Vinegar and beauty don’t really seem to go together, do they?
But apple cider vinegar has a long history of being used for health and beauty. Even today there are books (and numerous websites) devoted to extolling the virtues of this common kitchen cupboard ingredient.
So why would you, the modern woman, want to add apple cider vinegar back into your beauty routine?
Oh, let’s see… glossy hair and comfortable skin, to start. Cider vingear is inexpensive, all-natural, lasts forever, and can be easily infused with herbs and flowers to customize it for your skin type. Still skeptical? Read on…
What is apple cider vinegar
We’re all familiar with vinegar ranging from the strong clear white vinegar you use to color Easter eggs, to light brown malt vinegar sprinkled on fish and chips, to thick and sticky balsamic vinegar on salads. You might even remember some fun experiments with vinegar as a child (vinegar and baking soda volcanos, anyone?)
But when people talk about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, they’re referring to a specific type of apple cider vinegar – raw and unpasteurized.
Vinegar is formed through fermentation, and is named from the French vin aigre which means “sour wine”. If you take apple peelings and ferment them with the right bacteria, first it will turn alcoholic (a type of wine), and then if it keeps fermenting, it will sour and turn into vinegar.
You may have seen a clear, honey-colored apple cider vinegar in the grocery store. These inexpensive apple cider vinegars are usually pasteurized and filtered, and while they’re fine for cleaning and external use – they’re not what you want for internal use.
When buying apple cider vinegar, you want to look for raw, unpasteurized vinegar which contains a mother (a colony of acetic acid bacteria.)
Don’t let the mother freak you out. We’re just not used to fermented foods these days – but our great-grandmothers would have thought it was totally normal. Much like kombucha and sauerkraut and sour dough bread, these naturally fermented foods are a traditional way to preserve food (and often give it added health benefits!)
Here’s my previous blog post asking whether there really are health benefits to apple cider vinegar.
If you are in the UK and you’d like to buy some traditionally produced vinegar, check out the organic apple cider vinegar from Trill Farm (as pictured above)
Why would you use apple cider vinegar for natural beauty?
It’s all about the pH, baby.
Your skin likes to have a slightly acidic pH of just under 5 (source). Unfortunately, cosmetic products and especially soap (which is alkaline) alter the pH of the skin, often making it much more alkaline.
This is where vinegar can help. Applying diluted vinegar to the skin (for example, as a facial toner) can bring the pH back to it’s normal, slightly acidic level.
The same goes for hair. Rinsing with diluted apple cider vinegar makes your hair smooth, soft and super shiny! Apple cider vinegar hair rinse is absolutely my top favorite ACV beauty recipe – you’ll throw out your bottle of conditioner forever! In fact, I love it so much, I’ve included three different apple cider vinegar hair rinse variations below…
Favorite DIY Beauty Recipes with Apple Cider Vinegar
Three hair rinses with apple cider vinegar:
Two skin toners with apple cider vinegar:
And one more recipe I love, just for fun…
Which cider vinegar beauty treat do you want to try first? Let us know in the comments!