baking soda girl

Anyone who tries to live an eco-lifestyle probably already knows about the almighty powers of baking soda. This handy white powder deodorizes refrigerators, unclogs plugged drains, relieves itchy bug bites, cleans tough spots everywhere from the kitchen to the bathroom and makes cakes, breads and other baked goodies uber light and fluffy.

It almost seems as if there’s more that this pantry essential can do than what it can’t. One area that you may not have considered in which baking soda works its eco-magic wonders is in the realm of beauty. There’s definitely something to be said for organic beauty products, but if you’re feeling the pinch of a tight budget (and who isn’t these days?) homemade beauty products may be the way to go. Enter baking soda. Get spiffed up from head to toe with these seven ways to use baking soda in your beauty routine.

1. Quickie hair cleaner

Remove product buildup from all that stuff you slather on your hair (shampoo, conditioner, styling products) with baking soda. Simply wash your hair with about ½ cup of baking soda and warm water once every two weeks. If your hair feels too dry after using this method, add ½ cup vinegar to the concoction. It might not smell as good as your shampoo (okay… it’s not going to smell good at all), but this mixture’s bubbling power will easily get rid of grimy buildup.

2. Natural dry shampoo

On those days when you just don’t have time to shower (courtesy of hitting the snooze button one too many times), baking soda can remove grime and oil from your hair in a snap. Sprinkle one to two tablespoons of the powdery lifesaver into your greasy roots. Scrunch it in, and then use a fine bristled brush to comb the powder out. Instant freshness.

3. Face wash and makeup remover

Slough off the day’s griminess and what’s left of your morning makeup with baking soda. Simply shake a small amount of the powder into your cupped palm. Add a few drops of water, and then scrub away. Be careful around your eyes, as it will sting if you get any of the mixture in them. Rinse thoroughly when you’re done.

4. Baking soda bath

Skip the bubbles and fancy bath salts—all you need is baking soda. Sprinkle ½ cup of baking soda into a tub filled with warm bath water. Soak away the day’s stresses for 15-30 minutes. The baking soda will leave your skin refreshed and silky smooth.

5. Pedicure

No need to pay for a fancy-schmancy pedicure. Pamper yourself with a homemade pedicure starring baking soda. Immerse your tired tootsies in 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make the mixture smell nice. (Try lavender if you’re going for ultimate relaxation.) Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.

Next, scrub trouble spots, such as the heels and balls of the feet, with a mixture of baking soda and just enough water to form a paste. This paste will remove rough areas and dead skin.

6. Teeth whitener

Get your pearly whites gleaming with a little help from baking soda. Mix together 6 teaspoons baking soda, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons glycerin and 15 drops of peppermint or other breath-freshening oil. Dip a toothbrush in the mixture and scrub away at your choppers for a brightening boost to your smile.

7. Face mask

Use a food processor to grind together 1 part baking soda, 2 parts oatmeal and a few drops of honey. Add just enough water to make the mixture thick and paste-like. Smooth the mixture over your mug and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse it off and enjoy your creamy skin.

image: sweethardt