Ah, the coconut oil craze — anything that can be used from a secretly genius cooking and baking oil to a delicious DIY body scrub is not going anywhere anytime soon. That being said, is there a new kid on this trendy block?! I think so. Lately, I’ve been seeing seeing tips on why, how and where you should use apple cider vinegar + all its benefits EVERYWHERE so I decided to drown my week in it to see what all of the buzz was really about. From drinking it multiple times daily to cleaning with it to using it in my beauty routine, the following is what happened when I tested life with a hearty side of apple cider vinegar. Read on for the juicy and eh… not so juicy details!
So What’s the BFD About ACV?
Apple cider vinegar (ACV as I’ll be calling it in this writeup ;) is made by fermenting pressed apple juice until the natural sugar turns into vinegar. There are websites and Pinterest boards devoted to the suggested uses and supposed health benefits of ACV that pretty much promise to change your life. I started researching the potential uses to figure out what I was going to try and was a little/a lot overwhelmed. I narrowed down a list of the things the web claims ACV does that I could try and report on in a week’s worth of time, here was my list:
– Has antibacterial properties that help aid in clearing infections
– Helps make you feel fuller so you consume less food
– Contains potassium and enzymes to help banish fatigue as well as prevent fatigue
– Has antimicrobial properties making it a natural cleaning agent
– Helps body maintain an alkaline pH level. Higher acid levels (lower pH levels) lead to lack of energy and increase chances of infection
– Helps kill odor-causing bacteria
– Helps to stimulate cardiovascular circulation detoxifying your liver
– Can break up mucous throughout your body and cleanse the lymph nodes
– Helps to get rid of candida, a yeast that is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings and yeast infections
To achieve its heralded health benefits (Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m a Googler and a DIY beauty detective. The above list and any health benefits we’re talking about here I’ve read about and tested in my own, un-scientific way but am not here to prescribe anything!), you’re supposed to buy and consume the raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized and unprocessed kind that has that cloudy white blob inside it, aka the “Mother” of vinegar. The blob is gross but important and indicates that your ACV is of the highest quality and is full of amino acids. Yay blobs!
My Week With ACV
Here is the list of all the apple cider vinegar-spiked things that I set out to try over the duration of a week:
– Detox Morning Elixir
– Face Toner
– Hair Rinse
– Bath Soak
– Makeup Brush Cleanser
– Natural Deodorant
– Sleep Aid
– Midday Drink
Day 1: DIY Detox Morning Elixir + Shampoo
1. I drank a tasty ACV cocktail in the AM: I wanted to start off really simple with nothing too extreme. When I purchased the bottle of vinegar, I felt excited, like I was about to be let in on the secrets to feeling and looking amazing after all the things I read. When I opened the bottle, I almost fell on the floor! EW it STINKS! I immediately had buyer’s remorse and kicked myself for pitching the idea to try this stuff at all, let alone for an entire week!! I was committed though so mixed up the following morning drink to imbibe first thing in the morning:
Detox Morning Elixir Recipe:
– 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
– 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 to 2 wedges)
– 1 Tbsp raw honey
– 1 tsp ginger
– Dash cayenne pepper
– Apple Cider Vinegar = balances pH levels (which gives you more energy), lowers cholesterol, cleanses your digestive system, reduces bloating + water weight, suppresses appetite (from balanced pH levels, which also balances your glucose + insulin levels making you feel more satisfied. Sounds great, right?! I added the following…
– Raw Honey = it’s ideal if you use local honey to help aid allergies. This reportedly has enzymes, vitamins and it makes the sweetness balances out the intense flavors of the other ingredients.
– Lemon = Drinking lemon first thing in the morning will supposedly help boost your metabolism as well as kick start your digestive system.
– Ginger = One of the most popular digestive aids as well as immune boosters.
– Cayenne Pepper = This bad boy is said to improve digestion, reduce bloating, increase blood circulation and is reportedly a natural fat burner. High in Vitamin C, this anti-inflammatory is helpful in detoxifying your body.
Reality: Now, let’s be real: I can’t possibly know if my digestive system is being cleaned, or if I my metabolism kicks in or not. I can however tell you this — after making the drink, I was SO HAPPY to learn that the consumption of the small amount of ACV did not kill me from the nasty smell. Also, the taste wasn’t even that bad/as bad as the smell. I absolutely wouldn’t try straight up ACV on its own — in fact, you are not supposed to since it is really concentrated and can mess up your insides if not diluted. All the other ingredients actually made it taste almost good. I did immediately feel incredible. It was like I just finished a really good yoga class and was on a natural high that had me floating and feeling alert. This definitely lasted for a few hours. True to the claim, I was not really as hungry as normal, although I still ate breakfast and indulged in my morning cup of joe (decaf).
2. Attempted shampoo with ACV
Claims: Nope, I did not read this right. It is meant to be a hair rinse not a shampoo! OOPS. My bad.
Reality: Not a good idea! I used a ration of 1 cup water 1 cup ACV to “shampoo” my hair. My hair was so unbelievably greasy that I had to just wear a beanie to work this day.
Day 2: DIY ACV Cleaner + Hair Rinse
1. I drank detox elixir first thing in the morning again: I still felt amazing! This was immediately a thing I was loving! It is so hard to fully describe the feeling…but it just makes you feel good.
2. Used ACV to clean makeup brushes
Claims: That you can clean your makeup brushes with a tablespoon of ACV to a cup of warm water. Supposedly, the ACV would be so much more gentle on your brushes than any other cleanser.
Reality: At first it really seemed that this method was working (see above!). Aside from the smell, there was definitely makeup coming out of the brushes but it appeared to be less than the amount that usually comes off of them when I use shampoo (yes, that’s my go-to!). To test my theory, I immediately washed my makeup brushes in shampoo to see if more makeup would come out of them.
Yup! Just as I suspected. You can see how much makeup is still up in there above. They were NOWHERE near clean. Tricky though, because they did look like they were. I definitely would not use this method in the future.
2. Used ACV as hair rinse in combination with baking soda shampoo trick
Claims: Mix 1 cup ACV with 1 cup of water and store in a plastic bottle. Mix 1 cup baking soda to 1 cup water and use as shampoo. Apply ACV and water mixture to your hair and let sit on it for a few minutes. The baking soda is meant to break down all of the product and oils in your hair without any harsh chemicals that will strip your hair. The ACV rinse will restore the pH balance of your scalp and will remove excess product buildup because it contains acetic acid and has antimicrobial properties.
Reality: I was really nervous to try this, especially after my first wrong attempt. To my surprise, the baking soda wash was a lot easier than I thought. I just mixed the ration together in an old water bottle and put it in the shower. I poured it on my scalp through the ends of my hair, left it on for a couple minutes so it could do its magic and then rinsed it off. Immediately after, I poured on the ACV mix and left it on for another couple minutes. Pro Tip: I helped make it not so stinky by adding grapefruit essential oils to the bottle.
Here is what my hair looked like right before I did this. Note, the day before I did a post that required me to put tons of product in my hair. My hair was sticky and stringy. (Oh yeah and peep my little side kick Elijah!)
As you can see my hair looked great! I was so impressed with how much body my hair had for not having any product in it. Usually after I wash and condition my hair I am left with weighed-down, stick straight, oily-looking fine hair that I almost always add dry shampoo right after to help with body and texture. I blew out my hair and was so happy to have more body. I was impressed with the fact that all of the product was completely washed out of my hair.
Day 3: ACV as Deodorant + Sleep Aid
1. ACV hair rinse day two check-in: Here is what my hair looked like the next day after washing it with the rinse. Not bad, eh? Still no product in it. Normally I would have to put another half a can of dry shampoo on my roots to help it look clean and have some body.
2. Drank elixir in the morning: Day three of this stuff. I was not sure that it was suppressing my appetite, but it made me feel so much more alert and energetic. ALSO! My babysitter walked in the door that morning and said, “Holy crap, your skin looks so GOOD! Wow.” It was official — I was SO sold on this stuff.
3. Wore ACV as deodorant
Claims: Dab a little ACV on your underarms as your deodorant.
Reality: Listen, I can’t lie to you guys. I sat there and REALLY tried to work up the nerve to do this, but it wasn’t gonna happen. The smell is SO bad and it feels so sticky. I was too afraid to do this for an entire day. It is not that I sweat a lot or anything, it is just that I could not take the scent that close to my nose ON my body. Sorry, I FAILED this one!
4. Drank ACV at night to see if it would help me sleep
Claims: Take with warm water and honey before bedtime to help sleep.
Reality: I was not sold that this was going to work because I had been taking it for energy every morning… but it DID! I drank it like I would a cup of tea. I added honey and lemon to it because there was no chance I would drink it without and I fell asleep just fine. Thankfully, I don’t really have sleeping issues so can’t give this all the credit.
Day 4: ACV Toner + Midday Drink
1. Drank ACV in water with lemon only: I was totally OVER the process of all the chopping up and prep that goes into making this little energy cocktail so I swapped out the complicated beverage for a tablespoon of ACV in water with a wedge of lemon (okay, I actually used an entire lemon!) and still felt great.
2. Used ACV as facial toner
Claims: You can play with the ratio of water to ACV depending on your skin type (more water for more sensitive skin etc) but use half cup ACV to 1 cup warm water and dab a bit onto a cotton round to swipe over your face to help to regulate the pH balance of your skin. This should help makes your skin not too oily or dry, which eventually means less blemishes.
Reality: Aside from the dreaded smell that I keep mentioning, it felt really good on my skin. I purposefully waited a few days in to start this part, because I wanted to see if drinking it caused my skin to react a certain way before using it topically. I figured I would know better if this was a game changer after a few days of use. Keep reading ;)
3. Check in to see third-day hair!
By day three, my hair was an oily mess! It was definitely time to wash my hair again. I actually did the same process again to see if I could keep it going. The results were the same — great. The only thing I added was putting a leave-in conditioner on my ends after.
4. Drank midday ACV elixir
Claims: Because of the vitamins C, A, E and B1, B2 and B6, potassium and iron, drinking midday should help control sugar cravings, increase energy and control hunger thanks to soluble fiber naturally found in apple cider vinegar that can help you feel satisfied after a meal and reduce the urge to snack. Take one to two tablespoons 30 minutes prior to every meal to improve digestion and they say you’ll feel fuller faster.
Reality: Drinking it without all the other ingredients form the elixir was NASTY!!! Clearly I am having a hard time, you could see the pain in my eyes! HAHA. But I actually think that this worked! I don’t know if it was a mental thing but my normal six cookie in a row eating self only ate one. THAT IS BIG NEWS FOR ME! I also was not feeling the need to snack as much throughout the day. In this office, that is almost impossible because every two feet there is a snack bowl of something so conveniently waiting for you to consume.
5. Used ACV as a bath soak
Claims: Relaxes sore muscles and can help soothe sunburnt skin.
Reality: Now, I was not able to put the sunburn or razor burn healing to the test, but in terms of it making me feel more relaxed… yes! But then again, I am in a hot ass bath… THAT always relaxes me. I do believe however that it would soothe any mild skin irritations and WILL try it in the future. My skin felt much better after than a normal soak, so I was into it.
Day 5: DIY ACV Home Cleaner
1. Used ACV as toner: At this point it had been using ACV as a toner morning and night for two days and I was definitely liking the way my skin looked and felt.
2. Drank ACV with water + lemon in the AM: I realized that the mix with just lemon made me feel just as good. It is not as tasty but it is more realistic to prep for every morning.
3. Did not drink ACV elixir midday to see if I noticed a difference: I wanted to see if my sugar cravings and snack attack mode kicked back in when I skipped the afternoon drink. You know what… they totally DID! I realized this concoction might be legit.
4. Used ACV as a multi-purpose house cleaner
Claims: Mix one part ACV to two parts water and put in a spray bottle to use with a wet rag to disinfect surfaces. I added a citrus essential oil for this trial.
Reality: After my makeup brush experience, I was preemptively not sold on this claim. I made the mix and used it to wipe down things like tables, counters and dressers in my home. It made them look clean and the scent did go away after it dried. I also tried to clean my bathroom with it, but I had to go over it with my normal cleanser (which is all natural from Doterra as well, but it seems like it works WAY better).
Day 6: Same old, same old #ACVLife
There was nothing new to add to the mix here. I was still feeling really good about using this as my toner and continuing to drink it in the morning, midday and now in the evenings.
Day 7: I love Apple Cider Vinegar
For my final day I drank the ACV with lemon and water morning, midday and in the evening and I used it as a toner AM + PM. I still felt the same about all of the effects. Yes, a week in and I’m that girl who won’t stop talking about the benefits of a bottle of apple cider vinegar.
At the end of all of this, I am shocked to say (based on my reaction to the scent alone) that I will absolutely be continuing to use ACV on the daily! I love it as a toner and the drinks’ effects are just too good. As a matter of fact, I was feeling sluggish while writing this and had to go take a break to make a quick glass of it to down. We are out of lemon juice here and I was still able to drink just the AVC and water alone. I think it may be growing on me :)
Overall, my skin looked amazing throughout this experience, which is also another major selling point for me. I am still debating whether or not I will use the ACV mix as my hair rinse all the time, but I will for sure try it again at least every few washes because I liked the way the baking soda/ACV combo made me feel like I reset my hair. (I am fearful that it will dry up my locks if I do it all the time though).
Bonus kid-related apple cider vinegar info for all the ‘rents out there — I also read claims that you can give this to your children to help with allergies, colds, sore throats etc so I tried to get my son Elijah (he’s a year and a half), to drink it and he was having NO part of it. My four-year-old nephew Aden thought it tasted awesome though. Full disclosure: I did tell him it was “super hero juice” ;) I would check with your pediatrician before introducing this to your little ones.
ACV = the new coconut oil. Maybe better. Now, excuse me, I have an elixir to mix up.
Are you in love with apple cider vinegar? Share your experience and favorite uses with me below! What other weird trends should we test out? Let us know in the comments!