, for three minutes. Rise your mouth thoroughly afterwards.

Did it work?: It honestly tasted DISGUSTING. It tasted like I'd gotten dumped by a wave at the beach but forgotten to close my mouth. Salty AF. It also really hurt my sensitive gums, and made them sting. After brushing, my teeth were definitely cleaner, and it was a feeling that lasted for like 12 hours. If I could handle the pain and the disgusting taste, it'd be a sustainable way to give my teeth a deep clean every couple of days. But alas, it was too damn gross for me.


The hack: Applying baking soda to a pimple helps remove its redness and draws out any gunk.

How to do it: Mix a spoonful of baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a thick paste. I just did it in my hand. Then use a Q-tip to apply to the pimple, leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse off with warm water.

Did it work?: YES. I haven't had a pimple for MONTHS, so I was just going to skip this hack. But, almost like my skin knew about this article, the beginnings of a huge pimple began to form on my forehead. It didn't have a head yet, but it was red and sore. After applying and washing off the baking soda paste, I was honestly amazed. It had completely reduced in size, wasn't red at all, and had no soreness. By the next morning, it had pretty much gone. THIS IS WITCHCRAFT.

Yelenayemchuk / Getty Images

Baking soda is a LOT more useful than I thought. I truly didn't think any of these hacks would work enough to be worth doing again, but oh boy was I wrong. While I wouldn't replace my shampoo or face masks with baking soda, I'll definitely be using it to get rid of fake tan and pimples.