Punkmarkgirl is a freelance writer with a passion for DIY projects, natural health, and makeup featuring the best products for oily skin.
So you’ve acquired a virtual drugstore worth of anti-acne and oil control products, but nothing does the trick. Your skin can’t decide if it wants to be sensitive, acne prone, oily or dry – which wrecks havoc on your beauty routine. The solution to balancing your oily skin and unclogging pores? Using Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) as toner.
How does Apple Cider Vinegar Unclog Pores?
ACV Contains alpha-hydroxy acid from apples, so it helps break down sebum plugs, which are responsible for causing clogged pores.
Hydroxys remove & dissolve top layers of old dead skin, prompting fast cell turnover. This means less debris remains on your skin to clog pores - giving you fresher skin, and a glowing complexion. Guess what happens when the dead layers of skin are released? Your pores magically unclog! Ok, well…not magically – but let me explain.
The old skin acts as a barrier to trap dirt & oil underneath, which gradually gets imbedded further and further into pores. This in turn smothers pores and prevents then from receiving oxygen, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. As the dead skin accumulates, you begin to see acne breakouts start to pop up.
By applying ACV, the Alpha Hydroxys get to work cleaning up this old layer of skin. It also begins to dissolve the oil trapped in pores, and starts to kill bacteria. After using ACV for a few days, if you look closely at your skin, you will start to see that the clogged pores are starting to release the plugs (blackheads). Now this usually doesn’t happen all at once – but gradually over the period of about 1 week, the cell turnover will be complete and your pores will be a whole lot cleaner than they were to begin with.
Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic properties that reach deep inside pores to kill acne bacteria at the root. It kills within 3 minutes of contact (which is why ACV also makes for a great soak to clean raw vegetables before eating). Unlike many topical acne treatments, where the molecules in a thick gel or cream are too large to absorb through the epidermis (top layer) of the skin, ACV’s liquid form can reach places in the dermis and hair follicle, where bacteria can hide.
How Do I Make Apple Cider Vinegar Toner?
To begin, take a small bottle and add 1 part ACV with 2 parts water. This mixture can be stored in your bathroom, as no refrigeration is required. You can use generic supermarket brands, but the most potent & high quality brand of apple cider vinegar is by the company called Bragg. Their specific apple cider vinegar is organic, raw and unfiltered – which means it has stronger healing properties than the processed & diluted grocery store varieties.
Most people’s skin gains tolerance quickly. After the first week, you can increase the ratio to 2 parts ACV to 2 parts water. This will accelerate cell turnover, and you will probably see even better results.
If your skin is thick, and exceedingly oily, you will likely be able to apply full strength ACV twice daily, without adding water. ACV can also be applied full strength as a spot-treatment, directly to breakouts. It may sting a bit, but the sensation wears off after about 30 seconds, and you'll find that breakouts will heal at an excelled rate.
How Do I Apply Apple Cider Vinegar as Toner?
You apply the ACV mix just like you would a regular toner from the store. After washing & drying your face as usual, apply some of the ACV toner using a cotton pad. Alternately, you can dab it onto your face using finger tips. This can be done in the morning & at night before bed.
If you don’t want to apply the ACV to your entire face, and are only using it to treat a few acne blemishes, dab some onto each blemish morning & night. It can be used diluted, or full strength, and will help the spot clear up & heal 3x faster than usual. As an added bonus, ACV also helps fade sunspot, freckling, and acne scars.
Apple Cider Vinegar is even a favorite among celebrities with acne prone skin & oil control issues. Scarlett Johansson hasn't always had such an enviable complexion! She's been known to suffer from severe acne breakouts & oily skin, and often uses ACV for spot treating acne.
**If you are afraid you may be allergic to ACV, dab on an inconspicuous area of skin and leave it on for 24 hours to make sure there is no reaction. If redness, peeling, scaling or itching occurs on the area, you may have a topical allergy to apples & should not use ACV.
You Tube Favorite: Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne & Oil Control
Complimentary Products to Flush Out Pores
After the first few days of vinegar application, use an exfoliating scrub, and/or and exfoliating glove to encourage old cell removal. Scrub in circular motions, as vigorously as skin will tolerate. You can also use a salicylic acid based face wash, like Alba Botanica Deep Pore Wash, which will further encourage cell removal and helps to dissolve oil. After completing the scrub, some people will notice that pores start to release plugs (blackheads). In this case, you can use a peel-off mask like Shill’s Black Mask, or a blackhead removal strip. This purge is the initial “flush-out” that your skin needs in order to begin a fresh start.
Enjoy your shine-free and acne-free results!
After you’ve used the ACV regimen for a few months, you’ll find that the noticeable cell turnover seems to slow down, and that you’ll have much fewer instances of clogged pores. This doesn’t mean the ACV has stopped working – it simply means that your skin is now in a more balanced state & will remain that way as long as you keep applying the vinegar a few times per week.
How to Stop Oily Skin, Using Apple Cider Vinegar
Using harsh skin care products can severely disrupt the balance of your skin’s PH levels. This leaves your skin fighting to balance its overly acidic or overly alkaline state. For instance, products containing alcohol cause oily skin to become dry (and as a result, skin will produce even more oil in an attempt to lubricate itself). If you attempt to moisturize and correct the problem, you are often left with a filmy layer of product that triggers breakouts.
Applying ACV allows skin to achieve a perfect balance, without using overly harsh or overly moisturizing products. Once your skin acclimates to the ACV, it will be in a state of PH balance – which means it will not be overly dry, or overly oily.
ACV does not completely stop oil production (and nobody would want that, as skin would quickly become dehydrated, pumping out even MORE oil to compensate). As oily skin is often genetic, topical applications of any product will not fully halt overactive sebaceous glands. After using ACV Toner, you will see a drastic reduction in the amount of oil your skin produces, and also a reduction in the amount of acne – but you may still have to use oil control products to achieve a completely matte complexion.
Where to Buy Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Complimentary Products for Oily Skin
During your waking hours, oily skin can cause severe problems with maintaining a fresh looking complexion. Whether male or female, a build-up of facial oil can cause major self-esteem issues; especially if it’s triggering acne breakouts. If the ACV regimen has not reduced the amount of oil to your liking, there are a few products for oily skin that will help remove or absorb the excess sebum, without smothering your pores.
If you have overly oily skin, there are two products you should always have on hand: 1) Oil Blotting Sheets and 2) Transparent Matte Face Powder. These are secret weapons for removing and absorbing oil, so it does not accumulate on your face to block pores and cause acne.
Oil blotters like Clean n Clear Blotting Sheets can be found at most drugstores. They can easily be tucked into a pocket or purse, and used to remove excess oil any at any time. Simply press the sheet against your face where oil accumulates (do not rub) and oil is transferred onto the disposable sheet. In a pinch and don't have any blotter sheets with you? Escape to the restroom and tear off part of a paper toilet seat cover. As strange as it sounds, these work just as well as blotter sheets and are perfect if you're caught looking like an oil slick! Blotters can be used as often as needed to prevent oily build-up.
For matte face powder, try Mattify Cosmetic's ULTRA Powder for Oily Skin. It works to absorb oil as it emerges – to prevent unsightly shine before it ruins your complexion. For women, this specific product can be used under makeup to protect pores from foundation, as well as over makeup to control oil and provide an air-brushed flawless look.
Believe it or not, Ultra Powder can even be used for men. Since the product is transparent, it can be used as in invisible oil buster. Best of all, this weightless, fluffy powder does not clog pores. Although it may not seem very "manly" to use face powder, your complexion will thank you. It will leave an invisible layer of oil control that lasts for hours. Apply it with a powder brush after your morning face cleansing routine, or with a small powder puff for oil control touch-ups.
ULTRA Powder for Oily Skin
Apple Cider Vinegar + Water = Optimal Health
Your body, as well as your skin, functions best when it is in a state of PH Balance. Drinking ACV, mixed with water or juice will help your skin from the inside out, and will also help ward off illnesses. If you allow your body to become toxically acidic by eating sugary foods and drinking soda, you’ll find that illnesses are more likely to take hold. Common viruses and bacteria (even acne bacteria) feed off an acidic environment – which is why “bad skin” is commonly linked to “bad diet”.
Drinking 2 tbsp ACV in a cup of water or juice daily is a good step on the path to wellness. Not only will it bolster your ability to fight infections, it can also jump start metabolism, and help stop bloating after eating a heavy meal. If you would like to further bring your body into a healthy alkaline state, remove most sugary & starchy foods from your diet, and add more green vegetables. Color coded PH Test strips can be purchased so you can find out if your body is too acidic. You should aim to be in the range of Neutral or Alkaline (7.0 – 7.6) on the chart below.
Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?
In addition to clearing up your skin, and improving overall health, Apple Cider Vinegar has 2 other super-powers: It will immediately soothe a sore throat or irritated tonsils, and can help get rid of Varicose Veins.
For a Sore Throat: Mix 2 tbsp ACV with ¼ cup water. You can either gargle with the mixture, or just drink it – you will be amazed at how much better your throat feels. If it tastes too strong, stir in a little bit of honey & lemon juice, which are also beneficial in healing a sore throat. For added soothing benefit, warm the mixture and enjoy as a hot drink.
For Varicose Veins: Drink 2 tbsp ACV with 1 cup water or juice. To read an interesting article on how vinegar can help, Google this publication by HUB Pages writer Daniel Townsend titled "Apple Cider Vinegar Will Cure Varicose Veins", which explains how unsightly vein appearance can be lessened within a month.
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner in the World of Beauty
Using ACV as a toner to treat acne and blackheads has even gotten rave reviews on Makeup Alley, the go-to website for beauty product reviews. People who posted comments on Makeup Alley about Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar reported a drastic reduction in acne breakouts after beginning an ACV regimen, and now have glowing, healthy skin.
Your Opinions on Apple Cider Vinegar as a Toner
© 2014 Ashley Bergin
charity on September 21, 2017:
I want to try ACV to my oil skin
Brittany954 on September 09, 2017:
Dermalmd acne serum is a best acne product I have ever used.. applied at night wake up with a reduction in acne. can dry out skin but if you have cystic acne like I do a little dryness is a good trade off for calm skin. So far its the only thing I have used that gives me faster results. I love dermalmd serum.
Holly on March 23, 2017:
I'll try this. I have this Bragg vinegar in my home, and I'd better use it for my face rather than the non-affecting products. Thanks for this punkmarkgirl
Rendy on March 22, 2017:
I think the ACV is extracted from Apple & vinegar. Will it be ok if I use Apple extract instead of going for ACV
dekshu on September 01, 2015:
i dont use apple cider vonegar buy i want to buy it and apply it
kezyne nyaga on August 18, 2015:
Giving a try hoping for good results