There’s a pretty big wave of interest in all-natural beauty care these days – particularly items from the kitchen. One hugely popular product is apple cider vinegar (ACV). People are using apple cider vinegar for hair, skin, and even deodorant. There are seemingly boundless health and beauty benefits from ACV.
Before we get into these 6 awesome beauty uses for apple cider vinegar, let’s quickly go over some ACV basics…
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
The word, vinegar, comes from a French word meaning “sour wine.” All vinegars are made using a process called fermentation. Simply put, fermentation is the breakdown of sugars in food by bacteria and yeast. These sugars are turned into alcohol and when left to ferment further, vinegar is created.
There are is a variety of vinegar out there that can be made from different fruits and vegetables. Apple cider vinegar, however, is made only from pulverized apples.
The cloudy material at the bottom of your ACV bottle is one of the healthiest parts of the vinegar.
This is known as the “mother.” Before use, shake the bottle gently to distribute. This will ensure that you are getting the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and good bacteria that are found in this part of the ACV.1 If your apple cider vinegar doesn’t have any mother in it, then you might want to look for a better quality product.
Apple Cider Vinegar can lead to skin irritation and even chemical burn in some people.2 For this reason, you should always do a skin patch test on your wrist to check for any reactions. If you have sensitive skin then you should dilute the ACV even before your skin patch test.
Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
1. Apple Cider Vinegar as a Hair Rinse (great for a dry scalp!)
Many women and men enjoy a nice apple cider vinegar rinse after shampooing – or even in place of shampoo if you are doing the “no poo diet.” ACV can help to remove product buildup and can even help soothe an itchy and dry scalp.
A great way to soothe your scalp using this vinegar is to sponge it directly on your scalp and wrap your head in a towel for 30 minutes before rinsing and shampooing. Some prefer to use straight apple cider vinegar, but you can also dilute it. Do a skin patch test first, to determine if you need to dilute. This can also help with hair loss and thinning hair. The ACV helps to clear your follicle of oils that may be clogged up, preventing moisture and hair growth.3
2. ACV Skin as a Foot Soak
Apple cider vinegar can be used in a bath soak or a foot soak. The alpha hydroxy acids in it will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Use about 8 – 10 ounces in a warm bath or add a half a cup to a foot soaking tub.
Some use this foot soak to help with nail fungus. While more research is needed to verify if this actually works, some people do seem to find relief with an ACV foot soak.4
3. ACV for Preventing Razor Bumps
Apple cider vinegar for hair isn’t just for your head. As mentioned above, ACV can help to soothe dry, irritated, and even burned skin. The same applies to razor burn. Diluted ACV may help to slough away dead skin cells that can lead to razor burn and ingrown hairs. But this is only effective before razor burn or ingrown hairs occur. Otherwise, the pH of ACV may cause more irritation.
4. ACV for Sunburn Relief
This amazing vinegar can help to soothe swollen, painful, and damaged skin. It’s often used on sunburns, as the acidic properties of vinegar are believed to counteract and neutralize burning from another source (like the sun).5 Some choose to spritz a diluted mixture on sunburned skin or it can even be mixed into a gentle, scent-free lotion. Another option is to mix it in with aloe vera.
5. ACV as a DIY Deodorant
Apple cider vinegar has strong antiseptic powers. This makes it great for, not only, the foot soak mentioned above but also for deodorant. The vinegar can kill the bacteria that causes strong odors in your sweat. ACV is known to have a great deodorizing effect on the intensity and acceptability of offensive odors. You can even dilute about a teaspoon into a cup of water for this all-natural deodorant.6
6. ACV for Bad Breath
Many people choose to ingest apple cider vinegar for the potential health benefits. These range from boosting weight loss to improving gut health and even improving cholesterol numbers. ACV can do a great job of increasing the good bacteria in your gut and help to get rid of the bad. As with any dietary changes or addition of supplements, this is something you should run by your doctor if you are interested. You can find drinks that contain apple cider vinegar, use it in a dressing, or simply drink a diluted teaspoon in water.7
Final Thoughts …
As you can see, there are a wide variety of health and beauty uses of apple cider vinegar. It can be used topically for your hair, scalp, and the skin on your body. Don’t forget to do a skin patch test and avoid using on your face altogether. Apple cider vinegar for hair is one of the most popular uses.
ACV is also quite healthy when ingested in small amounts. Gut health is a major concern today. Poor gut health can show on the outside – consuming apple cider vinegar can definitely have its beauty benefits. So, if you’re interested in a more natural product for these uses, then get yourself a bottle of ACV today!
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3.Chappuis Bragg, Paul & Bragg N.D., Patricia; Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System
6.Thacker, Emily; The Vinegar Home Guide, pg.5
7.Georgiou, Claire; The Apple Cider Vinegar Cleanse