Tuesday, July 24, 2018

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: THE SKIN WONDER TONIC


How Apple Cider Vinegar Can Exfoliate, Protect, Repair & Balance The pH Levels Of The Skin



A few years ago I bought a bottle of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar after reading up on all the amazing health benefits.  Initially I got it to make a clay hair mask as I was having some scalp issues at the time due to an allergic reaction to salon hair dye.  I'd read that clays were a detoxifying and healing for scalp issues so I  decided to try the 'no-poo' method and wash my hair with Rhassoul Clay every two weeks followed by an ACV rinse.


My mud mask recipe:
  •  Rhassoul clay (I use this one)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Rose Water or Bottle Water
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil






Now, I'll to be honest, it smells horrid!  And for those of you who are familiar with clay masks and mud washes know what a time consuming, messy task it is!  But, if you can make the effort, it really is worth it.  My scalp healed up in no time, and my hair was in beautiful condition.  I only wish I'd have kept this haircare routine up, but convenience won  and shampoo crept back into my life leaving the clay masks to every couple months.  I do, however give myself regular clay face masks, which is a great way to detox daily pollution from your pores and takes a fraction of the time!







THE MANY BENEFICIAL HEALTH CLAIMS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR


If the hype is to be believed apple cider vinegar has a multitude of health benefits.  It can lower blood sugar levels preventing diabetes, lower cholesterol and improve heart health, aid in immunity, heartburn and the digestive system.  As well as possible protective effects against cancer.  And then there's the weight loss claims popping up all over on social media over the last couple years.  Personally, I'm not an advocate of weight loss teas, powders, drink and fads.  I believe good nutrition (cutting out sugar changed my life) and exercise is the healthiest way to lose weight, but where's the money and sponsored posts in that!  Anyway, here are just a few of apple cider vinegars many, many health benefit claims, some of which I will say, have been studied and proven.



BLOOD SUGAR

Studies have shown that drinking 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before starchy, high-carb meals such as pasta or bread helped to prevent blood sugar spikes. The acetic acid in raw apple cider vinegar appears to block enzymes that help digest starch, resulting in a smaller blood sugar response.  Also, and maybe this is why ACV has gained such a big reputation in the weightloss market, research has found that acetic acid stops the body from absorbing the calories from carbs.  Let's let that one sink in for a minute... #guiltfreepasta!

SUPPORTS IMMUNE SYSTEM

The healthy bacteria found in raw cider vinegar, along with the high concentrate of vitamin C are said to help boost the immune system preventing common colds and the flu.

DIGESTION

Like sauerkraut and kimchi, unpasterised raw apple cider vinegar contains gut-healthy bacteria that helps to keep the digestive system working properly.  Cider vinegar could relieve problems like indigestion and heartburn because it neutralises stomach acid, whilst acetic acid fights harmful bacteria.









SKIN HEALTH

So now we've established some of the many health issues ACV is said to benefit, and whether you use it to wash your hair,  clean the house or even treat thrush, it's definitely worth keeping a bottle in the house!  And after using it as a facial toner for about 2 years now,  I can truly say that organic raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother, you must buy the one with the mother) is no less than a wonder tonic for skin health.  And here's why:




EXFOLIATES

ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHA's) are a group of naturally occurring acids, derived from sugars in particular plants and fruit. For example; Glycol Acid (sugar cane), Lactic Acid (sour milk + tomato juice), Tartaric Acid (grapes), Citric Acid (citrus fruits), Malic Acid (apples), Mandelic Acid (bitter almonds)

These acids get to work at the very base of the stratum corneum - the outermost layer of the skin- dissolving the cement that holds dead skin cells together. This increases cell turnover and influences the formation of collagen. Thus giving the face a more youthful, plump + glowing appearance!





ANTI-AGING/ANTIOXIDANT
Apples contain lots of bioactive compounds, vitamins and minerals that are great for our health.  They are high in anti-aging antioxidants that help fight against free radical damage.  Apples have particularly high concentrations of vitamins C, A, potassium, plus quercetin and pectin.

Pectin is a skin cell regenerating, vitamin dense compound, which when applied topically helps to boost the skin's barrier function, plumping the skin.

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid which occurs naturally in colourful fruits, as well as some leaves and grains. This ingredient is used in skincare products targeted towards fighting free radicals that damage the skin because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing, and skin repair qualities.

The acetic acid found in apples work with the natural AHA's in apple cider vinegar to stimulate circulation. It also minimises pores and softens skin.




pH BALANCING

With a similar pH level to our skin (skin's pH is 5.5), apple cider vinegar helps to balance the skin's pH and acid mantle. Which is key to a healthy, glowing complexion.  The acid mantle is the combination of sebum (oil) and perspiration on the skin's surface. This barrier protects the skin against environmental damage like pollution, sun and wind, makes it less prone to dehydration, and also helps fight the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi which cause breakouts.  Acne and other types of skin problems become more severe as the skin becomes more alkaline.  Most store bought soaps, face washes and cleansers are alkaline (pH 9.5-11), they remove this natural acid protection and strip the protective lipids (fats) from the skin. This is why your face feels tight after washing with these products!  They can increase the alkaline state and make the skin vulnerable to irritation and infection. These products are breaking down the acid mantle and causing increased skin issues. Balancing your pH is an imperative part of maintaining healthy, beautiful skin








PH BALANCING DIY TONER

When I started using an ACV toner in my beauty regime I saw an improvement in my skin instantly.  It naturally exfoliates, so it brightens and softens the skin.

My ACV toner recipe:

 Essential Oils are optional, but can help with the bad smell of the vinegar!
  • 3-4 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 3-4 Drops Lavender Essential Oil 


I use these mini mason jars, it's best to use glass storage than plastic.  Use as you would any other toner, but keep in the fridge.


ACV hair rinse can help remove product residue buildup on the scalp and balance the skins pH. The  recipe is exactly as above - 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water.  Just up your quantities for the length of your hair.  Again, essential oils are optional, I like use Rosemary Essential Oil in my DIY haircare for it's strengthening properties. I use an 8oz applicator bottle   Pour on ACV rinse and massage into scalp for 3-5 minutes after a mud wash or shampooing hair.