The main question of all: Does apple cider vinegar work to stop acne and/or acne scars?
You’ll be surprised to hear that ACV (apple cider vinegar) has a lot of benefits to offer, not just for acne and scars.
However to my surprise, during the time that I was trying to find personal logs on ACV, there wasn’t really anyone giving an in-depth review of their experience on it.
People were all drawing conclusion from others’ opinion, so I’ve decided to finally make my own experiment log.
Here’s what I have to say.
Benefits of using Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the key active ingredients in ACV is the “alpha hydroxy acid” (Or known as AHA.). The main goal of AHA is to eliminate fatty deposit for better skin surface complexion. Other acid includes malic and lactic acids which helps soften and exfoliate your skin to reduce red marks and treat acne on either your face and/or body.
The pH acidity level of apple cider vinegar also helps keep bacteria at bay.
Do you know how important it is to balance your skin’s pH?
Keep reading. Many skin problems are caused by not keeping the skin’s pH balanced.
Importance of the Skin’s pH
Our skin’s first defense mechanism against any invading bacterias relies on a slightly acidic layer known as acid mantle.
The healthy pH level of the skin is between 4.5 to 6.2. (Depending on the age) In an environment where pH is around this number, bacterial growth will not be able to develop when high acidicty is present.
Note: Anything below pH level of 7 is acidic. Anything above pH level of 7 is alkaline
At puberty, humans start producing more hairs for the body, which cause changes in our pH level. Hormones that control sweat becomes more active, and the surface of a teen’s skin becomes different to that of a child. (That is why it’s not common for teens to have acne)
Our acid mantle is usually developed in our late teen to early 20’s. By then our skin will be able to heal itself more efficiently.
As we age, our skin’s pH level becomes more neutral (or more acidic I should say). This causes a more favorable environment for bacteria to grow due to an insufficient amount of acidity.
Maintaining The Right pH Level
It is important that the skin maintain an acidity level of around 5.35.
PH level plays a major role when trying to fight against acne and many other skin problems. Studies have shown that bacterias are very much dependent on certain acidic levels in order to survive. A well known bacteria to cause acne is ‘propionbacterium’, which is one of the many bacterias that is present in all individuals. This bacteria species can be found all over the body, and it will emerge to grow if the pH level is suitable.
Always try to maintain a slight acidity level. You want your skin’s pH level to be around 5.35.
It’s not surprising that hormones are a huge contribution to altering our pH. The pores of your skin consist of a combination of oil and sweat glands that keeps the skin maintained.
The sebaceous glands are responsible for this—lubricating the skin. The problem lies when there is an excessive of sebum production, which often causes the skin to be oily
What Else Influences pH Level
One of the many common factors that alter pH levels is soap. That’s right, soap.
You would not think that a bar of soap would cause much of problem. Even then, It seems counter-intuitive because they keep your body clean.
But have you ever heard of the claims that people make when they say, “You kill good bacteria when you kill bad ones too.”?
In this case, whenever you use ordinary soap, your skin needs to go through the process of restoring its original pH level. This is because ordinary soap contains a high alkaline pH level of around 10!
This makes the skin very prone to bacterial growth. In addition, these kinds of soap often dries out the skin because of its high alkalinity.
In avoid this problem, you should use Goat’s Milk soap. Reason being is, this type of soap contains a pH level of around 5.5. It’s low enough to keep your skin’s pH level intact.
If you’re worried about this soap smelling like goat’s milk or anything of that kind, it doesn’t. It fact, it smells quite nice and it won’t leave your skin dry. So don’t worry about the term “Goat’s Milk”!
Note: Just because the bar soap contains a pH of 5.5 doesn’t mean it’ll make your skin have a pH level of 5.5
Many commercial soaps claims to have a neutral of pH 7, but technically speaking, that is not neutral for the skin.
Another factor that influences pH level is the bacterium called staphylococcus epidermidis. This species is responsible for the breakdown of fatty acid, which keeps the acidic level of pH consistent.
By using ordinary soap, you risk removing this bacterial species that happens to maintain your desirable pH level. You also destroy the skin’s acid mantle that is supposed to act as a protective barrier.
You’re probably bored of all the medical research that I’ve given. So here’s my personal take on apple cider vinegar.
My Review on ACV
Lots of claims have been said that ACV is a wonderful home remedy for controlling acne and acne marks—like red reduction and dark spots.
Sounds promising enough, right?
Being that I couldn’t find anyone else’s experience on ACV, I went ahead and bought myself a Bragg bottle to try on my back and chest. I really had nothing else to lose, except for the flaring acne that wouldn’t go away for years. (And the $10 dollars too of course)
To use ACV, you apply it on areas where you want to see improve. The general direction does warn you that you should dilute it with water first so that it doesn’t irritate your skin. I didn’t dilute it since I craved for the stronger effect of the acidity side. My skin didn’t seem to react any worse to it.
Tip: Apple cider vinegar acts as a gentle substance in constricting the size of pores and kills harmful bacteria.
Did ACV help me with my acne on my chest and back?
Not at all.
ACV did not show any improvements to stop my ever-inflaming acne, sadly.
Some people (like myself) will go to as far as drinking it to get the maximum so-called “benefits” of ACV.
I did this for roughly a month straight before I gave up on it. The reason?
Not only does the odor stench my body miles away, not seeing the slightly results of my acne stopping was very discouraging. I’m talking about regular acne that would show up every 2-3 days. (No serious cyst except once every 2 weeks)
Note: The odor of ACV does disappear after 45 minutes or so.
In my case, ACV was a no-go for my acne on my chest and back. With that said, results may vary from individual to individual.
Note: For anyone with oily skin, apple cider vinegar is worth a try because of its acidic level.
Now I don’t want to discourage anyone from not giving it a try. Even though it didn’t stop my acne, there were still benefits gained from using ACV.
Also, remember that I only went about for a month. There’s a possibility that if I did do it for 3 months, who knows, it could have improved my acne.
Below are some other skin benefits and health for using ACV.
Any apple cider vinegar brand will do the same work, as they all contain 5% acidity. ACV is also useful for treating red marks as well, which evens out your overall skin tone. If you decide to try it out, purchase yours here and let me know how it goes for you.References: WebMD, Sept. 2009 http://www.webmd.com/diet/apple-cider-vinegar Natural skin pH http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18489300 Jablonski, N.G.; Chaplin (2000). “The evolution of human skin coloration”. Journal of Human Evolution 39: 57–106.