You’ve spent countless hours on your computers and smartphones, going through articles and blogs in search of the best skin products and methods out there. And there are some which made your skin better, others worse, and some left you wondering ‘why the heck did I even try this?’
But don’t worry, you’re not alone, this is completely normal. There are hundreds of beauty bloggers and cosmetic articles vying for your attention, sometimes recommending conflicting treatments. Among the DIY remedies that people seem to swear by, however, and one that is quite frequently mentioned is an apple cider derivative, the apple cider vinegar(ACV).
Vinegar? You’ve Got Be Joking
Wait! It’s not a joke! It sounds pretty crazy and counterintuitive to drink or put salad dressing on your skin to make it better, but bear with us, we’ll explain. After all, there are numerous weird DIY treatments for the skin out there. We’ll reveal its potential benefits and side effects, and how you can use it. We say potential because there isn’t sufficient medical research conducted on ACV, so you should be cautious when using it.
The Potential Benefits of ACV For Skin
ACV for Preventing and Treating Acne
bacterial infection is considered to be one of the leading causes of acne. Along with dead skin cells, it can clog the pores and cause an inflammation, which will lead to an acne outbreak. ACV has some antimicrobial properties thanks to the high amount of acids it contains. These can kill acne-causing bacteria and help reduce breakouts and even remove existing ones.
ACV Heals Sunburns and Offers Sun Protection
Sunlight can have a bad effect on our skin. UV rays can burn our skin and cause irritation, and also increase the concentration of free radicals in our skin, which can damage our skin surface and make it more susceptible to acne. You can use ACV as a sunscreen, but there is simply not enough research to support this claim so it’s better to stick to your normal sunscreen. On the other hand, many people claim that it has helped them reduce the pain and discomfort from sunburns. Rich with nutrients that can help speed up the healing process and regenerate the skin, ACV can provide relief in those hot summer days.
ACV Reduces wrinkles and reinvigorates aging skin–
Our skin loses elasticity and shape as we get older, and wrinkles start forming. Using apple cider vinegar as a toner or face wash has helped people reduce wrinkles and reduce the effect of external factors that damage the skin. The alpha hydroxy acids in ACV can tighten up and nourish your skin.
ACV Is An Amazing Exfoliant –
Our skin removes dead skin cells in a process called natural skin exfoliation. But sometimes, hormonal imbalance and other factors can slow down this process, causing dead skin cells to build up in areas, which can lead to pore clogging. Apple cider vinegar can be an excellent exfoliant, as it contains fruit acids such as malic acid, which can act as a gentle exfoliant.
The Potential Side Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar
Although it’s highly effective, there are some side effects to using ACV as a DIY skin treatment. It’s true that many people have reported that it helped them clear their skin or make it more smooth and soft, but many also reported that it made their acne worse and it caused itching and even small burns.
It’s worth noting that you can experience side effects on your skin not only from using ACV topically but orally too. Drinking ACV can impact some processes in our body and stomach, and cause:
- Digestive Problems – some people use all kinds of vinegar as part of weight loss regimens. They do this because it’s proven that vinegar can inhibit the feeling of hunger. This leads to lower calorie intake, which can cause stress and the release of some toxins – which, in turn, can lead to nausea and headaches.
- Low potassium and bone loss – ingesting high doses of ACV can lead to our blood becoming highly acidic. This can lower the levels of potassium and also cause our body to take minerals intended for our bones, and inject them into the blood in an attempt to balance the pH value, which can lead to our bones becoming brittle because of the mineral deficiency.
- Tooth Decay – many people use ACV to whiten their teeth, but this can also damage them. Ingesting products with high levels of acidity can damage our teeth enamel and disturb the pH balance in our mouth, creating a breeding ground for bacteria which can inflame your gums and erode your teeth.
Here are the most common side effects you might experience on your skin if you use ACV:
- Cause and worsen acne – weird, but it’s true. People have reported that they’ve started using ACV(topically or orally) as an acne treatment, but instead of removing or reducing them, it made them worse.
- Skin burns – some people with sensitive skin have reported that it burned their skin. This can happen because apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, meaning it can damage the dermis and cause burns.
DIY Treatment Recipes
While some of the side effects you read about might put some off, there is a way you can try ACV as a treatment, and also minimize the chance of developing some of the side effects we have mentioned. Here are our recommendations on how you can use ACV as a treatment for your acne.
DIY ACV Treatment For Acne
- Mix apple cider vinegar with some tap water to dilute it.
- Soak a cotton pad with the mixture and apply on affected areas
- Leave it on for 5-10 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water
- Repeat this procedure every day, and you should see the effects in a week
DIY ACV Treatment For Wrinkles
- Add a few drops of ACV on a cotton ball and apply directly on wrinkle
- Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and then wash your face thoroughly with warm water, then gently dab it dry with a towel
- Do this twice every day, and you should see the effects after a month or two
DIY Remedy for Treating Skin Burns
- Mix 50ml (half cup) ACV with 500ml (4 cups) water
- Soak a washcloth in the mixture and apply on the burned area
- Gently massage and allow the skin to soak up the mixture
- You can wash it off after half an hour and apply a cream to soften the skin, but you don’t have to.
- Repeat this a few times a day until you see improvement
DIY ACV Exfoliatiator
- Fill a bathtub with water and add some apple cider vinegar to it
- Sit in the bathtub for a maximum of 15 minutes to allow your skin to soak in all the nutrients and start exfoliating naturally.
- For best results, you can repeat this once a week or once every two weeks
DIY ACV Moisturizer
- Dilute a small amount of ACV with a little bit of water in a bowl
- After you’re done with cleansing, add a bit of the mixture on a little cotton pad and apply on your face
- Repeat this after every cleansing you perform
DIY ACV Mask
- Mix one teaspoon of ACV, two teaspoons of raw honey and one teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl and mix until it becomes a paste
- Apply the paste on your face
- Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then wash it off with warm water
- After that, gently massage (for added exfoliation) or dab your face dry with a washcloth.
Using DIY treatments for your skin is not necessarily a bad idea, but keep in mind that most of them are not reliable because of the lack of scientific research to support the claims. The fact that many people reported their acne getting worse from using ACV should not be taken lightly. If you are not deterred by the claims and are willing to try it there are a few steps you can take in order to be safe.
- Limit your intake of ACV, start with smaller doses and work your way up.
- Minimize the danger posed by the highly acidic nature of it by diluting it with water or other appropriate fluids
- Perform a patch test on your skin to see if your skin reacts to it
- Consult with a doctor to check if your gastrointestinal tract is in good shape and is not too sensitive to highly acidic foods
- Test for ACV allergies. Although rare, it shouldn’t be discarded. Allergies can be very dangerous.
As for topical treatment, make sure to consult with a dermatologist before treating yourself with ACV. Your dermatologist can tell you if this is a good idea, and if it’s okay for your type of skin. Stop using it if there is any reaction on your skin, and contact a doctor immediately.