Skin cancer rates in America continue to rise, despite the amount of sunscreen people are slathering on. Now, new FDA testing shows that the active ingredients in sunscreen, normally absorbed into the body, may remain for days or even weeks. In addition, their testing found that even a single application of sunscreen seemed to leach high concentrations of chemicals into the bloodstream — beyond what the FDA considers safe. So, what exactly are these ingredients and how harmful are they?
Summer’s here, and so are the many summer related skin issues like sunburn, pimples, heat rash, and more. Apple cider vinegar, rich in beneficial acids, vitamins, enzymes, and mineral salts, can help bring your summer skin out of its winter slumber. ACV has been used as a natural remedy, inside and out, for thousands of years thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Many people claim it can make your skin appear brighter and more youthful. Here’s the best way to use ACV for radiant summer skin.
What’s in a bottle?
Before delving into the many benefits apple cider vinegar (ACV) can provide for your skin, it’s beneficial to know what exactly is in that bottle before ingesting or putting it on your face.
- Apple cider vinegar is mainly apple juice.
- A two-step process turns it into vinegar.
- Yeast is added to crushed apples, which ferments the sugars and turns them into alcohol.
- Then, bacteria are added to ferment the alcohol further, turning it into acetic acid. It’s this acetic acid (the main active compound in vinegar) that gives ACV its pungent smell and sour taste.
- Unfiltered, organic ACV also contains a substance called “mother.” “Mother” consists of friendly bacteria, strands of proteins, and enzymes — giving ACV that murky appearance.
Here’s how ACV can benefit summer skin
Apple cider vinegar has always been held in high regard as an important weight-loss elixir. But when used correctly, it can also have a significant impact on skin. While some of the research is anecdotal, advocates rave about the results they achieve when adding ACV to their DIY skincare regime. Here’s what ACV can do for your skin.
- Improves the skin’s barrier — ACV is high in pectin, a polysaccharide that occurs naturally in apples. According to a study published in Biomolecules & Therapeutics, pectin may be beneficial in improving the skin’s barrier. The skin’s barrier is the outermost layer of the epidermis. Its job is to hold in moisture — stopping it from drying out — and protecting your skin from harsh elements.
- Helps clear skin conditions — Research suggests that acetic acid, the main compound in ACV, has antifungal and antimicrobial properties. When used topically, ACV helps clear bacteria that cause certain skin conditions such as occasional breakouts, acne, rosacea, and eczema.
- Acts as a natural anti-aging remedy — Citric acid, found in ACV, is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). AHAs are used to increase skin cell turnover. Research suggests that AHAs are ideal for decreasing wrinkles, age spots, scarring, pigmentation, and dry skin.
The best way to use apple cider vinegar for radiant summer skin is by diluting it with purified water. Here’s how to incorporate ACV into your skincare regime.
ACV as a facial cleanser
Ditch those harsh soaps and chemicals for an all-natural face wash made from apple cider vinegar.
- 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of warm purified water
- Remove your eye makeup — coconut oil is a great natural makeup remover.
- Add ACV to water and stir.
- Using a cotton pad, soak in ACV mixture and wipe the entire face — avoiding the eyes.
- Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
ACV as a facial toner
ACV is a wonderful natural toner that helps control sebum, improve acne-prone skin, and even act as an anti-aging remedy.
- 1-part ACV
- 2 parts purified water
- Mix together ACV and water.
- Using a cotton pad, apply the mixture gently over your skin — then rinse.
- Apply a gentle, fragrance-free dry oil or moisturizer.
As a sunburn remedy
For sunburnt skin, ACV is very soothing. Simply mix one cup of ACV with five cups of purified water. Soak a washcloth with the ACV mixture and press gently on sunburnt areas of the body. Additionally, you can add two cups of ACV to a cool bath for sunburn relief.
ACV as an exfoliant
Exfoliation is the process of removing old, dead skin cells. ACV contains fruit acids, including malic acid, which acts to exfoliate dead skin cells gently. In fact, natural fruit acids, like those found in ACV, have a number of skin benefits even beyond exfoliation like decreasing skin inflammation and boosting cell turnover. Just saturate a cotton pad with ACV and gently rub onto your face. Then rinse with warm water.
For all-over exfoliation, simply add about two cups of apple cider vinegar into your bath. Soak for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Follow with a gentle moisturizer.
ACV as a spot treatment
When it’s hot outside, people tend to sweat significantly more. Add to that, pollution, grime, and makeup, and it’s a recipe for breakouts. An ACV spot treatment can help clear those impromptu blemishes as soon as they appear. Simply soak a cotton swab with a little full-strength ACV and dab it on the blemish. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is both antibacterial and keratolytic, suggests board-certified dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, for Women’s Health. Meaning it’s actually potent enough to remove warts or calluses.
The bottom line: it will work wonders zapping those zits. And as an added bonus, ACV — thanks to that chemical exfoliation — can also help reduce the appearance of acne scars over time.
Keeping your skin soft, smooth, and healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A little apple cider vinegar in your DIY skincare routine will keep you looking radiant all summer long.
There is just something so alluring about the atmosphere of the desert that causes many people to move to the lands of sweeping mountains, dusty open roads, and 0% humidity. If you live in the western part of the United States, you are probably used to hearing the term “it’s a dry heat” as you dart from one air-conditioned building to the next. Or if you’re preparing to make a transition to an arid climate, you may be wondering just what toll this lack of moisture has on your skin and body. Fortunately, living in a dry climate doesn’t have to be dangerous. Here are a few natural ways to combat an arid climate and ensure you stay moisturized even in the heart of the desert.
Get a humidifier
This is perhaps the single most essential step for returning critical moisture to your body and remaining hydrated. Purchase a large humidifier for your bedroom and keep it running whenever you sleep. A lot of humidifiers also support essential oil use so you can utilize the power of aromatherapy as well. This is especially crucial if you live in a hot area and use air conditioning as this already dries out your body and can be detrimental for your skin and lungs.
Lotion is your new best friend
You may have been able to get away without moisturizing in the humid jungle of Florida, but in the Mountains of Colorado or the red rocks of Arizona, you’re going to need to take your skincare game up a notch. Focus on natural lotion products that are specifically geared towards ultimate hydration. You’ll want to check for ingredients such as coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, or olive oil. Be sure that whatever lotion you use does not have alcohol derivatives (which act as drying agents), parabens, chemicals, or any other ingredients you don’t recognize.
You may want to try making your own lotion. Using one of the ingredients listed above and a few drops of essential oil, you have a totally customized, hydrating lotion that you can feel good about using. Rub moisturizer all over your body when your skin is still damp after your shower. This will help give your skin time to absorb and lock in the moisture.
Drink more water than you think you need
It is never a good idea to wait until you get thirsty to drink water. Being thirsty is actually an early sign of dehydration and means that your body is already crying out for water. When there is less water in the environment, you have to work twice as hard to replenish what you lose during workouts or normal day to day activities. It can also be hard to remember to drink water because you don’t sweat as much as you would in an area with high humidity levels. Always try to err on the side of caution and drink more water than you think you need. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces each day, but this will need to be adjusted according to activity levels and the amount of caffeine you consume.
Protect your skin
Generally speaking, arid climates have more days of full sun than places that experience frequent rain and cloud cover. This means that it is incredibly easy to get sunburn and other sun-related skin conditions when exposed to such bright UV rays on a constant basis. Be sure to protect your sun whenever you go outside. Wear breathable, lightweight clothing that covers your body and still keeps you cool.
It is a good idea to find a natural sunscreen that you love for daily use on your face, neck, and arms, as these are the most at-risk parts of your body for a sunburn. If you are going to be out in the bright sun for an extended period of time, be sure to reapply sunscreen and consider wearing a hat to protect your face.
Spend time outdoors in the early morning and evening
“Aird” doesn’t always mean “hot” but as summer approaches, it stands to reason that your arid climate is experiencing a significant heat increase. Since the sun is primarily what determines the heat levels in a dry environment, it is possible that the temperature could drop 10-20 degrees as the sun sets. Try to organize your outdoor activities when the sun is past its peak and is beginning to cool down. Avoid spending significant amounts of time outdoors between 10am-3pm as this is usually the hottest part of the day.