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#IngredientSpotlight: Apple Cider Vinegar

As much as we’re willing to go to the ends of the world for game-changing skincare hacks, our favourite ones are those that require nothing more than a walk into the kitchen. Anyone who’s on the weight loss wagon knows too well that a morning doesn’t begin without a glass of warm lime juice with a dash of Apple Cider Vinegar. So, what’s all the hype about? Today, we’re going to read up on all the ways in which ACV can help your skin.

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What exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)?

Unlike regular vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar is made by crushing apples, extracting the liquid and adding bacteria and yeast to it. During the fermentation process, the bacteria forms acetic acid, which turns the alcohol into vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is sour to taste and has a distinct sharp smell. For centuries, ACV has been hailed as a folk remedy capable of curing almost every ailment.

How does it help the skin and hair?

ACV is acidic in nature, with a pH level of 4-5. Now, our skin sits at a pH level of about 5. For any skincare product to work, it needs to have a pH that’s closer to that of your skin. Since, ACV’s is a near match it can help combat a whole bunch of skin problems. Here are some of the benefits:

Restores balance: Due to similar pH levels between ACV and the skin’s acid mantle layer, the former does a fine job of restoring any pH imbalance, repairing the acid mantle and soothing the skin.

Facial toner: ACV is a natural source of acetic acid and alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). AHA is potent exfoliant which gets rid of dead skin cells, revealing younger and smoother skin. Whereas, acetic acid has toning properties, that can firm and even out your skin.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-acne: ACV has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe and soften irritated, bumpy skin. Also, since most acne is the result of pH imbalance, ACV is probably just what your skin needs to bounce back. It comes in particularly handy when dealing with razor bumps and pimples.

Cleans the scalp: Dealing with pesky dandruff? Try massaging ACV diluted with equal parts water onto your scalp before shampooing. Its acidic properties will clean out your scalp, restore pH balance and strengthen the scalp’s protective mantle.

Monsoon Frizz:– Diluted ACV is a great way to tame the mane and keep the frizz under control. And instead of using Silicone based serums, this homemade hair rinse made of a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar, Water and a drop of oil will give your hair the luminous shine.

Any side-effects?
As with every skincare product you use, do a patch test first. ACV with lower pH levels can irritate sensitive skin, cause burning and scarring. It may take some time for your skin to adjust to this, so start off with a diluted solution, gradually increasing the concentration until your skin has adjusted. It’s also safe for ingestion, but prolonged consumption of concentrated ACV can cause injury to the oral tissues, throat, stomach and kidneys. The best way to proceed is by diluting it in, say, lime water.

How to use ACV in skincare regime?

The options are endless:

–      Add it to lukewarm water in ratio 1:2, to rinse your face when you’re cleansing.

  • To use as a toner, mix 1 tablespoon ACV with 2 cups water. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and gently dab your face. Avoid rinsing.
  • For a quick razor bump fix or spot pimple treatment, dab a cotton ball in undiluted ACV, and place it over the problem area. (Do the patch test first)
  • Mix it with your favourite clay mask.

–      Add a tablespoon to your lime juice and gulp it down first thing every morning. You could use a paper straw to protect your teeth if you find the mix a bit acidic.

So, there you have it! Do you have any ACV hacks? Tell us!

 

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