Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in August 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in September 2018.
Apple Cider Vinegar is the best all-in-one beauty product for anyone on a budget. Loaded with skin and hair-boosting properties, it can help clear irritations, condition hair and even whiten teeth.
Endorsed by supermodels and beauty bloggers around the world, it's a product none of us should be living without!
Today we're sharing the best apple cider beauty benefits to try for an even better you!
What is apple cider vinegar anyway?
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from - you guessed it - cider or apple must. It contains what is known as 'Mother of Vinegar' a cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that is created during fermentation.
When buying a decent bottle of ACV, look out for raw, organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered vinegar that contains 'The Mother'. A good quality bottle will be misty and smell very strongly, in fact, the smellier the better!
Is apple cider vinegar good for your skin?
Apple cider vinegar contains beneficial enzymes, bacteria, pectin and traces of minerals that are all excellent for your hair and skin. It's also antibacterial, which is handy for treating and preventing a variety of skin conditions.
Ready to improve your appearance with this amazing natural product? Then let's get started.
Apple cider vinegar beauty benefits
Now for the bit you've all been waiting for - here's what apple cider vinegar could do for you.
1. Skin-brightening toner
Store bought toners can be extremely expensive, so why not try apple cider vinegar as a natural, cheap, DIY alternative? It's a great option.
To make your own skin-brightening toner, combine one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with two cups of water. Use a cotton wool ball or pad to apply it over your clean, dry face after cleansing. Don't rinse the solution from your face - the smell will soon leave.
2. Aftershave for sensitive skin
It's all in the name - aftershave is designed to tighten pores after shaving. If your skin is too sensitive for aftershave, grab a capful of vinegar and apply it to you face post-shave.
It'll help calm irritated skin and dry to leave your face silky soft. Don't worry, the smell soon disappears too.
3. Soothing sunburn aftercare
Spent a little too much time in the sun?
Here's a beauty secret that everyone should know...
...apple cider vinegar does wonders for sunburn!
Soak an old towel or tea towel in a solution of 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and four cups of water before gently applying to the sunburnt areas. Leave it on for as long as you stand (it may sting), and the apple cider vinegar will help balance the skin's pH level and encourage accelerated healing and long-term relief.
4. Shaving bump remedy
Shaving bumps are unsightly and can be itchy and annoying too.
If your skin feels aggravated after shaving, apply a light layer of honey to your skin and let it sit for 5 minutes. Rinse off and dry your legs thoroughly before applying undiluted apple cider vinegar using a cotton wool ball.
The combination of both the anti-inflammatory ingredients will help soothe irritated skin and soften the area. If you have ingrown hairs, this can also encourage them to grow out.
Honey is a great natural beauty product too. Discover other uses for honey in our other article.
5. Minimise age & beauty spots
It may sound like an old wives tale, but people across the world have been using onion juice and apple cider vinegar on their age spots.
This beauty hack is so cheap and easy, we'd definitely recommend giving it a go.
Mix equal parts and apply it to your skin using a cotton wool pad. Do this daily for a few weeks and you should start to see a difference in your skin.
6. Combat Athlete's Foot
Despite the name, it's not just sporty people that can get athlete's foot. It occurs due to the warm, moist environment in our shoes, and can be pretty unpleasant.
To treat it with apple cider vinegar, soak your feet in a solution of half vinegar and half water. Repeat for a few days in a row in the evening before you go to bed and you should start to notice your feet looking and feeling better - it temporarily changes the pH levels in your skin that fungus will find harder to thrive in.
7. Remove corns & calluses
Corns and calluses are caused by uneven pressure on the feet. There are many ways to remove hard skin and get soft feet, one of which is using apple cider vinegar.
To make corns and calluses easy to remove, soak a small flannel in vinegar and tape it over the callus or corn overnight. In the morning, remove the flannel and the skin should be much easier to treat.
8. Dandruff treatment
Yes, apple cider vinegar can benefit hair too!
Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-fungal properties and can help stop dandruff from forming. Plus, its acidity helps balance pH levels and restore the scalp's protective acid mantle layer (the protective layer of the skin) to thwart fungal growth.
The best way to use apple cider vinegar for dandruff is with a hair rinse. Take a large glass and fill it up with half water and half vinegar (you may need a second glass if you have long or really thick hair), then slowly pour it a bit at a time over the head and massage into your scalp. Follow up with your normal hair care routine and repeat weekly as a preventative measure or every other day to tackle a bad case of dandruff.
9. Freshen bad breath with mouthwash
If you've been feasting on garlic and other stinky foods, it can be a nightmare trying to get rid of the bad taste (and smell) in your mouth. It may not leave you minty fresh, but a good swirl of apple cider vinegar can instantly destroy any odour-causing bacteria and neutralise any lingering smells.
10. Whiten teeth
Apple cider vinegar isn't only good for breath, but can also help whiten your teeth.
Gargle your mouth with it in the morning before brushing and it should help lift off any surface stains. For a less severe treatment, mix 1 tsp apple cider vinegar with a cup of water.
If you're interested in natural teeth whitening products, our 23 surprising ways to whiten your teeth & KEEP them white is for you!
11. Deodorise your feet
Phewee - who took their shoes off?
After a long day in the heat, feet can be a hotbed for sweat and bacteria. Sometimes a shower just isn't enough when it comes to particularly bad smelling feet - as soon as you put your shoes on they start stinking again!
With its strong anti-fungal and deodorising properties, apple cider vinegar is an essential addition to an evening foot soak.
Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 4 pints of water in a basin, before soaking your feet in it for 15-20 minutes. Your feet should feel nice and fresh after a rinse with cold water.
While you're pampering your feet, why not read my 4 step guide to doing a pedicure at home?
12. Apple cider vinegar face cleanser
Shop bought cleansers are not only costly, but sometimes they can do more harm than good for skin!
If you're struggling with inflamed or irritated skin, natural is best. Most cleansers are alkaline compared to normal skin pH levels, whereas apple cider vinegar can help readdress the balance.
Pour a capful onto cupped palms and use it to gently cleanse your face.
13. Bruise healer
Ouch! Has the little one had a nasty fall?
Apple cider vinegar contains anti-inflammatory properties which can help calm damaged skin, plus the acetic acid found in it can help increase circulation to promote healing.
Saturate a cotton wool pad in pure apple cider vinegar and apply it to the bruised skin. Using a piece of old fabric or a bandage, secure it to you skin for at least an hour and you should start to notice a difference.
Use this tip if you need your bruise to heal before a big event - wedding planners are even known to use this beauty hack when brides and grooms have hurt themselves before the big day!
14. Moisturising face treatment
Suffering with dry skin? Apple cider vinegar could help!
Fill your basin up with lukewarm water, add 3 tablespoons of vinegar and mix. Use the water to wash your face and let is air dry. This will help seal in any moisture in the skin to keep it hydrated, especially useful during Winter.
15. Get shiny, healthy hair
Do you ever find that your shampoo stops working as well after a few months and you turn to different haircare products or a haircut to solve it? You might be suffering from product build-up which can clog your hair follicles and effect the general health and appearance of your hair.
Apple cider vinegar is widely known to help remove product build up and is used as a hair rinse around the world.
Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a large cup of water, and use it to rinse your hair after shampooing. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and apply a light conditioner to the ends. Supermodel Miranda Kerr swears by apple cider vinegar to keep her hair shiny and soft.
To find out more about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and other natural beauty products, check out my article on the A-list beauty products you already have in your kitchen.
16. Insect bite relief
There's no need to buy insect bite cream ever again - apple cider vinegar is all you need.
The acidity in vinegar (you can use both apple cider or white) helps to neutralise and soothe the itch, while its anti-inflammatories reduce swelling. Additionally, apple cider vinegar's pH-balancing properties speed the healing process! Plenty of reasons to use it as a natural pain reliever when you've been bitten by a bug.
Simply soak a cotton wool ball in vinegar and apply it to the area for instant relief.
17. Soothing bath soak
If you've been out in the sun all day or have had a mild allergic reaction, run yourself a soothing bath.
Add a large cup of vinegar into your bath (don't add any further bath products or hair care) and immerse yourself in it for 20 minutes. Again, the pH level of apple cider vinegar is very similar to that of the protective layer of our skin, and this soak will help restore an upset balance.
18. Make nail polish last longer
Many natural beauty lovers swear by applying apple cider vinegar to nails and allowing it to dry before applying nail polish.
Word on the street is it makes nail polish stay chip-free for longer. This is definitely worth a try!
19. Natural cold sore remedy
Cold sores can be embarrassing and are also easy to spread, so it's important to act fast when one appears!
If you're suffering from a stubborn cold sore, dab it a few times with apple cider vinegar several times a day. Its anti-inflammatory properties will help reduce the amount of swelling, and the anti-bacterial properties will keep the area clean and free from infection.
20. Treat acne
If you've got acne-prone skin and have tried everything under the sun to try and reduce your breakouts, you must try apple cider vinegar before you lose all hope.
With its natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it can help fight the bad bacteria that sits under the surface of the skin, and when used as a daily toner or astringent it can help balance the pH levels of the skin, all of which will prevent spots.
Check out Lulu & Sweetpea for details on how to make your own Apple Cider Vinegar acne treatment, and reasons why it's the best skin care product for spotty skin.
21. Diminish cellulite
Apple cider vinegar contains certain minerals that promote circulation, including magnesium, calcium and potassium.
Using it on areas covered in cellulite will improve circulation, oxygen supply and therefore collagen production, helping to diminish the appearance of cellulite over time.
Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water and apply to affected areas. Leave for 30 minutes to work its magic before rinsing with water. Repeat daily to see an improvement in your skin's appearance.
22. Natural homemade deodorant
Have you ever bothered to check out the ingredients on your deodorant? Most of them contain parabens and other chemicals which could be harmful.
Did you know that you can use raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar to keep your armpits smelling fresh? Head over to Primally Inspired for the easy tutorial.
Wow, who knew apple cider vinegar was so versatile? Which beauty hack are you going to try first? Let us know in the comments below!