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8 Baking soda beauty hacks we tried ourselves

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We find out if popular baking soda beauty hacks really work

Are these baking soda beauty hacks really as good as they say? We tested some of the best-known hacks and we're ready to share our results.

Kara Endres

Teeth whitener

Teeth Whitener:

I've done this occasionally throughout the years when I felt like I needed a whitening boost. Mix baking soda with enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Apply it to the teeth with a toothbrush, finger or Q-tip and let it sit for one to two minutes. Do this for a few days until you see a difference, but it's not for everyday use. I like that it's an inexpensive alternative to whitening strips, but it's messy, doesn't taste great, and you can't really close your mouth. It does make your teeth super-clean and fresh while giving you those whitening results over time. So try it out and see if you like it.

Clarifying shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo

This was my favorite of all the baking soda beauty hacks I tried. Mix about a tablespoon of baking soda into the normal amount of shampoo you use and wash and condition your hair as normal. The shampoo seemed to suds more and felt very clean as I rinsed (which took a bit longer than usual). After my hair dried, I could definitely see that it worked very well to clarify my hair and scalp. My hair looked and felt very clean and healthy, and not weighed down from product buildup. I'd definitely recommend doing this treatment on occasion.

Facial scrub

Facial Scrub

I mixed about three parts baking soda, one part ground oatmeal and one part water to make the scrub. Do this over the sink because it can get messy. The oatmeal is a nice addition if you have sensitive skin like mine, but you can leave it out if you like. Because the baking soda granules are so fine, it's easy to get carried away with the scrubbing because it feels smoother than traditional exfoliating scrubs, so be careful not to overdo it. I personally wasn't a fan of this beauty hack because it irritated my face a bit and I didn't see any visible improvements. My skin felt clean and oil-free, but also tight and tingly, so it's just a matter of personal preference.

Dry shampoo

Dry Shampoo

Beginning with three- to four-day-old hair, I sprinkled on baking soda and massaged it into my scalp. It didn't do too much for the grease and I could see tiny granules. So I mixed half baking soda, half cornstarch and tried on another section of hair — better with the grease, but I could still see granules. It felt clean and I liked that it's unscented (unlike using baby powder), but this beauty hack didn't wow me.

Mary McCoy

Skin brightener

Skin brightener

I mixed baking soda with a few drops of lemon juice and olive oil, and spackled the weird concoction on my face. Needless to say, I was skeptical. But then I felt a nice tingling sensation, and I washed the mask off my face after 10 minutes. You guys, my skin feels amazingly clean and soft, because the baking soda provided mega-exfoliation. I think it looks brighter, too.

Mouthwash

Mouth wash

Do I get bonus points for rinsing my mouth with a baking soda and water mixture while wearing the skin-brightening mask? The homemade mouthwash tasted like the ocean and/or bruschetta, which isn't what I'm usually looking for in my dental hygiene. That said, my mouth felt strangely bubbly after I spit out the concoction, and now my teeth feel super-smooth and clean. I don't think there was much whitening action, though.

Jana Randall

Foot scrub

Foot scrub

Being an avid swimmer, rough skin on my feet is something that I've become accustomed to. Not being a fan of the pedicure, I typically do the normal scrub-and-go. However, those days are long gone now that I've discovered baking soda. Following the directions on the Arm & Hammer website, I soaked both of my feet in a tub with three tablespoons of baking soda before scrubbing with the same amount, plus one tablespoon of water. I scrubbed for a solid minute before allowing my feet to absorb the soak for another minute or two. Upon rinsing them off, I could immediately feel a difference in the skin of my feet. They felt softer and most of the calluses had nearly disappeared. I was shocked at the results and most definitely plan on using this method on a weekly basis.

Acne paste

Acne paste

As a woman in my 30s, it's rare that I get a true pimple, but I do find the occasional blemish around that certain time of the month. Seeing one this week, I felt it was the perfect time to try the baking soda acne paste. Using three parts baking soda to one part water, I mixed the ingredients together before gently rubbing onto my blemish. At first the concoction felt magical, and I was happy to be using an exfoliator for nearly a 16th of the cost; however, the scrub felt a bit rough for my sensitive skin. Upon taking it off with a warm washcloth, I noticed that although it reduced the redness surrounding my acne, it also increased the sensitivity of my face. Indeed, my chin area felt softer, but it did slightly burn for a solid 15 minutes. I would advise that someone with sensitive skin do a test run on a portion of the face before applying more liberally.

Deirdre Kaye

Sunburn soother

I've been using baking soda on sunburns all my life. Adding a few heaping tablespoons to a cool bath will help for a while. Just make sure the water is cool, not warm or hot, and don't towel off. An even better-feeling (but messy) option: Make a cold water and baking soda paste and have someone slather it on your back while you lie on a towel, then rinse off in a (cool) shower once it starts to dry.

Toothpaste

There are a few options for this, but I made a paste with baking soda and water in the palm of my hand and then dipped my brush in it. The sort of salty taste is actually less nauseating than all those super-sweet toothpastes you can buy at the store. The gritty texture takes getting used to, though. But my teeth looked and felt super-clean afterwards.

Spray tan

This smart chick just did her first spray tan and then pulled on jeans. Six hours later, I had splotchy orange legs. I used a lemon/baking soda mixture to try to lighten just the dark spots, but then those were lighter than the rest. In the end, I got in the shower and used the same mixture to exfoliate. It took off most of the tanner, so my legs are lighter than the rest of my body. But at least I don't look like a zebra.

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