Bicarbonate of soda - my cheap homemade beauty tip

Beauty in your kitchen cupboard

Brushing your teeth with baking soda - the key to good oral health? [Rex]I love beauty products and cosmetics but I love them even more when I can get the full benefits without spending the high prices. Last summer I went to Istanbul to visit family and needed to go to the dentist. The dentist advised me the best thing for oral health is baking soda.

Bicarbonate of soda can be found in nearly all toothpastes but of course, it's mixed into flavouring etc. so we can't taste it. In short, it's diluted so we don't get the full benefit. She advised me to take a teaspoon after each brushing and dab my toothbrush into it and brush for another minute.

At first this tasted absolutely horrific to me, however, after a few times I could barely taste it anymore and my teeth have been white ever since. Not only is it great at whitening teeth but it is also great for keeping your gums healthy too.

If you really can't bear the taste, alternatively you can mix a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of luke-warm water along with a teaspoon of salt and gargle like a mouthwash. You will get the same results but don't have to put up with the taste as much. So the secret to glowing white teeth and healthy gums had been sitting in my kitchen cupboard this whole time.

The range of what baking soda can do just seems to be getting wider and wider. It can freshen the air, remove stains, clean showers and sinks. Oh yes, we can use it to bake, too. I'm always trying DIY exfoliates or face masks. Most of the products we buy in shops use ingredients we can find in our own homes. Having really sensitive skin, I like knowing exactly what is on my skin as a lot of brands include chemicals which I am prone to having reactions from.

However, there is one more non-food-related use to add to baking soda's CV: face exfoliate. The grains in baking soda are just the right size to act as a gentle exfoliant, and many claim that it has helped to clear up acne.

Mix in a teaspoon of baking soda to your facial cleanser to make it an exfoliating cleanser. Or make a paste of just baking soda and water, gently rub it onto your skin and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing off.

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New winter coat? Check.
New winter beauty regime? Huh?

While we can’t wait to get our woolly jumpers and black tights out of storage as the nights draw in, how many of us spend as much time thinking about our winter skincare and make up habits?

“With the change in season and weather you must change your skincare and make-up,” reckons Dr Lewinn's skincare expert Clair Rose.

“Like you would put a jumper on, your skin needs more protection during the winter.”

We took a look at our own regime and asked expert Clair what we should keep, what’s worth investing in and what A/W beauty trends we should master now. less 
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Rex Features
Thu, Nov 7, 2013 21:00 GMT