Monday, January 16, 2012

The great benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar!

Ok, so this one is a little tricky...I started using apple cider vinegar about 4 months ago and I find it to be very beneficial for the skin on my face (this might not be true for everyone so you might want to test it before using all over the face). I'll mention the many ways it can help with different issues, but the main focus here is a review of how it worked for me on my face. I choose to use it every second day as I don't want to overdo it, and I use it at night before going to bed, the reason for this is that the one con to this beneficial trick is that if you're like me, the smell of vinegar reminds me of a very smelly foot, and this smell will most likely linger for approx. 20-30 mins, so this one is a def. no no before a hot date or a situation that might bring you close to another individual that won't know why your face smells so weird...Also, it's not the best idea to use it at 100% concentration unless you have seriously tough skin, since it can burn a little if you're more sensitive. I have used it at 100% before, and if I have an area that is a bit more sensitive because of an imperfection, it will burn, also, keep away from eyes as it will def. burn so no wiping on the eyelids or you'll be cursing out loud.

Results I experienced: A feeling of tighter skin (less puffy), barely any reoccurring blemishes (which I was still getting a hand full every month), and a smoother texture (as for lightening my freckles, I can't be absolutely sure the level of help this remedy has provided as I use different strategies to diminishes my brown spots, which I will blog about in due time).

So why is apple cider vinegar beneficial? For me it's for the benefits of a naturally derived class of chemical compound known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA). This is the acid used in many over the counter creams to improve skin, however many of them are synthetically derived, apple cider vinegar is not. Because of this acid in ACV, the results I experienced was softer smoother skin, and honestly I think I've had 1-2 blemishes on my face in the past 3 months, however, some people may experience the opposite so its important to test it right, we'll get to that later on. Another benefit is it can brighten and lighten the skin, so if you're like me and get freckles due to sensitivity to the sun (which has gotten worse over the years) ACV can actually help these marks (obviously patience is a virtue as it doesn't lighten skin over night). It is known to regulate and balance the PH on the surface of your skin and may be taken internally in addition to taking it topically to boost the metabolism, detoxify the liver, control glucose level, and may also be used as a rinse for the hair to obtain a really nice shine (not too sure this would be ideal however for people with colored treated hair who wish to keep the exact color as the ACV may strip the color somewhat).

So here are the directions:

Face (topically): Put about a tbsp (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar (ideally organic but it can be any brand) in a tiny glass bowl and add equal parts water, use a cotton face pad to apply it to the face. I don't recommend testing this without adding water, if you see that your skin is not irritated by the half and half mix, you could then up the ration of ACV to water if you like, but do this gradually). It's wise to do a test strip first so maybe dab a bit on your temple the first night and if your skin is fine, do the whole face, I just did the whole face the first night and pretty much just the ACV without water and I do have sensitive skin sometimes, and my skin was fine the next day, but It would be irresponsible for me to tell you to do the same and not be cautious.

CAUTION: If you choose to do this, and your skin is prone to freckles, make sure you use a good sunblock everyday as it may make your skin more vulnerable the way exfoliating does.

For face (extra boost), liver, metabolism, control of glucose levels: drink 1-2tsp before a meal up to 3 times a day. I personally have never done this since I can't bear the idea of swallowing vinegar alone (ideal for best results) so I just make sure to add it to my salads. In terms of doubling up for the face, it's supposed to help if you have acne, I don't so I just use it topically.

For Hair: After washing your hair, add a mixture of 1/2 cup ACV to 4 cups water (preferably cold for maximum results)

CAUTION: You may want to avoid this remedy if you color your hair and don't want to take a chance in removing some of the color. (I've never personally used this remedy before as I have highlights)

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