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The natural multitasker

Why apple cider vinegar needs to migrate from your kitchen cupboard to your bathroom cabinet
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
GinGingers Apple Cider Vinegar Gel is a natural multitasker

This article first appeared in our Earth Day issue of My Green Pod Magazine, published 22 April 2024. Click here to subscribe to our digital edition and get each issue delivered straight to your inbox

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has long been lauded a versatile household staple with potential benefits that cover everything from weight management to spot treatment.

According to Tina Harris, founder of skincare brand GinGingers, the secret is found in its pH level.

‘Studies suggest that ACV may help ease symptoms of certain skin issues such as psoriasis, eczema, acne and skin and nail infections due to its low pH and natural antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial properties’, Tina explains. ‘Typically speaking, these skin concerns tend to have a slightly higher pH level than is ideal.’

Tina is a firm believer in the powers of ACV and always has a bottle at hand; she’s used it topically for years to help with anything from spots and general toning to sunburn and bites.

When Covid hit she was inspired to create a multitasking skincare product – with ACV at its core.

The mother of all skincare

ACV has been used in medicine for thousands of years, and the all-natural ingredient has even more uses today. ‘ACV is simply amazing, especially when it’s unfiltered and contains ‘the mother’!, Tina explains.

‘The mother’ in ACV is the beneficial bacteria; filtered ACV hasn’t lost its properties, but unfiltered has a lot more.

‘The unfiltered vinegar that we use is sourced from a farm in Yorkshire where the land has been fed organically for over 40 years’, Tina says. ‘Its quality and benefits are far superior to any other that we have ever tried.’

Tina’s formulation process involved mixing and matching her favourite natural ingredients and tweaking the amounts each time a new batch was made.

‘Sounds simple, right? Well, it actually took a couple of years for me to decide on my favourite combination’, Tina reveals. ‘I needed to make sure the skin feel was perfect and that our vegan-friendly gel could be made efficiently without the use of heat – not only so my daughter could be safely involved at every stage, but also to ensure that our carbon footprint would be as small as possible.’

In addition to ACV, the GinGingers gel contains witch hazel, liquorice root extract, tea tree oil and meadowfoam seed oil.

‘Witch hazel has always been a staple in my daily skincare routine; I love everything about it’, Tina shares. ‘Liquorice root is something that I’ve used on cold sores and pigmentation. Tea tree is an old favourite that I’ve used on blemishes and meadowfoam seed oil is, to me, a bit of an unsung hero; it’s suitable for all skin types, doesn’t clog pores and gives great moisturisation.’

The result is an extremely versatile gel that can help with an array of skin concerns. ‘Personally, I use the gel twice a day on my face under my main moisturiser; I love how it tones and helps combat blemishes’, Tina tells us. ‘We live in an area with hard water so I feel the gel really helps with me overall skin health and appearance. Users have reported improvements with acne, psoriasis, eczema, menopausal and peri-menopausal skin, foot odour and skin on the scalp!’

A natural education

Tina started formulating products with her own little Ginginger – her then four-year old daughter. ‘I am extremely family orientated anyway’, Tina shares, ‘but I really wanted to build something together, something that my daughter can carry on in the future and look back at, be proud of and think ‘yep, me and my mum did that’.’

It has always been Tina’s aim to try and use the GinGingers journey as an educational tool for her daughter. ‘She is eight years old now and is so aware of the importance of sustainability and natural ingredients’, Tina tells us; ’it’s just really great to see how far we’ve come together.’

Part of the educational angle for Tina is about demonstrating there is no need for the synthetic nasties we see in so much of today’s skincare, and that it’s possible to create effective skincare solutions using all-natural and sustainably sourced ingredients.

‘I started using skincare at the age of 11’, Tina says. ‘We now know that natural ingredients are better for the environment and safer on the skin, too. Through GinGingers I have an opportunity to help others understand what I didn’t, prioritise sustainability and encourage others to do the same.’

Tina is now exploring moisturisers and oils that, like the ACV, are all cold process, natural and made with local and sustainably sourced ingredients – some of which also use waste from the food industry.

‘Working with organisations like the Soil Association and Cruelty Free International to obtain their certifications has been fantastic’, Tina shares. ‘I believe in strength in numbers, and when you have two fabulous organisations like these on side, you know you can’t go wrong!’

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