Citrus cleaner, part three: Personal care uses

The uplifting fragrance of citrus vinegar never fails to improve my mood. The aromatherapy of using citrus couldn’t be more different from the artificial fragrances that so many commercial products are laced with. “Added fragrance” is cunningly created out of artificial chemicals to fool the senses, and comes laden with health risks. But the sweet, fresh, honest scent of citrus bursts freely from the fruit and its extracts, to soothe and brighten the mind and emotions.
Citrus vinegar
It is both easy and rewarding to extend the uses of your citrus vinegar infusion into personal care. As is the case with household cleaning, vinegar crops up frequently on the spotless personal care pages, and can always be freely replaced with citrus vinegar. As with home cleaning, the fragrance alone is a good enough reason to use citrus vinegar instead of plain vinegar, but it has other properties to recommend it too. Here are some specific uses where citrus vinegar is especially good.

Citrus vinegar facial cleanser and toner

Dilute citrus vinegar with water and use it as a facial wash and toner. How much water you dilute it with is up to you. I use a 50:50 mixture. Vinegar cleanses, tightens and closes pores and is good for both dry and oily skin. It softens skin and helps eliminate fine lines. It is also an excellent acne fighter. Adding citrus increases its cleansing powers and help to eliminate bacteria. Citrus, especially orange, brightens a dull complexion and acts as a mild exfoliant. Lemon helps to lighten blemishes. All citrus is high in alpha hydroxy acids to benefit the skin.

Citrus has well-known skin benefits but is also known to increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, making it unwise to use citrus essential oils on skin that will soon be exposed to the sun. Citrus vinegar is much gentler than essential oil, but care should still be taken if you intend to be in for much sun exposure. I prefer to use citrus vinegar on my skin in the evening for this reason.

Citrus vinegar foot soak

Add a cupful (or more) of citrus vinegar to a basin of warm water (one or two litres) and soak your feet for fifteen minutes or longer. As you breathe in the uplifting fragrance, the vinegar infusion works hard on your feet to soak and soften even very hard, cracked areas and callouses. After soaking, dead skin can be easily scrubbed away to reveal smooth, lovely feet. The citrus vinegar combats any fungal infections and even helps get rid of warts. This is a great foot soak for pregnant women or anyone with sore swollen feet as it also improves circulation and reduces swelling.

(After many months of neglect, my feet were in a very bad state recently; this soak has renewed them splendidly. My once dry, cracked feet are now smooth and pink. For now…)

Citrus vinegar hair rinse

Use when washing your hair – lemon vinegar is especially good for brightening blonde hair and adding shine, and all citrus leaves your hair with a lovely fresh smell.

Citrus vinegar freshener and insect deterrent

Citrus vinegar makes a wonderfully refreshing and uplifting skin spritz or air freshening spray, with the added bonus of being an effective insect deterrent.

Next time I’ll tell you about a use for the vinegar-soaked peels you now have from producing your citrus vinegar.

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