Dear readers: I’m sorry! Please stop using baking soda on your face.

Please do not use baking soda as an exfoliator to be mixed in with your cleanser.

Apparently it strips something called the “acid mantle” off your face, and scrubs it raw, which really irritates your skin.

I am so sorry! If it makes you feel any better, I was ruining my own skin as well…

Other (mechanical or physical) exfoliators should also be avoided for your face, because it is too damaging & harsh.

Here’s the list

  • baking soda (!!)
  • bits of nutshells
  • bits of bark
  • sugar
  • salt
  • …basically crumbly chunks of anything that looks rough & hard & sharp

If you want a gentler alternative, ground rice starch (not broken bits of rice), jojoba beads and just a soft face cloth seem to be the answer, because those are very gentle on the face.

You can find all three in most beauty supply stores, and rice starch can be found in grocery stores, especially any of the Asian ones.

You can just mix the rice starch or jojoba beads into your current cleanser & use it like that.

(P.S. Rice starch mixed as a batter, makes for a nice crispy “baked” textured, without having to use panko bread crumbs or deep fry anything).


How did I NOT find out for so many years, is the real question. :\

Interestingly enough, this factoid about baking soda came about as I was researching this expensive Origins Modern Friction exfoliator.

The only secret ingredient I could find was: rich starch, supposedly cushioned in cream, and blessed by fairies.

(Okay, so the last part is made up. No fairies were involved.)

The kicker is that it costs $37.50 USD, which in CAD even though we’ve been hovering around par, is $45. Bah.


I have now switched to not using any additives in my cleanser at all, and I found a use for that little blue sock thing from Suzie’s giveaway.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.