#AskHauterfly: Why You Shouldn’t Be Using Baking Soda On Your Face
I don’t have any qualms about admitting that I’m a DIY-er. Anything that can be recycled or repurposed will be put to good use. Got a beauty crisis or want to have an impromptu spa sesh at home? There’s no place like the internet to get some of THE best beauty hacks.
I like to cut out chemicals wherever I can instead of relying on store-bought stuff all the time. And while the internet has led me to some really cool discoveries, I’ve also come across beauty “treatments” that are so bizarre I just can’t wrap my head around them. Like the one suggesting spraying a concoction of brown sugar and water on your hair to straighten them naturally without the aid of hot tools. I shook my head in disbelief since all I could think about was the sticky mess it would land you in, not to mention the totally not legit advice.
Remember how apple cider vinegar was once the hero product on the internet, with everyone going crazy about it? This was closely followed by baking soda. Recently a New Zealand-based beauty blogger Darshika Patel sent the internet into a tizzy when she uploaded a video on YouTube using baking soda to treat her under eye circles and bags.
In the video above, Patel mixes baking soda with water and spoons the paste under her eyes. She lets it sit on her skin for 5-10 minutes and then wipes it off with a baby wipe to get rid of her under-eye circles and bags. Patel advises against applying it too close to the eyes and does not do it more than twice a week. While the results are noticable, here’s why you should be taking advice like this with a pinch of salt.
Baking soda has long been hailed as a star ingredient in DIY recipes for skin issues, but how effective is it at eliminating eye bags and dark circles, and more importantly, is it really good for you? Apparently not. According to this interview with cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller, baking soda does NOT belong anywhere near your face or skin.
Here’s why: “pH level” is the numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of skin, with 1 being most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. The pH of skin is 5.5 (which makes it slightly acidic) while for baking soda it is 9, which makes it far too harsh for your skin, let alone your face. It is too alkaline to be safe, and applying it directly to the delicate skin on your face — that too so close to the eyes — is very harmful since it upsets the skin’s natural acid mantle dramatically. While it’s true that it removes excess oil from the skin, it will only dry out and irritate your skin eventually and possibly even damage it permanently when used frequently. Basically, it does more harm that good in the long run and is totally not safe to use. Sorry, girls! I’m not on board with this “wonder” product and honestly, neither should you.
The smarter thing to do? Use an *actual* eye cream created specifically for depuffing or eliminating dark circles.