The power and versatility of nature will never cease to amaze me. Nor will the fact that despite all of the natural products available to us, people continue to use things filled with chemicals, whether ingesting them or putting them on their skin.
Our skin is our largest organ and it will happily absorb whatever you put on it, no matter how harmful it might be.
As well as chemical-filled products, I am also a bit fed up with the sheer amount of different products that any woman seems to need these days to keep herself looking good.
We fill our bathroom cupboards and dressing tables with bottle after bottle of products that claim to work miracles for one particular thing and that thing only.
What if I tell you that there is a way to cut down the number of chemicals you use on your skin and the amount of clutter in your bathroom?
A few years ago, I discovered the versatility of coconut oil and, as many of you probably do, I now use it as my moisturizer, makeup remover, hair mask, oil pulling, and as a key ingredient in my homemade toothpaste and deodorant. That allowed me to say goodbye to lots of those pesky bottles and clear some space in my bathroom cabinet.
My most recent discovery, however, is apple cider vinegar. It is my new best friend, for so many reasons.
Apple Cider Vinegar for your Hair…
I’ve been curious about the whole ‘no shampoo’ movement for a few years now, but it was only this summer that running out of my shop-bought natural shampoo meant that giving the baking soda and apple cider vinegar method for hair-washing a try.
Although I’d seen dozens of bloggers showing off their before and after photos, with hair that had been limp and lifeless suddenly becoming voluminous and a totally different color, I still wasn’t quite convinced.
It soon had me, though. After first dissolving a few spoonfuls of baking soda into water and rubbing that into my hair and letting it sit for a minute or so until it felt soft to the touch, I washed that out and poured a few tablespoons of vinegar mixed with water into my hair.
Amazingly, for my notoriously knotty mane, I was able to pull my fingers right through it in the shower, and then a brush right through it once out of the shower. As it dried and for a few hours after, all I could smell was vinegar. After a while, either I got used to it or the smell went away, and now I don’t smell it anymore.
Just in case it’s just me blocking it out, though, I have started putting in a few drops of an essential oil to mask the smell. My current favorite is lavender, which is incredibly calming.
One month in, my hair is looking fuller and feeling softer than ever, and I’m only having to wash it every three days when I used to wash it daily. Winning.
If you suffer from dandruff, then you’ve got all the more reason to try this out, as apple cider vinegar has natural anti-fungal properties.
Apple Cider Vinegar For your Face…
I’ve always been extremely lazy about my facial skincare routine. I used to use various chemical-filled makeup removers and moisturizers, but never really bothered with toner. There was definitely something missing, though, and it turns out that that something was apple cider vinegar.
After removing my makeup with coconut oil, I now use a mixture of two parts water to one part apple cider vinegar, which I keep in a recycled bottle in my bathroom, as a toner. I use cotton pads to apply it and do it in sweeping upwards motions, making sure I focus on the tricky areas, like the chin and around the nose.
It works wonderfully as a toner as it balances your skin’s natural ph. Naturally, our skin is acidic and should be the perfect middle ground between oily and dry. When this is out of whack, that can cause breakouts, meaning; your pores get clogged, make it too oily or too dry, make it red, or cause itchy patches. Basically, the majority of skin issues can be explained by our skin’s ph.
The acidity in the vinegar brings your skin back to normal, keeping it happy and helping your skin fight off bacteria and get rid of dead skin cells naturally so that it’s totally healthy. A bonus for anyone with sun and age spots is that it can really help combat those too.
I never really struggled much with acne, so in my case, I haven’t noticed a difference there, although plenty of people I know that have had issues in the past and switched to ACV as their toner has seen a big improvement. However, my skin definitely feels softer and looks more even since I’ve started using apple cider vinegar twice a day. Magic!
More Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
As it’s not just the skin on your face that can be thrown off balance, why not try ACV all over? Add a few tablespoons to a bathtub filled with warm water and soak in it for a quarter of an hour, to let your whole body feel the benefit.
A bruise is never a good look, so why not enlist nature’s help in getting rid of it? Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and secure it over the bruise for an hour or so to decrease inflammation and encourage circulation and healing.
If you get bitten by a nasty insect, try dabbing the bite with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar. It eases swelling, neutralizes the itch, and speed up the healing process.
Half a cup of apple cider vinegar and four cups of water make a wonderfully soothing treatment for sunburn, preventing blistering and balancing the Ph.
If your skin is protesting after you’ve shaved, get your trusty cotton balls out again and wipe over the area to fight inflammation and soften the skin.
With all these amazing uses of apple cider vinegar, you can happily throw out plenty of those bottles that have been cluttering up your bathroom shelf and trust your skincare regime to mother nature.
Top Tip: Buy yourself a normal sized bottle from your local store to start off with, but once you’ve discovered its wonders you’re going to want to buy in bulk to save yourself some money.
Katie Uniacke is a natural skincare fan who spends most of her time writing for Sleep Health Energy, a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about enjoying top-to-toe health and getting a restful night’s sleep, which will leave you bursting with energy.