I’ve discovered yet another healthy use for vinegar — nourishing my skin in the bathtub. Yep, I’ve been taking vinegar baths lately. Sounds a little gross and stinky, doesn’t it? That’s what I thought too, until I tried it.
Soaking in a deep bath with about 1/2 cup of my lavender infused vinegar is so far doing a remarkable job of keeping away that winter scaly dry skin that I usually get.
It smells slightly vinegary when I first pour it in, but that quickly dissipates leaving only a light lavender fragrance. Then after my soak, I get out of the tub feeling squeeky clean, not oily like I would with bath oil, yet my skin is soft and smooth. It is neither oily nor dry, just balanced.
It works quite differently from the way lotions and oils work. Those add oil and moisture to the skin and/or seal it off to keep moisture in. Vinegar on the other hand, as far as I understand it, works by restoring a proper pH to the skin surface. Dry skin is a bit alkaline, where healthy skin is a bit more acidic, so the acidity of vinegar restores that natural, slightly acid pH. I believe that it also helps to slough off dead skin cells, leaving only smooth, healthy skin behind.
I’ve tried plain apple cider vinegar (acv) and my lavender infused vinegar. I have found that the plain acv is slightly irritating — dryer patches sting a little when I first get into the tub — though it does give good results for allying the dry skin.
Much nicer for me, though, is the lavendar vinegar. It is not irritating at all while bathing, and it smells nicer. Plus, the well known relaxing qualities of lavender can be very soothing just before bedtime. I also think lavender adds its own skin healing properties, and my skin feels just a tad better with this than it does with the plain acv.
Sometimes I still need a light moisturizer, and sometimes I don’t. Everybody’s skin is different and this can vary from day to day. I find I need less moisturizer when I am also well hydrated from the inside. Drink plenty, eat nourishing foods, and don’t forget your nourishing herbal infusions and teas!
Oh, and here is another benefit of vinegar baths — you’ll never have to scrub your tub again! It leaves the tub squeaky clean, not a trace of residue.
Did I mention that I also use lavender infused vinegar to clean all the surfaces in my home? Read about that here. I also use it as a fabric softener. I hear it is also great as a hair rinse, but I haven’t tried that yet.
So, get some dried lavender buds, put them in a jar and pour vinegar over them (1 or 2 large handfuls, per 1/2 gallon jar is the amount I use). Cap and let sit for a couple of days. Strain the lavender buds out and there you have your infused vinegar. So easy!
You can get lavender at Mountain Rose Herbs, or at your local health food store that sells bulk herbs. Pick up the vinegar at any grocery store.