Apple Cider Vinegar - should you use it on your skin?

Posted by Elisa Ansar on

Apple Cider Vinegar - should you use it on your skin?

In addition to its uses in the kitchen, apple cider vinegar could have benefits when applied to the skin. Specifically, some suggest that it can help with acne and excess oil. However, there is not enough evidence for such claims, and the studies about it are inconclusive. We recommend using apple cider vinegar as a food rather than a skin care product.


Apples and a bottle of vinegar on a wooden stove

What Is Apple Cider Vinegar? 

In its purest form, apple cider vinegar is made from apple cider fermented for at least six months. During the 18th century, it became popular to use vinegar from flowers, fruits, or spices to cleanse and beautify the skin. Until this day, this natural product is known for having several apparent benefits for the skin.


It allegedly has antibacterial, antifungal, and disinfectant properties thanks to its malic and acetic acid. It also contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that could help eliminate dead skin cells. 

What Should You Know About Apple Cider Vinegar for Skin? 

Apple cider vinegar is a supposed exfoliator with acetic and malic acid. For that reason, it might have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. That could make it ideal for preventing pimples and reducing the appearance of impurities, marks, or scars

Some recommend apple cider vinegar to people with oily skin with acne. It can be used once a day, two times a week during the night. It’s necessary to dilute it before using it on the skin. All in all we do not recommend using apple cider vinegar on your skin, as it might be too irritating.

Benefits of Apple Vinegar Cider 

Please consider that the following benefits are also provided by other acids, like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, which might be safer to use.

  • It might help with pimples and blackheads: its alleged anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties might help treat acne by reducing inflammation and infection. It also absorbs excess oil, preventing pimples from reappearing.
  • It lightens age spots: apple cider vinegar fights signs of aging, such as age spots and marks caused by sun exposure. The sulfur it contains will help to lighten them.
  • It acts as a facial toner: It might balance the skin, regulate pH levels, even the tone, and tighten pores. It also restores radiance to the complexion.

Side-effects of Apple Cider Vinegar 

The acetic acid in vinegar can dry out your skin or produce reactions such as rashes, hives, redness, or burns. Due to its harshness, it’s necessary to dilute it first before using it. 

Apple cider vinegar might cause allergic reactions, although rarely. It’s recommended to try a patch test before applying this component to larger areas. 

How to Use It

If you are very curious and want to try apple cider vinegar on your face, please still keep in mind that vinegar is excessively harsh, it must be diluted with water because it can damage the skin when applied neatly. The proportion is usually one part vinegar to four parts water.

The first time it is applied to the face, you should rinse it with warm water after 5 minutes. As your skin adapts to it, it is possible to leave it without rinsing, or the application time can be increased. But still, we recommend not using it at all.

It’s advisable to apply it with cotton balls. Also, you should use this component at night because it can cause sensitivity when in contact with the sun’s rays.

Our recommendations

Apple cider vinegar has a long history as a traditional medicine ingredient and, more recently, has been used in skincare. However, there is not enough proof of its beneficial properties for health and, specifically, the skin. For example, a 2021 study showed that apple cider vinegar doesn’t affect the bacteria in the skin. 

Instead of using apple cider vinegar on your skin, we recommend using ingredients with proven benefits. For example: 

apple cider vinegar peeling skin care

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