My play aunt (non-blood related relative) who is about 76, swears by apple cider vinegar. She drinks a medicine cup full every morning or adds the same amount to her tea or coffee. She swears by its ability to deliver brighter, clearer skin. And even though apple cider vinegar reminds me of salad dressing, I trust it’s properties because of my aunt’s skin. But what exactly is in it that makes this yucky-smelling fermented liquid the golden child for clear skin? We break it down.
What is apple cider vinegar?
Made from apples and later fermented, apple cider vinegar (aka ACV) comes in a liquid form but can also be used topically as a toner or spot treatment. It has a pretty acidic pH that nicely balances the pH of the outer skin layer.
What are the benefits for skin?
Apple cider vinegar works to balance the skin’s pH, exfoliate the skin, improve hyperpigmentation, and fight blackheads and acne. It can help balance the pH level of the outer skin layer to keep the skin functioning optimally. This will help the skin produce the right amount of oil and deal with the bacteria that causes acne.
In addition, because apple cider vinegar has malic acid (similar to alpha-hydroxy acid) it helps unclog pores and eliminate bacteria — the two main causes of acne. It improves hyperpigmentation with the malic acid as well. This specific type of acid is known for it’s ability to decrease the production of melanin — the protein that gives the skin pigmentation. And lastly, it fights blackheads and acne by reducing bacteria.
What’s the catch? Are there any side effects?
The chemicals found in apple cider vinegar are much more mild than regular active hyaluronic acids. It is actually quite suitable for most skin types. But as always, perform a patch test when you are trying out any new products before you put on your skin directly.
Apple cider vinegar can be irritating and drying to the skin. To avoid this, dilute the pure apple cider vinegar with water. This will make it less harsh.
How do you use apple cider vinegar in a skincare routine?
Apple cider vinegar is very strong and can cause chemical burns. It must always always be diluted with water before applying to the skin. You can use the following ratio: 1 part apple cider vinegar for every 4 parts of water. Most dermatologists and cult followers like my aunt, will suggest you use it in toners or cleansers to restore the skin’s natural defenses and remove excess dirt and acne.
Apple cider vinegar also reduces the appearance of pimples and scars. You can use it as an overnight spot treatment on pesky pimples that won’t go away and wake up with smooth, acne-free skin.
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