Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne: How It Works, How to Do It
Apple Cider Vinegar should by now be a staple item in your pantry, but it definitely has a place in your beauty case as well! The components that make ACV so good for your gut work on your outsides as well, helping you glow from the inside out.
From lowering your blood sugar to helping with weight loss, maintaining your digestive health and making salads delicious, it seems that ACV knows no limits when it comes to improving your lifestyle. This ancient cure-all has also long been used as a disinfectant and skin cleanser, so it's no surprise that people are turning back to ACV in their time of need.
Acne is a common skin condition that affects many, many people. Hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to whiteheads, blackheads or pimples and often causing pigmentation and discolouration. As if that wasn't enough, acne can also result in scarring.
Luckily, ACV is here for you! The component acids within ACV target many of acne's root causes, helping to clear it up in the short term and address scarring and pigmentation in the long run. Let's take a closer look at ACV's arsenal of anti-acne weapons.
Apple Cider Vinegar VS Acne
One of the leading factors in acne is the presence of Cutibacterium acnes (also known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes). It doesn't stand a chance against ACV's anti-bacterial and anti-fungal powers! Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic, citric, succinic and lactic acid, all of which are proven to be effective against acne-causing bacteria. Regularly applying diluted ACV to problem areas can prevent the build-up of bacterial bad-guys and help keep skin clear.
While 'chemical peeling' sounds terrifying and painful, it's actually a completely natural and wonderful thing that happens when you apply ACV to your skin. The lactic, citric and malic acids present in Apple Cider Vinegar are alpha-hydroxy acids: chemical exfoliants. They work their way through the uppermost levels of the skin, revealing the young, fresh and healthy skin beneath. This prevents the build-up of oil, dead skin cells and bacteria, but also reduces the appearances of scarring and pigmentation over time.
Say 'Stop' to Scarring
ACV makes a fantastic toner. That means it helps keep skin tight, protected and youthful, by rebalancing your skin pH, cleansing and exfoliating, and acting as an astringent. The cumulative effect of all these properties is to reduce the appearance of imperfections on your skin, whether they're raised spots or discoloured patches.
How to Get All the Goodies: Using ACV on Your Face
Now that we know what ACV does for our skin, it's time to discuss the how of the matter. What's the best way to enjoy all of these benefits?
ACV Spot Treatment
The simplest method is to apply ACV topically to the affected areas. Mix 1-part ACV with 1-part demineralised water for severe acne, 3 or 4-parts water for moderate acne, and 5-parts water for very sensitive skin. Apply the concoction to the target areas using a cotton bud or pad.
Using an ACV-based toner all over your face can have powerful benefits if you can stand the smell and your skin can take the acidity. Using the same ratios as above, apply the toner to a cotton pad and pat over your face. Some lovely ingredients to add are essential oils (tea tree or lavender especially!), lemon, honey, aloe vera, or green tea.
Leave the mixture on for 15-30 mins before rinsing it off.