Apple cider vinegar or ACV has long since been used for making chutneys, sauces and salad dressings. But it has also been used as healing, miracle tonic.
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, recognized the value of apple cider vinegar in 400 BC.
He realized that this natural tonic had powerful cleansing and detoxifying properties and recommended it as an antiseptic, antiviral and antibiotic to fight fungi, bacteria and mold.
By the 1950s, people were using it to cure a wide range of maladies including constipation, skin problems, obesity, premature aging and for detoxification.
How to choose apple cider vinegar for health and beauty
It is very important to choose the right apple cider vinegar for your health and beautification needs.
The right apple cider vinegar can show great results in terms of skin and hair health as well as weight reduction.
There are different brands of ACV available in the market and naturally it can be very confusing, especially for newbie, as to how to choose the correct one. This miraculous health tonic can indeed show you fantastic results but only if you choose good quality ACV.
It is not your regular white vinegar!
First and foremost, ACV or apple cider vinegar is a lot different than distilled white vinegar, balsamic vinegar or rice wine vinegars.
Most of these vinegars are used in cooking and white vinegar is also useful for cleaning and disinfecting purpose. It may have many similarities with apple cider vinegar as far as its uses are concerned; but that is where the similarities end. Regular white vinegar does not offer health and beauty benefits that apple cider vinegar does.
Know characteristics of good ACV
If you do not already know, apple cider vinegar is prepared by fermenting apple-must which is obtained from apple skins, pulp and seeds.
During fermentation the sugar in apples gets converted into alcohol and then oxygenation turns the alcohol into acetic acid or vinegar. That is why every apple cider vinegar you use should have the following characteristics:
Organic apple cider vinegar is high quality vinegar. It is made using apples that are not treated with chemicals or pesticides.
Rather, the apples are grown organically with completely natural processes. Organic apple cider vinegar is very good for your health as there is no genetically modified stuff, pesticides or chemicals in it.
Look for the ‘organic’ seal on the bottle and you are likely to find organic ACV in health food stores and organic section of supermarkets.
Pasteurization is the process of heating foods to certain high temperatures in order to kill bacteria.
While pasteurization is good and prevents diseases, it also kills off bacteria that are good for health.
That is why you should choose raw, natural and unpasteurized ACV only. The good bacteria in it can heal and improve your gut health and colon.
When you choose apple cider vinegar with mother, you get all the beneficial bacteria, enzymes and minerals that make apple cider vinegar such a beneficial health drink.
The mother in the vinegar may be seen as floating or suspended sediments that give a murky appearance to the ACV.
Mother is made from cellulose and bacteria that are formed during the fermentation process. The solution may look murky, grungy and gruesome but that is what imparts health benefits to you.
pH of ACV
pH is a measure of acidity and alkalinity. The vinegar from apple cider is highly acidic and has a pH of around 2.8. This high acidic nature is what imparts curative powers to this amazing natural tonic.
What is the best Apple Cider Vinegar for health and beauty?
There are many different brands on ACV available today. But the one brand that stands out is Bragg’s organic, unpasteurized, unheated, 5% acidity apple cider vinegar.
It also contains the mother vinegar. Bragg apple cider vinegar is also available in wholesale in 1 gallon packs.
Another mention-worthy brand of organic, raw apple cider vinegar is from TNVitamins. It has enzymes, minerals and vitamins.
Let us now discuss ACV beauty uses.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin
Apple cider vinegar can be used as a facial cleanser and/or toner.
It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that fight acne and keep skin clean and blemish free.
ACV can improve the health of skin while also maintaining proper functioning of the body’s systems that directly support skin health. Here are some more benefits of ACV for skin:
Acne and pimples
Acne has many underlying reasons but the primary among these is P.acnes bacterium.
This bacterium combines with oil, dirt and sebum to cause inflammation of the hair follicle resulting in acne, zits, papules and cysts.
Applying apple cider vinegar toner post cleansing helps remove dirt and dried sebum and also eliminates P.acnes.
The result: clearer skin with fewer breakouts. These days many face washes and toners containing apple cider vinegar are readily available on the market.
Ringworm and fungal infections
Apple cider vinegar develops powerful yeast-fighting ‘friendly microbes’ during the fermentation process.
Applying the vinegar directly on ringworm or tinea infections can eliminate the fungus and heal the skin quickly.
Dandruff on the scalp is also a result of fungus and the use of ACV can help clear it up. It is therefore little wonder that many shampoos and conditioners are now having ACV in them.
Age and liver spots
Apple cider vinegar is often prescribed as a treatment for age spots or liver spots.
You need to simply apply the vinegar, undiluted, over the spots, 2-3 times a day for several weeks to see results. The vinegar lightens and fades spots and prevents new ones from forming.
Psoriasis is a painful condition that causes severe skin redness, rash and pain.
It is exacerbated by habits like smoking, certain lifestyle factors, stress and even environmental pollution.
By using apple cider vinegar in bath water, one can relieve the skin irritation. It is also recommended that people drink apple cider vinegar to heal the skin from within.
Other benefits of apple cider vinegar for skin
- Treats sunburns
- Cleanses and shrinks pores
- Tones the skin
- Relieves hemorrhoids
- Soothes eczema
- Relieves painful insect bites and stings
- Helps manage toenail infection
- Treats calluses and corns
- Gets rid of warts and skin tags
- Reduces appearance of ‘masks’ due to pregnancy, ill health or aging
- Lightens age spots and fades sunspots
- Eliminates wrinkles and fine lines
- Deodorizes armpits naturally
- Counteracts varicose veins
- Cleanses infections, cuts and wounds
- Soothes diaper rashes
- Relieves burns
- Prevents secondary skin infections and bacterial infections in cuts, bites and stings
- Helps mitigate jellyfish stings
How to use apple cider vinegar for skin?
To use apple cider vinegar topically, mix one part vinegar with one part water. Mix well and apply to affected areas.
You can also add it to bath water and soak in it for a few minutes. For hemorrhoids, add hot water to Sitz bath and soak after bowel movement.
If you are new to using apple cider vinegar, you can start with a small dose of a few teaspoons. Mix it with water or orange juice and sip slowly. Slowly increase the dosage to 2 tablespoons.
You can drink diluted ACV on empty stomach or before main meals maximum twice a day. This also helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, curbs appetite and helps in weight management.
Using ACV on the face
Apple cider vinegar can be used directly on the face, added to a mild cleanser or as a post-cleansing toner. Here are some ways to use ACV for facial skin:
- Mix ACV (organic, raw and unpasteurized) with equal parts of water. Use a sterile cotton-pad to apply it all over the face. Leave it on for 5-7 minutes. If you experience tingling, wash it off immediately. You do not need to use any soap to clean the face afterwards. The smell of vinegar will disappear shortly.
- You can also make a homemade toner with apple cider vinegar, rose water, witch hazel, or aloe vera gel and mix them well in a spray bottle. Apply to the face post cleansing or at night. Let it dry. Wash off the next morning. This is an anti-aging blend that will help reduce age spots, lines, and wrinkles.
- Make a steam facial by boiling water and place your head over the bowl. Cover your head with a towel. Now add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the steaming water and inhale the vapors deeply. This will not only open up your pores; it will also drain sinuses and help you breathe easily. Make sure you splash cold water or rub a few ice cubes to seal the pores after steaming.
- Soak a clean tea towel in how water to which you have added generous amount of ACV. Wring the towel out and place it on your face. Relax this way for 15 minutes. The combination of steam and ACV vapors will clean your face, eliminate dirt and grime and make your skin softer and more radiant.
How long can you leave ACV on the face?
In order to fully experience the benefits of apple cider vinegar on your skin, leave it on for at least 5-10 minutes.
You can also safely leave ACV on the skin overnight. This has anti aging benefits and will heal your skin from the scars, blemishes and age spots. ACV is generally safe. If however, you experience side effects like tingling, rashes, or breakouts, then you must discontinue use immediately.
Best ACV skin care products
As stated before, Apple cider vinegar skin care products are now flooding the markets. It is available in the form of toners, face and body washes, night creams, day moisturizers, misters/toner sprays etc. Let’s take a look at the best products in each category:
Apple cider vinegar face wash
Many brands have their line of ACV face washes. They eliminate and shrink pores and also remove dirt, makeup, and oil to give you clearer skin.
WoW Apple cider vinegar face wash
The face wash from WoW brand is gentle and safe for all skin types. It is packed with Vitamins and Aloe vera and is one of the most popular acne face washes on the market.
WoW face wash clears pores, exfoliates the skin and also moisturizes and protects the skin from toxins. It does not dry the skin out. It is devoid of parabens, sulfates and harsh chemicals.
Apple cider vinegar cleansing pads
Cleansing pads are wonderful for cleansing the skin on the go. Carry a pack with you on your travels to keep your skin fresh and soft. ACV cleaning pads balance pH, clear out oil, sweat, dirt and makeup and keep your skin clean, fresh and blemish-free.
Hello Cider ACV cleansing padsThe cleansing pads from Hello Cider contain soothing, healing and natural ingredients like chamomile, lavender hydrosol, witch hazel, rose geranium and lemongrass that heal, soothe, protect, balance, nourish and cleanse the skin to keep it healthy and radiant.
Facial mist sprays or toners do what your cleanser fails to do: deep clean and remove makeup and grime embedded deep within the skin to prevent acne, fungal issues, and bacterial infections and also heal, protect and nourish the skin.
Spray the toner on the skin after cleansing and leave it to air dry.
WoW ACV Hair and Skin and Hair Mist/Spray/Toner
WoW apple cider vinegar based products are rather popular and they are also highly effective.
The best part is that the WoW ACV hair and Skin Spray Mist Toner can also be used on skin and hair too. It smells awesome and you can also use it on your legs, hands and private areas post shaving.
Apple cider vinegar body wash
ACV based body wash eliminates ringworm, tinea, bacterial infections, body odor, rashes, yeast infection and other common skin care problems.
Grandpa Soap Company ACV Body WashThe body wash from Grandpa Soap Company leaves your skin feeling clean and fresh. It is non drying. However, the downside is the strong vinegar-scent which stays on for a bit.
Apple cider vinegar for hair
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful hair tonic.
These days, it is difficult to get long, shiny tresses as most of us battle issues like alopecia, premature graying, dandruff, hair fall, tinea or ringworm infections of scalp, lice and nits, itchy scalp and so on.
Apple cider vinegar acts as a natural detoxifier for the hair and scalp and removes product buildup.
When used as a post-shampoo rinse, ACV conditions the hair and also seals the cuticles that reflect more light, hence appearing shinier and smoother.
ACV is great for people with hair loss owing to oily scalp. In people living in areas with hard water, apple cider vinegar rinse removes salts from scalps that leave hair dull and limp.
In short: ACV is one of the best natural ingredients for hair care.
Benefits of ACV for Hair
- Helps with thinning hair
- Helps with dandruff
- Wonderful after-shampoo rinse
- Great as an all-natural shampoo with baking soda
- Works as a detangler
- Conditions hair
- Combats baldness
- Reduces frizz and dryness
- Kills head lice and nits
- Maintains color treated hair
- Reverses hair damage caused by chemicals, hair styling treatments
- Adds shine
- Improves hair porosity
- Deodorizes hair
- Eliminates tinea capitis/ringworm of scalp
- Promotes scalp hair
- Prevents split ends
- Removes product build up
- Removes hard water build up
- Protects against chlorine damage
- Adds highlights and shine to hair.
How to use ACV for hair care?
You can use ACV in two ways for getting shinier, healthier hair:
Add ACV to shampoo or conditioner (1:1 ratio) and use it as you normally do.
Wash off after a few minutes using warm water. You can also add a tablespoon of raw, organic ACV to final rinsing water when washing hair.
You do not need to use a separate conditioner as the vinegar will make your hair smooth and also naturally detangle it.
Your hair will be more manageable and could be free from dandruff, lice, excess oil and foul odor.
You can also dip your comb or brush in ACV and run it through the hair to detangle hair and make it more manageable.
If you are new to using apple cider vinegar, you can start with a small dose of a few teaspoons. Mix it with water or orange juice and sip slowly. Slowly increase the dosage to 2 tablespoons. You can drink ACV on empty stomach or before main meals. This also helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol, curbs appetite and helps in weight management.
Best ACV products for hair care
Shampoos, conditioners and hair rinses
Acv based shampoos and conditioners make hair healthier, softer and more manageable.
Luseta Shampoo and Conditioner set with ACV
These beautiful green bottles from Luseta contain shampoo and hair conditioner.
They moisturize, smoothen, encourage hair growth, protect from environmental toxins and make hair shinier and frizz free.
Apart from ACV, they also contain a host of other hair-nourishing nutrients and are free from parabens, sulfates and chemicals.
Hawaiian Silky Static free leave in conditioner with Apple cider vinegarHawaiian Silky presents this awesome leave in conditioner for people with hair fall. It also contains Black Castor oil which reverses hair damage and promotes hair growth.
Daily use encourages new hair growth and strengthens existing hair roots. This leave in conditioner is also suitable for dry, frizzy and unmanageable hair.
It comes as a spray, so you can use it after shampooing and for styling unruly hair.
Aveeno ACV in shower hair rinse
Aveeno in shower hair rinse adds volume and shine to dry and limp hair.
This gentle cleansing product balances pH of scalp to prevent itching, hair fall and dandruff.
It is safe for color treated hair and is free from parabens, sulfates and dyes.
Besides being an important weight loss tool, apple cider vinegar is an important remedy in your medicine cabinet.
It is also a great cosmetic aid and can benefit your hair and skin in numerous ways. Human skin is actually acidic but harsh soaps make it alkaline, inviting acne, fungal infections and other problems in the process.
ACV works as a cleanser and detoxifier to remove product build up from hair, leaving it healthier and shinier while also encouraging hair growth. You can safely use apple cider vinegar in numerous ways to leave you looking more radiant and beautiful!