Apple Cider Vinegar benefits or Apple Cider Vinegar uses is pretty much a one-stop solution for all your beauty bugbears. Right from helping with weight loss to providing relief from skin rash, this potion can do just about anything. Just a spoonful of this elixir of a concoction is known to have cured the most stubborn of beauty issues. In the beauty world, especially in areas of skin and hair care, apple cider vinegar has gained quite the reputation for itself, with everyone from beauty bloggers to beauty portals (like us!) extolling its virtues.
What is it?
We’ve known apples to be associated with health and beauty right from our childhood. We’ve been reminded again and again how an apple a day saves you a trip to the doctor and have grown up listening to apples playing the protagonist in stories, beginning from the story of the ‘Original Sin’ to Snow White’s love for the reddest of them. In order to make Apple Cider Vinegar, you crush these wonderfully golden red apples, squeeze out their juice, and start the fermentation process, first turning the juice into alcohol and then into vinegar. A combination of acetic and malic acid, Apple Cider Vinegar has been used as traditional medicine and beauty aid for centuries across different cultures. The best quality ACV is considered to be one that has organic, unpasteurized, and unfiltered vinegar, containing the ‘Mother of Vinegar’, a form of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that basically contains most of the beneficial nutrients and enzymes.
The beauty benefits of ACV
In the beauty industry, Apple Cider Vinegar has quite a popular part to play. It has a multitude of uses to it, ranging from being used as a toner to making masks for the hair and the skin. It is this versatility, this ability to address beauty issues starting literally from your head to toes that have made Apple Cider Vinegar such a household name. ACV has all three, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties to it, thereby proving effective against a number of skin related issues. Used in a number of different hair masks, ACV can also help make your hair shinier, detangled and dandruff-free, while repairing damage to a certain extent as well. Here are a few of the ways that ACV can be effectively incorporated into your skin and hair care regime.
As a toner
Your skin has a very fine film covering it called the 'acid mantle'. This layer is slightly acidic, having a pH level in the range of 4.5 to 5.5 and protects your skin from bacteria, dust or any other potential pollutants. All the soaps and shampoos (or even just plain water) that you splash onto your skin disturb your skin's pH levels, and thereby its ability to protect your skin from any contaminants. Just using diluted ACV as a toner can help restore your skin's pH balance, thereby preventing and even remedying numerous skin issues such as breakouts and rashes. Since ACV is pretty acidic, it is always recommended that you use it only after dilution (the amount ranging from one to a few teaspoons of ACV in about half a litre of water). Depending on the ingredients that you're coupling it with, the diluted ACV can act as a toner for brightening your skin (with aspirin), for soothing your skin (with chamomile or calendula flowers) or as a detoxifying toner, especially for those having oily skin (with witch hazel or green tea). These supplements, along with the ACV, have their added advantages as well, with the salicylic acid acting as a gentle peeler, the beta-carotene helping fight free radicals and the detoxifying agents, in combination with malic acid, helping prevent the occurrence of acne or spots.
As a Face Mask
When it comes to the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar; it contains a host of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins (A and B), salts and minerals, amino acids, and even hydroxy acids that help cleanse and refresh your skin by helping to remove all the dead skin cells from over it. The diluted ACV can even be paired with a number of different ingredients, ranging from honey (for a quick cleanse) or avocados and bran (for moisturising) or even tomato pulp or yoghurt, and fuller’s earth (for that detoxifying deep cleanse treatment). Since ACV is so potent against skin bacteria, it also helps you to effectively deal with acne and breakouts.
A natural astringent, it is also used to treat sun damage, providing relief to your sunburnt skin by balancing the skin’s pH levels. Not only that, but this vinegar made from apples is also a brilliant solution for fighting cellulite. ACV can help you tone the skin by fighting those fat cells that lurk just beneath the surface, and even help improve the elasticity of your skin. The sulphur present in Apple Cider Vinegar makes it a pretty effective remedy against age spots as well, although the ACV needs to be diluted with either orange or onion juice. ACV is quite acidic, even when diluted and could cause your skin to become more sensitive than before. It is always advisable that you test the concoction on your skin, preferably on the back of your hand (or along your jawline if you’re going to apply it on your face), to check if it affects your skin in any adverse manner.
For your hair
Even for your hair, ACV has a host of uses, ranging from balancing the pH levels of your scalp to just cleansing your hair of any build-up. Maintaining the correct levels of pH for your scalp can greatly boost the health of your hair, especially the hair follicles, making your hair appear shinier and livelier than before. ACV also helps clear dead cells from your scalp, thereby promoting hair growth and healthier follicles as well. It aids in the process of detangling your hair too, making your hair much smoother and easier to comb.
Dandruff, basically, is your scalp’s response to the growth of yeast on it over time. By helping maintain the correct levels of pH for your scalp, ACV helps you get rid of dandruff as well (combining it with tea tree oil makes the solution all the more effective). ACV can even be combined with a number of other essential oils, the most common one being coconut oil. These concoctions can then help provide your hair with much needed nutrition, while also tackling other issues such as an itchy scalp or dull, lifeless hair.
Apart from being extremely advantageous for your skin and your hair, Apple Cider Vinegar has an abundance of other uses in the beauty industry as well. It can help with just about everything associated with beauty, right from teeth whitening to cleansing your nails (or even acting as a primer for your nail paint). You put your finger on the beauty bother, and ACV (and often some other ingredient coupled with it) will most probably have a solution or a fix for it. If there was ever an award show for beauty ingredients or products, ACV would perhaps set a record for the most prizes taken home or for the most nominations at least.