Apple cider vinegar has been used as a folk remedy for a number of ailments for generations. Its healing and restorative powers have been noted by members of the traditional and homeopathic medicine circles alike. In recent years, as alternative medicine has come to the forefront, the popularity of ACV has grown with it. Used for everything from weight loss to controlling diabetes, this natural wonder is an inexpensive and generally safe alternative to traditional medications.
Among its many medicinal properties, apple cider vinegar is known to be an effective way of promoting healthy skin and fighting skin conditions like acne and eczema. It helps to rid the body of toxins, to exfoliate dead skin and to balance pH levels, all of which can lead to cleaner, clearer, healthier skin from head to toe.
How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work?
This amazing natural substance works in a number of ways to improve the health of your skin. Not only does it have antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which help to rid the skin of harmful irritants and provide deep cleansing, it is also the perfect vehicle for maintaining a proper pH balance, which is one of the keys to healthy skin.
What makes pH levels so important? The pH level of your skin is the indicator of how much natural acid is present. Some natural acid is necessary to act as a protective barrier, keeping the skin free of bacteria and other irritants. Every time you wash your face or take a shower, you wash away some of that protective barrier.
In healthy skin, the pH will balance itself but in damaged skin, that balance can become disrupted permanently. In this case, you’ll need outside assistance to re-set it and restore health to your skin. Apple Cider vinegar can be one of the best ways to do this. With your pH level restored, your skin will be able to function correctly, pores will be opened, old skin flaked off and skin tone rendered firmer and healthier.
What Skin Conditions Can ACV Treat Effectively?
There are a number of ways that apple cider vinegar can be used to treat the skin. Mixed with water, it makes for an ideal natural toner. Combine one part ACV with 8 parts water, mix well, and apply once or twice a day by soaking a cotton ball and dabbing it on your skin. It can even be used on the delicate skin of the face, though you should be careful not to get any in your eyes as it can sting. You can experiment with the ACV to water ratio until you figure out what works best for your skin, but starting out with 1:8 ACV to water is usually recommended.
For more targeted treatment, ACV can be applied to acne or eczema blemishes to help diminish their appearance. Simply dab diluted ACV onto a cotton ball and apply the cotton ball directly onto a pimple or blemish, then secure it in place with a band aid and leave it there overnight. The acidic properties of the ACV will help to soften the growth and heal the skin.
The same approach can be used to battle warts. Simply repeat the overnight soaking process each night until the wart has disappeared. ACV can also be combined with Epsom salts for a soothing bath that will open up your pores and stimulate the healing process or with natural substances like lavender, rosemary, rose or elder flower both to enhance the healing process and to counter the natural odor of the vinegar, which can be unpleasant.
How Does ACV Compare To More Traditional Treatments?
Since it is a natural substance, apple cider vinegar does not have the same side effects of most traditional treatments. It is highly acidic and can potentially damage to tooth enamel if taken orally, and can cause a burning or stinging sensation if applied to open sores or wounds. Otherwise, it is generally well tolerated.
There is some concern about ACV lowering potassium levels and potentially interacting with certain medications such as diuretics and medicines for diabetes, so you should consult with your doctor before using it if you have any concerns. While it may not provide the powerful results of traditional treatments, apple cider vinegar can be a safe, gentle alternative that allows your skin to heal naturally.