If there's one ingredient that you always encounter in DIY skin care, it is most certainly apple cider vinegar (ACV).
This fruity vinegar is not just for flavoring your favorite salads. Yes, there are multiple health benefits when ACV is consumed. But, in topical applications, apple cider vinegar gained popularity as a go-to ingredient for natural remedies — including those for the skin.
Read on to learn why ACV gained this much-deserved popularity over the last few decades, and how you can use it to clear up your skin.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice that goes through a double fermentation process. Good ACV makes use of apple juice pressed from organic apples.
The double fermentation process that ACV goes through is essential for producing vinegar. At the first fermentation step, sugars are converted to alcohol in what is called the alcoholic fermentation process. This process is kicked-off by adding bacteria and yeast to the apple juice. The second fermentation step converts alcohol into vinegar because of acetic acid-forming bacteria.
You'll often see apple cider vinegar used in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, food preservatives, and chutneys.
Interesting Facts About Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar was used during the time of the Civil War and World War I to treat the wounds of soldiers.
- Japanese samurai warriors are said to have benefited from ACV too. They drank it to enhance their strength and endurance.
- In 1958, the book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health was published. Written by D.C. Jarvis, M.D., this book is believed to have caused the medicinal use of apple cider vinegar to take off.
Skin Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar
After knowing the basic stuff about ACV, it's time to understand how our skin can benefit from this ingredient. But you must be wondering, why should we use a vinaigrette ingredient on our face?
The thing about ACV is that, though it is meant to be eaten, it doesn't mean that your skin can't benefit from it. Same with many DIY ingredients like avocado and orange juice.
You don't need to spend tons of money on expensive toners and masks. Well, if you ask me, you shouldn't be doing that. I mean, why would you choose products with suspicious origin and/or content over affordable and simple natural ingredients?
If properly used, apple cider vinegar is equally effective as store-bought products when applied to the skin topically. So without further ado, here are the skin benefits ACV offers.
Due to its astringent qualities, apple cider vinegar helps regulate sebum production, keeping your pores clean from excess oil. ACV contains acidic compounds like malic acid, acetic acid, i citric acid, which are known to help kill acne-causing bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes.
ACV is also used to clean wounds or cuts and speed up the healing process.
Detoxifies And Balances Skin
ACV helps balance your skin's pH by controlling sebum production. .Washing your face with ACV will help draw toxins out of your skin, leaving a youthful and clean glow.
Heals And Soothes Sunburn
Apple cider vinegar is known to aid in curing sunburns. No wonder since it is known to speed up healing of wounds while soothing pain.
Tones Skin And Tightens Pores
Because of its astringent properties, ACV helps increase the blood flow to the skin and minimize the size of the pores.
Exfoliates And Remove Age Spots
Apple cider vinegar contains alpha-hydroxy acids. These acids promote the shedding of dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover. This non-physical exfoliation also helps in removing age spots, leaving the skin healthy and glowing.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar
You don't want to use apple cider vinegar full strength directly on your skin as it can cause itching and burning sensation.
Combine equal parts of apple cider vinegar and distilled water. You can also combine ACV with rose water for more benefits to the skin.
Be sure to patch test the solution before using it on your face. Proper patch testing can be done by applying the solution to your wrist or the inner area of your elbow. Leave it on for 24 hours and observe any adverse reactions.
In very rare events, some people are sensitive to ACV. Of course, if you are allergic to apples, it goes without saying that you should avoid ACV at all costs.
There are so many ways your skin can benefit from ACV. You can add it to masks, baths, and toners. One DIY recipe I love doing is a simple ACV plus rose water toner. Here's how I do it:
Start with thoroughly cleaning your face. In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar and half a cup of rose water. Use a cotton pad to apply this mixture and let it dry. Finish with applying moisturizer.
Regularly doing this helps keep acne at bay. Simple, yet effective!
Does 'Raw' Matter?
It sure does!
When buying apple cider vinegar, it is essential to choose a brand that is organic, non-GMO, raw (unpasteurized), and unfiltered.
Often, filtering and pasteurizing removes the health-boosting natural proteins in ACV. Opting for the unpasteurized type of ACV ensures that you will get all the benefits offered by this ingredient.
A good practice is to look for the label "with the Mother." The mother is an undefined microbial culture appearing as floating cloudy substance in the bottle. Seeing the mother ensures that the ACV has not been distilled and pasteurized. So you will undoubtedly get all the enzymes and probiotic bacteria.
Raw ACV is sour and has a medium amber color. Regular white and brown vinegar are clear, filtered, and do not contain any of the health-promoting properties that are found in raw ACV. Those types of vinegar are rigorously distilled and consist of no nutrients.
So, opt for raw apple cider vinegar in your skin care ventures!
Often, we have the tendency to overlook simple ingredients. The thinking exists that simple can mean not as effective. As I made my journey into DIY skin care, I saw how this thinking is not correct all the time. You can see how ACV, in its simplicity, can give so many skin benefits that are hard to pass up.
So if you are in the skin care journey, or just about to start, some words of advice: don't let simplicity turn you off.
Do you use ACV or have any DIY recipes to share? Visit the comment section and tell us all about it!
I hope this post was helpful. I am genuinely thankful that, with all the info available out there, you chose to read my blog.
Stay tuned and take skin care
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The Information on this website has not been evaluated by FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. The content is for educational purposes only and not intended to substitute medical advice. You should seek the advice of your health care practitioner before undertaking any health changes.
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