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How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne and Skin

Get healthy, beautiful skin with apple cider vinegar.

Get healthy, beautiful skin with apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Skin Care

Apple cider vinegar is a great treatment for warts, pimples, acne and other skin problems. It’s also a great everyday product to maintain and improve the overall health of your skin: it can make your skin look younger and feel smoother.

Apple cider vinegar, or ACV, is a natural remedy, and does not contain harsh chemicals. It is a tried and preferred method of skincare used over many centuries.

But first, why should we worry about the health of our skin? For one, because it performs a number of vital functions, including:

  • Controlling body temperature.
  • Protecting us from harmful elements of the environment.
  • Receiving and conveying information from external stimuli.

So, skin health should be a part of any effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you want to improve the health of your skin, read on to learn how apple cider vinegar can help.

Did You Know?

The ancient Greek physician and father of medicine, Hippocrates used apple cider vinegar as an elixir.

Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment for Acne and Pimples

Apple cider vinegar is a remarkably effective treatment for acne and pimples. It’s a natural therapy with no side effects.

Apple cider vinegar offers skin protection in many ways.

  • It unclogs pores, preventing breakouts and allowing the skin to breathe properly.
  • It helps in creating a protective layer on our skin, and helps in preventing our skin from becoming too dry.

To understand how cider vinegar works to give us healthy skin, we must first understand what causes our skin to become dry and develop acne and pimples.

Treating acne is easy with apple cider vinegar

Treating acne is easy with apple cider vinegar

What Causes Breakouts?

Our skin has a protective outer-layer, known as the protective acid mantle. This mantle makes our skin slightly acidic, giving it a pH factor of between 4.5 and 6. (pH factor is an indicator of acidity level. Anything between 0 and 6 is acidic.) This acid mantle protects our skin from pollution, free radicals, and other harmful particles in the air.

When we wash our face, either with water or with face cleaners, we inadvertently remove this protective acid mantle.

Theoretically, our skin is designed to replenish the missing protective acid mantle but doing so may take time. In the meantime, our skin remains exposed to harmful radicals that can cause damage, rashes, acne, or pimples.

Did You Know?

On his voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus brought apple cider vinegar with him to treat scurvy.

How Does Apple Cider Vinegar Treat Acne?

There are three main ways that apple cider vinegar helps your skin stay healthy:

  • Beta Carotene. ACV has high levels of beta-carotene, which counteracts damage caused by free radicals, giving us healthy skin and a youthful complexion.
  • Anti-bacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which help protect our skin from pollution and harmful bacteria.
  • pH balance. The most important benefit of apple cider vinegar for skincare is its ability to restore the balance of our pH factor. Apple cider vinegar has a pH factor of about 4.5 to 5.5, which is close to the ideal pH factor for skin too.

Precautions For Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Skin

Apple cider vinegar toner is very good for skin and is also very effective in treating skin problems like acne, pimples and other skin-related ailments. However, read these tips before using apple cider vinegar for skincare.

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  • Use it at night. Some people may find the smell too strong. In fact, one could say that it smells like sweaty socks that have been left under the bed for two weeks. Just like you wouldn't eat raw onion or garlic before a date, you wouldn't wear apple cider vinegar on your face before stepping out. If you can't stand the smell, simply use it at night.
  • Watch out for skin irritation. While apple cider vinegar typically has no side effects, it may cause skin irritation in some cases. If you have extra-sensitive skin, apple cider vinegar may not be suitable for you. However, before giving up completely, try add more water to the mixture to dilute it. Alternatively, reduce the frequency with which you use the ACV wash. You may also find that the irritation subsides after a while.
  • Watch out for “purging.” In very rare situations, some people may experience purging. Purging happens when ACV opens up blockages, causing your skin to push out impurities. As a result, existing pimples may get more inflamed before getting better. If purging happens you may want to stop using apple cider vinegar on your skin.
  • Try it out first. Always use it on a small part of skin, and see how it reacts. Use generously diluted ACV first and get feedback.
  • Use sunscreen. Apple cider vinegar can increase your skin’s sensitivity to ultra-violet rays. If you know you will be going out in the sun after applying apple cider vinegar, please use a good sunscreen lotion, so as to avoid any harmful effect of UV rays. In fact, this is another reason why you should use the face wash at night rather than during the day.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

It's easy to make ACV toner at home.

It's easy to make ACV toner at home.

Ingredients for ACV Toner

  • 250 ml filtered water, tap water is also fine
  • 250 ml apple cider vinegar, organic, unfiltered, and unpasteurized
  • 1 plastic bottle, to store the ACV toner


  1. Mix one part water to one part apple cider vinegar.
  2. Before using, shake well so that the "mother" of vinegar – the cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle – gets mixed in.

What Did You Think?

Apple Cider Vinegar Skincare Tips

Using apple cider vinegar toner as a face wash is very easy: Take a cotton ball/pad, put some toner on it and gently dab the toner on your skin. Be sure to stay away from your eyes.

  • Start Slow. Begin by using the wash just once a day and preferably at night so that you don't have to worry about the smell. Once you are sure that your skin won’t respond adversely, you can increase the frequency to twice a day.
  • Start small. When using the toner for the first time, try it first on a small patch of skin to see if it causes any irritation.
  • Wash it off. When applying the toner for the first time, you may want to wash it off after 5 minutes to minimize your exposure to any irritants. Once you know that you have a tolerant skin, you can leave it on.
  • Those hard-to-reach-places. For difficult-to-reach areas like your back, try using a spray bottle instead of the cotton balls.
  • Play with the mixture. Start by using a diluted mixture of one part water to one part ACV. If your skin becomes irritated, feel free to add more water. If your skin responds well to the toner, you can even reduce the quantity of water. Some people mix 2 part ACV with one part water. See what works. I highly recommend that you experiment with your ACV toner to get a feel for what works with your skin type.
  • Dont leave out the water. Never apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to your skin. It is highly acidic and can damage your skin at too high a concentration.
  • Watch the eyes. Keep apple cider vinegar away from eyes and the area around eyes. It may cause a very painful burning sensation if you do get it in your eyes. If that happens, you should rinse your eyes with water or eye drops.
  • Mix and match! If you like, you can even add other useful ingredients to your ACV toner, like green tea, aloe vera gel, or witch hazel.

What Kind of ACV Should I Buy?


What Kind Should I Buy?

Apple cider vinegar needs to be organic, unpasteurized and unfiltered.

Only unpasteurized and unfiltered ACV contains the "mother" of vinegar: the muddy, grainy substance that sits at the bottom of the bottle. This substance contains the beneficial enzymes and bacteria and is where all the skincare benefits of apple cider vinegar lie.There are many brands to choose from, so you should find one that's easily available in your area.

The bottom line is that it should be made from organic apples and should contain the mother of vinegar.

My Experience With Apple Cider Vinegar

I am a big fan of using apple cider vinegar for weight loss, for healthy hair and for glowing skin. I use it before going to bed, after removing my makeup and washing my face.

I really like it because afterwards, I feel fresh and clean, though the smell puts off my partner if I don't wash it off with water after a few minutes. I have also found apple cider vinegar effective in treating acne, though it takes a long time to remove existing acne.

It is not an overnight remedy and I use it mostly to prevent future breakouts rather than to treat existing ones.

  • How To Make Apple Cider Vinegar At Home
    Why buy commercial apple cider vinegar? Making apple cider vinegar at home is easy with this step-by-step guide. Enjoy the many benefits of apple cider vinegar diet, lose weight and stay healthy.
  • Read Before Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar for Weight ...
    This well-researched article answers questions about apple cider vinegar - How often to drink ACV? When to drink? What can I mix it with? Will I lose weight fast if I drank more cider vinegar?
  • Does apple cider vinegar work for hair loss?
    Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is a very useful treatment for hair fall. ACV helps hair grow and makes them shiny, healthy and silky. These are great tips about how to use ACV as hair fall treatment.

ACV is great for skincare, hair loss, and weight loss

Remedy for acne and pimples

© 2014 Alana Niall


Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on August 23, 2019:

Hi Debarati, everyone has a unique body. It is advisable to test it on a small patch of skin first.

Evie Sparkes on December 05, 2018:

I love apple cider vinegar for blemishes. It works a treat, although I do dilute it slightly.

Evie x

Janisa from Earth on August 19, 2018:

You could also drink apple cider vinegar. You need to dilute it with water and it will still taste horrible, but I've heard that there are numerous benefits from doing this.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on January 30, 2018:

Hi Rabiyajabbar, if it says "unpasteurized, unfiltered", then it should be OK, though I don't know more about Clover Valley brand.

Rabiyajabbar on January 28, 2018:

I bought clover valley ballet 100%pure apple cider vinegar for my acne. Will this work? on July 13, 2017:

Can i use apple cider vinegar of brand American kitchen on my skin?

Magicality LM on April 26, 2017:

Excellent article!

Diviya on April 01, 2017:

It is very nice and useful information. I like it. Thanks for sharing this information with us..........

Nicole K on March 06, 2017:

Wow, very detailed and informative article. I did not know ACV could be used for breakouts. It's good for so many things though, so I'm not surprised. I've known about the many health benefits of ACV for some time and have some in my own house. However, this reminds me to use it more regularly. Thanks and God Bless!

aplava coupons on November 24, 2016:

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Saed Alantbly from Egypt on November 09, 2016:

can it be drink ?

carlo calitang on October 02, 2016:

hi i just want to ask if its ok to use this product even i have a sensetive skin and for those who hv skin breakouts and open pores...pls reply

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on October 01, 2016:

HI Fenzy, please apply ACV after washing out they dye from the hair. Then wash your hair again, and dye them again. I know it's a long process, but I can't think of a better way.

fenzy on September 27, 2016:

Hi there, I was quite interested using ACV into my hair to prevent tangled hair. My query is that is it also applicable for dyed hair? is there any effects on my hair?


Om Krishna Uprety on September 21, 2016:

Good for anyone who is seeking healthy lifestyple

Ado Amang from Indonesia on September 21, 2016:

Yesss Apple very good for skin..thanks for informasion.

Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 19, 2016:

What a very informative and interesting article. Well done! Thanks for sharing. I would love to try it and pass this too to my teenage nieces.

Stacy from Omaha, Nebraska on July 25, 2016:

I'm not consistent with using acv. Just usually use it on my scalp when I have buildup on my scalp. I might have to try it as a facial toner

withlovefromwen on July 20, 2016:

I love this article. It provides the information that I was looking for. I have used it mostly as a toner but I will try more ways. Thanks! This is incredibly helpful.

Wendy R

Clair Roberts on July 18, 2016:

Apple cider vinegar is very effective for treating warts, pimples, acne and other skin problems. I am agree with this article. But I have a question. Can Apple Cider Vinegar Stop Hair Loss and is effective in treating dandruff?

Clair R

Terryann Floyd on July 14, 2016:

A really great informative hub. I love natural remedies and try to use them as best as I could. Thanks for the tips and will definitely try out apple cider vinegar.

Nayara Rajput from India on July 04, 2016:

Nice article.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 21, 2016:

Yes Nik, while the preference is for organic, even non-organic will do as long as it contains the "mother" of vinegar, that is, it should be unpasteurized and unfiltered.

Dianna Mendez on June 12, 2016:

I try to use natural remedies when possible. Thank you for sharing this information.

erinshelby from United States on June 12, 2016:

Interesting idea for skin care... I will have to try this as I'm always looking for natural ideas.

N!k! on June 09, 2016:

non-organic vinegar can be used...??

I had ordered online it cm non-organic instead of organic

Andy Schwartz on June 08, 2016:

Great job..

josephine5435 on June 06, 2016:

nice article

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on June 02, 2016:

Hi 101Ways2Life. A first class and most informative hub. Really well presented and full of interesting presentation. Well done.


Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on May 30, 2016:

Hi Happylovejoy, I am not aware of apple cider vinegar's usefulness in curing the meat growth on skin.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on May 30, 2016:

Hi Jacky, am not too sure whether ACV can cure dark spots caused by bleaching cream.

viewfinders from India on May 30, 2016:

So helpful and interesting ...thanks

Stephy Varghese Thazhone on May 22, 2016:

Interesting article..will try using apple cider vinegar...thanks for the tips..

Stephy Varghese Thazhone on May 22, 2016:

Interesting article..will try using apple cider vinegar...thanks for the tips..

Cynthia Haltom from Diamondhead on May 15, 2016:

Cider vinegar has long been a substance for health care. Before Pharma stepped into the picture, natural remedies were the only kind people used. I personally wish the world would return back to these natural cure. I commend you for your natural cure for skin problems.

Kawai from Singapore on May 14, 2016:

Thanks for sharing! I wonder if ACV helps with skin tags or just a 'meat' growth (like a skin tag but bigger and non cancerous as confirmed by my doc) on the skin..

bixylindy from Singapore on May 14, 2016:

Homemade remedy is still the best, thanks for sharing, didn't know vinegar works like a miracle.

Jacky on April 20, 2016:

I have dark spots in my face due to bleaching cream. Can i use ACV to cure ang vanish this dark spots or what they call melasma?

Erin Bower from Georgia on April 12, 2016:

This is jam packed with information that I didn't know before!

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on April 11, 2016:

Hi Emjay, you could rinse ACV off after leaving it on the skin for half an hour.

Emjay on April 11, 2016:

I started using this a week ago to remove my breakouts. Im using 1:2 ratio. I notice some zits coming out. But im still continuing using it coz im positive to it. The only problem now I have is the kid im taking care of. She always complains of the smell. I cant find any lavender oil in here... Wat should I do now!

Chelsey Cazzell on March 26, 2016:

This is great! I have to try it .

Mike Leal from London on March 17, 2016:

Very informative and interesting. Thanks for sharing. Did not know this before.

raphael adzomani on February 18, 2016:

does the product got a side effect on one as a result of its continuous usage.

iniz chetan from Punjab on February 09, 2016:

thanks for sharing :)

Alicia Bell from Farmington, Maine on January 21, 2016:

I've read many articles on Apple cider vinegar. This one is a great one! I love all the benefits that this vinegar has. Great article!

Jessica on December 31, 2015:

Thanks for the video it was very helpful!

khushi on December 28, 2015:

I hve positiv vibes aftr reading ua articles bt i hve a que ....

Wil diz apple cider vinegar hlp me to gt rid of blck spots on ma fce .Can i use it dirctly o its necessary 2 use watr wid it

Hw lng it wud tke fa d results..!!


stephen kalu from Nigeria on December 12, 2015:

great piece, you did a nice work and the pictures are excellence.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on November 30, 2015:

Hi RDas, you do get Braggs organic unpasteurized ACV in many parts of India. Do look around. It is also available for order on Amanzon India website. I suspect that the American Garden brand you have is filtered, and does not contain the "mother" of vinegar. While it will not harm your skin, the health benefits of ACV are derived from the "mother".

RDas on November 28, 2015:

I stay in India and I couldn't find the raw apple cider vinegar. Soo I bought it from the brand "American garden". I have a couple of questions-

1)Is it going to harm my skin, if I use the non organic one, I have oily acne prone skin and I get these bigggg pimples OR

2)Is it not going to be as effective as the raw organic one, but harmless. Please do answer:)

jhelly on November 22, 2015:

may i know what facial wash do you use in partner with the apple cider vinegar toner?

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on November 06, 2015:

Yes, Keni. You could leave it on the skin while sleeping. However, test it for half an hour to see whether your skin can tolerate it.

Keni on November 04, 2015:

Is it ok to leave it on skin while sleeping?

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on November 01, 2015:

Hi, the method to use ACV as toner is given in the article.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on November 01, 2015:

Hi Kenneth, thanks for the question. You could use any cream that suits your skin.

parul jain on October 31, 2015:

Please ans this question

Kenneth07 on October 18, 2015:

Its ok after i use a apple cider vinegar as a toner can i use a face cream after i apply? For day and night and what kind of cream i can use'!! Thanks

Mac on October 03, 2015:

Hi! I just to ask if its normal to come out some baby pimple on my face?im just wondering but what i observed they easily become dry

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on October 02, 2015:

Great hub on ACV. I'm going to give it a try this fall and let it works its magic for those many health benefits.

heather on September 16, 2015:

hi i was wondering if you have any suggestions on anything natural for the face for moisturizing, ive been using baby oil for now , it has vitamin e in it. i definitely want to try the acv toner. very informative video. thanks .

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on September 13, 2015:

HI MM, yes, the skin can be treated with normal skincare products after washing it with ACV.

MM on September 09, 2015:

after washing my face/body with ACV can i apply lotion o body butter afterwards.

thank you

Ozzy786 on July 18, 2015:

Thank you! Very useful article.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on July 15, 2015:

I Franca, I don't see a problem with that, but this is not a medical advice.

franca on July 15, 2015:

pls can i use ACV while trying to be pregnant

Meece on July 15, 2015:

I have to say, i had been suffering from adult acne on my forehead and round my chin for some time now and nothing i used seem to work. i started doing exactly this in the article, i mixed 1 part water with one part apple cider vinegar and use it as a toner every night and morning, the acne has completely cleared up and my skin has become even better than before, it has become so much more youthful too!! i will continue to use it as it has become part of my skin care routine now.

My only advice is to keep at it as you will not see a difference overnight, but it is totally worth it.

I didnt know that it would make skin sensitive to the sunshine so i will take this advice on board as i am off to sunnier climes in september

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on July 12, 2015:

Hi Kiran, I don't think moles could be removed with apple cider vinegar.

kiran on July 06, 2015:

Is apple cider vinegar helpful for removing moles? I have lots of moles on my face n I worried about this

Jenifar Lee on June 30, 2015:

wow ! this is very useful, thanks for share this article.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 29, 2015:

ACV itself may not cause dry skin. Apply ACV on face as directed in the article, and rinse it off after half an hour. Follow it up with a good moisturizer.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 29, 2015:

Hi Urmila, if your skin can bear it, it's OK.

Astha Jain on June 25, 2015:

Hii... I am using Bragg's ACV. I mixed equal quantity of water and ACV. using daily at night and i keep it for the whole of the night. but i am getting dead skin on my face. should i add more water OR i should leave the idea that i can use ACV on my face.?

urmila on June 22, 2015:

i apply it at night with cotton and keep it overnight. is it okk

Aditi on June 22, 2015:

What American garden 'a acv? Is it good??

Kara Skinner from Maine on June 13, 2015:

Thank you so much for this! I can't wait to try this out on my own acne.

Aurorasa Sima from Chicago, Illinois on June 13, 2015:

GREAT article. Thank you so much for that!

Tanya Fitzmorris from Brantford Ontario Canada on June 11, 2015:

Love this hub lots of great information!

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on June 11, 2015:

Hi Lina, just make sure the label says it is unpasteurized and unfiltered.

Devyn Herron from North Carolina on June 10, 2015:

This was a really good read. I had no idea that apple cider vinegar had some many uses. I think I will share some of the tips in this article to my little sister who has really bad acne.

lina on June 06, 2015:

Hi,i just want to ask if its ok if i use natural apple cider vinegar.i can't find organic or unfiltered. The label is natural apple cider it the same as organic acv?can i use it for my pimples?

hazel on June 01, 2015:

i have allergy in my skin,anytime i eat something , feels so itchy and i suffer for 4years already, can i apply this on my skin?

MBelmont on May 30, 2015:

Very nice hub. We have been using ACV for years and can totally agree with all of the information provided. Such a great product for the skin. Thank you for a wonderful read!

Charles Outlaw from Denver, Colorado on May 30, 2015:

Great article. Thanks for sharing this. My wife makes me a 8oz. glass of watter w/ 2 table spoons of the Bragg's Apple cider vinegar everyday.

wiserworld on May 28, 2015:

This one was definitely worth the read. This could really help out my friend. Thanks for sharing :)

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on May 24, 2015:

I make it once a month.

rian on May 23, 2015:

How often do you make the 1:1 solution? Every day? Or use it until it's gone?

Ashley Ferguson from Indiana/Chicagoland on May 21, 2015:

I will definitely be trying this as I have tried lemon juice in the past and nautural is always better! :) Thank you for the hub!

Ruth Yoerg from St. Paul, Minnesota on May 21, 2015:

I have been having a hard time with my blood sugar, so I think I will try Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Thank you so much.

kimberly baler on May 20, 2015:


Akriti Mattu from Shimla, India on May 02, 2015:

I am so going to use this .Thanks for this post.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on April 30, 2015:

Yes Williiam, you could leave ACV on overnight. But first test it on a small patch of skin to make sure that your skin is not overly sensitive. You could dilute it with water in 1:1 ratio.

William on April 29, 2015:

Hi, I am dermatology but my patient is curious about applying ACV my question is CAN I APPLY ACV OVERNIGHT? how many water will I dilute?

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on April 14, 2015:

Hi Jasmine, please apply milk cream, or moisturizer. It should heal. If not, please consult a dermatologist.

Jasmine on April 13, 2015:

Hi guys I used undiluted vinager and it cause some skin damage I did not read this article before doing this does anyone know to cure the skin damage ?

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on April 03, 2015:

Hi Eronates, thank you for sharing your good experience with apple cider vinegar, and for your blessings for this article. I hope more and more people benefit from apple cider vinegar.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on April 03, 2015:

I like your hub. I try the vinegar on a small pimple a few months ago. I was worry because it did not go away with anything.I tried. I was taking a few minutes the sun every morning. It was a combination of both the ray of the sun and my skin braking off. I added the vinegar on my clean face. The next day the pimple was gone. Thank you. You are a blessing. More blessing to you.

Alana Niall (author) from Christchurch, New Zealand on March 20, 2015:

Hi Pstraubie48, ACV is widely used in age groups. So, yes, people in their 60s and 70s have also known to have benefited from ACV.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 18, 2015:

sounds like something that I will pass on to others...Is this something a lady in her sixties would benefit from too?

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

April Dawn Meyer from Belle Fourche, South Dakota on March 14, 2015:

Sounds like a great home remedy. :)

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