Hair, Skin & Nails 6 MIN READ 140 VIEWS July 29, 2022 Read in Hindi

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne: Benefits and Ways to Use

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Why Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne?
Important Components of Apple Cider Vinegar
Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne
Possible Skin Care Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar
Precautions of Using Apple Cider Vinegar in Skin Care Products

Apple cider vinegar is known for its many benefits. It is a widely recommended must-have in your daily diet. But did you know that the benefits of apple cider vinegar extend beyond digestive ailments? Apple cider vinegar is a powerful detox agent and is extremely helpful for the hair and skin. Apple cider vinegar for face is used as a natural home remedy to sort a range of acne-related troubles. Curious about how apple cider vinegar for acne works? Read on to find out more about this wonder drink and how to use it.

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is fermented apple juice. It is made by adding yeast to crushed apples. After sugars break down to alcohol, other helpful bacteria are added which then turn the alcohol into acetic acid. This results in very pungent and highly acidic vinegar called the Apple Cider Vinegar. It is the presence of acetic acid that confers apple cider vinegar its strong smell and sour taste. Acetic acid is also responsible for a range of health benefits promised by apple cider vinegar.

Why Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne?

The unique chemical composition of apple cider vinegar is believed to be the reason behind its use as a potent skin cure. Vinegar is claimed to be an antimicrobial astringent. 

Important Components of Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar contains a variety of organic acids (Acetic acid, Citric acid, Formic acid, Lactic acid, Malic acid, and Succinic acids) and phenolic compounds (gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and p-coumaric acid) which work differently in preventing and controlling an acne outbreak. These are:

  1. Acetic Acid – The acetic acid present in vinegar possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties. They help clear the bacteria, which helps prevent and treat acne. 
  2. Lactic Acid – The lactic acid present in apple cider vinegar enhances the cell turnover rate. This helps the skin get rid of accumulated dead skin cells on the epidermis, the top layer of the skin. Lactic acid also makes the skin firmer and thicker, leading to a smoother appearance with reduced fine lines and fewer wrinkles.
  3. Gallic Acid – Gallic acid helps reduce skin dryness, skin thickness, and wrinkles. It modulates the secretion of the MMP-1 enzyme that degrades collagen. It also regulates the production of elastin, type I procollagen and transforming growth factor-β1. Gallic acid is also known to reduce DNA damage. Its anti-ageing properties reduce pigmentation and promote even skin tone. 
  4. Protocatechuic Acid – Protocatechuic acid is a potent anti-wrinkle or anti-skin ageing formula. It inhibits the enzymes that degrade the collagen and elastin fibres in the skin, thus making it youthful and flawless. 
  5. Chlorogenic Acid – Chlorogenic acid is a natural revitalizer which helps keep the skin glowing and looking young. It is a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin from the damages caused by free radicals.
  6. Malic Acid – Malic acid is a potent skin cleanser. It helps rejuvenate the skin, making it appear brighter and smooth. It is an active treatment for hyperpigmentation of the skin.  
  7. Citric Acid – Acne breakouts occur when keratin, the key protein in the skin, accumulates in the pores, causing them to clog. The citric acid present in apple cider vinegar helps dissolve the keratin, thus, preventing clogging up. 

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Acne

Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic with antibacterial attributes, making it a perfect skin remedy. Organic or unfiltered apple cider vinegar seems to confer the best results. It is known to be packed with ‘the mother’, visible strands of proteins, enzymes, and good bacteria. Health experts recommend the use of apple cider vinegar that contains ‘the mother’. It is believed that the presence of ‘the mother’ makes apple cider vinegar the perfect health booster as it is claimed to be. The many ways the apple cider vinegar can help alleviate skin problems are:  

1. Helps Balance Skin pH Balance

The apple cider vinegar is highly acidic. When measured on a pH scale of 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline), apple cider vinegar spots at 2-3. Healthy skin, too, is slightly acidic, with the ideal pH level of the skin being 5.5. The acidic nature of the skin helps form a strong and intact barrier. This protects the skin from infections and pollutants. As the use of apple cider vinegar helps the skin restore its natural, slightly acidic pH balance, it works wonders for the skin.

2. Potent Chemical Exfoliant

Apple cider vinegar contains high amounts of Alpha Hydroxy Acids like lactic acid, citric acid, and malic acid. These acids work as a natural exfoliating agent which helps remove dead skin from the uppermost layer. It also helps kill bacteria and deep cleanse clogged pores. The use of chemical exfoliants regularly helps even out fine lines, wrinkles, and pimple marks, making apple cider vinegar for acne scars an active treatment.

3. Possesses Antifungal and Antibacterial Properties

The acetic acid constituent in the apple cider vinegar makes it an effective astringent. It possesses antifungal and antibacterial attributes that help kill acne-causing bacteria. Studies suggest that citric acid and lactic acid compounds found in apple cider vinegar can thwart the growth of Cutibacterium acnes, skin bacteria that contribute to the development of acne.

Possible Skin Care Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is an active ingredient in various skin care products. It can also be used as a home remedy for various skin problems. The possible uses include:

1. Face Wash

Face washing is an important skin care practice. It helps the skin get rid of excess oil and dirt. Apple cider vinegar is a natural cleanser that helps remove dirt and alleviate skin infections. To create your all-natural apple cider vinegar face wash, take 1/4 cup warm water and add one tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Mix well and use it to gently cleanse your face.

2. Face Toner

Face toners help to cleanse and tighten the skin. It helps close the pores, reducing the chances of developing acne. Face toners also promise a smoother skin texture. Apple cider vinegar is a great astringent. To use it as a face toner take 240 ml of purified water. Add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp rosewater, and 2-3 drops of essential oil. Mix well and pour the mixture into a spray bottle or use cotton balls to apply it gently on the skin. In case of oily skin, add 1 tbsp of witch hazel. 

3. Treatment for Acne 

Apple cider vinegar is a great spot treatment for acne. As it contains antibacterial properties, it prevents those pesky pimples from forming full and spreading. To use apple cider vinegar for spot treatment, simply apply a small amount of apple cider vinegar soaked on a cotton swab and apply to the blemish. Let it remain for 10-20 seconds before you rinse it away. Pat dry your face thereafter.

4. Treatment for Acne Scars

Apple cider vinegar helps reduce the appearance of scars through chemical peeling. It helps remove the damaged outer layer of the skin and promotes regeneration. To use Apple Cider Vinegar for acne scars, mix 1 part of apple cider vinegar with three parts of water. Depending upon your skin type, add tea tree oil, honey, lemon juice or aloe vera gel. Mix well and apply to the scars. Let it stay for 10-15 seconds before you rinse it away with water.

Precautions of Using Apple Cider Vinegar in Skin Care Products

Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and can thus lead to skin burns. Here are a few precautions that need to be taken:

  1. Avoid in case of sensitive skin
  2. Dilute it further in case of dry skin
  3. Limit the addition of essential oils
  4. Do a patch test to test allergy
  5. Do not let it stay for prolonged periods


The role of apple cider vinegar for acne is widely documented. Research shows exceptional results when apple cider vinegar is used as a skincare product. It can be used as a face wash and toner as well as for spot treatment and removing acne scars. But as apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, it can lead to irritation and discomfort if not used properly. Therefore, talking to a dermatologist is essential before using it as a potent acne treatment.

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