Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar + DIY Hair Rinse & Astringent

Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar apples lead

It’s apple season!!! Stan and I went apple picking last weekend — one of my favorite fall pastimes. :) I’m a big fan of Cortland and Honeycrisp, and I typically use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith in my Apple Cup Pies. As tasty as apples are, did you know they’re also good for your skin and hair? Apple cider vinegar particularly so. Here are a few things it does:

Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar via @poorandpretty

1. Restores pH. Possibly the best thing about apple cider vinegar is that it balances the pH levels of our skin and hair. Having a balanced pH is vital to beauty because if our skin or hair are too alkaline, they’ll become dry and flaky, and open your body up to germs and bacteria. An acidic pH leads to breakouts and inflammation.

2. Natural Astringent. Along with restoring pH levels, apple cider vinegar removes dirt and excess oil and treats acne when used as an astringent. Dilute with an equal mixture of water and ACV.

3. Nonabrasive exfoliant. The malic acid in apple cider vinegar dissolves dead skin cells without scraping the skin, so it’s gentle enough to use on most skin types as long as it’s diluted. 

4. Prevents Dandruff. Mixed with water, apple cider vinegar makes a great hair rinse. Malic acid gently exfoliates, removes scalp build-up, and balances the scalp’s pH level, contributing to a healthy, dandruff-free scalp.

2. Stimulates Hair Growth. In addition to promoting and maintaining overall scalp health, apple cider vinegar also prevents hair loss and stimulates hair growth.

Ready for the DIY two-in-one apple cider vinegar hair rinse & astringent?

Apple-Cider-Vinegar-Hair-Rinse-and-Astringent-via-@poorandpretty

Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar with water and pour this mixture into a spray bottle. That’s it! You can add a few drops of essential oils to try and mask the vinegar smell, if you’d like. I’d suggest lavender or peppermint.

When using it as a hair rinse:

  1. Wash your hair as you normally would, and rinse.
  2. Spritz the apple cider vinegar hair rinse liberally all over your hair and massage into your scalp with your fingers.
  3. Allow the hair rinse to sit for a full minute. (I like to pull my hair up into a hair claw for this.)
  4. Rinse thoroughly, and follow up with conditioner. 

When using it as an astringent:

  1.  Wash your face as you normally would.
  2. Close your eyes and lightly spritz the apple cider vinegar astringent all over your face — be careful around your eyes!
  3. Allow the astringent to dry on your skin, then follow up with your favorite moisturizer. 

 This recipe comes straight from my eBook, which is almost ready for launch! Want to be the first to know when it’s available? Sign up here to be notified when it launches!

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My Natural Skincare Routine

My Natural Skincare Routine feature image via @poorandpretty

My Natural Skincare Routine via @poorandpretty

I’ve gotten to the point where everything I use on my face on a daily basis is handmade by me, which is pretty exciting. I’m often asked about my skincare routine — what products I use, how often I exfoliate, etc. So today, I’m sharing my 100% natural skincare routine with you!

On a daily basis, I…

1. Cleanse: Twice a Day. Every morning and evening, I wash my face with my all-natural homemade face wash. Our skin is constantly attracting dirt, excreting waste, and shedding dead skin cells, so it’s important to keep up with it by cleansing twice a day, especially if you wear makeup. If you don’t wash your makeup off in the evening, it will clog your pores and result in acne. My mild facial cleanser is made with castile soap, jojoba oil, rosewater, and lavender essential oil (I’ve also begun to add a few drops of tea tree oil to it). It contains no harsh surfactants, so it doesn’t strip away my skin’s natural oils. Instead, the jojoba oil and castile soap combine to gently remove dirt without drying out my face. 

2. Tone: After Washing. Immediately after I wash my face, I follow up with my Rose + Tea Facial Toner. Many people skip toners and astringents and go straight to moisturizing, but this is a crucial step in my skincare routine. Using a toner clears up any dirt left behind by my cleanser, restores my skin’s natural pH level, tightens my pores, and hydrates.

3. Moisturize: After Toner. Once the toner dries on my skin, I follow up with either my homemade body & facial oil or homemade shea butter facial cream. Recipes for both of these will be in my natural beauty eBook! Sign up for my emails to be notified when it launches.

My Natural Skincare Routine — exfolating sugar scrub and chocolate face mask via @poorandpretty

On a weekly basis, I…

4. Exfoliate: Once a Week. To get rid of dry skin cells, I’ll use one of my salt or sugar scrubs — I’m really digging my Vanilla Sugar Scrub right now — or if I need something gentler, I go with my oat & cornmeal facial scrub. I exfoliate once a week — any more than that would be too harsh on my skin.

5. Mask: Once or Twice Week. Depending on my skin’s needs, I use one of my clay face masks 1-2x a week. If it needs an extra dose of vitamins, I use my Chocolate or Rose Facial Masks. If it’s on the oily side or I have a few blackheads, I take care of ‘em with my Charcoal Facial Mask. Or if I have an extra avocado laying around, I whip up my Avocado Hair & Face Mask.

What does your skincare routine look like? Do you make any of your own products?

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Summer skincare tips & top picks

A few of my friends have asked me for tips on getting rid of acne or basic skincare maintenance. Skin is either too oily or too dry; there’s almost never a happy medium. We all have this problem (even me!), and of course it varies with the seasons. I thought I’d share my summer skincare routine with you, along with some of my go-to products.

summer skincare tips and top picks - poor and pretty

1. I notice my skin is the clearest when I wash my face at night. Right now, I’m using a cream cleanser I’m developing myself, but my favorite retail cleanser is the Burt’s Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and doesn’t include harsh chemical detergents that cause your skin to dry out.

2. I always, always, always follow up with my homemade rosewater and witch hazel astringent. I used to be terrible at using astringents, but now that it’s a part of my routine, my skin stays much cleaner. It’s super easy to make — you can find most of the ingredients at your local health food store, or online. After using your cleanser, put a few drops of the astringent on a cotton ball and swipe over your face (avoiding your eye area, of course). I sometimes use the astringent throughout the day to freshen up.

3. Exfoliate at least twice a week. Admittedly, I’m still working on this one. When I do remember to exfoliate twice a week, I get less acne. My favorite exfoliating masks are both homemade: DIY strawberry mask (strawberries contain salicylic acid, which fights off acne-causing bacteria) and DIY oat & cornmeal exfoliating facial scrub & mask (this one’s easier to keep on hand).

4. Traveling is no excuse not to take care of your skin! If you need a good on-the-go cleanser, try the Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes. Infused with aloe vera, cucumbers, and green tea, these babies remove makeup, soothe, and clean your skin. Plus, they smell great, too!

5. Now that you’ve got the cleaning part down, don’t forget to moisturize, even if your skin is typically oily. One of the biggest reasons why skin becomes oily is because we wash it with all of these harsh cleansers, strip its natural oils, then we don’t bother replacing any of those oils. This makes our skin work extra hard to compensate for those missing oils, pumping them out and resulting in shiny, slick, yucky skin. Gross, right? So always replenish those oils — just like you would drink water after sweating. My favorite moisturizers are both from DressGreen: Purifying and Blemish Controlling Face Serum (best for drier skin) and Calming and Clarifying Face Cream (better for oilier skin). Like most people, I have combination skin, so I use these interchangeably. They’re both 100% natural and free of toxic chemicals.

6. Of course it’s Summer, so we can’t forget the sunscreen. Dermatologists suggest wearing sunscreen on your face daily because our facial skin is most susceptible to sun damage. My natural sunscreen of choice is Naked Bee’s Face & Body Moisturizing SPF 30 Sunscreen, which contains 70% organic content and is enriched with Vitamin C. It smells lovely and has no Parabens, Propylene Glycol, Laurel/Laureth Sulfates, or alcohol.

Be safe, don’t forget to drink lots of water and share your Summer skincare tips in the comments!

Bonus: want naturally beachy hair without going to the beach? Try making my DIY sea salt hair spray!

This post is a part of Independent Fashion Bloggers Project #104 Summer Essentials.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which may generate a revenue for Poor & Pretty when a purchase is made. You can read more about my affiliate link policies here.

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DIY Astringent

Processed with VSCOcam

Processed with VSCOcam

I have to admit, I don’t use astringents or toners as much as I should {namely, every day!}, but this summer I’ve found myself unable to go even a few hours without using one or the other. Because our skin gets so oily from sweating in the summer, it’s important to freshen it up every few hours so dirt doesn’t get trapped in our pores. Concerned about what kinds of chemicals are in your astringents and toners? Don’t be! Make your own from three simple, natural ingredients! Here’s a quick recipe for a great basic astringent:

  • 1 tbsp pure/undiluted witch hazel {you’ll be diluting it yourself}
  • 3 tbsp rose floral water {a.k.a. rose water}
  • 3 tbsp distilled/purified water

Put these ingredients into a clean, sanitized bottle with a lid and shake to combine. This recipe makes 3.5 oz of astringent, so try to find a small bottle — I used an old travel-sized lotion bottle. Or, you can double the recipe so it fits into something bigger.

astringent ingredients 2

Can’t find witch hazel or rose water anywhere? Try a natural foods store like Whole Foods Market, or buy them online. I found them at Mountain Rose Herbs and New Directions Aromatics.

It’s best to apply the astringent every day after washing your face and before putting on moisturizer. You can also use it to freshen up if you find your skin feeling a little grimy. Enjoy!

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