Is apple cider vinegar effective for pimples, acne?

ACV not only treats skin infections, but is also useful for overall health of the skin. It makes our skin look younger. Apple cider vinegar is very effective for treating warts, pimples, acne and other skin problems.

Skin occupies the largest space in our body – it is 2 sqm and contributes to about 16% of our weight.

Skin plays three important roles:

  1. Skin protects from external, harmful elements like fire, water, pollution, free radicals, sharp objects and UV rays.
  2. Skin is also the largest organ in the body, and works as a feedback mechanism – communicating through touch.
  3. The third and most important role is to regulate temperature, discard toxins through sweating, and  absorb sunlight in order to help produce vitamin D

Skin plays these roles at two levels – through the outer layer called epidermis and inner layer called dermis.

Hilary Duff uses apple cider vinegar for pimples

Hilary Duff uses apple cider vinegar for pimples

Healthy body, healthy Skin

The inner layer is constantly producing new cells to create new skin. This skin gradually replaces old skin in the outer layer. This process is so subtle and automatic that we don’t realise that we flaunt new skin every 30 days or so.

We express our emotions through skin – an infant learns to recognize the mother through her touch. The smell of skin is a dead giveaway of moods and emotions. The release of pheromone molecules through skin sends sexual signals to the opposite sex. We feel the warmth of a person through a hand-shake, or are put off by their ‘coldness’.  The smell of the skin is also a good health indicator – stinking skin is usually a sign of bad health.

An anxious or stressed person will reveal the mental state through the sweat.

As you would gather, it is important to maintain a healthy skin for a healthy body, just as the reverse is true – healthy body makes healthy skin.

Using apple cider vinegar builds good skin – internally and externally.  (Read other  benefits of apple cider vinegar – weight loss.)

How Will ACV Cure Acne, Pimples?

I have used cider vinegar on pimples and I know that it stings initially. However, after the initial burning sensation – which lasts for a few seconds – ACV acts quietly.

Apple cider vinegar works well as a skincare product, and helps in treating acne and pimples. Cider vinegar unblocks closed pores so that the skin can perform optimally by throwing out toxins and impurities.

Before we get into the details of how cider vinegar works for treating pimples and acne, let’s see how we get those problems in the first place.

Getting rid of pimples should not be a nightmare
Cider vinegar can be applied directly on pimples Source: Caitlin Regan

Causes of Skin Problems – Acne, Pimples, Eczema

Human skin is acidic; in fact the protective layer on skin is called ‘protective acid mantle‘.

The pH factor of skin is between 4.5 and 6. (The pH factor is a good indicator of acidity level. The pH factor is not uniform throughout the body – pH levels are different in stomach, hair and on skin. Usually a pH factor of between 0 and 6 is considered acidic and anything above that is alkaline.)

This acidity is important in protecting skin  from pollutants, impurities and free radicals.

This protective acidic layer is weakened because of soap, face-wash and make-up. It can also be damaged by environmental factors.

Our skin can repair itself. However, damage to the layer is faster than skin can repair. This is where apple cider vinegar comes to rescue.

How Does ACV Work for Skincare?

For best benefits, apply apple cider vinegar on skin, and drink diluted apple cider vinegar every day.

When applied externally and consumed internally, apple cider vinegar provides multi-faceted benefits:

1. Beta-carotene found in cider vinegar is responsible for reversing the damage caused by free radicals. Drink apple cider vinegar twice a day to get this benefit.  (Read my article about apple cider vinegar diet.)

2. Similarly, apple cider vinegar contains 5% acetic acid.  It provides antibacterial as well as antiseptic properties so that harmful bacteria and viruses don’t damage skin.

3. Finally, apple cider vinegar is useful for skincare because it acts to restore the pH balance of the skin. Cider vinegar’s pH factor of between 4.5 and 5.5 is similar to the pH factor for skin.

Tips For Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Skin

As you know, cider vinegar is a natural product and is widely used as alternative medicine for skin problems like pimples, acne and warts. However, certain precautions must be taken if you are keen to use cider vinegar for treating skin-related complications.

  • The smell of vinegar could seem a bit strong – at least initially. Avoid using it if you plan to go out. Apply cider vinegar toner at night, before going to bed. Wash it off after 30 minutes if you are concerned about the smell.
  • For people with sensitive skin, cider vinegar may irritate skin. Try cider vinegar toner on a small part of skin to check sensitivity.
  • First-time users of cider vinegar may wish to begin gradually with a highly-diluted ACV toner. This will help in verifying the sensitivity of the skin. I have used cider vinegar straight out of bottle with no side-effects on my skin. However, each person’s disposition is unique.
  • It is very rare that the skin will break out. However, if purging happens following ACV application, discontinue the use of cider vinegar. The cause of purging is unknown; it is likely that when cider vinegar opens the pores, skin expels impurities. So purging could be an indication of your pimples getting worse before getting better.
  • Some reports indicate that cider vinegar toner on skin may make skin more sensitive to ultra-violet rays. Because of this avoid applying cider vinegar toner on skin before going out.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Making apple cider vinegar toner at home is very easy.

You can make apple cider vinegar toner for skin at home.

Source: Vegan Baking

What you need

  • 250ml filtered water, tap water is also fine.
  • 250ml apple cider vinegar, only organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized
  • 500ml plastic bottle, to store apple cider vinegar toner

Make Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

  1. Pick up unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Preferably, choose organic cider vinegar.
  2. Take a sterilized bottle. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in 1:1 ratio.
  3. Keep the ACV toner in cool, dry place. Avoid direct sunlight. Shake bottle well before using, so that the ‘mother’ of vinegar gets mixed well.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin

  • Wash face with face-wash. Take a cotton pad or ball, put toner and apply on skin gently. Avoid eyes and areas around eyes. If applying on a pimple, apply undiluted cider vinegar, taking care not to spread it around.
  • Initially begin applying cider vinegar once a day, gradually increasing the frequency to twice a day.
  • Apply it at night before going to bed. Leave it for 30 minutes before washing it off. After initial use, leave it on overnight.
  • Always begin by trying out cider vinegar on a small part of skin, so as to test tolerance.
  • Sometimes, you may wish to apply cider vinegar toner in inaccessible areas – I had a wart on my back. Put cider vinegar toner in a spray bottle and apply.
  • Keep apple cider vinegar away from eyes and the area around eyes. It may cause burning sensation.
  • Once ACV is removed from skin, apply some moisturizing lotion.
  • Many people have successfully added other ingredients to the toner, including green tea, aloe vera gel, or witch hazel.

Choosing the right apple cider vinegar

The normal vinegar is not suitable for making apple cider vinegar toner.

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.This is where all the value of apple cider vinegar lies.

There are many brands to choose from, so you may want to find out which brand is easily available in your country.

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

For a more detailed review and comparison of various cider vinegar brands in the market, read my article:


Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw -- 32 fl oz

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Organic Raw — 32 fl oz

Amazon Price: $4.69
List Price: $7.19

My Experience With Apple Cider Vinegar

I am a big fan of apple cider vinegar for weight loss, for healthy hair and for glowing skin.

My preference is for organic apple cider vinegar, especially for applying on face because it is less harsh on skin.

I use it before going to bed, after I have washed off my face with face wash. I immediately feel fresh, though the smell puts off my partner if I don’t wash it off with water after a few minutes.

I have found apple cider vinegar effective in preventing acne, though it takes a long time to remove existing acne. It is not an overnight remedy. I use it for the cleansing benefit.

Other Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is effective for weight loss as well as stopping hair fall.

ACV strengthens bones, as it helps in extracting calcium from fruits and vegetables that we eat.

ACV contains potassium – an important mineral for rejuvenating tired tissues in our body. Potassium helps in repairing soft tissues. Lack of potassium causes fast hair loss. It also makes our teeth weak. Apple cider vinegar is full of potassium, and helps fight all issues related to bones, teeth and hair fall.

Read my other articles mentioned below for further details on the benefits of apple cider vinegar.

Should you be using cider vinegar for skincare?

  • As I said before, each person may have different experience with cider vinegar. Cider vinegar may not suit some people. If skin irritation occurs, stop using cider vinegar.
  • Some of my readers (or their partners) don’t like the smell of cider vinegar.
  • If the skin condition is serious and needs immediate medical attention, apple cider vinegar may not be the right solution.

Did you know?


  • Cider vinegar’s use dates back to Hippocrates, the father of medicine who used it for treatment.
  • It is known that sailor Columbus carried apple cider vinegar to treat fatal diseases including scurvy.
  • In fact, the Bible suggests that vinegar was used by Jesus. (“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”John 19:30).
  • Many Hollywood celebrities claim to benefit from cider vinegar. Singer Hilary Duff likes to use cider vinegar to remove pimples, while other celebrities including Fergie, Beyonce and Scarlett Johansson have used it for skincare, throat-care and weight loss.


This article is not a substitute of medical advice. Please consult your doctor.


How to use apple cider vinegar for hair loss

When it comes to hair loss treatments, people often think of either expensive surgeries like hair implant, or commercial treatment with shampoos and other products.

Very rarely do we put our trust in home remedies which are in fact cheaper, and safer too.

One such remedy is apple cider vinegar. And this is not a new kid on the block. Apple cider vinegar has been around for centuries.

It has been used for many health issues including:

  • Digestion issues
  • Diabetes
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight loss
  • Skin infections and warts
  • Weak immune system

In fact, I started using apple cider vinegar for weight loss and for improving  my digestion system. It helps cure acid reflux disease too.

I drink cider vinegar twice a day, after diluting a couple of teaspoons in a cup of water. It detoxes my body, improves digestion and I feel fresher.


“I gave up shampoo weeks ago and have taken to rinsing my hair in ACV to 2/3 water.Hair looks and feels healthy, manageable like never before. And it doesnt dry it out.” Angels (Ava’s mom) (Source: Amazon)


How to use cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is acidic – it contains 5% acidity. So you may want to dilute cider vinegar before using it on your hair, though I have heard from many people who use cider vinegar without diluting it.

Adding baking soda to apple cider vinegar rinse makes hair shiny and healthy

Adding baking soda to apple cider vinegar rinse makes hair shiny and healthy

Take a 500ml mug or jar. Fill it up half with warm water and half with cider vinegar. That’s your apple cider vinegar hair rinse. Fill it up in a bottle dispenser. I use a sprinkler bottle.

How to wash hair with apple cider vinegar

Now wash your hair with shampoo as you usually do. Shed excess water from hair. You may want to lightly dry up hair with towel, which is optional. Apply cider vinegar hair rinse. Work cider vinegar into the scalp. This is where it is needed the most. Leave it on for a couple of minutes and wash it off. Take care to avoid cider vinegar getting into your eyes. It many cause burning sensation.

If cider vinegar manages to make its way in your eyes, wash them off with cold water.

Here’s a variation to the process. Some people prefer to add a spoon of baking soda to the ACV hair rinse. This provides extra shine and also helps in cleaning up dandruff.

Remember, use of baking soda may cause excessive dryness and make your scalp itchy. As such, use baking soda only once a month, and follow it up with some hair oil. I prefer not to use baking soda because my scalp is dry anyway, and cider vinegar is sufficient to remove chemical build up from the scalp.

Why is ACV so effective in treating hair fall

Apple cider vinegar works at many levels in improving the quality of hair as well as the health of your scalp.
Let’s see how apple cider vinegar is beneficial for healthy hair:
  • Cider vinegar is made from apples which is a rich source of potassium. This nutrient is important for healthy hair
  • Cider vinegar also contains malic acid which is another ingredient for removing fungal as well as bacterial infections.
  • The most important benefit of cider vinegar is its ability to balance pH factor of hair: Human hair should ideally have a pH factor of between 4 and 6. Cider vinegar has Shampooing typically increases pH factor. Human hair is acidic, with a pH factor of 4 to 6. Shampooing your hair regularly strips them off their acidity. Apple cider vinegar, with its pH factor of about 4, helps in restoring the pH balance of our hair.
  • Cider vinegar makes hair smoother, and addresses the problem of split hair.
  • Cider vinegar’s ability to remove chemicals from the scalp helps in solving the issue of scratchy scalp. Healthier scalp promotes new hair growth.
  • Because of its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal property, apple cider vinegar can provide a good remedy for hair loss diseases like Alopecia.

Can I use white vinegar instead?

White vinegar used for cooking is different from apple cider vinegar.

So the answer is no – you shouldn’t use white vinegar if you wish to get healthy hair. Apple cider vinegar is specifically manufactured to contain ‘mother’ of vinegar – it is the muddy floating object that you will see in the bottle. This mother contains the nutrients and enzymes you need for it’s health value.

This is why it is important to choose the right apple cider vinegar from the market.

What you should be looking for is unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. If it is made from organic apples, even better. Organic apples are free from pesticides. The leading brand of organic cider vinegar is Bragg. Bragg source their organic apples mostly from within the United States and therefore are more confident about the quality of apples used in making cider vinegar.

Organic cider vinegar is worth the money you spend on it, considering how much money we spend on commercial products laden with chemicals. Also, apple cider vinegar is versatile and has many more uses – see the end of this article.

Some people prefer powder cider vinegar instead of liquid cider vinegar. I don’t know whether the powder cider vinegar is effective. I use liquid cider vinegar because I can see the ‘mother’ of vinegar in it.

How cider vinegar helps in hair growth

OK, a bit of a history of hair loss. We don’t lose hair overnight unless caused by Alopecia or some other hair disease. Hair loss occurs over a period of time, usually a couple of years, mostly because of stress, diet, water and environmental conditions.
As such, stopping hair fall is not possible with a quick fix solution. It takes time, and changes to lifestyle.
What apple cider vinegar does is offers the possibility of a healthy scalp, so that when our immune systems is naturally ready to encourage hair re-growth, it has a healthy environment available which is conducive to reducing hair fall, and encouraging new hair growth.
I have been using cider vinegar for less than a year now, and have seen marked difference in the quality of my hair. It has slowed down hair fall, and I have shiny hair. I can almost feel a healthy scalp as there is not itchiness and dryness anymore. I follow the cider vinegar treatment with almond oil application so as to prevent dryness.
As an aside, I have thrown away commercial conditioners, because I like the natural hair treatment with apple cider vinegar.
I would recommend using cider vinegar once or twice a month only. So if you wash your hair more often, then you may still want to use a conditioner.
Cider vinegar is a lifetime habit. You would want to continue to use cider vinegar regularly to protect your hair from harmful radicals and maintain a natural shine.

Cider vinegar hair rinse is not known to have any adverse side effects. It is a natural product free of chemicals, and is good for your hair.

Should I use cider vinegar for hair?

Each person’s body-disposition is different. The effectiveness of apple cider vinegar may vary from person to person. You may want to try cider vinegar hair rinse for a few months, and see if it works for you. It has worked for me. In fact, I could feel the difference the very first time I washed my hair with cider vinegar.
Cider vinegar – a friend for your hair
  • Makes hair shiny and smooth
  • Prevents hair splits
  • Removes harmful chemical deposit from the scalp
  • Supplies important vitamins to the hair

Other Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar Diet

Apple cider vinegar is not just helpful for your hair but also for your overall health.

It helps in many ways:

  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Digestion
  • Immune system
  • Acid reflux
  • Skin health
  • Weight loss

People have successfully used cider vinegar to treat acne and pimples.

Cider vinegar is also effective in shedding extra pounds and losing weight over a period of time. Weight loss benefits are achieved by increasing metabolism rate.

Have an ACV drink every day and keep doctor away.

Image source: Jessica Mullen

Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss

Apple Cider Vinegar Weight Loss programme is easy to follow, is natural, and can help you lose weight and get back in shape. If you are thinking: will I lose weight with apple cider vinegar, read on.

This article is based on research and will shows a guaranteed way of losing weight with apple cider vinegar (ACV). If an apple a day keeps doctor away, then a spoon or two of apple cider vinegar can keep the weight gain away.

What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Cider vinegar is extremely useful for:

  • Diabetes
  • Warts
  • Household clearning
  • Healthy cooking
  • Skin care
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches, nausea
  • Hair loss
  • And even for pet care

Let’s look at how it can help lose weight and provide other health benefits too.

This is what you will discover

  • How to lose weight with apple cider vinegar
  • How does apple cider vinegar help lose weight
  • How to lose weight fast

How to lose weight with apple cider vinegar

Many women have successfully detoxed their bodies with apple vinegar. It is extremely important to detox our bodies regularly so we can feel fresh, energetic and chase our dreams successfully.

The best part is that the apple cider vinegar weight loss programme is very easy to follow.

There is no need to drink a lot of apple cider vinegar, especially if you don’t like the sore taste. Even with small quantity, you can get weight loss benefits.

Simply take two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and put it in a glass (16 ounces) of water. Drink this water once a day. For better results, drink it three times a day, just before every meal.

It is a sore drink and you may take a while to get used to the taste. However you can improve the taste b adding a bit of honey in it. Honey has natural health benefits, but that’s for another article.

Here’s another way to improve the taste. Just add apple vinegar to your tea. Again, not too much, simply put two tablespoons of vinegar and honey or maple syrup in a cup of boiling water and add tea.

How does apple cider vinegar help lose weight

While there’s research to show how apple cider vinegar help lose weight, it is a bit of mystery. One of the common explanations found in the literature is this. The vinegar suppresses your appetite and thus you eat less. This naturally helps you to shed extra pounds and get in a bikini shape.

But how does it lower your appetite? Apple cider vinegar contains enzymes and organic acids. These acids in turn improve the metabolism rate. Higher metabolism rate helps your body burn excess fat and make you slim. Because of it, you also retain less water and you feel more energetic.

There’s another theory that explains how vinegar helps in weight loss. Apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar. Because of lower blood sugar, your body produces less insulin. Research shows that lower insulin levels help weight loss.

How long to take apple cider vinegarYou must be wondering how long do I need to take the vinegar to lose weight. There is no rule that says you should drink apple cider vinegar for a limited time.

It is a natural product and there are no side effects. You can keep drinking ACV for the rest of your life, and it will only benefit you. But will you lose weight fast? It depends on how fast you need to lose weight. The effects of apple cider vinegar are not immediately visible. The results are gradual. The results will vary depending on your body type. But the results are long-lasting.

There are some figures available based on current research. It shows that you can lose about 10 pounds to 15 pounds (which is roughly 6 to 9 kilos) in one year. However you have to be persistent and keep drinking two tablespoons of ACV with water just before every meal regularly. However this is a conservative estimate.

There’s evidence that shows that some women have lost about two pounds in a month.

Can I lose weight fast?

Yes, you can, if you combine the apple cider vinegar weight loss programme with health eating. Stay away from junk or oily food.

Also use the following tips to lose weight fast with apple cider vinegar:

  • Have banana: It contains potassium which helps reduce stress and lowers blood pressure.
  • Eat less sugar: Avoid all possible instances of eating sugar.
  • More exercise: Exercise at least once a day, five days a week. Even a half-hour walk can be very beneficial.