Promising everything from acne-free skin to effective dandruff relief, celebrities everywhere are hopping on the bandwagon of washing your face with apple cider vinegar. Stars like Scarlett Johansson swear by the popular household ingredient as a natural beauty ingredient, using it for everything from hair rinses to face wash.
Look: If it’s good enough for Black Widow herself, I’m all down for picking up a bottle at my supermarket. Not only is this remedy completely natural, but the unbeatable price tag (under $5!) totally makes it a winner in my eyes. Being that dandruff isn’t one of biggest beauty woes, I decided to use the vinegar as a facial wash, being that my skin could use some major acne defense come summertime.
As with most natural beauty treatments, there are no scientific studies that definitively prove ACV is good for skin, but many who've used the ingredient swear by the stuff. It has just enough acidity to balance out wonky skin, so you'll hit that perfect middle ground between too dry and too oily. The acids in ACV also help tighten pores to make them less visible.
Trying a apple cider vinegar wash for seven days straight, here’s what happened when I put Scarlett’s beauty hack to the test.
To start my vinegar excursion, I headed out to my local supermarket to pick up my key ingredient. After spending less than $3 on this bad boy, I went home to wash my face like a bombshell actress.
Being that my complexion is more temperamental than my 16-year-old self, I like washing my face once before bedtime with lukewarm water. Eager to kickstart the experiment with ease, I splashed some water onto my face as usual. However, once I substituted my foam cleanser for apple cider vinegar, all hell broke lose.
When you wash your face with straight up vinegar, it feels like a bit like one of those chemistry disasters that safety video warned you about in high school. Aside from the vinegar stinging my eyes more than once, the horrendous facial burn temporarily felt like that sunburn I once had after substituting sunscreen for olive oil. Yikes!
Although the burning sensation eventually subsided, I was totally tempted to dump the rest of the vinegar down the drain. Willing to keep trying the experiment though, I vowed to be much careful come tomorrow’s nightly wash.
Desperate not to make the same mistake, I took my woes to the internet, hoping I could find a solution to my pressing problem. Thankfully, after an hour’s worth of Google searches, I found that a lot of sensitive skin users had similar issues when it came to washing their faces with apple cider vinegar.
Turns out, most users dilute the vinegar with water before washing their faces. Good to know.
Grabbing a mason jar I had lying around, I threw in a couple splashes of vinegar, and filled the rest of the jar up with water to offset the acidity. Instead of just washing my face with plain old vinegar, I used my diluted mixture as a rinse after I used my typical acne cleanser. Although my skin was on the drier side post cleansing, my face didn’t get as red (yassss!) as it was yesterday. And, although I smelt a little like salad, I’ve dealt with a lot worse.
Upon waking up the next day, my skin felt a little drier than usual. Yes my balancing oils and moisturizing creams definitely came to the rescue, but I’m glad I only wash my face once a day as opposed to both day and night.
I’m hoping that, over time, the apple cider vinegar wash will tackle those zits that are starting to form on my face. Or at least have that glow Scarlett always seems to have.
To offset my skin’s constant dryness, I tried putting on a moisturizing primer before my usual makeup application. Still no amazing skin results yet, but I began to wonder if apple cider vinegar works better as a toner rather than a full on wash.
Taking my theory a step further, I thought adding in a couple of chamomile tea bags might work, as the herbal tea’s skin calming properties may help calm my bipolar mess of a face. We’ll see what happens.
Being that my skin was getting drier than the Sahara desert, I decided to use my apple cider vinegar wash as a toner to see if it made any sort of difference. Throwing in some chamomile tea bags, I couldn't wait to give my skin the soothing treatment.
Using a cotton pad, I gently dabbed the chamomile tea and diluted vinegar mixture onto my skin. My skin didn’t get as dry, and I loved how the tea and vinegar came together without stripping my skin from it’s natural essential oils. Plus, my pores were starting to look a lot smaller than they usually do. I decided to give that pore shrinking primer a day off.
Using yesterday’s leftover toner as a wash, my skin still remained irritation free. And although it didn’t get rid of any blackheads lingering beneath my skin, some of the pre existing zits I had lingering on my skin started to shrink and dry out. It may not work as well as my Mario Badescu drying lotion, but at least I was finally getting why everyone loves this stuff.
And on the seventh day, I decided to give my skin a break. Being that my skin is on both the sensitive and the dry side, I wanted my skin to recuperate from all the washing I had put it through. My skin is starting to feel a lot more toned and not as oily which is a good thing, but too much clarification throughout the week has definitely disrupting my face’s natural oils.
Overall, apple cider vinegar washes didn’t make my skin as gorgeous as Scarlett herself, but I’ll take totally take smaller pimples, smaller pores and less oil any time of the week. However, if your skin tends to be on the sensitive side, it’s best to use this wash two to three times a week tops, as too much washing can lead to dryness and unwanted irritation. Next time I want to get out the gunk beneath my pores, I think I’m going to just stick with the toner from the start.
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Images: Courtney Leiva (7)