When it comes to holistic wellbeing, apple cider vinegar (ACV), often abandoned in the depths of dusty condiment cabinets, is no longer balsamic’s misunderstood stepsister – it’s a whole freaking mood.
ACV is known for its weight-loss potential, but if you’ve ever gone down a natural skin-care rabbit hole on Instagram, you know it also has skin-clearing capabilities.
But how does a salad dressing component improve your radiance?
The healthy components that emerge when apple cider is fermented with yeast and other beneficial microorganisms to generate ACV, according to experts.
Dr. Keira Barr, a dermatologist in Gig Harbor, Washington, explains that ACV includes acetic acid, which has antifungal and antibacterial characteristics. “It also includes phenolic compounds, which are effective antioxidants, as well as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) including citric, lactic, and malic acids, which exfoliate the top layers of the skin.”
If you’re familiar with the field of skin care, you’re probably aware of the various ways apple cider vinegar is used.
When apple cider is fermented with yeast and other beneficial microorganisms, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is produced.
The vinegar’s fermentation process produces acetic acid, which is widely recognized for its antibacterial and antifungal qualities.
Apple cider vinegar’s efficacy is mostly due to the fruit acids it contains, such as acetic and malic acid.
Here are several methods to utilize apple cider vinegar for your face, whether you’re wanting to treat wrinkles, acne, or even a sunburn.
Acetic acid, which is found in ACV, has antifungal and antibacterial effects
Still, slathering this pungent cooking essential on your face may seem counterintuitive, if not downright uncomfortable. After all, ACV is mostly made up of acids, and when applied directly to skin, it has been found to produce chemical burns .
Are you curious if ACV may help you seem younger? Here’s everything you need to know about what it can do for your skin, how to use it properly (hint: dilute it! ), and when to simply say no.
- Main advantages: antibacterial and antifungal activities, natural acid exfoliation, pH balancing
- Citric acid, acetic acid, malic acid, and polyphenols are skin-supporting chemicals.
- If handled inappropriately, there is a danger of irritation and chemical burns.
- People with oily, acne-prone skin should try it.
- People with dry, sensitive, or irritable skin should avoid it.
- How often should you use it: 1–3 times a week is typical.
- There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to dilution: dilute, dilute, dilute!
What can (and can’t) apple cider vinegar do for your skin
Although there is less research on ACV’s topical skin benefits, there is more information available on the natural fruit acids and polyphenols it contains. This is all we know thus far.
Acne can be difficult to treat
Acne is caused mostly by germs on your skin or blocked hair follicles with oil and dead skin cells. The good news is that ACV could be able to assist with both. Acetic acid, the primary acid in ACV, has antifungal and antimicrobial effects.
Dr. Zenovia Gabriel, a dermatologist in Newport Beach, California, explains that when acetic acid is used topically, it clears bacteria-related skin illnesses and disorders like acne.
Furthermore, the AHAs in ACV (such as citric acid) may be especially beneficial for comedonal acne, which is characterized by blackheads and blocked pores.
“Excess keratin binds dead skin cells together, resulting in blocked pores and acne,” Gabriel notes, “but AHAs help minimize follicular clogging by dissolving excess keratin.”
When used topically, acetic acid helps to treat bacteria-related skin diseases and disorders including acne.
“Acne is an inflammatory disorder,” explains Barr, “and phenolic chemicals in apple cider vinegar, such as epicatechin and caffeic acid, have anti-inflammatory characteristics.”
Keep in mind that no research on ACV’s acne-fighting abilities have been conducted. The acidic nature of ACV may be too irritating if you have open sores on your face from burst pimples.
Hyperpigmentation should be reduced.
Hyperpigmentation of the skin, or dark patches produced by excessive melanin production, can affect people of all skin types and is frequently provoked by sun exposure.
While there is no scientific evidence that ACV can help with dark spots, several of its key AHA constituents appear to be promising.
“Malic acid in ACV helps remove dark spots and hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin formation,” Gabriel explains. “Also, citric acid has been demonstrated to reduce age spots by increasing skin cell turnover.”
Exfoliate dry, flaky skin.
Chemical exfoliants, such as a range of naturally derived AHAs, can be found in serums, toners, and cleansers that promise to brighten and smooth the skin.
ACV includes lactic, citric, and malic acids, which, according to Barr, help break down the top layer of dead skin to expose skin that is softer and more moisturized.
According to Barr, the caffeic acid in ACV has tissue-repairing effects and aids collagen formation, which may help to soften the appearance of acne scars.
pH of the skin should be balanced.
A good face toner should eliminate extra debris, minimize pores, and balance your skin’s pH, all of which ACV appears to do.
ACV is somewhat acidic, similar to the pH of your skin, which should be about 5.0. Strong soaps, on the other hand, are more alkaline and can throw your skin’s pH out of whack, impairing skin barrier function and causing irritation.
“As a result, when appropriately diluted, ACV may be used as a toner or balancing agent on skin without stripping the epidermis,” Gabriel explains.
It’s unclear whether or not ACV can help with eczema.
It makes sense in theory: ACV’s lower pH is thought to help with barrier function in disorders like eczema, where the skin’s pH is more alkaline (aka atopic dermatitis).
However, 22 persons with eczema reported no substantial symptom alleviation or changes in the quality of their skin barrier in a short 2019 research, and several of them even had more discomfort.
While ACV may help reset the pH of reasonably healthy skin, if your skin barrier is already impaired, it may be too irritating.
Effortlessly remove wrinkles
While the astringent (pore-constricting) qualities of ACV may temporarily tighten your skin, there is no scientific proof that it helps repair wrinkles.
“While the acids in ACV can slough off the dead top layer of skin, actual wrinkles are deeper than the surface epidermis, and ACV alone won’t get rid of them,” Gabriel explains.
Skin tags should be removed
Skin tags are fleshy growths that protrude from the skin and are not malignant. They seem to grow more frequent as people become older.
ACV is one of the home treatments for skin tag elimination. The overall notion is that the ACV will dry up the skin tag, causing it to come off gradually. However, according to Gabriel, “acids have not proved beneficial in eradicating or preventing skin tags.”
If you want to get rid of your skin tags, you should visit a dermatologist who can use liquid nitrogen to freeze them off.
Some sunburn relief recipes include spritzing or bathing skin with a mixture of ACV and water. However, there is no scientific data to back this up.
While ACV has anti-inflammatory ingredients, its naturally exfoliating nature may be too irritating when applied to burnt skin that has already been harmed.
DIY apple cider vinegar face masks (Hint: Dilute or don’t do it!)
To avoid irritation and chemical burns, always dilute ACV before applying it, unless you’re using it as a spot treatment.
“The suggested ratio is 1 part vinegar to 3 or 4 parts water to avoid redness and irritation,” adds Barr. If you have sensitive skin, open wounds, or eczema, dilute it even more — or skip it altogether.
Another excellent advice is to test a tiny area of your skin for an unpleasant response. Allow at least a few hours to pass. Are you in the clear? Here are a few home remedies to think about.
Toner with ACV
ACV is a popular natural toner because of its inherent astringent qualities and acidic pH.
1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 to 5 parts water (depending on your skin’s sensitivity). Apply the mixture to your face with a cotton ball and keep it on for 1 minute before rinsing and applying moisturizer.
You can gradually increase to 15 minutes, but not more, according to Barr. If your skin tolerates it, use it 1 to 3 times a week.
ACV is a natural cleaner.
The antibacterial and antifungal qualities of ACV can aid in the natural removal of pollutants from your skin. Diluted ACV is more in line with your skin’s natural, slightly acidic pH than harsh soaps.
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1/4 to 1/2 cup warm water (depending on your skin’s sensitivity). Use a washcloth to apply the mixture to your face, then rinse and moisturize as usual.
Spot treatment with ACV
You may also use ACV to dry up blemishes and perhaps stop their production because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and astringent characteristics.
Simply apply undiluted ACV to specific pimples on your face with a cotton swab
Not the do-it-yourself type? One of these ACV-infused face creams is worth a shot.
There are lots of prepared solutions that harness the advantages of ACV if measuring and mixing aren’t your strong suit. Bonus: These options have calming elements and are appropriate for all skin types.
Toners with ACV
This all-natural toner mixes apple cider vinegar with skin-clarifying sandalwood and clary sage essential oils, as well as witch hazel, which is recognized for its anti-inflammatory and astringent effects.
ACV spot treatments
For a hit of ACV on the go — whether you want a full-face rubdown after a trip to the gym or a quick spot treatment on a new breakout — wipes and peel pads are the way to go. These wipes feature soothing rose, lavender, and chamomile.
Cleansers using apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Thanks to a combination of moisturizing aloe, skin-calming lavender and rose essential oils, and naturally exfoliating organic ACV, this small-batch cleanser gives your skin a deep clean without drying it out.
Apple cider vinegar isn’t a cure-all for your skin problems, and more study on its topical advantages is needed before we go all-in.
Dermatologists, on the other hand, admit that ACV has a variety of helpful science-backed components (including AHAs) that can support a clean, balanced, and smooth complexion.
However, not everyone should use ACV on their skin. You might get irritation or chemical burns if your skin barrier is already weakened or if you don’t dilute ACV adequately (1 part ACV to at least 3 parts water).
If you have any concerns or personal queries, consult your dermatologist.
Because it’s an antibacterial astringent, apple cider vinegar is a common component in skin care products.
There are various methods to utilize apple cider vinegar for your face, from a DIY cleanser to an acne spot treatment.