In recent years, ACV has been gaining popularity with skincare enthusiasts for its all-natural skin benefits and is often hailed as a wonder product. What’s all the hype about?
What is ACV?
ACV is a common abbreviation for apple cider vinegar, a common liquid household ingredient that’s been used in cooking and cleaning for centuries. It’s often incorporated into things like salad dressings, sparkling drinks, marinades, homemade disinfectants and cleaning solutions, but this everyday ingredient has several little-known alternative uses in the realm of natural skincare.
Apple cider vinegar is typically made with three incredibly rudimentary, all-natural ingredients: apples, yeast, and water. To make it, apples are chopped and combined with yeast and then covered with water to ferment. The fermentation process is where the magic happens—the yeast breaks down the natural sugars found in the apples to create ethanol, and then bacteria converts the ethanol into an acidic solution.
You will often notice the “mother”, a byproduct of fermentation, hanging out near the bottom of a container of apple cider vinegar. This is completely natural and doesn’t need to be discarded, as it’s part of the live culture of your vinegar. However, if it does bother you, you can strain it out with a fine mesh strainer or a coffee filter.
You can easily find ACV in its simplest form in your local grocery store, and it’s often kept near the salad dressings with other vinegars and oils. Many natural skincare brands also use it as an ingredient in cleansers, toners, masks, and other products.
Is ACV Good For Skin?
Natural skincare junkies, holistic estheticians and dermatologists alike will attest that yes, ACV is good for your skin — in the right amounts and used at the right frequency. Just like many other skincare ingredients, there are appropriate times to use ACV and it’s possible to overuse the ingredient in your routine. As long as you watch for reactions and monitor your skin for unwanted results, ACV is perfectly safe to use on almost all skin types, oily and acne-prone skin included!
Apple cider vinegar offers a range of skin benefits, is fairly inexpensive and easy to source, and can be incorporated into your skincare routine in a whole host of ways. Plus, the vinegar in its simplest form is 100% natural and contains no fillers or preservatives, so you don’t have to worry about questionable extras sneaking their way onto your skin.
Benefits of ACV
Apple cider vinegar offers a range of benefits and can be an asset to almost every skin type. When used correctly, ACV can fight acne-causing bacteria, balance the skin’s surface PH levels, prevent skin infections and other conditions, and exfoliate the skin to reveal a smooth, bright, even complexion free of blemishes.
Balancing your skin’s PH is crucial to maintaining proper skin functions like regulating oil production and promoting a healthy microbiome. Apple cider vinegar is acidic, and when diluted can help balance the surface PH of your skin.
A natural byproduct of the fermentation process is the acetic acid found in ACV, which gives the vinegar antibacterial properties and can help prevent infections and treat certain skin conditions like eczema and rosacea. Because it helps to clear bacteria from the skin, it can also help with acne.
Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid (also known as an AHA) that gently dissolves dead skin and debris when applied topically. Using ACV as an exfoliant 2-3 times a week can help even skin pigmentation, unclog pores, and brighten your overall complexion.
The combination of the vinegar’s natural antibacterial properties, exfoliating properties, and PH balancing effects work together to unclog pores and eliminate acne-causing bacteria. The result? Dissolved blackheads, potentially reduced pore size, regulated oil production, and fewer breakouts.
How to Use ACV for Your Skin
Apple cider vinegar is unbelievably easy to incorporate into your skincare routine in a number of ways, but there are a few things to keep in mind no matter which route you take.
First, know your skin type and any special skin conditions you have that may be irritated by vinegar. If you have especially sensitive skin, very dry skin or skin that is easily irritated, consult your dermatologist before using ACV to ensure it doesn’t make your condition worse or cause a reaction.
Secondly, no matter what type of skin you have, you should always do a patch test to make sure you don’t react poorly before diving into regular use. Apply diluted ACV to an inconspicuous area and wait an hour to monitor your skin for signs of irritation.
Lastly, always, always, always dilute your ACV! Apple cider vinegar is very acidic when fully concentrated, so follow the specific instructions for whatever application you are using it for and dilute accordingly with water, cleanser, oil, etc. It’s safe to use 2-4 times per week, but you may have to adjust accordingly to your skin’s needs.
Here are 5 different ideas on how to use ACV in your skincare routine:
Swipe on diluted ACV with a cotton pad as a toner after cleansing.
- Add 1-2 cups to a bath and soak for softer skin.
- Use diluted ACV as a mixing medium for clay masks or other powdered treatments and apply to your whole face (avoiding your eyes and mouth as you usually would when masking) or stick to problem areas for a spot treatment.
- Clean your makeup brushes! Add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV to one cup of warm water and let brushes soak bristle-side down for a few minutes before gently scrubbing to remove build up and debris.
- Use diluted apple cider vinegar post-shave to soften skin and prevent ingrown hairs!
ACV is also beneficial for your health! When ingested, ACV has been shown in studies to be effective in helping manage blood sugar, assisting in weight loss, and can also help improve cardiovascular health. Consult your physician to discuss managing your health with apple cider vinegar.
Possible Side Effects
Just like with other skin care ingredients, no matter how natural they are, it’s possible your skin could disagree with using apple cider vinegar in your routine. Be vigilant for redness, irritation, dryness, flaking, or other signs that your skin is reacting poorly to the acidic properties of ACV. You may try diluting it further to lessen harsh effects or discontinue use altogether to give your skin some time to recuperate.
This product is perfect for "The Indulgent Mom." Check it out below.
"Mother’s Day is around the corner and we can’t wait to treat the special lady in our life! We’ve compiled a list of some of our recent favorite clean rated 0 products (yes, everything on the list is rated 0!) to give you some ideas on what to get mom this year.
The Indulgent Mom: Aiona Alive E-ternal Leave On Mask w/ Gold Collagen for All Skin Types
A photo by @kristyntysire shared by Aiona Alive (@aionaalive) on March 1, 2017.
This momma knows what’s good when it comes to the latest and greatest in skin care. She has her regime but is always searching for something better. For this mom, we recommend Aiona Alive E-ternal Leave On Mask w/ Gold Collagen for All Skin Types (or you could opt for the entire 4-Step System). Aiona Alive uses live collagen which has skin healing properties."
Republished with permission from blog.thinkdirtyapp.com
May is fast approaching and we are excited for a special day — Mother’s Day! It’s just one day of the year to show the moms in our lives some extra love and appreciation. Keep reading for some ideas on how to spend the day with your mom!
1. Spa weekend getaway
Treat mom to a weekend getaway for just the two of you. There are a million ways to indulge whether you’re going for mud masks or massages, the options are endless!
2. Breakfast in bed
Remember the days when our parents made breakfast before sending us off to school? Return the favor and make mom a breakfast to enjoy in bed. You’ll need: a tray, some fruits, homemade meal of your choice and a whole lot of love!
3. Go for a walk
You know what they say, “April showers bring May flowers”. Take some time out of your busy life to appreciate the newly blossoming flowers and fresh green grass that spring has brought with the #1 lady in your life. According to Huffington Post, taking walks in nature can help lift your mood and promote mental health!
Get started on your Mother’s Day shopping early! We recommend the Aiona Alive 4 Step All Skin Set for mom to pamper herself at home every day. Our four step regime includes a serum, cleanser, moisturizer and mask made with collagen and potent all-natural ingredients.
Think Dirty featured our President and Founder, Lisa Strong, in their Top 3 Rituals for Self-Love series last month. We are breaking it down and taking notes from Lisa today! Here are Lisa’s top three rituals for self-love:
1. 15 min energy - alignment process (quiet your mind, feel your vibration rise and write a list of things you appreciate in your life).
We have heard that the benefits of meditation are endless! Some of our favorites that Huffington Post mentions include reduced stress, improved concentration, increased happiness and self awareness. Take 15 minutes of quiet time for yourself a day and you will notice the improvements in your health overtime. Showing your gratitude goes a long way as well— start your list of things you appreciate in life and feel uplifted instantly!
2. Chinese herbology.
Herbal therapy is widely used in the Asian culture for treating and preventing illnesses. We are not experts in Chinese herbology, but here’s a list to help you get started if you are interested. Herbology is a great way to treat the skin and body from within but for external application, our not-so-secret, go-to product is the Aiona Alive E-ternal Mask for all skin types.
3. 3 x 4 km runs per week.
Regular exercise can do wonders for your health (but that’s not new information, is it?). Outdoor runs can be refreshing but while we wait for the weather in Canada to warm up, a treadmill will have to do. Don’t like running? Maybe you can try these exercises instead.
Valentine’s Day is today! While you are planning your meal for this special occasion, we have come up with this list of Valentine’s Day themed foods to eat that your skin will love.
1. Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate, and chocolate dipped strawberries are a Valentine’s Day essential. Strawberries also happen to be rich in vitamin C, which helps with collagen production. This sweet berry has many nutritional benefits that you need to know about. Dip them in dark chocolate and there’s a bonus. According to mensfitness.com, dark chocolate has properties that can actually protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Now you can indulge without (too much) guilt!
2. Raw Oysters
3. Grass Fed Beef Steak
Steak is definitely a staple for date night, and a likely meal for most Valentine’s Day meals. Like oysters, beef steaks contain a large amount of protein. An article on Prevention.com tells us that the grass fed variety in particular has a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, which helps with inflammation. Be sure to include grass fed beef stake in your Valentine’s Day menu for many great health benefits.
3 Reasons to Avoid Microbeads
Microbeads, in a nutshell, are tiny pieces of plastic that are found in personal care products ranging from body wash to toothpaste. They are added to these products to create an exfoliating effect, but the consequences don’t stop there.
1. Microbeads are extremely bad for the environment.
According to this Forbes article, these tiny beads are non-biodegradable and proven to contain many polluting chemicals— meaning that they will just sit at the bottom of the ocean forever while possibly releasing toxic chemicals. They are also damaging to the marine life as fish often mistaken it for food.
2. It can cause breakage in skin.
Our skin is more sensitive than you think! Daily or overuse of scrubs and washes containing microbeads can cause breakage in the skin. Exfoliating the skin, often in general, is too abrasive— breakage in the skin can allow for bacteria to enter!
3. There is no real benefit for your skin.
Lastly, the main reason you should stop using products with microbeads is because there’s only so much exfoliating can do. Light exfoliating with a cloth can perform the same task of removing dead skin cells from your skin without harming it. If you’re looking to brighten up your complexion, you are better off with looking to other options in skin care.
If it isn’t obvious by now, the best thing to do is stop purchasing microbead products and it’s especially important to stop washing them down our drains and into the ecosystem. Instead, use tools like a konjac sponge to remove dead skin or use a natural exfoliant like our E-Citrus Cleanser.Photo credit: Soundly Living