Epsom salt is a familiar ingredient to many of us. It is a commonly used bath salt ingredient. Epsom salt can be used for many other purposes as well. What is Epsom Salt and how can it be utilized in homemade cosmetics?
History of Epsom salt
Epsom salt has its own, interesting history. It is originally a natural product. When its popularity and demand grew started the industrial production as well. The name Epsom comes from the city of Epsom in Surrey, UK. The city of Epsom is the place where Epsom salt was eventually discovered. Magnesium sulphate has since been found in many different locations on Earth.
Epsom salt is not a compound similar to table salt
Epsom salt consists of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen unlike table salt which is almost pure sodium.
Magnesium sulphate is an easily water-soluble substance. It even attracts moisture from the air. Therefore, Epsom salt should be stored in a very dry place.
Epsom salt is a very safe substance that can be used, for example, as a bath salt. It is also beneficial for plants if the soil happens to be low in magnesium. In addition to magnesium sulphate, Epsom salt is rich in sulphur.
Benefits of Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is mostly magnesium. Magnesium is a trace element that plays a particularly important role in the body. It is involved in more than 300 different biochemical reactions. Magnesium has an effect on the functioning of the heart, musculature and nervous system, just to name few. Magnesium is one of our most important minerals.
Enzymes that regulate DNA repair absolutely do need vital magnesium to function properly
Our DNA repair system also takes care of the youthfulness of the skin and fights wrinkles.
Magnesium baths relax the legs and the whole body
After a magnesium bath, you’ll feel quite sleepy and enjoy a long, sweet sleep.
Magnesium has an effect on the nervous system and at the same time it does relieve stress
Magnesium baths reduce stress and relax the mind.
Magnesium promotes melatonin production
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that regulates when we sleep and for how long.
Magnesium baths may relieve muscle pain
This is purely empirical information for which there is no scientific evidence to back it up. however, it is worth trying to Epsom salt to relieve muscle pain. It works for me so my guess is that the effect is very individual.
The Epsom salt bath improves blood circulation and thus reduces swelling.
Epsom salt naturally contains sulphur
Sulphur has a special anti-inflammatory effect. Sulphur treatments are used in connection with acne and rosacea. That’s why I recommend trying Epsom salt on face masks. In the treatment of rosacea, the skin should never be rubbed. The same rule goes with all inflammatory skin diseases. So just gently rinse Epsom Salt off the skin and pat the skin dry.
Epsom salt has a moisturizing effect on the skin
The salt is easily absorbed into the skin and at the same time it collects moisture around it. Salt baths, especially Epsom salt baths, are a good way to take care of moisturizing the skin.
Absorption of magnesium through the skin
There is very controversial information available about the absorption of magnesium through the skin. It is officially stated that there is no scientific evidence to support this process. However, magnesium-containing creams are used to treat tense muscles consistently with good results.
The absorption of magnesium is very difficult to study
Magnesium levels are measured from the blood. If you eat magnesium as a supplement, the level of magnesium in your blood will increase. That doesn’t mean magnesium is in your muscle yet. When a cream containing magnesium is applied to your skin, magnesium will be absorbed through the skin directly into the muscle and is not visible in the bloodstream. Some people find that magnesium is absorbed even better through the skin. However, the magnesium level in the muscle cannot be studied very reliably. Therefore, we just have to trust our own feelings.
Even if you are unsure about the absorption of magnesium, you can still safely use Epsom salt. It is not harmful at all. If you get help from Epsom salt baths, why don’t you just enjoy them? Perhaps science will sometimes find a way to measure magnesium levels reliably.
Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt is a traditional bath salt. Use about 500 grams of Epsom salt in a normal sized bath tub. Add warm, not hot water in the tub and dissolve the salt. Too hot water dries the skin. Enjoy a relaxing bath for about 15-30 minutes.
You can also make a foot bath from Epsom salt. Measure 1 decilitre of Epsom salt into a bowl of warm water. enjoy a foot bath for about 30 minutes. I actually use a bucket. This allows me to sink my feet deeper in the water.
You can add any dry or fresh herbs, essential oils (5 drops) or even real vanilla to the bath.
Bath salt recipes coming in next update
Gloomy autumn and dark winter are good times to pamper yourself. What’s more wonderful than enjoying warm foot baths in the evenings. For those who have a bath tub, I also recommend full body baths.
There will be few good Epsom salt recipes in my next blog post.
In summertime, you should pay special attention to the foot care and health of your feet. The sandals are cool and comfortable summer shoes. Their downside is the stress effect to the heels. Walking barefoot also hardens the soles of the feet. The heels stay protected and do not dry out into a body so easily when using sneakers or other type of shoes. Very dry and hard heels do crack very easily. Cracked heels can be really sore and difficult to heal. Also, they are easily inflamed. How to treat hard, cracked skin on soles?
Why does the skin of heels harden?
The skin on the soles on heels is thicker than the skin on the rest of the body. On the heels the skin is particularly thick. Thick skin is meant to protect our feet while walking. In ancient times, there were no shoes so practically everyone walked barefoot. The skin of the soles became hardened to a thick shield. However, the skin did not crack. This was because the outer layer of the skin wore all the time while walking, and new skin formed constantly to replace the lost skin. So, the skin remained very elastic despite its thickening.
Nowadays we do not walk barefoot in nature anymore and the skin of the soles cannot regenerate so well. However, the soles do form dead skin cells at a rapid rate. You may face the problem if you have done regular pedicure on your feet by rasping the outer layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum is excited to grow even more thanks to the rasping and the problems does continue.
Other causes of heel skin hardening are:
- Age affects the dryness of the skin, which of course is also visible on the feet.
- During pregnancy, the skin of the legs and heels may dry out more sensitively than usual
- Diseases such as diabetes, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, fungal inflammation
- Poor blood circulation in the legs, which can be due to lack of exercise but also illness
How do I prevent the hardening and cracking?
If you already have severe hardening and cracks on the skin of the heels, you should avoid open shoes. Protective footwear and good, clean socks are the best choice. Naturally, there are people whose heels and skin of their feet are in excellent condition, even if they don’t care for their feet in any way. They just have naturally good body fluid balance. For others, the feet are a problem despite good care.
- Avoid walking with open shoes. Especially back-open shoes make the hardening worse.
- Avoid long-lasting standing, especially when wearing uncomfortable shoes
- Avoid walking on high heels. High-heel shoes, especially those that are open-back, are one of the worst for the heels.
- If your feet get wet and dry all the time, the stratum corneum may start grow faster than usual. This can happen when cleaning the beach at the summer cottage or during fishing.
- Avoid unnecessarily rasping of your feet. Removal of the stratum corneum accelerates its formation. Instead, pay attention to the reason that causes the formation of the stratum corneum.
- Too hot showers and foot baths dry out the skin. Always use only hand-warm water on the skin.
- Check that your diet includes enough good fats. Too little fat intake dries the entire skin. The skin of your feet suffers the most from poor fat intake.
- If you have chronic conditions such as diabetes, careful foot care is extremely important. Your doctor will be able to give you instructions on how to treat your foot/leg health more effectively.
How do you treat the hardened skin on your heels?
You need to have patience when treating your heels. If your heels have already gotten in bad shape, you won’t get them back in balance instantly.
Removal of hardened skin begins with soaking. Soak your feet for at least 30 minutes in warm water. You can add hard skin softening and cleansing ingredients such as
- Grated soap
- Sea salt
- Baking soda
- Lavender, either a herb or an essential oil
- Epsom Salt
These ingredients soften the stratum corneum. You can use just one of these ingredients in water or combine two or all four ingredients.
- Soap, sea salt and baking soda inhibit the bacterial activity of the skin. They are alkaline substances that at the same time remove foot odour as well as extra microbial activity.
- Lavender is a well-known herb, specifically for pedicure. In the past, lavender was only used for foot baths. Lavender also has an antimicrobial effect. Lavender also calms both skin and mind.
- Epsom salt is a magnesium salt that is able to be absorbed through the skin into the deepest layers, all the way to the muscles and bloodstream. Epsom salt reduces swelling from the legs and thus stimulates blood- and lymph circulation.
Stimulate the blood circulation in the legs with exfoliation
Coffee grounds make an excellent scrub to stimulate the blood circulation of the feet. I usually do not prefer coffee grounds as an exfoliant as they are quite sharp and can damage the skin. However, coffee suits well for the feet. Coffee is rich in antioxidants and stimulates poor blood circulation in the feet.
Remove dead stratum corneum from the feet and heels
The dead cells now come off easily. Once the dead cells have been softened, they often come off by just rubbing the skin. You can also use rasp to help. However, there are dangers when using Rasp. Excessive rasping and if repeated too often, it increases the growth of the stratum corneum. Rapping therefore easily forms a constant problem. So only rasp the hardest areas if you have to.
Rinse your feet with an acidic foot rinse
The skin on the feet is now quite alkaline due to soap and other alkaline ingredients. This step is not necessary, but I have often rinsed my feet using a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water after rasping. Sour apple cider vinegar restores the natural acidity of the skin of the feet and increases the skin’s natural resistance.
After acid rinsing, it is very important to remember to dry your feet carefully. Especially between the toes, moisture can easily cause microbial growth.
Treat your feet with effective, natural ingredients
The skin of the feet is now dry but moisture has been absorbed deeper into the skin. In particular, salt products bind moisture to the skin, they act as a deep moisturizer. Unfortunately, moisture evaporates quickly from the skin if not locked in there. Now it is important to get moisture to stay in the skin as well.
Two-step moisturizing is important in foot care
I’ve found the two-step moisturizing to be the best in foot care. In the first stage, the moisturizing and caring ingredients are brought deeper into the skin.
Apply a moisturizing cream to the skin and soak it deep into the skin. The cream contains water. Its primary purpose is to moisturize the skin. The emulsion retains moisture in the skin better than water alone. Emulsion oils also take moisture very deep into the skin. Regular use of moisturizers is very effective in reducing the formation of indurations.
Next you should apply some natural ingredients that gently care for your feet. Many herbs work great in a foot emulsion. You can also add natural ingredients to the finished moisturizer.
- Calendula and chamomile are always safe choices in skin care lotions. You can add them to the water phase of the lotion. You can also make herbal oil from calendula.
- Mint, especially peppermint, is rich in menthol. Menthol oil has a particularly refreshing effect on foot care products. Menthol cools down feet and at the same time acts as an antimicrobial agent.
- Honey has a moisturizing and disinfecting effect. It is known to be particularly suitable for pedicure products.
- Aloe Vera moisturizes the skin. Aloe Vera is rich in salicylates, which reduce inflammation. if you are sensitive to salicylates, avoid aloe vera.
Lock moisture in the skin with a waterless foot balm
Waterless balm is made from solid vegetable butter such as shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter and a drop of oil. The purpose of the balm is to form a protective layer on the surface of the skin. You can enhance the protective effect of the balm with a starch such as arrowroot powder or rice starch. Waterless foot balm should be applied to the skin after the lotion has been properly absorbed into the skin.
Foot balm should always be applied to the feet in the evenings. Once the foot balm has been absorbed into the skin, wear warm, untightened night socks. The skin on your feet will regain its natural elasticity and the hardenings will disappear.
Increase the effectivity of foot cream with antimicrobial herbs
Tea tree oil is particularly strongly antimicrobial oil. Use tea tree oil when your feet are suffering an inflammation. However, teatree oil should not be used on broken skin. You can mix few drops of tea tree oil with lotion or foot balm or both.
Mint, especially peppermint has a very refreshing effect on feet as mentioned above. You can add mint as an herbal extract or as an essential oil. Peppermint essential oil has the best cooling effect.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post. It would be really interesting to know how you take care of your feet. Do you know more herbs or other natural substances that are suitable for foot care?
We do walk a lot during our everyday life, also during holidays. In warm temperatures, our feet sweat and make our shoes damp. It is easy to make a foot deodorant using safe ingredients by ourselves.
Deodorant for the feet does require quite different features than those used for the armpits.
The foot deodorant is fat free
You should not grease your feet if you are about to walk long distances on a hot day. Fat in combination with sweat can cause additional abrasions. Therefore, the foot deodorant must be completely fat-free.
Good quality foot deodorant absorbs moisture
Our feet can sweat a lot. You will notice it in your shoes. After a long walk, your shoes are damp. They must be thoroughly dried before next walk. Moisture in shoes and footwear often causes abrasions. Therefore, the foot deodorant should absorb moisture from the feet.
The foot deodorant is antibacterial
Moist and tired feet are easily hit by a fungal infection. Also, the toenails can become inflamed and irritated due to excessive sweating and strain. It is therefore worth adding some antibacterial ingredients to the foot deodorant. They significantly reduce the risk of fungal- and other infections.
Foot deodorant is refreshing and cool
I guess you would like to feel your feet wonderfully fresh and cool. Cooling ingredients create a feeling of coolness and in addition they suppress swelling of the feet. At the same time, the surface temperature of the feet decreases significantly.
Foot deodorant removes the nasty smell from both feet and footwear
This is perhaps the most important point in foot deodorant. A nasty smell is a big problem for many. Even if you can wash your feet occasionally, the smell stays in your shoes. You can add odour-neutralizing ingredients to your foot deodorant. By doing this, you can enjoy your fresh feet all day long.
What are the Ingredients for a Foot Deodorant?
You only need four different ingredients for a foot deodorant
The kaolin clay
Kaolin clay is a mild clay that effectively absorbs moisture. As an alkaline powder it also works very well as an odour eater. Kaolin is a very mild, white and very fine powder. It acts as a talc in foot deodorant. Kaolin is an antimicrobial. It is free from common yeasts or bacteria. That’s why kaolin is one of the most important ingredients in foot deodorants.
Arrowroot powder is highly effective in absorbing moisture. It works best when you combine it with kaolin. Arrow root powder suits well for people with sensitive skin. You can use some other starch, if you like, but I think arrowroot is the best for this recipe.
Aromatic essential oils
I have always been very careful with essential oils. They are very allergenic and used far too much nowadays. Essential oils are able to penetrate through the skin into the human body. The thinner the skin, the more easily the essential oils penetrate the body. The feet and especially the soles of the feet have very thick skin. Therefore, the use of essential oils here is possible.
My favourites for foot treatment are the following oils
- Lavender oil; soothes and cools hot feet. Lavender is the best herb for foot care
- Peppermint oil; refreshing and cool skin oil, antibacterial
- Tea tree oil; can fight many bacteria and fungi, bringing a fresh scent to your feet
- Geranium oil; especially good for killing infections from the skin
- Sandalwood Oil; soothes the skin, cools, disinfects, brings a wonderful scent
How do you make a functional foot deodorant?
For foot deodorant, you need following:
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons kaolin clay
- 20 drops of essential oils; If you want to prevent infections you can use more tea tree oil. Otherwise you can use 4 drops of each oil. If you do not have all these oils, you may well be able to increase the amount of other oils accordingly.
Do like this:
- Mix the powders in a bowl very carefully
- Drip the essential oils and mix thoroughly again
Pack the foot deodorant in a plastic bottle where you can conveniently sprinkle it on your feet. If you do not have a scattering bottle, pack the powder in an aluminium can or glass jar and apply it with a powder puff or with a cotton pad.
The product will last for a very long time as long as you remember to hold the cap on so that the essential oils do not evaporate.
How to use the foot deodorant?
Apply foot deodorant to clean, dry feet. Be sure to apply foot deodorant to the toes as well. You can use this deodorant with or without a sock. You can also use this deodorant to disinfect leather shoes.
However, I do not recommend powdered deodorants for sneakers or other shoes with textile linings. Lining will absorb the deodorant and it would be hard to keep your shoes clean.
The best freshener for shoes is baking soda. You can let it stay in shoes overnight and vacuum it in next morning.
Spraying with vinegar is also great way to refresh shoes. Vinegar also evaporates from shoes and does not spoil them.
Happy Holidays take care of feet and shoes!
Give a try to this foot deodorant and tell me how it worked for you!
Many people have not associated thuja as a raw material for cosmetics. This article is about thuja and its use in cosmetics. Thuja can be found in almost every yard. It can be collected at any time of the year as it is an evergreen conifer plant. Now I am going to tell you how to use thuja in cosmetics.
Why thuja is used in cosmetics
Thuja has rarely been added to conventional natural cosmetics. Thuja lotions are also rare in the world. This is unfortunate because thuja is a very useful herb. However, you need to know the features of thuja to make the most of it.
Thuja suits best for foot and hand care products. Thuja’s antiseptic properties are at their best in these products. Thuja is used everywhere to evict warts from the skin. The essential oil of thuja is used for this. Essential thuja oil is stronger than herb infused oil made out of thuja and it is suitable for herbal medicine. For cosmetics I would use only herb infused oil made from thuja.
What is thujone?
Thuja contains a large amount of a compound called thujone. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and sage contain also thujone. A strong alcohol drink called Absinthe, originally Swiss, that is made from wormwood, made thujone famous. Thujone was previously believed to cause hallucinations. However, this is not the case. On the other hand, thujone is highly antiseptic and is capable of killing dangerous microbes from the skin. The European Union has set maximum levels of thujone for both ointments and beverages.
The thujone is not water soluble. It is worth making herb infused oil from thuja. Homemade herb infused oil does not contain too much thujone. In addition to thujone, thuja also contains many other essential oils that are soluble in herbal oil.
Thuja is rich in plant chemicals
In addition to thujone, thuja oil also contains camphor, pinene, myrcene, fennel, borneol and limonene. All these essential oils are anti-inflammatory which means they inhibit the growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Thuja also contains a large variety of flavonoids, glycosides and tannins. All of these herbal chemicals make this herb an incredibly effective for safe skin disinfection. But how to use thuja in cosmetics even tough it so rich in plant chemicals?
The safety when using thuja
Thuja is not actually classified as a toxic plant. In North America, thuja is also used as a tea to cure bronchitis. So thuja is an old medicinal plant. Medicinal plants should always be treated with respect. They are very powerful herbs and not suitable for everyday use. I myself would not use it at all internally. I think it’s too powerful herb even for tea.
Everything that is applied to the skin also goes in to our body. Some of the cosmetic chemicals are absorbed through our skin. Therefore, it is worth considering carefully how strong products you want to use and what kind of herbs you want to use.
Avoid products containing thuja with young children. Thuja contains so many herbal chemicals that a young child’s liver may not be able to handle them. Thuja should not be used at all during pregnancy, not even externally.
I use thuja products mainly for hands and feet products. Hands and feet do not similarly absorb plant chemicals into the body than the rest of the skin. Thuja has also been commonly used to treat rashes. However, I do not recommend trying it yourself. You need to know exactly the type of rash. Thuja is only suitable for treating certain types of rash. On the contrary, many skin rashes worsen with the use of thuja ointments.
We can be allergic to thuja. Thuja may also cause allergic reactions or we can become sensitized to thuja in prolonged regular use. I always recommend testing small quantities of cosmetic ingredients to the skin before use.
How to Use Thuja in Cosmetics? |
It is worth making herbal oil from thuja. Use as fresh thuja as you can. The best way to make a herb infused oil from fresh plants is by heating them up. I have done much more effective herb infused oil from fresh Thuja comparing to older, dried thuja.
Make cosmetics using herb infused oil
Thuja oil is a very suitable cosmetic ingredient for all hand and foot care products. For body and face, I would not recommend it because of its strength. You can use thuja oil as it is or mix it with other oils. Thuja oil suits particularly well for blending with marigold oil and chamomile oil. Both marigold and chamomile are anti-inflammatory and skin soothing herbs.
Thuja is suitable for hand care
Make thuja a wonderful, disinfectant hand wash. Please find the recipe here. Thuja hand wash refreshes your hands. The scent of thuja is a fresh scent of conifer which is generally pleasant. Thuja disinfects your hands before you start cooking. And it is wonderful to wash hands after cutting onions and cleaning fish using hand wash smelling fresh herbs and conifer. So, you should always keep a can of thuja wash in the kitchen. There are plenty of hand soaps and disinfectants on the market. However, their ingredients are not safe and contain plastic particles etc that you do not want to spread around.
The flu season is soon here. According to medical experts, you can effectively prevent the flu by washing your hands regularly and often. A hand wash containing Thuja kills bacteria and viruses. That’s why a disinfectant hand wash is really needed.
Thuja is suitable for hand creams
You can use thuja oil as a base for hand cream. Again, I recommend that you dilute thuja oil with other herb oils or base oil. For hand lotions it is advisable to choose highly absorbent oil. Such oils are Sunflower oil, hemp oil or safflower oil.
Thuja oil in hand cream disinfects the skin. Thuja also brightens the skin. It soothes the skin’s surface blood circulation and makes the skin look brighter. Thuja oil in hand cream provides long-term protection against harmful germs.
Gardening will expose your hands to microorganisms of the soil. The thuja hand cream protects the skin from inflammation and irritation.
Thuja in pedicure
Ringworm or athlete’s foot has been traditionally treated by thuja cream. Ringworm occurs mainly in the elderly people. Young people and people of working age can become infected by the foot in places like public washing rooms in swimming pools or in the army. It’s difficult to handle. The ringworm is also rapidly renewed. The use of thuja cream suppresses the ringworm and prevents it from renewing. Your doctor and pharmacist will certainly find effective medicines for your foot.
Thuja cream should be as strong as possible to prevent ringworm. Therefore, it is advisable to make the traditional cream using only Thuja oil. You can find the instruction here. Please notify the difference between ringworm cream and daily use- cream when preparing them.
A foot cream containing thuja can also act as a refreshing and anti-perspirant cream for the feet. Then you should not use the thuja alone. Mix the thuja oil with some base oil. This way you can use the thuja daily to refresh your feet.
In case you prepared the disinfectant hand wash you can also use it for washing your feet. It gently exfoliates the feet and softens the skin. The feet are really fresh after thuja detergent. After this wash, you will not need any foot cream. The thuja wash does not dry your feet but treats them.
For what else can I use for thuja in cosmetics?
Thuja is not a very usual herb. Therefore, it has special uses. Thuja should be used for all purposes meant to control the growth of bacteria.
It is worth trying thuja oil as deodorant. Do not mix any soda with thuja oil as some do recommend. Deodorant containing baking soda causes biting. The skin may become red and even crack. It is really difficult to wash the mixture of fat and baking soda off your armpits.
Thuja oil effectively prevents bacterial overgrowth in the armpits. It does not prevent sweating. Overgrowth of bacteria causes the smell of sweat. Sprinkle a drop of thuja oil on your armpits and allow to soak for a moment. The armpits remain really fresh all day. In the evening, wash your armpits clean with, for example, salt soap. All cosmetics should be cleansed daily.
As a deodorant, thuja may cause allergies when used regularly. So do not use Thuja deodorant every day.
Thuja in hair care
Many scalp problems are caused by bacterial overgrowth. Dandruff can be caused by many things. One cause of dandruff is yeast. Thuja destroys yeasts and inhibits their growth. You can try thuja oil for dandruff.
You can mix thuja oil with, for example, natural yogurt. This way you can easily apply it to the scalp. Leave the thuja oil on for at least 30 minutes. Wash the oil thoroughly with a mild shampoo or scrub with egg yolks.
You can also try thuja oil on seborrhoea. I have no experience with the effectiveness of thuja oil, but it is worth trying first. There are also medicines and treatment shampoo in the pharmacy for sebum. You don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. Thuja oil is a good after-treatment for scalp problems. It controls effectively the microbes on the scalp.
Essential Thuja Oil
For scalp problems, essential thuja oil could be a better option than herbal oil. Oil should never be left on the scalp because many skin microbes use oil as nourishment. It is therefore worth considering the acquisition of essential thuja oil. Essential thuja oil can be mixed with water. It does not dissolve or mix with water, but remains floating on the water. So shake the mixture vigorously before applying it to the scalp.
- 1 ½ cups water
- 10 drops of essential thuja oil.
- Repeat rinsing after washing up to 3 times.
If the treatment does not seem to be helpful, do not continue it and seek medical attention.
This is my article on thuja this time. Thank you for reading this story and hope you got some new ideas for your skin treatment and preparing natural cosmetics. Now you know how to use thuja in cosmetics. I hope you try it some day. Thuja is a fairly unknown cosmetic ingredient yet. However, I hope its features will spread out more. Then it will be used more.
How do you use sprigs in cosmetics? I would be very grateful if you could share your experience of the use of conifers.
Baking soda or Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate or Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a very versatile and effective substance for many purposes. Most commonly, it has been used to baking. Baking soda needs acidic dough to function properly in cookies and cakes. Combination of acid and baking soda makes the dough sparkling or rise in the oven. Baking soda can also be used to relieve the symptoms of many diseases. Eco-cleaning and laundry are easily done with the baking soda. It is a safe chemical that should be available in every household.
However, no chemical is ever 100% safe and good for every purpose. This is also the case with Baking soda. The strengths of the baking soda should be identified and used in a deliberate manner in the right situations.
There is baking soda and soda. They are two different chemicals. Learn how to distinguish between them and use them correctly.
What is Baking soda
When we talk about soda we usually mean baking soda. I always mean sodium bicarbonate used in baking when referring baking soda. Soda itself means a different substance.
Baking soda, (NaHCO3), or sodium bicarbonate is a completely chemical product. It is not a naturally occurring substance such as soda or sodium carbonate (Na2Co3). Baking soda is produced from sodium (Na), ammonia (NH3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon dioxide required in the process is usually obtained from soda or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). This is what the two substances have to do with each other.
Baking soda is commonly used in baking and other food preparation. As an alkaline substance, it has traditionally neutralized too strong stomach acids. Also, baking soda is used for salicylate poisoning as a first aid. The soda blasting will gently refine delicate surfaces that are sensitive to scratching. Baking soda is a soft substance that does not damage, for example, glass or plastic surfaces.
Baking soda is mildly alkaline. You can find different claims on the net. Therefore, I measured the alkaline level of the Baking soda myself. I mixed 1,5 dl water and 2 teaspoons baking soda. As a result of the measurement, I received a PH value of about 8.5 which is a mild alkaline.
What is washing soda or sodium carbonate
We do not need a real washing soda at all in home cosmetics. I’m telling about sodium carbonate because it is good to know how to separate it from the baking soda and be careful. These two substances are mixed in people’s minds in general.
The actual soda (Na2Co3) is a very different substance than baking soda. Soda or sodium carbonate is a very alkaline substance that can NOT be used in cosmetics. NEVER PUT IT IN MOUTH OR, EAT IT OR SWALLOW IT. NEVER. Soda is naturally occurring mineral salt but can also be produced industrially. It is suitable for cleaning of surfaces before painting. As such, the soda solution spoils the painted wall. It is so alkaline, almost as alkaline as lye. Soda is used mainly by glass manufacturing industry.
The washing soda was also main ingredient in soap before the lye was invented. Washing soda was prepared earlier for making soap using tree’s ashes. In the nature, washing soda can be found in Africa as a natural mineral called “trona”. Also, in the USA Trona (Natural Soda) is mined more than it is produced industrially. Granulated washing soda is a product called pure soda or sodium carbonate.
The washing soda is also called crystal soda. It is available in hardware stores and decoration shops selling paint. Also washing soda is pure soda. It looks confusingly like baking soda. It is white, like baking powder. To avoid mistakes, keep washing soda out of the kitchen. Right place for washing soda is in cleaning closet, in stock or in a garage out of the reach of children. It would be dangerous to use accidentally washing soda instead of baking soda as a food ingredient. Washing soda is so called calcined soda, which is sold in ecological shops selling products for cleaning and washing.
I measured the washing soda solution pH myself. I mixed 1,5 dl water with 2 teaspoons of washing soda. I made the test using pH strips. The measurement scale of strips is from 4 to 10. Liquid was more alkaline than 10. This type of solution is very corrosive and can cause an incredibly bad consequences if you do not understand the strength of the solution. In some publications, washing soda is called a product that is similar to baking soda. This is false. In any case, these products may not be considered the same substance. Always keep all your washing sodas out of reach of children.
For what the baking soda is not so good
Baking soda is a very commonly used chemical in home cosmetics. It is perceived as an easy alternative to many uses. Baking soda is used mostly in Deodorants and Hair care. For both purposes, baking soda is a bad option.
- Baking soda as a deodorant is popular. However, it is not suitable for everyone. For most users, deodorants containing baking soda cause skin irritations and rashes. When armpits are sweating, the baking soda together with sweat forms very alkaline fluid. The skin does not like long-term exposure to the alkaline substances. Natural skin is acidic.
- Baking soda is often used regretfully often for hair-washing. The idea is to avoid the chemicals of shampoo. Baking soda, however, is a very rough treatment for the hair. It removes sebum from your hair. Baking soda washing is often completed with vinegar rinsing. I have told the dangers of vinegar rinsing in my earlier post. Vinegar closes the hair scales but also removes grease and moisture. After a few such treatments, your hair is destroyed.
- DIY toothpaste is often made from baking soda. Baking soda is suitable for tooth care if it is not used very much or too often. However, it is an abrasive material that can slowly damage the enamel of the tooth. Damaged tooth enamel will never come back. In no case, do not use baking soda as a powder substitute for toothpaste alone.
How you can you use baking soda in DIY cosmetics
Baking soda, however, has some very useful applications.
- You can use baking soda for peeling your skin. If you have body acne you can prepare effective baking soda peeling mask that will soothe and treat your acne skin. Alkaline products often soothe acne. The peeling should be carried out very gently on a skin that is not damaged. How to do baking soda peeling scrub, please find the recipe from the Recipes page.
- Prepare a funny and relaxing bath bombs. You can also make them as a gift. Once you learn the techniques of preparing your bath cubes, they are easy and quick to prepare. You can find the recipe in Recipes page.
- Baking soda freshens the breath. You don’t have to brush your teeth and damage the enamel on the baking soda. It is enough to mix baking soda in water and to rinse your mouth with baking soda water. A simple and non-toxic mouthwash will refresh the odor of your mouth.
- You can soothe your itchy skin by temporarily mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoon of basic body cream. Rub the paste on your itchy rash so you can get a sleep. Do not use this paste on damaged skin area. Next morning you should seek the correct treatment from experts. Baking soda cream is just a first aid that you do not scratch your skin during the night.
- Baking soda cools the skin. If you have itchy skin after sunbath mix a bit of soda with after sun cream. This should relief the itching and the skin gets cooler.
I hope these facts and tips were useful to you. If any of the things are good for you, please comment below this post.
How do you use baking soda in your home cosmetics?