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Unsightly acne and blackheads can take you from diva to disaster in an instant. Stop spending your money on harsh over-the-counter acne products that can aggravate your skin. Instead, go with a natural solution for acne and blackheads -- baking soda. Baking soda is one of nature's best-kept beauty secrets and works as a natural exfoliator to smooth and polish the skin.
Acne can be caused by a number of reasons, but is most frequently associated with the overproduction of oil in the sebaceous glands, excess dead skin cells and a buildup of bacteria in the skin. When the skin becomes irritated by any of these conditions, it results in clogged pores and comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). According to the Mayo Clinic, "when comedones are open at the skin surface, they're called blackheads because of the dark appearance of the plugs in the hair follicles. When comedones are closed, they're called whiteheads." While instincts might lead you to slather your face with harsh soaps and scrubs to combat against acne and blackheads, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals will only further irritate the problem. For best results, use a mild cleanser and a gentle exfoliator like baking soda to remove excess oil and dirt from the skin.
Benefits of Baking Soda on the Skin
Baking soda is a wonderful tool for treating acne since its exfoliating properties assist with skin cell turnover. Baking soda can also making your acne look less noticeable because it sloughs away dead skin cells that can make your skin look dry and dull. In addition to treating acne, baking soda has neutralizing properties, which can help decrease the redness associated with acne and skin irritation.
A Natural Exfoliant and Cleanser
Baking soda makes a wonderful natural exfoliant for the face, lips and body. It's fine texture allows it to polish the skin gently unlike some over-the-counter scrubs that contain coarse granules that can tear delicate facial skin. According to Planetgreen.com, "baking soda is coarse, but not too coarse. It's the best amount of coarse for removing the top layer of dead skin cells, and if applied correctly, it won't cause your sensitive facial skin to become red and irritated." To make a facial cleanser, mix baking soda and several teaspoons of water together until it becomes the texture of liquid soap. Use the watery mixture to cleanse the face and rinse with water. Also, when you do wash your face, be sure to use warm water instead of hot. Hot water pulls the moisture from your skin and can cause overdrying. If you skin becomes overly dry, it will try to restore the moisture by activating the oil-producing sebaceous glands -- further exacerbating the acne problem. Also, always moisturize your face after washing.
Baking Soda Facial Mask
While the granules in baking soda can work as an exfoliant, you might also want to try a baking soda facial mask to unclog pores that are open at the skin's surface. Just combine a handful of baking soda with a few teaspoons of water to form a thick paste. Rub the mixture onto the face and let dry for 10 to 15 minutes or overnight. As the mixture dries, it will pull pore-clogging oil and debris from the pores. If you suffer from blackheads along your forehead, you may need to wash your hairline more frequently in order to remove excess oils and styling products that might build up around the face. Try treating this area with a baking soda mask once or twice a week to soak up excess oils.