Though I've had a love affair with pickles for most of my life, I'd never considered using pickle juice for my skin. As a side for sandwiches or garnish for Sunday Bloody Marys, sure, but it was a dream come true to find out that my beloved pickles could somehow find their way inside the mystical realm of beauty. In fact, some DIY enthusiasts (yes, I really did Google search "pickle juice beauty secret") swear by pickle juice to maintain gorgeous, and glowing skin.
Pickles have been my favorite comfort food for as long as I can remember; I’ve been consuming them regularly now for at least a decade. Maybe my never ending obsession stems from the fact that my mom had pickle cravings constantly when she was carrying me, or perhaps it’s caused by my weak spot for everything sour and vinegary. Whatever the case, all I know is I love and savor each bite of crunchy goodness, and will probably continue to do so until the day I die. Yep, the love really is that strong kids.
Equally perplexed and totally eager upon my findings, I was more curious than Curious George to put this peculiar hack to the test. So I headed out to my neighborhood farmers' market and grabbed the best batch of pickles I could find. Here’s what happened when I splashed on pickle juice onto my face for seven days straight.
To put this hack to the test though, I was sure to grab a small batch of fresh sour dill pickles straight from a local vendor. And after arriving home shortly after, I was ready to put my DIY vibes to work. It’s true that I usually have no self control when it comes to pickles, as I inhaled these kosher goodness practically in a flash, but I was careful to save just enough juice essential for this experiment.
Being that my pickles were marinated in all natural ingredients (some jar pickles at the grocery store had unpronounceable ones) such as garlic, vinegar, turmeric, I didn’t have to worry about the pickle juice irritating my face too much. Leaving my remaining juice in my container jar, I grabbed some cotton balls and swapped out my usual toning mist for good old pickle juice.
Although my skin smells a bit like pickles, it also wasn't as dry as I expected after application (this stuff is mostly salt, after all). So far this is amazing news, especially since there was this one time apple cider vinegar dried the crap out of my face.
Sadly I’m out of cotton balls, but I did have an old toner bottle lying around. After washing my spray bottle out thoroughly, I filled it up generously with some pickle juice, and sprayed onto my face post cleansing. After spraying, my face got a little itchy. Thankfully the feeling was only temporary, as I don’t want another beauty disaster on my hands.
My skin really feels no drier or more hydrated than before. However, I’ll admit that the pickle juice smell is kinda making my PMS-induced nausea go a little cray.
I’m really just toning once a day like I usually do, so I don’t notice any big changes. However, I’m wondering if upping my toning amounts will change things a bit. Besides, a big part of me is dying to see how my skin reacts to this toning mist, especially after I’m done jogging or working out. Making sure I write this down on my daily to-do list.
Using my toner twice a day, my skin has really been absorbing this stuff up like nobody’s business. And unlike the apple cider vinegar that really burned my face, the pickle juice has really gently settled onto my skin. Even when jogging on an extremely muggy morning, my skin was able to bounce back quickly, without that uncomfortable itching I described earlier.
On day six, I decided to add in makeup for a change. My skin didn’t feel dry or flaky even after I caked on layers of foundation, blush, and concealer. Even come the middle of the day, when I usually do some touch ups, my overactive skin didn’t have an acne meltdown or a blotchy temper tantrum in the process. Instead, I was treated to hydrated and supple skin, without a greasy residue left lingering on top of my complexion.
And on the seventh day, me and my pickle juice toner are still going strong. It's given me nothing but hydrated, soft skin. Just like with most OTC toners, the difference is less about a huge change in appearance and more about how healthy your skin feels on a day-to-day basis. However, due to the juice’s natural ingredients, I’m probably going to have to toss it, as food products only have so much of a shelf life. To keep this relationship going, it’s probably best to get fresh pickles each week. Guess I know where i’m headed this weekend!
So, Should You Try A Pickle Toner?
Store bought toning mists can surely make a dent inside your wallet, so next time you want a natural alternative to your facial mist, pickle juice can be viable option — if you buy fresh and local pickles of course. Spending up to $5 (some store bought toners can cost up to $50!) on my small batch, it was nice to treat my skin to natural ingredients that didn’t dry out my skin. However, after seven days solid days, you’ll have to toss the juice you are using, as like groceries, pickles definitely have a shelf life. That means that if you want to keep your routine going, expect to make frequent trips to the Farmers' Market. Definitely not a bad thing! If it makes you feel any better, my pickle vendor already knows me by name.
Images: Courtney Leiva (7)