By now you’re probably familiar with the therapeutic brilliance that is apple cider vinegar, what us “hip” health junkies refer to as ACV. Apple cider vinegar stimulates more efficient digestion, repopulates the gut with beneficial bacteria, encourages weight loss, balances the body’s internal pH, lowers blood sugar levels, provides decent levels of vitamin C and battles hard when it comes to fighting microorganisms that would otherwise do you harm.
In essence, we should all give a tip of the hat to ACV — it’s the real deal.
But there’s yet another great way to bring the brilliance of ACV into your life: ACV baths. Yup, the same stuff you mix into your morning health tonic or wash your hair with can also be used to create one of the most beneficial bath soaks on the planet. Here’s why I’m a new convert to ACV baths, and soon you will be too!
ACV baths provide vitamins and minerals for your skin
As the product of fermented apples, ACV is loaded with a wide range of vitamins and minerals. As the process of fermentation advances, the wild yeasts that colonize the apple juice begin to break down the natural compounds found in the apples into more digestible forms. This means that the vitamin C content often increases, complex B vitamins become more bioavailable and a range of trace minerals are released.
And believe it or not, these beneficial compounds are as good for your skin and they are for your insides! By adding ACV to your bath, you’re providing the body’s largest organ with a potent source of nutrients that will promote skin cell recovery and greater elasticity. Sure, you might smell a little vinegary afterwards, but in this case the pros very much outweighs the cons!
ACV baths can treat stubborn B.O.
Constantly battling with persistent body odor problems? Forget about harmful antiperspirant deodorants and scrubbing your pits with soap until the cows come home… ACV baths may just provide the answer!
The beneficial acids found in apple cider vinegar have long been used to wipe out the bacteria that are known to cause body odor in the first place. By soaking your armpits and other pungent areas of your body in a strong apple cider vinegar bath, you’ll be allowing those acids to work their wily ways on the odor-causing bacteria… with the result being a less smelly you post-bath!
To really seal the deal, dab some half diluted ACV under your armpits after the bath and then rinse or wipe off with a cool wet cloth 30 seconds later. If you feel the need to use a deodorant, be sure to use a gentle, natural variety that won’t irritate your pits.
ACV baths can treat a wide range of skin problems
Many of the most common skin problems and diseases are caused by adverse microbiological activity — bacteria and fungal invasions that can lead to anything from athlete’s foot to eczema. Apple cider vinegar is a commonly recommended natural treatment for these skin conditions as it targets the microorganisms that cause the issue in the first place. You could just dab some ACV on the affected areas of your skin, or you could take a nice therapeutic ACV bath to really get those beneficial acids soaking deep into your dermal layers and give them plenty of time to wipe out the little nasties causing the problem.
ACV baths can treat acne and dandruff
In much the same way that ACV baths treat the underlying causes of skin afflictions, they can also be utilized to get acne breakouts under control and alleviate scalp dandruff. Acne breakouts are often due to excess sebum production or an imbalanced skin pH, both of which may respond well to soaking in ACV, while dandruff is sometimes caused by a yeast overgrowth on the scalp… and yeast is easy pickings for apple cider vinegar!
ACV baths condition your hair
I long ago ditched shampoo and conditioner in favor of a simple but amazingly effective natural duo: baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Once every two weeks or so, I first wash my hair with a tablespoon of baking soda mix into a cup of water, then I follow up with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar similarly diluted. The second step is just as important as the first; while baking soda helps to cleanse the scalp and rub a little of the accumulated dead skin cells away, it also dries my hair out. As soon as I rub in the ACV, my hair is instantly moisturized and feels hydrated for days afterwards — it’s nature’s conditioner!
For this reason, taking a good long soak in an ACV bath can also condition your hair and leave it feeling smooth and supple. Not a bad way to end an already amazingly therapeutic bath!
How to use ACV in your next bath
This one is simple enough: fill your bath as you normally would with warm water (water that’s too hot will kill the beneficial bacteria in the ACV), then pour in one to two cups of raw apple cider vinegar. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse off in the shower if you don’t want to smell like a walking chunk of vinegar!
— Liivi Hess