By Dave Asprey
It has been an ongoing trend. Apple cider vinegar has swept the beauty world. Numerous claims have been made about its usefulness, not only in the kitchen, but also in the boudoirs of those who seek beauty. What are these benefits? More importantly, how can it help make you beautiful?
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Mixing unfiltered apple juice with yeast and bacteria so it will start to ferment makes Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). This process will turn the sugars into alcohol. The alcohol is then transformed into vinegar by acid-forming bacteria, which then turn it into acetic acid, the main compound active in vinegar. Acetic acid, normally found in coffee, is a mild acid that helps boost your performance by lowering blood sugar and blood pressure as well as protecting you from harmful microbes.
Don’t be troubled if you see your ACV looking murky. Organic and unfiltered ACV contains a strand of enzymes, proteins, and friendly bacteria called “mother” which is responsible for its cloudy appearance.
Beauty must not only be skin deep
Much has been said about beauty. There are varying views on what is beautiful. For most, it is having smooth skin, glossy hair, and a fit body. For others, it is more than just the outer appearance.
The use of ACV, for example, helps not only in improving one’s appearance but also in keeping a healthier body. With ACV, you will also radiate a healthy glow from within.
Here are some of the uses and beauty benefits of ACV:
- Soothes heartburn and GI distress
Low stomach acid contributes to small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and heartburn. To help with this, you can take a diluted mix of ACV before a meal to relieve symptoms and increase your stomach’s acidity. You can add a tablespoon of ACV to a cup of warm water (may be flavored with lemon, cinnamon, or ginger, if you want).
ACV also contains indigestible carbs called prebiotics that help balance your gut microbiome and stimulate growth of helpful microorganism in the intestines.
- Helps you avoid acne
Speaking of gut microbiomes, the use of ACV may also produce glowing results on your skin. According to Dr. Trevor Holly Cates, naturopathic doctor, skin expert and author of Clean Skin from Within, “One of the big root causes behind acne has to do with the gut microbiome. What we do internally with the gut is then going to directly impact our skin health, and that includes breaking out in acne.”
She adds that the skin also has various microorganisms that live on it and protect it. It gets out of balance from either internal factors (from the gut) or from external factors like skin products that you put on. This can then cause the overgrowth of p-acne bacteria or other types of bacteria that cause acne.
ACV contains acetic acid which has antibacterial and peeling properties. This can help treat stubborn acne. A word of caution: Do not apply it straight on. You can use it as follows:
As a face mask:
For a quick and easy detox mask, mix about two capsules of activated coconut charcoal with just enough ACV to make a wet paste. Apply to your face and neck. Wait for about 15 minutes then gently rinse off.
As a toner:
You can make an all-natural ACV toner using any raw, unfiltered ACV. To do so, use a 1:2 or 1:3 dilution of ACV. The acidity of an ACV toner helps to restore your skin’s pH balance after washing. The beneficial bacteria from the mother is also an additional perk. Apply with a cotton ball and do not leave on for more than a minute as vinegar can also burn your face.
- Prevents body odors and candida overgrowth
ACV has antimicrobial properties that help in quelling candida overgrowth. Candida is the yeast responsible for ailments like athlete’s foot, thrush, and other gut problems. A 1:1 solution of ACV and warm water can be used as a daily soak to treat athlete’s foot.
It can also be applied as a deodorant for smelly armpits. Thanks to its antimicrobial qualities, a 1:1 dilution of ACV with warm water can help shoo the odor away. Take note not to apply it to freshly shaved armpits, as it will sting.
- Improves hair health
ACV can also be good for your hair as a clarifying wash. To make your own hair rinse, mix 1 cup of cool water with 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV. For those with oily hair or scalp, use more of this vinegar solution, while those with dry hair or scalp can opt for less vinegar.
Place the solution in a squeeze bottle and evenly douse your scalp and hair after washing. Don’t worry, the smell of vinegar quickly evaporates. Just be careful not to let it get into your eyes.
- Burns more fat to aid in weight loss
Research shows that ACV increases ketosis. This is a metabolic process wherein the body burns unwanted fat for energy in the absence of glucose from carbs.
Old and new studies suggest a link between acetic acid and ketosis to cellular health. It says that ACV increases the number of mitochondria in cells, after you’ve attained ketosis, by stimulating a certain metabolic pathway called PGC-1 alpha. This implies that the addition of ACV in your diet can improve mitochondrial efficiency which improves energy levels.
Those with diabetes must, however, consult their doctor before going on a ketogenic diet. For example, people with type 1 diabetes are more prone to developing ketoacidosis, a serious condition wherein blood acidity rises to fatal levels.
As with any food or diet trends, it is always good to consult a physician regarding the proper use of ACV. Take into consideration the appropriate amounts and the proper ratio when making a ACV solution. As an example of bad practice, drinking ACV straight up without dilution will prove to be harmful for your tooth enamel, esophagus, and stomach.
Make sure that you take care when using ACV by reading and following instructions carefully. You want to discover how to enhance your beauty without leaving a sour taste in your mouth.
– Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.