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February 2021 | 5 minute read
Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly column, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.
Every wellness guru will tell you that apple cider vinegar is good for your health, but what makes it healthy and is this ingredient backed by science? Today I will be looking at the science behind apple cider vinegar, how to determine its quality and what exactly provides its health benefits.
First things first, I want to make sure you are buying the most beneficial apple cider vinegar. When shopping be sure you are purchasing organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, this means apple cider vinegar without any additives. The next, and arguably the most important factor, is to make sure your apple cider vinegar has the mother.
According to an article by UChicago Medicine, when purchasing apple cider vinegar look for yeast, acetic acid, nutrients and (good) bacteria, formed during fermentation, that tends to look like little particles that float around in the bottle. These particles are apple cider vinegar’s mother and is a large attributing factor to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar as it counts as a probiotic.
Fun fact: apple cider vinegar’s strong, unique scent comes from the mother killing bacteria.
Did you know that there are two types of bacteria that can cause armpit odor? These being Corynebacterium species and Staphylococcus species. A study conducted by Middlesex University tested different bacteria strains in petri dishes with apple cider vinegar and cultured them together at 37 degrees Celsius for a 24 hour period. This study showed that apple cider vinegar reduced bacterial growth and eliminated bacteria such as E. coli, C. albicans., which includes corynebacterial, and Staphylococcus species. Look for hygiene products that include apple cider vinegar as it fights against bacteria growth and can help eliminate odor as a result. Knowing what we know now about how beneficial apple cider vinegar can be, I have two unique recommendations for you to use apple cider vinegar for personal hygiene.
As a Hair Rinse
If you have been looking for a way to reduce scalp buildup, while continuing to strengthen your hair and scalp, then an apple cider vinegar hair rinse is right for you. Apple cider vinegar is a mild acid and a 2014 study proves that it can help restore your hair’s pH balance from the high alkalinity levels in your shampoo, to help hair be more manageable and smoother. Apple cider vinegar will neutralize the pH in your hair and will break down any buildup on the scalp from the previous weeks.
Scalp buildup occurs for a few reasons. First, you are using a large amount of hair products such as hairspray, gels or oils and not properly washing them out of your scalp properly. You could also be suffering from a skin irritation such as dandruff. Or, your own dead skin cells and oils, such as sebum, have begun to buildup and cause an itchy uncomfortable scalp. This buildup occurs from either a lack of washing your hair properly or an overuse of hair products in between washes. Therefore, I recommend an apple cider vinegar rinse to enhance scalp health and avoid buildup moving forward.
How to Use:
Using a spray bottle, mix one to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for every eight ounces of water and spray throughout wet hair. Have this mixture sit for a few minutes before washing it out with your shampoo and conditioner. Do this rinse once a week to clean the scalp from product buildup. For those with color treated hair, apple cider vinegar is the perfect ingredient as it will not strip your color but still balance the pH levels in your hair while removing scalp buildup.
In or With Your Soap
A study preformed by Scientific Reports found that apple cider vinegar even protects against skin irritations. Apple cider vinegar is a mild acid that can help restore your skin’s protective barrier and soothe skin infection and irritation through its strong antimicrobial properties.
My personal favourite way to use apple cider vinegar is as an antibacterial ingredient in the shower in the two places that collect smelly bacteria – your feet, and your armpits. I would not recommend using apple cider vinegar on the rest of the body as it is too acidic.
One way to do this is to use apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and lather it together with your natural liquid body soap on feet and armpits. Incorporating this ingredient in your soap is an effective way to combat bacteria, this is why I used apple cider vinegar in an underarm bar I developed to prolong the strength of your deodorant.
Eliminates stubborn armpit odor using the power of apple cider vinegar, salt, and activated charcoal
Apple cider vinegar is a beneficial ingredient that is backed by science and would be a smart choice to include in your wellness routine, just be sure you are purchasing apple cider vinegar that has the mother. Whether that be through a morning drink, a hair rinse or within your soap, apple cider vinegar is the real deal.
Please Read Our Medical Disclaimer
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