Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Your Skin & Hair?

Many home remedies found on websites like Pinterest suggest Apple Cider Vinegar can clear up a dull complexion. But can this kitchen staple really offer your skin the rejuvenation that it deserves?

What Can Apple Cider Vinegar Do For Your Skin?

Sidro di mele“Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural approach that has been purported to have a number of skin care benefits,” notes Dr. Miriam Hanson, a board-certified Dermatologist and cosmetic expert in Austin, Texas.

“For a long time we’ve known that vinegar possess antiseptic properties, probably why it’s been so commonly used as a disinfectant for household cleaning,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, board certified dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology in Austin. In fact, one of the key ingredients, malic acid, is recognized for its potent antiseptic properties. “Similarly, many people try Apple Cider Vinegar to remove bacteria and excess oil from the skin that can contribute to acne formation.” Apple Cider Vinegar has also been advocated for various ailments including insect bites, scrapes and abrasions. Its antimicrobial property is one of the main reasons people try Apple Cider Vinegar on warts.

Apple Cider Vinegar has great astringent properties. “Many consider this a great at-home natural toner, using it to remove impurities from the skin and even getting a tightening effect,” adds Dr. Hanson. Furthermore, as a source of beta carotene, Apple Cider Vinegar is thought to be able to balance skin pH, as well as possess antioxidant properties to combat free radicals – a nice boost in the defense from sun damage.

What About Your Hair?

Similar to the skin, some claim that Apple Cider Vinegar can offer relief to a variety of scalp conditions. “Some patients have tried Apple Cider Vinegar to treat flaking, dandruff and even psoriasis in the scalp,” Dr. Hanson shares. “The idea is the vinegar’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties combat the yeast and irritation that contribute to the  buildup of dead skin cells, flakes and itching.” Others claim this is also a great method for removing product buildup within the hair follicles.

Are Apples a Go?

While Apple Cider Vinegar seems to possess a number of qualities that could benefit the skin, you might want to wait on replace all of your skincare products just yet. “Not everyone’s skin reacts the same to all chemicals or products,” Dr. Hanson makes a point to mention. “The strong acidity in the vinegar can be very harsh on more sensitive skin, even causing pretty aggressive reactions in some patients.”

“While yes, Apple Cider Vinegar has been around for a long time, the vast majority of its claims are anecdotal,” says Dr. Mamelak. “We really don;t have any good scientific studies showing its effectiveness on acne, eczema, dandruff or in skin care.”

If you decide to try Apple Cider Vinegar on your skin, Dr. Hanson advises a cautious approach. “As with any new products on the skin, make sure to only start one at a time. If you add three new products to your skin regimen and it causes a breakout, how are you to know which is the culprit?” Dr. Hanson often tells her patients to try a test patch on the skin. This is a good way to tell how your skin tolerates a product or if it causes a reaction. Always discontinue a treatment if you suspect any adverse effect.

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