Apple Cider Vinegar For Skin: A Kitchen Remedy For A Glowing Complexion

The bottle of apple cider vinegar that's sitting in your pantry may not be just for zesty salads or used in cooking. There are many health benefits for your skin locked away in that tangy little bottle of goodness.

We all know that eating an apple a day keeps us fit and healthy. All we need is a supply of apples, a quality  apple peeler,  and some recipe ideas, and you're all set to start reaping the benefits of those healthy and delicious fruits.

Apples are also great for the skin, no matter how you slice them. They contain plenty of vitamins B and C and are packed with antioxidants that help rejuvenate your skin. Some people believe that if you eat a couple of apples every day, you'll have brighter skin. 

What if you don't like eating apples? Or, what if apples contain too much sugar for your diet? The good news is that your skin could still benefit from the fruit in the form of apple cider vinegar (ACV.)

Can apple cider vinegar give you good skin?

Apple cider vinegar is becoming a go-to skin treatment for health-conscious people looking for a more natural skincare regimen. Let's explore whether there's any truth to the rumors of apple cider vinegar benefits for skin: 

1. Face wash - Apple cider vinegar for skin as a face wash

ACV can be used effectively as a face wash. Here's a quick and easy but effective recipe to make and use:

Natural apple cider vinegar face wash

  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Mix ingredients and use the combination daily as a face wash instead of relying on harsh chemical face cleansers.  Natural skincare  is so much better for you.

2. Toner - Tone your skin by dabbing apple cider vinegar on

Face toners can contain chemicals you probably should not put on your skin. Because it is astringent, apple cider vinegar can work very much like a toner does when applied to the skin. 

Try this simple recipe:

Apple cider vinegar toner

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 2 parts purified water

Combine the two ingredients in the ratio above. Cleanse your face and dry it thoroughly. Gently apply this mixture all over your face with a cotton ball. You can also pour the mixture into a spray bottle and evenly spray the skin's surface. For sensitive skin, dilute the ACV with more water.

3. Spot treatment - Can apple cider vinegar even out skin? 

Spot treatments help even out the skin's appearance, lighten darkened areas, and create a smooth and clear appearance. It is a way to quickly stop the skin from blemishes and pimples as they appear. 

Using the same ratio as the toner recipe, dab the cotton ball onto the skin's problem areas. 

4. Wrinkle treatment - Can apple cider vinegar smooth and tighten skin?

As we age, our skin's elasticity begins to reduce. As this happens, wrinkles start to appear. By using an ACV as a toner, the skin could tighten. The action of tightening cells can also strengthen the skin, lessening the look of wrinkles.

5. Skin tags - Will apple cider vinegar help remove skin tags?

Skin tags are not dangerous or painful, but many people don't like how they look. A doctor can surgically remove skin tags, but if you're not keen on going this route, you may feel tempted to try the home remedy that suggests ACV can help with this little problem. 

Since ACV dries and tightens skin cells, it could theoretically help get rid of skin tags. However, there aren't any conclusive studies that suggest this is an effective solution.

6. Acne - Does apple cider vinegar help with acne?

Research suggests that bacteria on the skin is the number one culprit behind acne. How to use apple cider vinegar for acne:

  • Use ACV as a face wash and as a toner, as above.
  • Make a face mask by combining 1 Tbsp ACV with 2 tsp of raw honey and 2 tsp baking soda. Apply your apple cider vinegar face mask and rinse it off with warm water after 20 mins.

Like many other "natural" products, using apple cider vinegar to treat acne may take longer than overnight. 

7. Sunburn - Is apple cider vinegar effective for sunburn?

There is not enough conclusive evidence based on scientific research to prove that apple cider vinegar can treat sunburn or even act as a sunblock. However, since it's a natural astringent, ACV could soothe pain and speed up the healing process.

8. Exfoliate - Can apple cider vinegar exfoliate the skin?

Exfoliation means removing old and dead skin cells and is an essential part of one's skincare routine. Apple cider vinegar contains various fruit acids like malic acid, a chemical exfoliator that may help remove unwanted old skin cells.

9. Eczema or psoriasis - Can apple cider vinegar help?

There is a rumor that apple cider vinegar can relieve itching and burning associated with these skin conditions. However, we highly recommend first getting medical advice. ACV that enters any broken or bleeding skin could burn.

So, what does apple cider vinegar do for your skin? 

Apple cider vinegar has gained a  ton of popularity in the last few years as an all-natural way to achieve healthy skin.

Although it is usually safe to use when diluted, it's best to begin using apple cider vinegar with caution. 

  • Apple cider vinegar may have the ability to restore a person's PH levels to their skin. With the correct PH levels, your skin's outer layers (the acid mantle) will appear vibrant and healthy. 
  • People with skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and rosacea may have other areas of their bodies that need to be addressed, such as diet and lifestyle.

Always consult a doctor or dermatologist before starting any treatment to determine if the problem is more than skin-deep. 

Can apple cider vinegar be bad for your skin?

  • Although apple cider vinegar contains probiotics which could be good for the skin, it depends on the brand you use. Some of the apple cider vinegar brands filter out the beneficial bacteria, which means it does not contain probiotics like other fermented foods.
  • If you take apple cider vinegar orally or topically expecting a "miracle cure" for issues like acne, you may need to address other factors in your lifestyle. Always consult a doctor or a board-certified dermatologist when you are about to use any new product on your skin or if you plan to ingest it.

Even though many personal reports on apple cider vinegar's health benefits are doing the rounds, scientific research is limited to support those claims.

  • People who have eczema or other skin conditions already have vulnerable skin and may be susceptible to fungus, bacteria, and other unwanted organisms entering the broken skin. Using apple cider vinegar could further irritate and burn the skin, especially if you use it undiluted. 
  • Skin can become sensitive to any treatment if continued longer than recommended. Since there's no conclusive research done on using apple cider vinegar for skin, it is challenging to find scientifically-backed recommendations for use. 

How to use apple cider vinegar safely

Apple cider vinegar seems harmless enough. It sits in your kitchen pantry; you can cook with it or use it as part of a zesty salad dressing. So, putting it on your face can't be bad for you, can it? 

As always, it's best to consult a doctor or dermatologist before you use anything on your skin, especially if you have a skin condition. If you decide to try it anyway, there are some rules to follow when you use apple cider vinegar for skin:

  1. Dilute. Dilute. Dilute! It can exfoliate and cause burns, so always dilute the apple cider vinegar first.
  2. Don't use apple cider vinegar with other acids or retinoids.
  3. Always test it first. Apply a tiny amount on a discreet area and watch it for 24 hours before applying it all over your face.
  4. If you feel any discomfort like itching or burning after applying apple cider vinegar to your skin, consult a doctor immediately.

So, is apple cider vinegar good for your skin or bad?

  • If appropriately used, apple cider vinegar can be safe for your skin, even improving texture and appearance. The anti-inflammatory properties alone can be beneficial. Apple cider vinegar contains alpha-hydroxy and acetic acids, which means it can exfoliate, absorb oil and unclog pores.
  • Early research  suggested that apple cider vinegar has antifungal properties and may help treat candida. However,  further research concluded that it could have microbial effects on e-Coli, C. Albicans, and staphylococcus aureus, but only when it is undiluted and high quality.
  • Other reports state that undiluted apple cider vinegar can cause burns and skin irritation. What may seem to be a great new way to have healthy skin could work against you if not done correctly. You should treat apple cider vinegar no different than any other such skincare product.
  • And, as always, we recommend discussing changes to your skincare routine with your family doctor!