Apple Cider Vinegar and Acne: What You need to Know

If you go through any health related message board or blog, one of the supplement recommendations you’re guaranteed to come across is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). People say it will cure anything from a sore throat to warts. A lot of these claims made are quite lofty. People claim that apple cider vinegar can even cure cancer and diabetes.

I always find it hard to believe that one single supplement can have such a dramatic impact on health, and don’t believe that taking Apple Cider Vinegar alone will get rid of acne, rather it plays into a larger picture of overall healthy and lifestyle.

My Story

When I began to take my health seriously a few years ago, ACV was one of the first products I bought. I use it all the time, and have even acquired a taste for it (yes, it is possible).

From personal observations I’ve noticed that ACV has improved my skin slightly, enhanced my libido and blood flow (if you catch my drift), and helped me fight off colds.

Yes, this stuff is good. Really Good.

What Makes Apple Cider Vinegar so Great?

One thing I hate about most health blogs is that don’t tell you why something works, rather they just shove it in your face and tell you to buy it. I guess I fell into that trap when I fist bought it, although it worked out well. To understand the health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, especially when it comes to acne, we must understand the nutritional and chemical properties of this substance.

Many say that Apple Cider Vinegar is so great because it is chock full of vitamins and minerals. This is false. In fact, ACV is pretty devoid of nutrients. And even if it was nutrient rich, it would be unlikely that you would get more nutrients from a tablespoon of ACV than a whole glass of freshly made fruit and vegetable juice.

Maybe I’m wrong; If I am please provide a professional research study supporting the opposing viewpoint. The studies I have are posted below.

So we still haven’t found the reason why ACV is so great. I’ll let Dr. Mercola answer that:

“It could be partially related to the fact that vinegar is a diluted acid, specifically acetic acid, which is responsible for its sour taste and pungent smell. The pH changes it induces may contribute to some of its actions.

Some of the dramatic benefits may also be derived from yet-to-be-identified phytochemicals (beneficial compounds in plants) that scientists are now discovering in a number of different foods. In fact, many of your strongest weapons against cancer are the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables.

One thing that apple cider vinegar is high in is acetic acid. Like other acids, acetic acid can increase your body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods you eat. Therefore, it is possible that drinking a mild tonic of vinegar and water just before meals might improve your body’s ability to absorb the essential minerals locked in foods. Apple cider vinegar might help you get more out of your leafy greens!” (Mercola)

So essentially, ACV’s health benefits are derived from helping the body to more effectively absorb nutrients that we get from other foods, as well as possibly being full of phytochemicals, similar to ones found in plants.

How does Apple Cider Vinegar directly fight acne?

Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, ACV fights acne in a few different ways:

  • Phytochemicals
  • Digestion
  • Insulin

Is Anecdotal Evidence Enough?

There aren’t too many studies out there abut Apple Cider Vinegar; that’s just how the health industry works. The problem that arises from this s that when major health organizations fail to study alternative health treatments, people can spout off whatever they want about a substance, because there are no studies to refute their claims.

Is it possible that ACV could cure cancer? Of course, but there isn’t enough evidence out there to prove it entirely.

How to Take ACV

acv1

I do believe in the power of Apple Cider Vinegar and think it should be a staple in people’s health regimen’s, especially for people who suffer from acne. I take it everyday and recommend you do as well.

Here’s what I do:

First you’re going to need some Apple Cider Vinegar, but not any kind will do. It needs to be raw. I use, and always have used, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar  (Affiliate Link). It’s what everyone uses, and they do a great job of manufacturing it.

Once you’ve got a bottle on deck, pour a tablespoon into a large glass. The smaller the glass, the less diluted it will be, which means that it will be easier to palate. If you’re not used to this stuff, it is pungent. As I said earlier, I have an acquired taste for it so I can drink it in a medium sized glass.

If you want, you could put in a teaspoon or two, and use the same glass, but just have two glasses. Or you could find a giant jug and fill it with water. Whatever works, as long as you’re getting around a tablespoon.

Next, fill the glass with lukewarm water. I do this because it aids with digestion, and is easier on the stomach.

Finally, slowly sip it.

Yum!

I prefer to do it after meals, others say do it before. As long as it’s around meal time you should be fine.

Remember folks, this isn’t a miracle suplement. It’s good, but not life saving.

I think that covers it . Try this out, and I think you will be happy with the results.

photos: mindbodygreen; toofullforschool

Further Reading

NCBI: Apple Cider Vinegar

How Vitamin D Fights Acne

I’m a firm believer that certain vitamin deficiencies are the main contributors to acne; Vitamin D is one of those. If you’re ever in doubt of just how important vitamin D is, just remember that we manufacture vitamin D by being in the sun. Think about that….

While humans don’t manufacture their energy via the sun as plants do, vitamin D is still essential for human health:

“Being ‘D-ficient’ may increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis, as well as infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even the seasonal flu.” (Harvard School of Public Health)

Unfortunately,

“Worldwide, an estimated 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D in their blood, and deficiencies can be found in all ethnicities and age groups. (13)  Indeed, in industrialized countries, doctors are even seeing the resurgence of rickets, the bone-weakening disease that had been largely eradicated through vitamin D fortification.” (Harvard)

That’s 1 billion people as in 1,000,000,000. And your odds of having a vitamin D deficiency are even higher if:

“If you live north of the line connecting San Francisco to Philadelphia and Athens to Beijing, odds are that you don’t get enough vitamin D. The same holds true if you don’t get outside for at least a 15-minute daily walk in the sun. African-Americans and others with dark skin, as well as older individuals, tend to have much lower levels of vitamin D, as do people who are overweight or obese.” (Harvard)

How Vitamin D Fights Acne

It’s clear that vitamin D is one of the most important substances for human health. In terms of healthy skin, vitamin D does the following:

  • Lessens inflammation, and thus reducing the onset of acne,
  • Keeps circadian rhythm in check, and in turn deep, restful sleep,
  • Boosts the immune system so that the body can more effectively fight of acne bacteria,
  • Reduces the onset of depression and stress, lowering cortisol levels.

All of the above are related to overall wellness and skin; that’s not a coincidence.

Witness the Power Of the ‘D’

Have you ever taken a vacation to the beach and your skin miraculously looked great? This has happened to me several times. The combination of the sun and salt water do wonders for your skin. If only there was a way to replicate the beach at your home…

Fortunately that big yellow thing in the sky is always around, so whether you’re at the beach or at home you’re bound to be exposed to it. The problem that arises is that a.) It’s stronger in climates closer to the equator and b.) The sun is weaker in the winter.

The ideal means of getting sufficient amounts of Vitamin D is via the Sun. So if it’s the time of year when the sun is out, aim to get at least 15-20 minutes of sun (preferably with as little clothing as possible) without sunscreen.

If the sun is weak, or it’s too cold out, then you’re going to have to get vitamin D via supplementation. Depending on the time of year (less sunny/colder months) I take about 5000 IU of vitamin D daily, but synthetic vitamins have a terrible absorption rate in the body, so I truly have no idea how much my body is really absorbing.

Fortified Foodstuffs

Originally done to prevent the onset of rickets, foods such as milk are still fortified with vitamin D. This fortification seems to be for the most part ineffective, consuming foods fortified with vitamin D are not nearly enough.

So what’s your recommendation Seth?

In Summer (or sunny months) get 15-20 minutes of sun without screen daily, and continue to supplement with Cod Liver Oil.

In Winter (or grayer months) take at least 5000 IU’s of Vitamin D daily, and continue to supplement with Cod Liver Oil.

There you have it. Remember that your vitamin D should come from the sun first and foremost, but where that’s not possible supplement via synthetic vitamin D and Cod Liver Oil.

Feel free to post any comments or questions below.

Further Reading

Vitamin D, Nutrition Source from Harvard Public Health

Vitamin D Council

 

 

Does Oil Pulling Get Rid of Acne?

If you’re wondering what in the heck oil pulling is, I don’t blame you. It sounds like a process used in the refining process of natural gas.

Of course though, when one is on the path to acne nothing stands in their way of finding a cure. So like a good guinea pig, I bought a jar of coconut oil to really see if oil pulling gets rid of acne. I opened the jar and took out a little less than a tablespoon and licked the spoon clean. I then had a lovely, lumpy, gooey blob of coconut oil on my tongue.

The oil soon melted in my mouth (coconut oil is liquid at room temperature) and I then swished it around for about 10 minutes or so. Throughout that time I forced myself to not swallow any. I also felt on like I was on the verge of vomiting towards the end.

So after the time was up I spit int in the trash can, as the oil can clog drains over time. There was no way to tell if my skin had improved immediately, but my mouth felt incredibly fresh, but we’re not worried about oral hygiene in this article (although it’s important!).

The question is, does oil pulling help get rid of acne?

In my humble opinion, most likely not.

To understand how to get rid of acne, we have to understand what causes it. I believe that two of the main causes of acne are hormonal imbalances and vitamin deficienes. Oil pulling doesn’t directly resolve either of those issues, and therefore its role in curing acne is likely  to be limited.

Don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging. Let’s look a little more in depth at this practice.

What is Oil Pulling?

The practice of oil pulling is a health remedy that has it’s origins in India as part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It was commonly used because:

“Practitioners of oil pulling claim it is capable of improving oral and systemic health, including a benefit in conditions such as headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne, as well as whitening teeth. Its promoters claim it works by pulling out “toxins”, which are known as ama in Ayurvedic medicine, and thereby reducing inflammation.” (Wikipedia: Oil Pulling)

How To “Pull Oil”

Take about a tbsp. of either sesame, coconut, or olive oil (I prefer coconut, traditionally sesame was used and is commonly recommended) and gently swish (or ‘pull’)  it around for 15-20 minutes.

That sounds disgusting.

At first, yes… yes it is, but after the first few times you don’t even notice it.

What Are the Benefits?

If your going to swish oil around your mouth for 20 minutes there better damn well be some benefits right?

Well, like I said, I don’t think oil pulling will create any miracles for acne, however, the idea behind oil pulling is that it is supposed to ‘pull out’ toxins lodged in the mouth. These toxins accumulate over time and can have deleterious effects on the body. Oil Pulling is a means for pulling them out. In terms of acne, the logic would be that these toxins contribute to inflammation, and in turn, acne.

Here’s a few answers to some questions you might have:

Where do I spit it out?

Glad you asked. NOT in your pipes and drains. The oils will solidify over time creating some issues. Spit it out in the trash.

Is this difficult?

Oil Pulling is not difficult per se. It’s not like your trekking 100 miles through the Amazon or anything. However, swirling around oil in your mouth is definitely not my favorite pastime. I did experience a bit of nausea, but that faded fairly quick. Plus, since you DON’T want to swallow it, you have to breath carefully.

Do I need to do it for 20 minutes?

Nope. Some say 10-15 minutes is good enough to see results. necessarily.

How many time a week?

I would say at least every other day, so around 4 times a week. I don’t believe doing it everyday is necessary.

Is it worth it?

Like I said, I don’ think oil pulling will revolutionize the complexion of your skin for the better, but it’s worth a try. If not, you’ll still end up with numerous health benefits.

If you’re interested in buying Coconut Oil I recommend Viva Labs Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

Cod Liver Oil for Acne: The Best Skincare Supplement Ever

 

There have been many noble explorations and qestis throughout human history.

Christopher Columbus’ search for the new world.

Ponce de Leon’s search for the Fountain of Youth.

And of course my search for the world’s most effective acne supplement.

This search me has taken me all over the world, from the depths of the Peruvian jungles, to the steppes of Mongolia. Okay, not really. Most of my search has conciststed of scouring the internet for information about acne, but little results have been yielded for the past decade.

Accutane has probably been the most effective drug I’ve used to treat acne. Unfortunraly, Accutane is not something you can everyday for the rest of your life. Accutane is a substance that can only be used uner doctor supervision for a short period of time (3-6 months). If only there were a way to mimic the effects of Accutane by finding a substance that naturally exists that is similar to Accutane.

We can start by looking at what looking at what Accutane is, a retinoid.

What the heck is a retinoid?

Glad you asked. Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds that are related chemically to vitamin A.

I’m no science whiz, but Accutane is essentially a synthetic retinoid which mimics high levels of Vitamin A. And thus, Cod Liver Oil is brought into the picture.

What’s So Great about Vitamin A?

One of the effects of Vitamin A is the proliferation of new skin cells to replace damaged skin by encouraging the maturation of cells in the epidermis.

Durrr….

Ahem. Let’s put that in layman’s terms: Our skin is always being shed, although it’s not as pronounced as some animals like snakes. We lose some skin cells, but then they’re replaced by new ones. This is the ideal case, but sometimes our skin cells won’t budge, so we can use  Vitamin A to get things going.

Have you ever heard of Retin-A?

It’s a retinoid like Accutane, but instead of taking it orally, it’s a cream you rub on your face. It’s known to cause red, flaky skin because it’s causing the body to strip off the top layer, but over time a rejuvenated layer of skin is brought up.

Taking Vitamin A orally has similar effects as Retin-A, it just happens beneath the suface.

So can’t I just take Vitamin A pills?

Perhaps, yet I have a strong disdain for synthetic vitamins. The reason for my disdain is that after years of taking Vitamin D pills daily (5,000 IU), I learned that only a small percentage is actually absorbed into the body. In other words, it’s bologna.

When we get our vitamins from a substance that’s naturally existing like food, those nutrients are absorbed much better by the body. That’s why I recommend getting these nutrients from food, or minimially processed supplments like Cod Liver Oil.

Speaking of Vitamin D, Cod Liver Oil contains that as well.

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin (many call it a hormone). It’s so important that our bodies manufacture it by being in the sun. (Need more detail).

How much should I take a day?

Directions should be on your bottle. My Carlson’s CLO says take 1 tsp. a day.

When should I take it?

Again, directions should be on your bottle. Carlson’s CLO says at meal time.

Can’t you overdose on Vitamin-A?

Yes, as Vitamin-A is fst soluble there’s only so much your body can tolerate. With that said, I think vitamin toicity is extremely overexaggerated. I’m not going to say to chug the whole bottle, in fact, there’s really no need to take more than 1-2 servings daily. If you stick to that, there shouldn’t be a possibility of any sort to overdose.

I heard you need to take Fermented Cod liver Oil?

I’ve heard that too. I use Carlson’s CLO which is not fermented and I’ve seen amazing success. As they say, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Plus, the only fermented brand of CLO atound is Green pastures which is quite pricey.

How soon can I expect to see results?

Within two to three days I saw amazin results, seriously. I can’t guarantee the same thing for you, but if you feel that you may have a vitamin-A deficienycy, expect results shortly.

Maybe you don’t have a deficiency, and this won’t work at all. I can’t tell you what will 100% work for you, only what has worked for me, and I’m telling you that Cod Liver Oil is the single best supplement I’ve ever taken to help treat acne.

Click Here to purchase Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil on Amazon and have your acne cleared in just weeks!