Finding the perfect deodorant can be hard. You want to stay away from the chemical-laden, aluminum heavy, propylene glycol and paraben infested commercial deodorants on your pharmacy shelf, but those natural deodorants and antiperspirants just don’t seem able to keep the sweat or stench away. And going au naturel isn’t an option since you don’t want to smell like you just finished running a 5k when you’re simply going about your workday. Thankfully, baking soda is to the rescue. Here’s why you should use this powder in your armpits and other ways it can prove useful in your personal-care lineup.
Baking soda as deodorant
One of the baking sodas’ most well-known benefits is its ability to effectively absorb odors and actually get rid of them, instead of just covering them up. So it makes sense that it would rise to popularity as a natural alternative to harsh chemical deodorant. Though most of the evidence proving its effectiveness at smell control is anecdotal, studies have found that baking soda has antimicrobial benefits, which could explain its ability to fight off odor-causing bacteria under your arms.
Remember, baking soda could be irritating for your sensitive armpit skin, so it is important to test it on a small patch of your forearm before using under your arms. Also, while baking soda is a great way to reduce odor, it may not be useful for preventing sweat since it is not an antiperspirant.
Make a paste with water for the low-key, easy version, or use cornstarch as well to help increase the antiperspirant effects. Many people enjoy combining baking soda with shea or coconut butter and their favorite essential oils to create a more traditional deodorant paste. Experiment and do what works for you! It may take some time for your body to adjust, so be patient and don’t ditch it right away because it “just doesn’t work for you.” You can also buy natural deodorant with baking soda as an active ingredient if you don’t want to go the DIY route.
Other ways to use baking soda for personal care
Odor removing handwash
Hate the lingering scent of garlic or fish on your hands after you finish cooking dinner? Is hand soap alone just not cutting it? Rub a 3 part baking soda to 1 part dish soap mixture into your hands and wash with warm water. The nasty odors will be gone, and your hands will even be a little softer due to the extra exfoliation.
Halitosis busting mouthwash
Nasty odors can accumulate on your hands, but it’s even worse when your breath starts to smell up a room. Instead of chowing down on mints and gum that merely mask the scent, dissolve 1 tsp of baking soda in a glass of water and swish it in your mouth for about 30 seconds. Spit and rinse out your mouth with clean water. Because baking soda has a neutral pH, it is perfect for neutralizing acidic odors in your mouth.
Relaxing and exfoliating bath soak
Add ¼ cup of baking soda to your warm bath along with ½ cup of Epsom salts and your favorite essential oils. The baking soda will make your skin extra smooth, while the Epsom salts and aromatherapy from the essential oils will help you relax and unwind.
Rejuvenating foot soak
Target your feet specifically and give them some much-needed love with a rejuvenating baking soda foot soak. Simply sprinkle some into your foot soak container along with warm water, let your feet sit for about 15 minutes, and then scrub them with some extra baking soda. This gentle exfoliation is perfect for sensitive feet and will help eliminate dry, cracked heel skin, and leave your feet sandal-ready.
Hair product eliminator
Do you feel like your shampoo isn’t getting your hair as clean as it used to? If so, you may have a buildup of styling products and conditioners on your scalp that is preventing your shampoo from doing its job. The next time you wash your hair, sprinkle some baking soda into your hand and then mix with your shampoo in your palm. Use it as you usually would, making sure to scrub your scalp. This will help eliminate the product buildup and leave your hair squeaky clean. Remember, don’t use it every wash as it can dry out your hair follicles if used too frequently.
-The Alternative Daily