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If you are familiar with the world of skin care, you may already be aware of the many ways people use apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made when apple cider is fermented with yeast and other helpful bacteria. This fermentation process creates a compound in the vinegar called acetic acid, which is well known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Much of the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar relies on the fruit acids it contains, such as acetic acid and malic acid.

Whether you’re looking to address wrinkles, acne, or even a sunburn, here are some ways to use apple cider vinegar for your face.

There are plenty of DIY skin care recipes that use apple cider vinegar as a key ingredient. Here are a few of the ways to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your homemade face products.

ACV face wash

Washing your face daily can help to remove oil, dirt, and other debris. The best way to get your skin as clean as a whistle is to use a face wash or cleanser. When used as a facial cleanser, apple cider vinegar is an effective way to cleanse the skin of bacteria and debris.

To create an all-natural apple cider vinegar face wash from scratch, mix:

  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Adding apple cider vinegar to the gentle cleansing power of castile soap allows you to wash and tone your face without any added harsh chemicals.

ACV toner

The role of a toner in skin care is to cleanse and tighten the skin to help protect it from bacteria and other impurities. Apple cider vinegar is an astringent, which can function as a toner when applied to the skin. The recipe for apple cider vinegar as a skin toner is as follows:

  • 1 part apple cider vinegar
  • 2 parts purified water

After using a face wash to cleanse the skin, this mixture can be applied to the face with a cotton pad or ball. You can also use a spray bottle to spritz the mixture evenly onto the skin.

If your skin is sensitive to certain skin care products, this mixture can be further diluted before use.

ACV spot treatment

A spot treatment is a quick way to halt rogue blemishes as soon as they appear. To make your own apple cider vinegar spot treatment, simply dab a small amount onto the blemish with a soaked cotton swab or cotton ball.

Because apple cider vinegar is a potent antibacterial, it may help to prevent those pesky pimples from fully forming.

Even if you’re not the DIY type, there are many skin care products on the market that contain apple cider vinegar as an active ingredient. In fact, many skin care products contain acetic acid to control the pH balance of the solution.

Here are a few products currently available to cleanse, tone, and treat your skin.

Apple cider vinegar toners

This toner contains not only apple cider vinegar but also apple juice and tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is another ingredient that is often used in skin care because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic uses.

S.W. Basic’s skin care toner lists five simple ingredients, including organic apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, and essential oils.

Find more ACV toners online.

Apple cider vinegar face cleansers

This apple cider vinegar face wash also contains various vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B-3, to promote healthy skin. The acidity of the apple cider vinegar helps to balance the skin’s pH as it cleanses.

Nature Ski Shop’s foaming face cleanser contains both apple cider vinegar and willow bark. Willow bark is another popular anti-inflammatory ingredient in the skin care world.

Apple cider vinegar spot treatment

These apple cider vinegar face wipes are the perfect on-the-go cleansing product because they are portable and discreet. This also makes them a great spot treatment for any acne blemishes you feel coming on.

Find more face cleansers and ACV wipes online.

There isn’t much evidence to support some of the most common ways people use apple cider vinegar for face care. Most reports are anecdotal.


As a person gets older, their skin naturally loses its elasticity and wrinkles begin to form. One of the ways to minimize premature wrinkles is to take good care of your skin.

Apple cider vinegar can be used in skin care as a toner, face wash, and even a spot treatment. The use of an apple cider vinegar toner, specifically, may help to tighten the skin and protect it from harmful environmental elements.

Tightening the cells of the skin can also help to strengthen the skin and prevent wrinkles from forming.

Skin tags

Skin tags are painless, benign growths of skin that can be found on various parts of the body. Although skin tags aren’t dangerous, people often seek treatment to remove them.

The thinking behind using apple cider vinegar as an at-home treatment for skin tags is generally to dry out the skin tag and allow it to fall off. There have been no studies citing the use of apple cider vinegar as an effective way to remove skin tags.


The Mayo Clinic points to bacteria on the skin as one of the primary causes of acne. Bacteria, along with oil, can build up and clog the pores. Attempting to reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin is a huge step in treating and controlling acne.

Vinegar is known to have antimicrobial properties due to the concentration of various organic acids it contains. One of these organic acids, acetic acid, has been shown to be effective in inhibiting bacterial growth and destroying bacterial biofilms.

Based on its antimicrobial properties, apple cider vinegar may help to reduce acne breakouts when used as part of a daily skin care routine.


There is no evidence to show that apple cider vinegar prevents or treats sunburn. However, diluting apple cider vinegar with water is one way that people apply it for mild after-sun skin care.


Exfoliation is an important skin care process that removes old, dead skin cells.

One type of exfoliation is chemical exfoliation, which relies on various chemicals to remove the dead skin cells.

Apple cider vinegar contains a handful of fruit acids, including malic acid, which is a chemical exfoliator. The malic acid in apple cider vinegar may help it remove the outermost layer of skin.

Apple cider vinegar is a health food ingredient that’s also a popular addition to skin care products because it’s an antimicrobial astringent. From a DIY cleanser to an acne spot treatment, there are many ways to use apple cider vinegar for your face.