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Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne
Apple Cider Vinegar is an effective oral and topical home remedy for acne treatment. Make sure to dilute it before using it though.
Apple cider vinegar is one of many types of vinegar.
It is commonly found in most homes where it is a domestic solution used for cooking and pickling.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the two types of vinegars commonly used for treating acne. The other one is white vinegar. Both vinegars are easily obtained, and are effective for many acne sufferers.
However, no treatment works for all acne cases but for those who benefit from apple cider vinegar, the results are dramatic.
Apple cider vinegar is a brownish-yellow liquid made from cider or apple must.
Like all vinegars, it is produced from the fermentation of ethanol. First, the sugar in apple must is converted into ethanol then the ethanol is converted to acetic acid by the bacteria called acetobacter or acetic acid bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar is usually sold with its froth layer intact. This froth is called mother of vinegar and it can be used to ferment more apple cider vinegar because it contains acetic acid bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar is an acidic solution with pH values between 4.25 and 5. It must be diluted before drinking because of its acidity. Undiluted apple cider vinegar can damage the throat and teeth.
Culinary use of apple cider vinegar include as a constituent of marinades, dressings, and as food preservative.
Most people are repulsed by the sour taste of apple cider vinegar, therefore, it can be sweetened with honey before drinking. The taste of apple cider vinegar is due to its malic acid acetic acid content.
Why Apple Cider Vinegar Works for Acne
In acne treatment, apple cider vinegar can be ingested and applied on the skin.
When applied to the skin, apple cider vinegar is effective against acne because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties and also because it helps restore the pH balance of the skin.
Being an acid, apple cider vinegar can kill the bacteria responsible for acne eruptions. The two known bacteria that cause or worsen acne are Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermis.
When these bacteria colonize the skin surface, they change the nature of the sebaceous follicles.
They increase the production of sebum and promote an abnormal cycle of inflammation. These actions lead to the clogging of the skin pores with a mixture of the bacteria, sebum and dead skin cells.
Acne lesions including superficial ones such as whiteheads, blackheads and pimples as well as deep ones such as cysts and nodules are directly caused by the actions of these bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar can kill of these bacteria because its antibacterial effect is bactericidal. This means that instead of simply stopping new growth of these bacteria, it directly attacks them by breaking down their cell membranes.
Not only does apple cider vinegar quickly kill off P. acnes and S. epidermis, but it also serve as an antiseptic. This means that it cleanses the skin and makes it a poor environment for bacterial colonization.
The human skin is always mildly acidic with a pH found between 4.5 and 6.2. This slightly acidic nature is provided by organic acids and it is observed as a protective top layer. This acidic layer protects the skin against bacterial attacks.
During adolescence, when there is an increased production of androgens such as testosterone, the acidity of the skin is continually affected. When this protective acidic layer is broken, there is an increased risk of bacterial colonization of the skin.
Androgens also change the nature of the sebaceous follicles by enlarging them and increasing sebum production. This raises the pH of the skin enough to neutralize the acidity provided by fatty acids on the skin.
Male sex hormones are not the only factors that can compromise the acidic layer of the skin. Alkaline soaps can also do this.
In addition, the bacterium, S. epidermis is only found on acne-afflicted skins. It is responsible for breaking down fatty acids and so interfering with the acidic layer.
Apple cider vinegar is sufficiently acidic to return the pH of the skin to its normal levels. In fact, the pH values of the healthy skin and apple cider vinegar occupy the same range.
By restoring the acidity of the skin, apple cider vinegar promotes the normal functioning of the skin, reduces keratinization, sebum production and bacterial colonization.
All of these means that skin pores are no more clogged and acne breakouts are prevented.
Apple cider can be used internally and externally in the treatment of acne.
For external use, you should dilute the apple cider vinegar solution you have. This can be done with water by mixing one part vinegar with three parts water.
Alternatively, you can dilute apple cider vinegar with other known acne remedies. A common formula is to mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of witch hazel and 3 tablespoons of green tea.
Apply the mixture to the area of the skin affected by the acne with cotton ball, and leave it on for 10 minutes. Repeat this multiple times during the day and reapply at bedtime then leave it on overnight before rinsing off.
Apple cider vinegar can cause excessive dryness of the skin which can lead to a rebound increase in sebum production and then new acne breakouts. To prevent this, use an oil-free moisturizer immediately after rinsing off.
Some people do have sensitive skins and may develop irritation from apple cider vinegar.
To see if your skin will react to the vinegar, apply a little of the solution on the inside of your wrist and let it stand for 15 minutes before rinsing off. If your skin turns red or itches, then you should avoid apple cider vinegar.
You can also drink apple cider vinegar to treat your acne. Simply add 2 tablespoons of the vinegar with a glass of water. This should be done daily and can be used along with the topical application of apple cider vinegar.
Vinegar has a sharp, sour taste. If you find the taste too strong, you can improve it by adding honey or lemon juice.
Because vinegar is acidic, you can protect your enamels by drinking with a straw, or brushing your teeth 30 minutes after drinking apple cider vinegar.
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