Apple Cider Vinegar and Skin Care
Apple cider vinegar is a great treatment for warts, pimples, acne and other skin problems. It’s also a great everyday product to maintain and improve the overall health of your skin: it can make your skin look younger and feel smoother.
Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is a natural remedy, and does not contain harsh chemicals. It is a tried and preferred method of skincare used over many centuries.
But first, why should we worry about the health of our skin? For one, because it performs a number of vital functions, including:
- Controlling body temperature.
- Protecting us from harmful elements of the environment.
- Receiving and conveying information from external stimuli.
So, skin health should be a part of any effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you want to improve the health of your skin, read on to learn how apple cider vinegar can help.
Did You Know?
The ancient Greek physician and father of medicine, Hippocrates used apple cider vinegar as an elixir.
Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for Acne and Pimples
Apple cider vinegar is a remarkably effective treatment for acne and pimples. It’s a natural therapy with no side effects.
Apple cider vinegar offers skin protection in many ways.
- It unclogs pores, preventing breakouts and allowing the skin to breathe properly.
- It helps in creating a protective layer on our skin, and helps in preventing our skin from becoming too dry.
To understand how cider vinegar works to give us healthy skin, we must first understand what causes our skin to become dry and develop acne and pimples.
What Causes Breakouts?
Our skin has a protective outer-layer, known as the protective acid mantle. This mantle makes our skin slightly acidic, giving it a pH factor of between 4.5 and 6. (pH factor is an indicator of acidity level. Anything between 0 and 6 is acidic.) This acid mantle protects our skin from pollution, free radicals, and other harmful particles in the air.
When we wash our face, either with water or with face cleaners, we inadvertently remove this protective acid mantle.
Theoretically, our skin is designed to replenish the missing protective acid mantle but doing so may take time. In the meantime, our skin remains exposed to harmful radicals that can cause damage, rashes, acne, or pimples.
Did You Know?
On his voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus brought apple cider vinegar with him to treat scurvy.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Acne?
There are three main ways that apple cider vinegar helps your skin stay healthy:
- Beta Carotene. ACV has high levels of beta-carotene, which counteracts damage caused by free radicals, giving us healthy skin and a youthful complexion.
- Anti-bacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help protect our skin from pollution and harmful bacteria.
- pH balance. The most important benefit of apple cider vinegar for skincare is its ability to restore the balance of our pH factor. Apple cider vinegar has a pH factor of about 4.5 to 5.5, which is close to the ideal pH factor for skin too.
Precautions For Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Skin
Apple cider vinegar toner is very good for skin and is also very effective in treating skin problems like acne, pimples and other skin-related ailments. However, read these tips before using apple cider vinegar for skincare.
- Use it at night. Some people may find the smell too strong. In fact, one could say that it smells like sweaty socks that have been left under the bed for two weeks. Just like you wouldn't eat raw onion or garlic before a date, you wouldn't wear apple cider vinegar on your face before stepping out. If you can't stand the smell, simply use it at night.
- Watch out for skin irritation. While apple cider vinegar typically has no side effects, it may cause skin irritation in some cases. If you have extra-sensitive skin, apple cider vinegar may not be suitable for you. However, before giving up completely, try add more water to the mixture to dilute it. Alternatively, reduce the frequency with which you use the ACV wash. You may also find that the irritation subsides after a while.
- Watch out for “purging.” In very rare situations, some people may experience purging. Purging happens when ACV opens up blockages, causing your skin to push out impurities. As a result, existing pimples may get more inflamed before getting better. If purging happens you may want to stop using apple cider vinegar on your skin.
- Try it out first. Always use it on a small part of skin, and see how it reacts. Use generously diluted ACV first and get feedback.
- Use sunscreen. Apple cider vinegar can increase your skin’s sensitivity to ultra-violet rays. If you know you will be going out in the sun after applying apple cider vinegar, please use a good sunscreen lotion, so as to avoid any harmful effect of UV rays. In fact, this is another reason why you should use the face wash at night rather than during the day.
How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
Ingredients for ACV Toner
- 250 ml filtered water, tap water is also fine
- 250 ml apple cider vinegar, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized
- 1 plastic bottle, to store the ACV toner
- Mix one part water to one part apple cider vinegar.
- Before using, shake well so that the "mother" of vinegar – the cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle – gets mixed in.
Apple Cider Vinegar Skincare Tips
Using apple cider vinegar toner as a face wash is very easy: Take a cotton ball/pad, put some toner on it and gently dab the toner on your skin. Be sure to stay away from your eyes.
- Start Slow. Begin by using the wash just once a day and preferably at night so that you don't have to worry about the smell. Once you are sure that your skin won’t respond adversely, you can increase the frequency to twice a day.
- Start small. When using the toner for the first time, try it first on a small patch of skin to see if it causes any irritation.
- Wash it off. When applying the toner for the first time, you may want to wash it off after 5 minutes to minimize your exposure to any irritants. Once you know that you have a tolerant skin, you can leave it on.
- Those hard-to-reach-places. For difficult-to-reach areas like your back, try using a spray bottle instead of the cotton balls.
- Play with the mixture. Start by using a diluted mixture of one part water to one part ACV. If your skin becomes irritated, feel free to add more water. If your skin responds well to the toner, you can even reduce the quantity of water. Some people mix 2 part ACV with one part water. See what works. I highly recommend that you experiment with your ACV toner to get a feel for what works with your skin type.
- Don’t leave out the water. Never apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to your skin. It is highly acidic and can damage your skin at too high a concentration.
- Watch the eyes. Keep apple cider vinegar away from eyes and the area around eyes. It may cause a very painful burning sensation if you do get it in your eyes. If that happens, you should rinse your eyes with water or eye drops.
- Mix and match! If you like, you can even add other useful ingredients to your ACV toner, like green tea, aloe vera gel, or witch hazel.
What Kind of ACV Should I Buy?
What Kind Should I Buy?
Apple cider vinegar needs to be organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered.
Only unpasteurized and unfiltered ACV contains the "mother" of vinegar: the muddy, grainy substance that sits at the bottom of the bottle. This substance contains the beneficial enzymes and bacteria and is where all the skincare benefits of apple cider vinegar lie.There are many brands to choose from, so you should find one that's easily available in your area.
The bottom line is that it should be made from organic apples and should contain the mother of vinegar.
My Experience With Apple Cider Vinegar
I am a big fan of using apple cider vinegar for weight loss, for healthy hair and for glowing skin. I use it before going to bed, after removing my makeup and washing my face.
I really like it because afterwards, I feel fresh and clean, though the smell puts off my partner if I don't wash it off with water after a few minutes. I have also found apple cider vinegar effective in treating acne, though it takes a long time to remove existing acne.
It is not an overnight remedy and I use it mostly to prevent future breakouts rather than to treat existing ones.