I know I am going to get a lot of flack for saying this but please please please stop using baking soda as an exfoliator. I know blogger after blogger and many DIYers seem to think it is the best thing to do but it isn't. This isn't just my opinion based on 26 years of experience but on scientific fact. It is chemistry and biology.
Let us start with some facts. The skin's pH is between 4.5 and 5.5. So just what is pH and what does it mean? Without getting to bogged down in the chemical jargon, simply put scientists have devised a scale of acid and alkaline properties using 0-14. 1 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline and 7 being neutral. The skin has a protective coating (made up of sebum, sweat) that creates the acid mantle. The acid mantle keeps the skin healthy by protecting it from bacteria and fungi. Here is an example, in case you are still unsure what the acid mantle is: Have you ever washed your face and experienced a tight, taunt dry feeling? That is the acid mantle being disrupted.
Drastically altering the pH of the skin by using a highly alkaline product such as baking soda, which by the way, registers about 9 on the pH scale, will disrupt the skin's acid mantle affecting the skin's barrier (outer most layer). This allows our skin to be vulnerable to environmental assaults. And it has a cumulative effect. The more/longer you continue using a highly alkaline product the more damage. You may not see it at first but over time you will. One example is breakouts. Skin that is too alkaline is susceptible to acne because bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment.
On the other hand it is important to note that if products are too acidic, they too will disrupt the acid mantle. You then risk inflammation leading to free radical damage which can cause rosacea, skin irritation, aging and more.
So, just what should you use to remove the dead skin. I recommend either using a gentle enzyme mask made up of pineapple/papaya enzymes or a gentle scrub made of jojoba beads, almond meal or chick pea flour. When using a scrub it is important that you never rub your face hard with the product. Gently massage the beads and let them do the work.
Please make sure all your products are pH balanced. If you are unsure you can pick up pH test strips at the drug store.
If you need skin care advice I am dedicated to helping you. Please feel free to contact me