Using apple cider vinegar for acne is one of the most popular natural treatments around.
The problem is that is seems to work so well for some, and for others it can make your skin worse!
So what do you do??
A strange phenomenon with using apple cider vinegar on the skin is that you will fall into one of three groups:
- Apple cider vinegar works AMAZINGLY to clear up acne, this may be all you need!
- Meh. It doesn’t hurt, maybe helps reduce oil and pimples a bit. Take it or leave it.
- Causes cystic acne! This seems to happen especially around the chin area – after starting to use apple cider vinegar, some people develop deep, painful cysts or breakout more.
Unfortunately, the only way to know is to try it out. But that is okay because this page will show you how.
And by the way – no this isn’t necessarily your skin “purging”…
A purge might be some smaller whiteheads or a few breakouts that were already forming coming to the surface.
But if you start developing deeper pimples or cysts, that isn’t your skin purging, it is your skin reacting. Stop using it (you will want to anyway!)
You can also try doing a “patch test” first by applying it to small area of your face only for a few days and see how it goes.
Okay, let’s get on with how to use it.
First – Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe To Use On Your Skin?
Yes it is.
However it can be over-drying and may even burn sensitive skins due to the acidity.
This can cause dried up red patches that can be painful.
So do use caution (like with anything). And consider the “patch test” above if you are unsure.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Acne
1. How To Use It As A Spot Treatment
Apple cider vinegar applied directly to a pimple or cyst can help to “shrink” it.
It works similar to applying rubbing alcohol to a spot (which is also a great, easy home treatment by the way, and no less drying than ACV!).
- As a spot treatment you can try using ACV neat (undiluted). Simply apply some with a cotton pad directly to a pimple or cyst – being careful of the surrounding skin
- It might sting for a few seconds! But this won’t last – if it does, rinse off with water
- Applying once in the evening should be enough as it can be drying and irritating if used too often
- If your skin is already dry or sensitive, or becomes so after trying this – use a diluted solution of one third water to two thirds ACV
- Add more water if needed – but keep in mind, as a spot treatment it needs to be fairly strong. If your skin doesn’t like it, it might be best to try something else
Use An Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
It’s just as easy as it sounds – you can use apple cider vinegar as a natural, homemade toner.
Some swear by this as a way to rebalance skin, and because you will using it diluted it is less likely to cause irritation:
- After cleansing and drying your skin, apply a mixture of half water/half ACV over your face with a cotton pad
- Follow with your usual moisturizer
What Type Of Apple Cider Vinegar To Use?
Go for raw, undiluted apple cider vinegar (like this).
This is brown, dirty looking stuff that has “the mother” in it, which is basically the stuff that has all the beneficial acids.
Organic is okay if that’s your thing (“organic” isn’t always important).
How Long Should I Use It For | When Will I See Results?
As long as your skin doesn’t react by drying up, getting irritated, or breaking out more… you can keep using apple cider vinegar as an acne treatment for as long as you wish.
Try it for at least a week. This is the minimum for determining whether it might be making a difference.
After a week you should be able to tell if your breakouts are becoming less severe (shrinking….), oil production is balancing out, or your skin is just starting to clear up.
*Note – when trying anything new – whether a natural treatment or skin care product – it is a good idea to add one thing at a time.
Keep the rest of your skin care routine the same.
This way you will have a better idea if it is the new addition that is actually helping. This is the best way to build up a routine that works really well for you!