The skin and hair care industries are behemoths, making stacks upon stacks of money by promising healthier hair and brighter skin. They often use clever marketing to play off our insecurities, telling us if we were just less freckly, more even-toned, tanner, lighter, or brighter, we would be beautiful. They follow that up with offering a solution in the form of a cream, serum, oil, or face wash. But, you don’t need these products. You can save your money and get healthy, happy skin with products found in any grocery store. Today’s grocery store beauty solution: apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can be used on everything from warts to dandruff, but it also has a place on the vanity of someone with the occasional blemish or dry hair. (And beyond skin and hair health, apple cider vinegar uses are nearly endless.) ACV is an all natural product made from apples; unpasteurized or organic apple cider vinegar contains the mother, making it look slightly foggy or sedimentary – this is the type of ACV you want to use on your skin and hair.
For Your Skin
There are two ways to reap the benefits of ACV for your skin: by taking it internally or applying it topically. Internally, you can heal your skin from the inside-out by taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar each day. Be warned, you may not enjoy the taste so much. But whether or not you do enjoy it, ACV should be diluted in some water. Add some optional honey if you need it to be more palatable.
Topically, you can apply ACV diluted with water to tone your skin, reduce blemishes and promote a more balanced complexion. Because it can be harsh for sensitive skin, start by diluting ACV with water at a 1:4 ratio. You can increase the water by a quarter every week as your skin adjusts.
For a lone pimple, apply the ACV directly (without diluting) with a cotton swab.
For Your Hair
Used on the hair, apple cider vinegar can smooth the cuticle, making your hair appear smoother and shinier. It does this by balancing pH levels unlike commercial shampoos that strip the hair and leave it looking rough, dry or dull. It also removes buildup and can help with dandruff and an itchy scalp.
Simply use ACV as a rinse. Dilute it with equal parts water and dump over your head while in the shower. Give it a moment to sink in before rinsing.
For other hair health tips, check out this diet for healthy hair.
A Note on the Smell
One of the biggest hang-ups people have about using ACV is the smell. Yes, this is a vinegar so it does smell a little like a salad or pickles. But that smell quickly dissipates. If you use it on your face, for instance, the smell is gone as soon as the ACV dries. You won’t smell like a salad bar all day and your skin and hair will thank you for the gentle and natural treatment.