The Virtues of Vinegar

Seven Secrets of Apple Cider Vinegar for the Savvy Student

Last month I saw an article online saying that Megan Fox and Miranda Kerr had discovered the secrets to a glowing skin, apple cider vinegar.

Fashion Revolution Photoshoot

Fashion Revolution Photoshoot

I have been using apple cider vinegar for years and it is a staple ingredient in my bathroom cabinet, as well as in my larder, and definitely one of those multi-use products that any savvy student should have in their house.

As a model, my skin is really important but, like most of you, I’m prone to the odd spot so I use apple cider vinegar as a toner every day.

The best apple cider vinegars will be ones which are organic, unfiltered and unpasteurised. I’m going to look out for a bottle by Cornish Orchards as I’m studying in Falmouth.

If you can’t find a local artisan-made version, apple cider vinegars by brands such as Aspall are widely available. Aspall’s organic cyder vinegar is on offer at Holland and Barrett: 500ml bottle for £2.25 buy one get one half price.

Aspall's apple cider vinegar with Tesco's KTC coconut oil

Here are my seven savvy secrets of apple cider vinegar:

1 Toner

Mix 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water in a small bottle and leave it in your bathroom. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to dilute it further. Splash it on every night as a toner. You can use it in the morning as well, although it makes you slightly more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays, so make sure you put a sunscreen on your face.

Free beauty products: the Savvy Student's Apple cider vinegar tonerApple cider vinegar can help your skin in the following ways:

  • Unblocks pores
  • Helps to clear up and prevent spots and acne
  • Protects from pollution and bacteria due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
  • Counters skin damage caused be free radicals as it contains beta-carotene which is an antioxidant.
  • Stops skin becoming dry as it creates a protective layer

As well as using it on my face, I find it works well on any part of my body where I have sore, red or itchy skin.

2. To eliminate dandruff and athlete’s foot

Apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties. Dandruff is caused by a yeast-like fungus, Malassezia globosa, which lives on your scalp and feeds on skin oils. This can be eradicated by using apple cider vinegar on your hair. Just use the same 50/50 vinegar/water solution, apply to your hair daily for a week, leaving on for 10-15 minutes each time. Continue to use at least weekly as a preventative treatment.

For athlete’s foot, use the same 50/50 solution and soak your feet in it a few times a day for a week.

3. HairSienna_Somers

Even if you don’t have dandruff, it is still worth using apple cider vinegar on your hair. It contains acetic acid and this will help to remove the build up of products from your hair which can make it appear dull. I’m a hair model, so I really need my hair to look soft and glossy! Pour a little diluted vinegar over your hair after shampooing and then rinse out with cold water. This will help to make your hair even shinier as it seals the hair shaft. The smell will disappear when your hair dries. Use this weekly for glossy hair.

If you take apple cider vinegar internally as well, it will help to prevent hair loss as it contains potassium which helps to repair soft tissues.

4. Sunburn

I burn quite easily and however hard I try to slather myself in suntan lotion, sometimes the inevitable happens and I get burnt. Apply neat apple cider vinegar on to a clean flannel or muslin cloth. I use the ones which come with Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish.  If you don’t have a cloth, stand in the bath or shower and splash it on with your hands. You should feel the burning and stinging of sunburn start to ease almost immediately. Follow up with another of my kitchen/bathroom cupboard staples, coconut oil. Apply a generous layer and then apply regularly over the next few days.

More about the many uses of coconut oil in a future blog post. The cheapest version I have found is KTC coconut oil from Tesco at only £2.25 for 500ml. This is 100% pure coconut oil and is definitely going to be one of my staple Savvy Student storecupboard ingredients.

5. Avoiding colds and sickness

When everyone in your student house is struck down with the lurgy, if you regularly take apple cider vinegar internally you will probably fend it off. Again, this is due to its antimicrobial, antioxidant and antibacterial properties, as well as beta-carotene which helps to strengthen your immune system. For internal use, it really does pay to hunt out the unpasteurised versions of apple cider vinegar.

6. Slimming

Apple cider vinegar helps in weight loss as it balances the blood sugar, lowering the hypoglycemic index. In the Daily Mail article Megan Fox said that because of her ‘really big sweet tooth,’ she’ll sometimes cleanse with a combination of apple cider vinegar and water, claiming it ‘cleans out your system’. As it helps to balance your blood sugar, it will help you to control your appetite. Take a few tablespoons neat before each meal, or diluted in water. If you are living on junk food, don’t expect miracles!

7. Detox

After the excesses of fresher’s week, I might well find myself in need of a detox. Taken internally, apple cider vinegar helps to clean toxins out from your body by binding them together which helps to eliminate them. Apple cider vinegar has been used for thousands of years and was used in ancient cultures to help purify the blood and help the liver to detox. It helps to stimulate lymph circulation, which improves your immune system at the same time as helping to remove toxins from your body.

For a detox, you definitely need the unpasteurized version as this still contains all of the sediment left from the fermentation process which, in turn, contains all of the goodness which will help to cleanse your body. Take a couple of tablespoons a day, either neat or diluted in water.

There are a myriad of other uses, such as a mouthwash if you have mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and a gargle for sore throats.  And of course, vinegar and newspaper is a great, cheap and environmentally-friendly way to clean your windows and mirrors.  Dilute vinegar in a bowl of water, scrunch up a sheet of newspaper, dip it in and clean your windows.

Apple Cider Vinegar is definitely one of the first things I’ll be putting on my Savvy Student shopping list.

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