First of all-- yes, the smell is horrific. Something like a cross between smelly feet and urine.
I haven't seen the spectacular, overnight miracles that some MUAers have, but I have seen a number of improvements in my skin over the last two weeks. I use after cleansing my skin with basis clear skin bar soap. I have bad, bad cystic acne (often five or six deep blemishes at a time) and the combo of basis and ACV seems to have slowed down the occurrance of new beakouts, though I don't think it has sped healing of my old ones.
My red marks from old acne have definitely begun to lighten, which I am very happy with, and my skin tone in general is more evened out since before using the ACV. I've just been using the Braggs straight up on my face (my skin is not particularly sensitive), but plan to try carekate's recipe soon to see if it boosts the speed of my results.
overall, I am happy with my results, particularly for the money I've spent. Though I would caution against everyone expecting the dramatic results people have talked about here.
*****EDIT***** UGH! a few more weeks on the vinegar and I was right back to ruddy, broken out skin. did nothing long term to help. will NOT buy again.
I'm a believer!!! I diluted this with filtered water and in two days my two zits were dried up and healed with out red pigmentation!!!! I used 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water. I also have oily skin and only use this once a day when needed. Thanks everyone for the great tips!!!!
Here is carekate's original review for those who can't find it:
Toners -> Unlisted Brand -> Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
Reviewed by carekate on 6/6/2005 10:08:00 AM
You want to know how awesome this ACV(AppleCiderVinegar) toner is? On Friday, I had a nasty zit forming on my cheek. I applied a compress of my homemade Yonka 'Emulsion Pure' to bring it to a head, and was able to extract the pimple on Saturday. That night, I used my homemade aspirin mask, followed w/ the ACV toner, then used the aspirin mask and toner again on Monday morning. The result: not only is the zit gone, but so is the red mark! I mean, you can’t even tell that a couple days ago I had a huge pimple on my face – all the evidence is completely erased. For those of you who are still skeptical, here are some of the benefits of ACV toner: • helps even out skin tone; • smoothes out your skin's texture; • helps minimizes the size and appearance of pores; • dries up and reduces redness from breakouts almost over night; • helps regulate oil production; • impart's to your skin "a radiant glow." Recipe for CareKate’s homemade ACV Super Toner: What you’ll need: • Apple Cider Vinegar • Clean, empty 8 ounce glass or plastic bottle • Distilled water (tap water is okay, but distilled or purified is better!) • Green Tea -- optional • Vit-C (lysorbic acid) powder or crystals -- optional • Ylang Ylang essential oil -- optional • Lemon essential oil -- optional What you do: • Step 1: Fill bottle 1/3 full with ACV (may increase or decrease amount of vinegar to suit your own skin type, add more vinegar for oilier skin and less for dry skin. If you plan to add green tea and other ingredients to your toner, follow steps 2-4 below, otherwise just add water to fill bottle to brim. • Step 2: Heat 2/3 cup of distilled water and bring to boil, then add 3-4 green tea bags (you want to make the tea solution REALLY strong!!) and let it steep for 30 minutes or longer, then remove teabags. Once the green tea has cooled completely, pour into bottle with ACV (do not fill bottle completely full because you'll need room to add the Ylang Ylang and Vit-C). • Step 3: Add 25 drops of Ylang Ylang essential oil to bottle (if your skin-type is not oily, simply add less Y-Y oil or leave it out altogether). • Step 4: Measure out one level teaspoon of Vit-C crystals and add to bottle with ACV and green tea. Shake bottle vigorously to dissolve crystals (if they do not dissolve right away, simply put lid on bottle and let sit for an hour to allow Vit-C crystals to solubilize in the solution. Once the Vit-C crystals have completely dissolved, your toner is ready for use. Shake well before using. The above 'recipe' should yield enough toner for a one-month supply. Twice daily, after cleansing face as normal, put some toner on a cotton pad and gently swipe over your face and neck (if you prefer, you can use a spray bottle and spray the toner directly onto your face). Followup with your regular serums and/or moisturizer. I'm using simple, "grocery-store" ACV (look in the condiment/salad dressing aisle) which costs less than $1.00USD for 16 ounces, but you can buy more 'exotic' apple cider vinegars from health food stores. Likewise, I bought my green tea at the supermarket (make sure you get one that is 100% green tea with no additional ingredients/flavors added), a box of 20 tea bags for around $3.00USD. Distilled water is available at the supermarket in the bottled water aisle for around 75˘ per gallon. Ylang Ylang essential oil is available at health food stores (I got mine at Whole Foods for about $7.99 for an 1-ounce bottle). Hint: If you're hoping to find essential oils cheaper on Ebay or something, make sure that the Y-Y oil is stored in an amber or dark-blue glass bottle, because essential oils can be degraded by direct sunlight like from a clear glass bottle. I got my Vit-C crystals at Whole Foods for around $9.99USD for a big bottle (enough to yield *dozens* of batches of ACV super toner or homemade Vit-C serum!), but you can also order it online. FYI: You can customize the above recipe to fit your skin’s specific needs simply by adding a couple of drops of the essential oils that are recommended for your skin type. Click on this link (or cut & paste link into address field on your web browser) for a guide to essential oils and their use/benefits in skincare: http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/redirect.php?u=http://www.essentialdayspa.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=5922&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight= UPDATE: Ooooh, I just added 5 drops of Lemon essential oil to my ACV super toner and it’s just fantastic! The combined aroma of the Ylang Ylang and Lemon oils almost completely cancels out the vinegary smell, so for those bothered by that, try adding a bit of those oils and see if that makes it more tolerable for you. BTW, here’s the benefits of Lemon oil: • LEMON: Assists in the formation of scar tissue. Antiseptic, astringent, controls the production of sebum, used for oily skin ,and acne. Revitalizes the skin by improving circulation and encouraging the elimination of wastes (used for cellulitis); gently exfoliates the complexion. With long-term application reduces broken capillaries and varicose veins, softens scar tissue on scars and corns. It is also said to strengthen brittle nails.
She also has a great home made face wash:
Dilute with spring water like Evian and add some aspirin. Or just use it neat on spots, but not all over the face if you have sensitive skin! Best if diluted.
For a great toner, I use half ACV and Smart Water (vapor distilled w/ electrolites) and a drop of Lavender oil I buy from a lady at the farmer's mkt. The Lavender kills the vinegar smell and actually gives it aa anti-bacterial property.
LOL at all the comments on the smell- I have used APC on my hair in the shower, when you add hot water and steam to that smell LOOKOUT ! My hubby walks in the bathroom and it is like the JIm Carrey reaction at the elevator with his Boss-woman he had slept with the previous night -pretty animated. Seriously gross smell!!!! I guess I will give it another ry on the face, the recipe sounds gr8!!!!! GR8 on hair to...after shampoo before conditioning, use strong conditioner and add some pepppermint oil or something strong to hide after shower smell, rosemary oil would be invigorating!
Great stuff. Great price. I am not thrilled with the strong scent and it makes my eyes burn a little sometimes it is so powerful,but it is totally worth it. It makes my skin look amazing. I have only tried it dilluted w/ water,but I am going to try dilluting it w/ green tea or chamomile tea to see if that works well too. I used to spend tons of money on expensive toners,but this works better for practically nothing. I trade off between this and the asprin toner (which I also adore) I highly recommend both toners to everyone. People tell me I have beautiful skin and ask me what I do to it. They are always shocked when I tell them about this toner and the asprin toner. I am so happy I found out about this toner!
Oh my heavens, this has completely transformed my skin. I am amazed by how effective this is, and how fast it works!
I made the recipe for the toner using carekate's recipe here in Productville. I use the Bragg's, the Whole Foods Vit. C crystals, and Sparklett's water. No green tea, etc.
Yes, it smells like the feet of a 13 year old boy at the end of a summer day. I use Skin Food or Nivea over it, so that covers the scent nicely. I can occasionally detect a faint lingering of the scent, but nothing to worry over.
This has made my pores almost invisible, I have had one small spot in the last two weeks (no biggie), and my complexion is absolutely glowing.
Seriously, my husband has even noticed and commented. He said my skin looks so smooth and beautiful! :) I've always been blessed with great skin, but this has made it even better. The tone, the texture...all improved and totally amazing.
I use the homemade recipe for the Vitamin C serum over this at night, which is the MAC Fix+ mixed with the crystals. This combo has given me seriously airbrushed-looking skin. I am forever a convert, and in debt to the Skincare gals! continued >>
I usually wait a little longer before reviewing a skincare item, but for the ACV, I couldn't wait--I love this stuff!
I was curious about this given all the fantastic reviews/super-high user rating. So I went to the local natural foods store and picked up a big bottle of Bragg's (I think it's nearly a pint, but it was the smallest one they carried) for only about 3-4 USD. It's a cloudy, cider-colored liquid and yes, it does smell awful--like sweaty gym socks combined with the sharp tang of vinegar and a hint of sour apples. It nearly knocked me out the first time I opened up the bottle, but I've gotten used to it by now. It really is an effective "eye-opener" in the morning:)
I don't dilute it now, since the weather's still pretty warm, but I'll probably try out carekate's ACV toner recipe pretty soon. After washing my face (usually with Alpha Hydrox Foaming Face Wash--love this as it's gentle but cleanses well), I wet a cotton ball, shake up the bottle of ACV, put the cotton ball over the mouth, shake up, and get enough for my whole face. I let it dry and do the rest of my routine. Initially, I was paranoid about having a smelly face, but the scent does dissipitate after awhile (maybe 10-15 minutes) and I haven't noticed any lingering odor. BTW: As this is an organic product, I think it's best to keep it in the fridge--this also makes it feels wonderfully refreshing.
I've been using this stuff for about four days now and I already see improvements in my skin. This has helped lighten red marks left over from zits, prevented any new blemishes from arising, made my face feel really soft and smooth, gently brightened my complexion (I also use a lemon-based brightening serum and vitamin C serum--but they weren't really doing much before I used the ACV with them. I'm hoping to eliminate the extra products via carekate's recipe) AND most importantly of all, apple cider vinegar has given me normal skin! I am combination/oily in the warmer months and always wake up with an oil slick on my face in the morning. No matter what powder or mattifier I use, I will get shiny/oily by mid-day and mid-afternoon, etc. So I was shocked when I woke up on Saturday morning (after having used the ACV the night before) with normal-feeling skin--no grease slick! The good effects continued for the rest of the day and I felt less need to blot and powder. I don't feel dried out at all, but that's just my skin type and the weather--you'll have to dilute this more if you have drier skin/climate. Now I use this morning and night after cleansing and have never felt better about my skin. You've GOT to try this!
ETA: I've found that as the weather's gotten cooler and drier, and as my skin's gotten more normal/dryish, I should go easier on this or it'll overdry my skin and provoke zit-formation. So I dilute 1:3 with water, add 10 drops of lemon oil, 3 drops of an essential oil blend for bad skin, and 2 aspirins. The essential oils do wonders at masking the scent and the resulting toner is good to use once or twice a day without excessively drying out skin (be sure to use a good moisturizer afterwards). continued >>
I don't have Bragg's available to me so I'm using an organic acv I found at the health food store here.
I love this so much! I apply it full strength with a cotton ball but I think I'll try diluting it because it really really REALLY stinks and the stink lasts hours. It's so smelly I feel self consious in public, especially since my SO was on the opposite side of the room and commented he smelled something foul but couldn't put his finger on what it was. I apply it after he's left for work and pray the smell has dissipated by the time he's home, lol.
I can't give this stuff up though because it's performed miracles on my skin. My skin smoother, clearer, and more radiant than it's ever been. I have 30 something combo skin and the apples of my cheeks are usually so dry I have to pat a heavy night cream on them during daytime. This toner has helped my oily T zone and has improved the condition of my cheeks at the same time. I don't know how that's possible but I'm extatic!
I recently overhauled my skincare routine and this was one of the items that I decided to add to my regime. My skin has never looked better! I've tossed out all of my toners. I used to use 2 separate ones for my combo skin (alcohol based for t-zone) - this cider vinegar works wonders on my face and doesn't dry out my cheeks! I might be in the minority here, but I actually like the smell of this vinegar (it's so refreshing), so I don't need to mix it with anything to tone down the smell. I just dampen a cotton pad with water and then pour on the vinegar and wipe my face after it's been washed. I use it only on my forehead, nose, chin and cheeks - avoid the eye area (ouch!) and lips. It tingles on my t-zone and really cleans out the pores - I can see that I have way less clogged pores. I bought my bottle of Bragg's at the health food store and it only cost me $3.50 for a 500mL - I transferred mine from the glass bottle into my now empty Neutrogena toner bottle, which makes it easier to squirt onto the cotton pad. I love these skincare finds - thanks MUAers! continued >>