5 Simple Ways of Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne

Acne is a very common skin disease. In fact, it is the most common skin condition in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.[1] People of all races and ages get acne; however, it is most common in teenagers and young adults.

As per the U.S. National Library of Medicine, an estimated 80 percent of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point. Some people get acne even in their forties and fifties.[2]

Causes & Risk Factors


This skin disease affects the oil glands present under the skin. You have an acne breakout when the pores on your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria.[2]

acne on skin

Acne can be caused when-

  • Too much oil is produced by the hair follicles
  • Dead skin cells accumulate in the skin pores
  • Bacteria build up in the skin pores

There are also certain risk factors that make your skin more prone to acne breakouts. Such risk factors include-

  • Hormonal changes in the body caused by puberty or pregnancy.
  • Use of certain medications, such as certain birth control pills or corticosteroids.
  • A diet containing high content of refined sugars or carbohydrates.
  • Family history of acne.
  • Use of greasy makeup.

Tips for Acne Prevention

Mostly, acne is found on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is not a serious health threat but, it can cause scars and affect your self-confidence.

  • Clean skin gently, using a mild oil-free cleanser in the morning, evening and after heavy workouts.
  • Avoid scrubbing the skin harshly as it can make the problem worse.
  • Try not to touch your skin frequently with dirty hands as it will only introduce bacteria to your skin.
  • Avoid squeezing, pinching, or picking acne as can it lead to scars or dark spots on the skin.
  • Stay out of the sun and use a sunscreen before going out.
  • Choose makeup carefully; oil-based makeup is one of the reasons behind acne breakouts.
  • When buying makeup products, look for the word “noncomedogenic” on the label, which means that the makeup will not clog up your pores.
  • Remove makeup and clean your skin thoroughly before bed.

People with acne often try out different things to improve the appearance of their skin. Right from medications for acne, use of facial toners to specific diets, there are many recommendations when it comes to acne.[3]

While some treatment approaches and medications are beneficial for treating acne, some are not.

Fortunately, there is one treatment that can help you deal with acne. This treatment is apple cider vinegar!

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne

Due to the acid content as well as the natural vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in it, apple cider vinegar is a safe and effective treatment for acne.

  • The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of apple cider vinegar act to remove bacteria in the skin and cleanse acne-prone areas.
  • The pH value of apple cider vinegar helps restore the skins’ natural pH level, thus preventing the growth of microbes that cause acne.
  • The acetic, citric, lactic and succinic acid present in apple cider vinegar help kill P. acnes, a type of bacteria that contributes to the development of acne.

A 2002 study published in the Indian J Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology reports that people who applied lactic acid lotion to their faces twice a day for one year experienced a significant reduction in acne, while only two people experienced less than a 50% improvement.[4]

Another 2010 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that lactic acid can improve the texture, pigmentation and appearance of the skin in individuals with superficial acne scars.[5]

how to use apple cider vinegar for acne


Here’s how you can use apple cider vinegar to treat acne.

1. Topical Application for Acne

The alpha hydroxy acids in apple cider vinegar have anti-aging effects.[6] It helps unclog skin pores and dissolve dead skin cells, resulting in drying out the acne quickly. Further, the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of apple cider vinegar help treat acne.

  1. Mix 1 part raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and 2 parts filtered water in a bowl.
  2. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and apply it on the acne affected skin.
  3. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes.
  4. Then rinse it off with warm water.
  5. Reapply a few times daily for a few days.

2. Skin Toner for Acne Prevention

Thanks to its astringent properties, apple cider vinegar helps combat skin oiliness, which can cause acne breakouts. The alpha hydroxy acids help increase blood flow to the skin and shrink large pores.

  1. Mix ½ cup each of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and distilled water.
  2. You may also add a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender oil.
  3. Apply this solution on the affected skin using a cotton ball.
  4. Leave it on for 5 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water.
  5. You can use it once or twice a day.

Store the remaining solution in an airtight container and shake well before each use.

3. Warm Compress for Acne

Applying a warm compress on the affected area is another way to deal with acne. The heat from the warm compress promotes blood circulation to the area and helps draw out bacteria and pus from the skin pores. This, in turn, will speed up the healing process and help reduce the pain associated with acne.

  1. Mix ½ cup, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into 2 cups of warm water.
  2. Soak a washcloth in this solution and wring out the excess liquid.
  3. Apply the warm compress on the affected area for 10 minutes.
  4. When it starts cooling down, apply a fresh one.
  5. Do this a few times a day.

4. Oral Use for Acne Prevention

Apple cider vinegar helps remove toxins from the body. This, in turn, helps prevent excess oil secretion and acne breakouts. Also, it restores the natural pH of your skin.

  1. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
  2. You can also add a little honey and lemon juice to it and mix properly.
  3. Drink it once or twice daily to improve your skin as well as overall health.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar Mask for Acne

You can use apple cider vinegar to make a mask to get rid of dead skin cells and keep the skin pores clean and free from any kind of debris. Accumulation of dead skin cells on pores is one of the reasons behind acne breakouts.

  1. In a bowl, put 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of cooled green tea, 5 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of raw honey.
  3. Mix properly to help the ingredients blend properly.
  4. Apply the mixture on the acne using circular motions.
  5. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
  6. Use this remedy once a week.

Important Notes

  • Perform a patch test before using any of the above remedies for getting rid of acne to make sure that apple cider vinegar is suitable for your skin.
  • Always use raw, unfiltered apple cider as it contains “mother,” strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria that give the product a murky appearance. It is the “mother,” which makes apple cider vinegar very healthy.
  • Due to its high acidity, you must always dilute it with water before applying to the skin, or else it may result in skin damage and burns, especially if you have sensitive skin or open wounds.
  • Do not leave apple cider vinegar on the skin for long periods of time. Shorter periods of skin contact will not cause damage to the skin.
  • Do not use apple cider vinegar on sensitive skin or open wounds, as that could result in further skin damage or pain.
  • If you apply apple cider vinegar to your skin and feel a burning sensation, try diluting it with more water. Stop using it if it still burns.


  1. Acne | American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne. Accessed October 16, 2018.
  2. Acne: Overview. U.S. National Library of Medicine – The World’s Largest Medical Library. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072395/. Published July 28, 2016.
  3. Skin care for acne-prone skin. Skip to search Skip to main content U.S. National Library of Medicine – The World’s Largest Medical Library. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072392/. Published July 28, 2016.
  4. Garg T, Ramam M, Pasricha JS, Verma KK. Long term topical application of lactic acid/lactate lotion as a preventive treatment for acne vulgaris. Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17656910. Published 2002.
  5. Sachdeva S. Lactic acid peeling in superficial acne scarring in Indian skin. Journal of cosmetic dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20883299. Published September 2010.
  6. Tran D, Townley JP, Barnes TM, Greive KA. An antiaging skin care system containing alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins improves the biomechanical parameters of facial skin. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277239/. Published 2015.
5 Simple Ways of Using Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne was last modified: October 29th, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies