Apple Cider Vinegar and Skin Care

Apple Cider Vinegar

Since there is no secret to my obsession with ingredients for skin care, I no longer need to hide the truth. I don’t have to load up on apple cider vinegar in shame, or fear judgment for my ramblings on its virtues. The truth is we don’t have to look that hard or far for the perfect skin fixes. Reading about the latest jungle berry or sea wonder for skin, cosmetic companies are having us race to the beauty counters for the next miracle in a jar. Don’t be tempted! I am not refuting that there can be advancements in skin care and that from time to time an amazing new active is discovered. What I am saying is that there are also shelves already lined with skin wonders, pantries full of actives that will deliver the results you’re after. So instead of chasing the promise in a jar, racing to the beauty aisle, loading up on products that make empty promises and then feeling let down by the money you wasted on yet another “skin perfecting, wrinkle erasing, zit zapping” product, look to the shelves of your local grocery store for all the skin magic and miracles you need.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been one of my favorite skin ingredients for some time. Consumers may tire of the same old, same old when it comes to what they use for their skin, but the benefits of ACV are so numerous and varied that your skin’s capacity for absorption of these advantages will never cease.

Fermentation is used to make the cider into vinegar. During this process, bacteria and yeast break down the sugars in the cider. First the sugars are turned into alcohol, and when the alcohol ferments further, you get vinegar. The word vinegar comes from the French, meaning, “sour wine.” The main ingredient of apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, however it also contains other acids (lactic, citric and malic), vitamins, mineral salts, and amino acids.

There are several key attributes to ACV for maintaining beautiful skin, and exfoliation is one of them. Exfoliating is a key element for keeping youthful healthy skin. There are several ways to exfoliate, and one of them is by “digesting” dead skin cells, which the acids in ACV do. This mild cell turnover is widely used as a skin treatment to improve, soften, and smooth skin texture. The new skin layer, once revealed, is more vibrant, youthful, and healthy.

With a pH similar to skin, AVC helps restore and balance your skin’s pH and acid mantle. This too is key to healthy, beautiful skin. The acid mantle is the combination of sebum (oil) and perspiration on the skin’s surface. This barrier protects the skin and makes it less vulnerable to environmental damage (smog, sun and wind), less prone to dehydration, and also inhibits the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi (enabling skin to be healthier and have fewer breakout and blemishes. Acne, allergies and other skin problems become more severe as the skin becomes more alkaline).”Mild” soaps are often alkaline (pH 9.5-11), and remove the natural acid protection as well as extract protective lipids (fats) from the skin. Washing with soap can increase this alkaline state and make the skin even more vulnerable to irritation and infection. Most people are cleansing with products that are breaking down their acid mantle and causing increased skin issues. Balancing your pH is an imperative part of maintaining healthy skin.

When it comes to obsession with Apple cider vinegar, Dr Bragg needs to be mentioned. He has championed, pioneered and touted the health and skin benefits far longer (and louder) then I. When making my products I use his vinegar. It is the best I have found.

On the Bragg’s website they list these benefits:

  • Support a healthy immune system
  • Helps control weight
  • Promotes digestion & pH balance
  • Helps soothe dry throats
  • Helps remove body sludge toxins
  • Helps maintain healthy skin
  • Helps promote youthful, healthy bodies
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Relieves muscle pain from exercise

That is mild in comparison to all the astonishing things people claim it can do. It is no wonder that ACV is used from everything from cleaning silver to ridding skin of acne. Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, treated his patients with natural apple cider vinegar in 400 BC, so it may seem new to you, but its virtues have been touted throughout history.

With all the fanfare that ACV gets it is hard to sort out what really works and what does not. I have used ACV with great success in both my products and at my spas. Along with some of my proven formulas using ACV (toner and mask), here are a few of my favorite AVC remedies:

Hair rinse: Apple cider vinegar gets rid of residue build-up on hair, leaving it soft and shiny. Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water. Apply after shampooing.

Stain remover: For berry stains on hands use straight apple cider vinegar.

Sunburn:  Add 1and 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar to your bath.

Detox bath: Add 1and 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar, 1and1/2 cups Epsom salts and ¼ cup dead sea mud (optional; if you can find it) to your bath.

Dandruff:  Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts warm water, apply to scalp. Use a hair toner/dye bottle or any bottle that has a pointy tip that will allow you to get the liquid directly on your scalp.  

Deodorant: Since ACV helps adjust the skin’s pH level, it helps to eliminate odor-causing bacteria. For underarms use a cotton ball to apply, for feet: Add ½ cup ACV to a bowl of water; soak feet.

Acne: Mix 1 part ACV, and 3 parts Rooibos tea and apply to blemishes. You can add a drop of Tea Tree Oil or Oregano oil as well.

pH balancing toner: Mix 1 part ACV with 4 parts water for your base.

For acne/oily skin replace water with roobois tea.

For dry skin replace water with chamomile tea or cucumber-infused water (leave several slices of cucumber in the water overnight).

For aging skin replace water with green, black or white tea.

Skin perfecting mask: 1 teaspoon deep sea mud, 1 teaspoon rose water, ¼ teaspoon ACV, 1/8 teaspoon yogurt, 1/16 teaspoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon kombucha. Mix all ingredients together. To balance the texture, you can add more mud or yogurt (to thicken) or kombucha or water (to thin). (If you cannot find deep sea mud or rose water locally you can either eliminate them from the mask replacing the mud with arrowroot and the rose water with plain water. If don’t want to do the swaps I suggested you can purchase deep sea mud and rose water online at www.sumbody.com).

And last but not least, if you have achy, swollen hands and feet: Rub them with a little apple cider vinegar.

Ins and Outs:

In:

  • Understanding common, accessible ingredients, and how they transform skin.
  • Using locally sourced actives from your pantry.

Out:

  • Having to run out and buy any and every new miracle ingredient for skin.
  • Being sold on the ideas that new is better, and exotic does more.

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  • Kyra Gaston

    I started using Apple Cider Vinegar on my skin about a week and it made my skin look brighter I want to use it in my hair but my mother won’t let me.

  • Dev

    I tried deluded ACV on my bumpy face skin and I turned bright red and was itching like crazy. Does this mean the solution was too strong or am I sensitice to ACV and cannot use it? Dont want to cause more problems with my skin.

  • Riezca Rininta Puspita

    Your skin might too sensitive, i made toner for daily after bath face mist one third acv and water, no more sebum in my face and reduce big pores in my oily cheek

  • jenith

    I start to use ACV about 4 days… My acne come worst… But still I use it as my toner morning and at night. then I oral it after meal in my lunch and dinner… I don’t think its work for me but I have faith it can help to my skin free acne..

  • Gary

    If you got acne it can be a selenium and zinc and vitamin A deficiency. Also a deficiency in fatty acids.

  • rene

    do you use this full strength on a cotton ball ?

  • LindaMC

    Kyra, I used Apple Cider V, in my hair and it has never been so shiny. Also I was loosing my hair by the handfulls every day, and now that has stopped. Just don’t get it in your eyes. Make sure it is organic vinegar. Mom this is a good thing for her to do.

  • LindaMC

    You can also try lemons on your face, leave it on for 1 min., then wash it off and then put your face cream on.

  • Fariha

    I used it on my face since last week at night and wash it in morning after waking up. My skin is good but I feel hair growth on my face. Is it due to apple cider’s overnight usage?

  • Rafael

    But im allergic to apples. Any suggestions ?

  • B’bey Diamond

    witch hazel can do the work

  • Wonderful….. Great post and good information apple skin care I am a working women and few months back my skin is very oily and pimple on my face she suggested me apple juice and believe me its really work on skin and also good for weight loss thanks for this post. My friend she also suggested me a site http://www.defensesoap.com/ good skin care tips.

  • lucy.mn

    did you dilute it with enough water or only a few drops, you need to make sure it is diluted “organic” acv that contains the “mother” goodness xx good luck!

  • Tawnya Fletcher

    It always makes my face break out when I first start using it. Try it a while longer, diluting it further if necessary. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

  • mayan longcount

    does anyone here drink acv?? if so, how much per day?? diluted?? undiluted??

  • jess

    Please remember that ACV is an acid. This can cause irritation when applying to sensitive, acne-affected skin. You can use it as a toner instead by diluting with water, which should prevent the irritation and fix the problem. I chose to drink it orally twice a day to clear my acne and it did. My only advice is to take a shot of it once a day versus twice a day (per the instructions on a Bragg’s bottle) because it made me poop a lot. I guess it’s good for the digestive system, too.

  • I’m also allergic to apples. I take ACV in pill form and it’s completely fine. Try the Swanson brand, it’s on Amazon.

  • Caroline

    You have to dilute it, otherwise it’s too strong and believe me I tried it without diluting it and it was horrible and it burnt. Mix 2 tablespoons in a glass of water and I recommend you to drink it through a straw so it doesn’t damage your enamel of the teeth because it’s an acid after all. Hope it helped!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • CANDY

    **Following your recipe, how long does “Rooibos tea” stay fresh (before going bad)? I know freshly brewed green tea goes bad in about 4-5days in the fridge :)

    **How many days would the 1:4 (water:acv) toner last before going bad without the Rooibos tea (in room temperature say 50F to 90F)?

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

  • Abadee

    I have this same question regarding the ACV/Green tea face toner concoction. This is an informative article but it is infuriating when the author only includes half the information! Why give a recipe and not include basic safety information such as the shelf life? I hope Dr Lipman will be kind enough to update this piece or answer our queries directly.

  • ACV has a really long shelf life so if you’re mixing 1 tbsp ACV with 4 tbsp water and using it daily, you can safely assume that the toner will be safe to use. I hope that helps answer your question.

  • NatalieForABetterWorld

    I use it diluted, 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water. (4 parts total ;)) on my dog for allergies, and the biggest thing that I noticed is how wonderful her hair feels afterwards not to mention that it smells great too. After I spray it on her I just towel dry her hair. Amazing!

  • NatalieForABetterWorld

    I have drink it for indigestion at times, and that is undiluted, about a tablespoon. It stopped heartburn in its tracks.

  • NatalieForABetterWorld

    I would dilute it. One part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water

  • Chris Renegar

    Mix one part ACV with one part rose water. Put in a spray bottle and just mist your face. This is incredible. You can youtube this and an asian girl shows you how. Great stuff.

  • Tim

    bored nursing a dry socket tooth extraction site fighting off painful sinus, neck lymphnode & ear pain infection with ACV. All i do is soak a cotton ball with it & rub it on skin where pain is, it absorbs thru skin & kills infection! let me know if its works for you. FYI dump your crap toothpaste & go with neem toothpaste, it heals your teeth instead of making your pain pusher denti$t rich