Seven health and beauty uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

For those looking to streamline beauty routines, current trends suggest that it's all about going back to basics. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one such natural product that's been back in the news again; its sales are reportedly booming in Ireland, according to supermarkets and health food shops. Tesco has seen at least double-digit growth for the product since last year, with SuperValu saying sales have increased twenty-fold in the last three years, according to the Irish Independent.

It's a natural source that has been a source of much debate between experts, and here we look at some of the ways using it in your daily life can give you a boost. No in-depth studies have been made to back up the potency of it, but plenty is known about the healing powers of ACV, some of which we've listed below.

It can help quell sugar cravings

ACV is fat-free and a golden elixir; wellness experts have sworn by for years, firstly for its ability to aid weight loss. Though not scientifically proven, two recent studies affirm that those who had ACV in their diet lost more weight than those who didn't. It also has the potential to lower blood sugar, fats and cholesterol and to reduce the appetite. Some report that it helps with candida and thrush when taken internally in warm water, and it can be rubbed straight into problems areas of the skin as well. Others swear that it really helps to quell sugar cravings too.

It's an excellent detoxer for the body

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It's also repeatedly cited as a great detoxer for the body. As part of balancing the body's pH, ACV creates overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.

It can revitalise your feet

The acid in the apple cider vinegar makes it quite good at neutralising bad odours. It's also quite helpful when it comes to dealing with warts and fungus too. Make your own vinegar soak from 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, diluted in a small tub of warm water.

It can act as an acne reliever 

It can be extremely difficult dealing with spot breakouts as an adult, and there are myriad ways using facials and topical creams to ease breakouts, but did you know that apple cider vinegar could help with your acne? ACV has been known to kill bacteria and help balance out the skins pH levels, while also absorbing some of the excess oils from the skin's surface, meaning those nasty spots could come up less.

It's a general multi-tasker of a beauty product 

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Apple cider vinegar has been used to cure a range of beauty ailments, including tangled hair, warts, and more. For hair care, it can be used as a rinse and a detangler (and will make your locks extra shiny) and in terms of skin care, many use it as a toner and general skin soother. Some even swear it gives you whiter teeth. The reason it can be used for all this is due to its pH. The light layer of oils on the skin is referred to as the acid mantle.

If this slightly acidic balance becomes disrupted and becomes too alkaline, as is the case with overly foamy and harsh cleansers, the skin can become dry. Same too with the hair - too alkaline and the hair becomes dry and frizzy, so using apple cider vinegar gently balances both back to a slightly acidic pH, which they prefer. It can also be used to ease sunburn and to ease those dreaded razor bumps post shaving.

It can act as a bruise healer

Soak a cotton ball or pad with undiluted ACV, and secure it with a bandage. Leave on for one hour. Since bruises are caused by pooled blood under the skin as a result of trauma, the anti-inflammatory properties of ACV help to dissipate pooled blood— which can help to speed up healing and reduce bruising.

...Or be used as a treatment for dandruff 

Mix together a solution of equal parts ACV and water. Massage into your scalp before shampooing and it should help as ACV has natural anti-fungal properties to combat and mitigate dandruff. Plus, its acidic properties balance pH levels and restore the scalp’s protective acid mantle layer to ward off further fungal growth.

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How to use it at home

The trick to using it as a skin care product is to dilute it unless you are dabbing it directly on a spot. A mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water works well for a toner and for a hair rinse, dilute - tablespoon in 1 cup of cold water.

Before you go and stock up on this home staple, be sure to look for one that is raw and unfiltered (preferably organic) and one that is cloudy as opposed to clear as this is the most potent.

Main image via Unsplash

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