Joanna Vargas Shares Her Go-To DIY Baking Soda Face Mask

face mask


Whether they're going viral on TikTok or being promoted on Insta, DIY face masks are all over social media. It comes as no surprise. There's a sense of comfort that comes with knowing every ingredient that goes into a product you're using. And let's not forget the satisfaction you get from making said product yourself.

From dullness to dryness, DIY face masks aim to tackle an endless array of skin concerns using simple household ingredients. And if there's one ingredient, in particular, that has got those of us looking for natural skincare remedies in a frenzy, it's baking soda. We spoke to Joanna Vargas, who let us know how she uses this buzzworthy beauty ingredient to keep skin healthy and happy.

Meet the Expert

Joanna Vargas is a celebrity esthetician. She is also the creator and owner of her eponymous skincare line and signature salons in NYC and LA.

Scroll down to get Vargas's insight into using baking soda to treat skin and how to whip up a DIY baking soda face mask at home.

Benefits of Baking Soda for Skin

Cloe-up of a young woman with glowing skin

Lara Callahan / Getty Images

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a chemical compound that wields anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. As such, "It’s best for congested skin," comments Vargas. It's a known ingredient in cleansers and exfoliants to treat acne. "When mixed with water, baking soda is awesome for getting rid of blackheads. You can put the mixture on the nose after the shower, and all the blackheads come right out," she says.

Side Effects of Baking Soda

Despite the claims that baking soda is used to treat acne, it can have adverse effects if not used properly. The thing is, since baking soda is alkaline with a pH of 9, it can affect your skin's naturally acidic pH level. So, it can overdry, irritate, and inflame the skin, which can potentially exacerbate acne. To avoid a bad reaction and reap the benefits of baking soda for skin, it's essential to follow an expert's advice and use it as recommended.

How to Use It

Woman with an exfoliating face mask

@joannavargas / Instagram

If you've got acne-prone skin, Vargas's baking soda face mask just might be the DIY solution you've been looking for. While she wouldn't recommend this mask for any skin type other than congested, it works wonders on dull, uneven, and blackhead-ridden skin. The best part? All it requires is just two ingredients to get started. Try this mask twice a month, and Vargas says you will stop blackheads in their tracks.


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of warm water to create a paste. Adjust proportions as needed: If it’s too thick, add more water and if it's too runny, add more baking soda (FYI: You shouldn't be using more than two teaspoons).
  2. Apply the paste using your fingertips, gently massaging it onto your face.
  3. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes (Note: You may experience a slight tingling sensation—this is normal).
  4. Rinse off with warm water and dry with a washcloth.
  5. Apply a moisturizer to keep skin hydrated.
Article Sources
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  1. Healthline. "Baking Soda for Acne Treatment." 2019.

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