Apple cider vinegar may seem like a humble salad dressing to most people, but it is actually a powerful beauty tonic that has an endless amount of uses. Raw, unfiltered vinegar is packed with healthy enzymes and is a natural antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial. It also removes dirt and product build-up from the skin without leaving it dry or irritated. The following ten tips are clever ways to use apple cider vinegar in your everyday beauty routine.
1. Hair Rinse
Shampoo and styling products can build-up in your hair over time making it seem dull and lifeless. The acid in apple cider vinegar cuts straight through this build up and gives your hair a glossy shine. After shampooing, mix one tablespoon of vinegar in one cup of warm water, and pour over your hair. Leave for two minutes before rinsing as normal.
2. Skin Toner
Vinegar is a natural astringent that tightens the pores whilst removing any leftover dirt and grime from the skin. After cleansing your face, apply apple cider vinegar to a clean piece of cotton and wipe across your T-zone. You will be able to see any leftover makeup or dirt on the cotton afterwards. If you are worried about an unpleasant aroma, vinegar does not leave any smell behind once it has dried, so you will not be able to detect it after a few minutes.
If you have decided to give up the toxic, lead-containing deodorants, then apple cider vinegar is a safe and easy way to stay fresh in summer. After a bath or shower, simply apply a splash of apple cider vinegar to your underarms. The vinegar’s natural antibacterial properties will kill the bacteria that causes body odour.
4. Mouth Wash
Mix a teaspoon of vinegar with half a cup of water, and use as a mouthwash. Bad breath and gum disease are linked to bacteria that thrive on the tongue and in-between your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth is not enough to reach every nook and cranny within your mouth, so swishing vinegar and water around your mouth for at least three minutes will help to promote better dental health.
5. Face Mask
Make a skin-softening face mask using just a few simple ingredients. Mix a paste of 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% betonite clay for an inexpensive yet effective beauty treatment. You can also add a few drops of essential oils such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus or lavender to brighten your complexion. Smooth the mask over your face, and then sit back and relax for 15 minutes.
6. Foot Soak
For a soothing foot soak that will banish odour and promote soft skin, pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into a foot spa or large bowl of warm water. Leave your feet to soak for at least 15 minutes to reduce tiredness and swelling. The vinegar will penetrate the skin and make it easier to remove dry, calloused skin using a pumice stone.
7. Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins can affect everyone regardless of age or lifestyle. As well as being unsightly, they can cause pain and discomfort to those who spend a lot of time on their feet. Soak a piece of cotton in vinegar, and then apply it directly to the problem area before bed. Alternatively, you could add a few tablespoons of vinegar to your regular body lotion, and apply liberally after a bath or shower. But don’t forget to consult your doctor first.
8. Skin-Softening Bath Soak
Add a cupful of apple cider vinegar to bath water for soft, toned skin. The vinegar will slowly draw toxins out of the body through the skin whilst you lie back and relax with a glass of wine. This method is also an effective treatment for those suffering from candida or other bacterial infections of the skin. Mix a powerful elixir of equal parts vinegar, honey and olive oil and add it to bath water for a really deep moisturising soak.
9. Cold Sore Remedy
Cold sores are painful, unsightly blisters that always seem to crop up at the worst possible time. As soon as you begin to feel the tingle that indicates a cold sore is about to appear, start applying vinegar directly to the area. It can also help to dry out the blisters once they have formed. Those suffering from genital herpes can prepare a mixture of one tablespoon vinegar and one cup of water, and dab it onto the blisters using a clean cotton bud.
10. After-Sun Treatment
Spending a few hours a day in direct sunlight is essential for good health and allows your body to produce vitamin D. Apple cider vinegar makes an effective after-sun treatment in case you happen to overdo it. Place a bottle of vinegar in the fridge until chilled. Soak a washcloth in vinegar, and then apply to burned skin. Alternatively, you could fill a spray bottle with vinegar, and spray directly onto the skin.
Apple cider vinegar is a safe, inexpensive way to boost your beauty regime using a natural ingredient. If you cannot find raw vinegar in your area, you can make your own using scraps from your kitchen. Fill a large jar with apple cores and peels, and then top up with water. Cover with a cheese cloth before leaving to ferment for about two months. Strain the vinegar into a sterilised bottle, and then enjoy your own raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar. Do you have any other beauty tips for using apple cider vinegar?