As a wellness beverage, apple cider vinegar has been buzzy topic for a while now—credited with everything from controlling blood-sugar levels to helping with weight loss and even helping you get a good night’s sleep. You can also apply it as a toner, treat bug bites with it—the list keeps growing.
And the newest ACV use du jour? Bathing in it.
By adding the pantry staple into your bath water, you soak up the benefits—literally!—without any effort whatsoever. First thing’s first: Put your prized bath bombs away for safe keeping. Next, fill up the tub and add in 1 to 2 cups of ACV, then just relax for 30 minutes or so, according to Katie Wells, founder of Wellness Mama. Once tub time is over, rinse your body and hair with a quick shower.
ACV baths can clear up skin conditions, soothe redness and inflammation (sunburns included), and get rid of pesky body odor.
And if you feel like a new person afterward, that’s totally normal; it just means it worked its magic. Apple cider vinegar is known to make your hair and skin silky-smooth, and ACV baths can clear up skin conditions (by naturally killing bacteria and fungus), soothe redness and inflammation (sunburns included), and get rid of pesky body odor. While there’s not much science to back up the ACV soak’s home-remedy rep (surprisingly few studies have been done on the topic), it does have some fans in the medical world.
“I’ve been using apple cider vinegar off-label to treat warts and fight bacterial infections—as well as combat yeast infections on the skin and scalp—for years,” says Lana Pinchasov, a dermatology-certified physician’s assistant in New York City. “I usually have patients apply it directly to the skin with a cotton swab twice a day for a set amount of time, but I would imagine that bathing in it would help the same way. Just be careful if you have sensitive skin; it can be irritating if you use too much.”
The biggest challenge of taking ACV baths, though: that aroma. “I’m not a fan of the smell of vinegar, but I’m a huge fan of vinegar baths because they leave my skin and hair looking and feeling amazing,” Wells says. So just factor in some post-soak TLC time, with a nose-friendly essential oil mix of your own making—and say “buh-bye” to that signature salad scent.