Baking soda as an exfoliator? I was a major skeptic. I've never been one to really exfoliate my skin since I was never able to afford a good one that I know will effectively slough off the dead skin cells from the surface of my face. When I first came across the idea of using baking soda as an exfoliator, I didn't know what to make of it. I thought it was kind of a weird practice to adopt. Isn't baking soda used to clean things? Why would I want that on my face? Still, the concept had intrigued me enough to try it out for myself.
Making a baking soda exfoliator is the easiest thing on the planet. All you have to do is take a small amount of the powder (I put mine in a small bowl) and mix it with a very small amount of water. If necessary, I would add more water until the mixture became a thick paste consistency. If the exfoliator ends up running all over the place, it's not going to stick on your face as effectively.
The most important thing to note is that as an exfoliator, this mixture shouldn't be applied to your face every day. I personally used it twice a week and never on two consecutive days. Another tidbit I learned is that this baking soda exfoliator is very coarse. If you press it too hard on your face, you'll end up scratching your skin versus gently cleansing its surface (I may or may not have learned this the hard way).
Once I got the hang of exfoliating with my at-home mixture, I continued the process diligently. I would take the mixture twice a week and rub it (gently!) in circles across my skin, avoiding my eye area, and rinsing it off with warm water.
Surprisingly, this thing worked. I don't know why I was shocked, in all honesty. It's an exfoliator, so chances of it not removing dead skin cells are pretty slim. Within a month, I noticed that my hyperpigmentation was beginning to fade. Evidently, the baking soda was efficient in getting rid of the top layer of my skin and making way for new skin cells to take over. As the layers were sloughed off, the hyperpigmentation went with it as well.
My final verdict is that if you're in need of a cheap and quick exfoliator, go ahead and try using baking soda. My skin wasn't left irritated (after I realized how coarse it was) and was left very smooth the day after. As a girl on a budget, baking soda came in handy when it came to my skin care routine.