It seems like breakouts know the perfect (ahem, worst) time to hit.
The day before a big job interview, the night of a first date, Christmas morning—you can be almost totally sure a pimple is about to crop up and attempt to totally ruin your day.
Even better, this unlikely miracle cure is already probably sitting in your kitchen cabinets. Yep, just pull out the baking soda for an inexpensive way to get rid of zits.
As weird as it sounds, there's some real science behind why this treatment works. Baking soda has amphoteric properties—that means it can act as either an acid or a base. Applying baking soda to the skin can counteract any imbalances that cause breakouts, and since baking soda is a drying substance, it can help remove dirt and dead skin cells, too.
A word of warning: Baking soda can be quite abrasive, so if you have sensitive skin, it's best to test this treatment on the back of your hand or arm before applying to your face.
To make a simple spot treatment, mix equal parts baking soda and water to form a thick paste. Apply it directly to the pimple, and leave it on for 15 minutes or so. Rinse off the treatment and be sure to moisturize the skin—baking soda can be very drying.
Baking soda also works as an effective and inexpensive face mask. Mix together two tablespoons baking soda, two to three tablespoons water, and a teaspoon or so of fresh lemon juice. Apply a light layer of the mixture all over the face, and leave on for 10 minutes. Baking soda can be harsh on the skin—if your skin starts to tingle or become red, wash off the mask sooner.
Yet another way to use this versatile ingredient is in a skin detoxifying bath. Just toss in half a cup of baking soda into a warm bath, and soak in it for 15 minutes. This treatment can be especially effective on back or body acne.
Again, if you have sensitive skin, go slowly and stop using any DIY beauty products if you notice a reaction.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho