You are here

Get Beach-Weather Beautiful with...Apple Cider Vinegar?

June 3, 2014

Main Image

Apple cider vinegar may be replacing coconut oil as our favorite health- and beauty-boosting superfood. Add in the fact that it’s incredibly inexpensive and available at every corner store, and it’s pretty hard to beat.

Of course, this is nothing new. ACV has been a natural tonic for different ailments since Hippocrates’ time. The fermented amber liquid has potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective treatment against bee stings, sunburn, and indigestion, as well as warts and moles.

But beyond treating ailments, apple cider vinegar is a major power player in making you look your absolute best. As we shed our winter layers and get ready to bare all in the sunshine this summer, it might be wise to toss out the fancy body lotions and exfoliators, cut down on those hours on the treadmill, and use ACV as your one-stop summer beauty shop!

Curb Those Carbs

Western medicine is just beginning to recognize the health powers of ACV, and one of them is its ability to lower blood glucose through its main component, acetic acid. A study published by the American Diabetes Association proves that it enhances insulin sensitivity in people with Type 2 diabetes: Their glucose levels fell by four to six percent the morning after taking two tablespoons of ACV before bed. Even if you don’t have an insulin problem, you can still reap the benefits of ACV. Since it slows down starch digestion, having one to two tablespoons with water just before or during a high-carb meal will make you feel sated more quickly, thus keeping your cravings at bay.

Shed the Pounds

Acetic acid is also believed to stimulate the enzymes that suppress body fat accumulation. In a Japanese experiment, obese people dropped weight after drinking beverages containing ACV for 12 weeks. The results may not be dramatic, but it’s a safe and steady approach to losing excess weight, as long as you keep an eye on the dosage. One to two tablespoons added to a glass of water daily should be sufficient. It has to be diluted to prevent the acid from breaking down your teeth enamel and burning your throat.

Tone Up Your Skin

Many of us subject our skin to an endless process of trial and error with products that usually contain harsh chemicals. The constant abuse strips the top dermal layer of its acid mantle—a protective barrier against bacteria and pollution—upsetting the skin’s natural pH level. It’s one of the common reasons why our skin becomes too dry, forms premature wrinkles, or produces excessive oil to compensate. To restore the pH balance to a healthy 5.5, mix one part ACV to four parts water and apply it on your face with a cotton ball or facial pad. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse off. If you have sensitive skin or if you’ve never used ACV before, do a patch test first, then dilute the mixture if your skin becomes irritated. Once your skin is back to its healthy state, you can use ACV as a skin toner once a day or every other day.

Kill Acne and Lighten Blemishes

Since it’s highly acidic, ACV works as a natural pimple and acne spot treatment, either in its pure form or diluted in 50 percent distilled water. It contains alpha-hydroxy-acid, an exfoliant that extracts dirt, blackheads, and whiteheads, unclogging pores to release the natural sebum (or oil) trapped underneath. It’s no wonder that it’s also a favorite home remedy for sun spots and scarring from acne and eczema, as well as other post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Some people leave the ACV solution on their skin overnight, but it’s wiser to stick to 20 minutes to a couple of hours, max.

Clear Dandruff and Condition Hair

If ACV is good for your skin, then it’s good for your scalp, which also requires a healthy pH level. When this level is thrown off, the result is dandruff stemming from fungal growth or extremely dry scalp. Treat it by spraying directly with 50 percent ACV and 50 percent water, wrapping your hair in a towel, then rinsing after 30 minutes to one hour. The procedure also removes protein and chemical buildup from hair care products. If you simply want to give your mane a lustrous and soft finish, add one to two tablespoons of ACV to a glass of water and use it as a hair rinse once a week.

What are your favorite uses for apple cider vinegar? Tell us in the comments below!