Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular natural products around, being used as a remedy for everything from diabetes to help spurring weight loss, but does it work for acne? Keep reading to discover the powerful properties of apple cider vinegar and whether or not it can be used as an effective natural acne remedy.
Apple Cider Vinegar as a Disinfectant
One way that apple cider vinegar might reduce acne and improve skin clarity is due to the fact that apple cider vinegar is a disinfectant. It has antimicrobial properties and its highly acidic nature allows it to destroy bacteria. When applied directly to the skin, apple cider vinegar may destroy some of the bacteria that cause the acne infection. This would definitely improve the appearance of acne, but it might not entirely clear up the infection.
Consuming apple cider vinegar will not translate its antibiotic properties to the entire body however. It must be applied directly to acne for any anti-bacterial activity to occur.
The problem with using apple cider vinegar as a disinfectant is that apple cider vinegar is not as effective as standard, accepted acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide. Additionally, apple cider vinegar is very acidic and may cause skin irritation. With this as a side effect and it being less effective than benzoyl peroxide, it is hard to justify using apple cider vinegar to get rid of acne, at least by applying it directly to acne lesions.
Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar to Reduce Acne
A more promising way to use apple cider vinegar to get rid of acne is by consuming the vinegar. The consumption of apple cider vinegar has been linked to improvements in a variety of conditions, although some of the research on the links between apple cider vinegar and certain diseases and conditions has fallen flat.
The research has been most favorable of using apple cider vinegar to improve insulin sensitivity and control diabetes. Consuming apple cider vinegar regularly seems to lower blood sugar and allow the body to process more glucose (blood sugar) with the same insulin levels (or less) as before the vinegar was used.
Fortunately for acne sufferers, insulin sensitivity and diabetes are highly correlated. As insulin sensitivity decreases and blood sugar levels rise, acne becomes more and more common. You do not need to be a diabetic to suffer from low insulin sensitivity. Those in a pre-diabetic state may have reduced insulin sensitivity and a higher propensity to develop acne. Apple cider vinegar may help remedy this, although more research needs to be performed in order to make conclusions regarding the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar in this capacity.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne
Taking just a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar a day may help improve acne by regulating blood sugar. Unregulated blood sugar may contribute to inflammation and the development of acne. Be careful not to take too much apple cider vinegar. Just a teaspoon a day is plenty for the average person. Be careful about taking too much vinegar as this may cause indigestion and other problems.
Be sure the label of the apple cider vinegar says “With the Mother” on it. The “mother” refers to some of the raw ingredients used to make vinegar. Apple cider vinegar with the mother still in it is less refined and more raw than purified apple cider vinegar. It is theorized that the mother contains helpful compounds that have not yet been identified that give apple cider vinegar its power.
If you are diabetic or take medications to control blood sugar, do not take apple cider vinegar for acne unless it is done so under the supervision of and with permission from your doctor.