Among all of the expensive face creams, oils, cold-pressed green juices, and supplements, there's one pre-wedding beauty treatment that doesn't cost much—apple cider vinegar. You can use it as a rinse for your hair to remove product buildup and increase shine, you can apply it on your face with a cotton ball to use as an exfoliator (thanks to the natural alpha hydroxy acids it contains), and you can drink it, which may give you the biggest benefits of all.
"Research does prove that apple cider vinegar has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral qualities," says Eliza Savage, a nutritionist at Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. "There's also a study that shows apple cider vinegar may slow digestion of food and liquid, which may help stabilize blood sugar and promote stabilized hormones." And balanced hormones lead to less stress, more energy, and clearer skin.
Thanks to the fact that it's fermented, apple cider vinegar also has been shown to act as a probiotic, promoting gut health, Savage says. (And a healthy gut improves absorption of nutrients, which in turn gives you glowing skin, shiny hair, and strong nails.) "Anecdotally, apple cider vinegar may curb hunger, promote weight loss, and prevent sickness, but these things aren't proven by science," she says. "But hey, in my opinion, why not try it and see if you feel differently?"
Drink no more than one to two tablespoons a day—Savage recommends picking up a bottle of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar—and dilute it with water, because too much acid (apple cider vinegar is pretty acidic) can be harmful to your stomach and esophagus, causing acid reflux and stomach pains. Savage recommends drinking it first thing in the morning since you don't want to lie down after drinking something acidic. Best of all, you won't have to wait long to see results. If it's beneficial to your health, you might start to see a difference within a week.