Emma Stone, Queen Latifah, and Tyra Banks swear it’s the secret behind their glowing skin. But, despite its celebrity approval, many skin care experts strongly advise against the use of baking soda anywhere other than in the kitchen. Dermatologist, Dr. Jaishree Sharad even points out that “there is no scientific research” to support the use of baking soda in the skin care industry, and adds that it’s not approved by the U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA). So, what are the real risks of adding this common household product into your skin care regime?

Alters the PH balance of the skin

The PH scale measures how acidic or how alkaline a product is when mixed with water. On the PH scale, skin typically falls between 4.5 and 5.5, thus indicating that it contains acid. This range is deemed healthy and helps to keep the skin in optimum condition. While the PH of your skin falls within these figures, the skin remains moisturized and protected from bacteria and pollution.

However, when a substance containing alkaline, such as baking powder, which has a PH balance of 9, is applied to the skin, the acid mantle of the skin is damaged. The acid mantle is a very thin, yet important acidic film which coats the surface of the skin. And, when this layer of the skin is subjected to damage caused by baking soda, a whole host of skin complaints will be experienced.

Sun sensitivity

The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that 9,500 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are a leading cause of skin cancer and millions of individuals use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and stay out of the sun during peak UV times to minimize their risk of developing this disease. However, all this effort is undone when you slap baking soda onto your skin.

You’re much more likely to experience sunburn due to the oils being stripped from your skin. And, just five cases of sunburn increases your risk of developing melanoma skin cancer by 80% and raises the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer by 68%.

An increase in acne breakouts

It’s estimated that a whopping 60 million Americans have acne, with 20% of them having it so severe that it will cause scarring. With this in mind, it’s understandable why thousands of individuals with acne prone skin are keen to try anything – including baking soda – to alleviate their symptoms.

However, Medical News Today warns that it could actually worsen your acne breakouts. As the PH change in your skin severely breaks down the protection on the top layer of your skin, it’s easier for dirt and bacteria to get in. And, everyone knows that this can only lead to a nasty breakout of acne.

Excessive dryness

Most individuals who use baking soda in their skin care regime, mix it with water to create an exfoliant. But, this can have some serious consequences on your skin. Not only is the baking soda affecting the PH balance of your skin and damaging the acid mantle, but the manual exfoliating process causes even more damage. And, the more you exfoliate with baking soda, the more damage you’re causing. It then takes your skin longer to heal as more and more moisture is lost. In turn, your skin will become increasingly dry and conditions such as eczema may occur.

Early onset of wrinkles

No one wants to look in the mirror to find wrinkles appearing under their eyes, on their forehead, and around their lips. This is why the global anti-aging market is expected to grow by 5.8% by 2021, as millions of individuals fight to stay as youthful as possible. A key tip to keep wrinkles at bay is to ensure that your skin is hydrated at all times. However, when baking soda is applied to the skin, it has the complete opposite effect and will drain the moisture from your skin.

Not only does this put you at risk of developing scaly and irritated skin, but you’re much more likely to develop wrinkles earlier on in life than you would have if you’d avoided the baking soda altogether.

Inflammation and irritation

As baking soda isn’t commonly used in everyday skin care products, most individuals don’t know how their skin will react to it until they apply it to their face and body. Due to its alkaline nature, it’s common for users to experience sensitivity, inflammation, and irritation. This is especially the case for those with certain skin types, such as dry or problem skin.

Once baking soda is on your body, any skin reaction will happen quickly and the damage will already be done. So, rather than risk a red, blotchy face and persistent itchy skin, it’s best to use skin care items containing products which are approved by the FDA and have been rigorously tested for their skin safety.

Baking soda burn

Baking soda has gained popularity as a natural and organic deodorant. However, a simple search on the net reveals that for every individual shouting baking soda’s skin care praises, another is complaining of a burning sensation on their skin. This burning sensation, which has been aptly named as ‘baking soda burn’, is the skin’s way of reacting to prolonged exposure to the chemicals in the baking soda. Basically, your skin is shouting at you to stop using it immediately.

So, if you’re looking for a natural deodorant, it’s worth considering alternative options instead. Mixing essential oils, shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil together is a simple way to make a homemade and effective sweat-busting product for very little cost. And, it’s safe on your skin, too.

There are many claims in the beauty world that baking soda does great things for the skin. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims and most dermatologists oppose its use on the skin. Therefore, before applying baking soda to your skin, make sure you seriously consider the impact and risks that this seemingly innocent item can cause.