Is Apple Cider Vinegar An Effective Treatment For Acne?

According to Healthline, apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is known for helping address a wide range of issues including heartburn, appetite, and mole removal. Some people even use apple cider vinegar to whiten their teeth. Made from the unfiltered juice of pressed apples, ACV is a star in the health and wellness community. Research is slim but weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and minimized risk of cancer are just a few of the benefits that are commonly attributed to taking it.

Because apple cider vinegar has a high acidic content and properties that kill certain types of bacteria, many people wonder if it's also good for treating acne. Some of the organic acids it contains are lactic acid, gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, and chlorogenic acid. Unfortunately, Healthline says there isn't any evidence that supports using apple cider vinegar to treat acne. Furthermore, if it's not properly diluted, applying ACV to the face can lead to inflammation, irritation, and burns.

With that in mind, just because there isn't any evidence doesn't necessarily mean it won't work. If ACV is diluted properly, Dr. Keira Barr told MindBodyGreen that it may offer your skin some benefits.

How apple cider vinegar might benefit your skin

Apple cider vinegar may help balance the skin's pH, act as a chemical exfoliant, and provide antifungal and antibacterial properties that kill the bacteria that causes acne, according to holistic board-certified dermatologist Keira Barr (via MindBodyGreen).

If you want to give it a shot, consider making an apple cider vinegar toner. "Before using it on your face for the first time, it's a good idea to try a test spot on your skin to make sure you won't have an adverse reaction," Barr recommends. Do not use this toner if you have dry skin, very sensitive skin, open wounds, or pimples that are about to pop or have been popped.

For moderate acne, mix 1-part ACV with 4-parts water. For severe acne, mix 1-part ACV with 3-part water. If you have sensitive skin, mix 1-part ACV with 5-parts water.  Since you won't be adding any stabilizers or preservatives, make enough for just a single use in a small bowl or shot glass. Apply it with a cotton ball or pad to clean skin. The first time you use the toner, be extra cautious by applying it slowly and carefully. If there's any burning sensation or any indication of irritation, immediately rinse it off. Otherwise, let the toner sit for about 3 minutes before rinsing and applying moisturizer. If your skin responds well, you can use the toner up to 3 times per week and let it sit for up to 15 minutes before rinsing.