The Natural Acne Cure: ACV, Apple Cider Vinegar

Not gonna lie, I had my suspicions. I had been drinking ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) for quite some time now, and had started to use it on my hair, when I became fed up with the fact that my skin had not gotten better for some time. And man, am I glad I switched to using ACV as my toner.

EDIT 3/19/2014: I do not use ACV for my face anymore – consistently drinking it grew to be a bit too annoying for me – and have since switched over to a new skin care routine, based off of a Korean skin care routine. My skin has been consistently blemish free, softer, brighter, healthier, and my acne scares are going away as a result. If you are interested, do some research. And remember to use ACV at your own risk! Be mindful about your health and skin. I am not a doctor nor am I an expert, I’m just a girl on the internet. You are responsible for your own decisions. I am not liable for any problems that may occur.

Back story, I am a girl with unusually clear skin… usually. But recently my skin had decided to FREAK OUT, probably from stress and travelling, and it was breaking out hardcore. Pimples all over my forehead and the sides of my face, some on my cheeks, a few on my skin, blackheads on my nose. (Wow, this is really gross to talk about. And admit.) I had been using Green Tea as a facial toner but failing to refrigerate it or replace it once it had gone bad (too tired, too lazy). Furthermore I had stopped using soap on my face to see if it made a difference. (It did– a good one at first.) I was stubborn enough not to go back to washing it because my face had stayed moisturized and soft beyond belief, but the acne was piling up– I had just broken out with three bright red pimples, two on the right side and one on the left side of my face– one of them was puss-filled (yum)!

So finally I decided to look up ACV for the face. I had heard that people had had good results with it, but I thought it would burn my face so didn’t try it. This time, however, I did.

You mix it together, 1/2 water and 1/2 ACV, into any container that it will fit. Then you put this mixture on your face. (Most people use cotton balls, but I just use my hands.) Avoid your eyes like the plague. (I know most people say to do this and there are no ill effects if you don’t, but no. Really do avoid. It will burn.)

Let me tell you what to expect: Your face should not burn, unless you reapply consistently for the day. Your nose will semi-hurt, like when you smell vinegar, but it will go away. It is not a pretty smell. Allow it to set into your skin. If your face is prone to dryness, use a moisturizer. (I have each time I used it just in case, but it hasn’t really been a problem.) If you will be heading out into the sun, wash the ACV off, as I’ve heard leaving it on and going outside leads to darkening of the skin. It’s possible your acne will get better, worsen a bit, and get better, as ACV will cause the hidden toxins currently in your face to come to the surface so they can be destroyed, too. The bottom line is, you will see results within the first day or two, and by three weeks (general consensus) your acne will be gone.

When can you use it? As many times a day as is necessary, but if you have dry skin, probably two times, morning and night, at max. But let me say this: Go easy on your skin, because it WILL work. I put it on my skin at 5pm, and by the time it was 7pm, the huge puss-filled pimple I was telling you about had shrunk. Like, shrunk to the point where there was no more puss. Go figure. I put it on a final time before going to bed at 1am, and when I got up, surprise surprise: they had shrunken down to the point where I could hardly feel them.

Bonus: My face feels just as soft and moisturized as ever.

The theory behind why this works is that general medicines use chemical acids to zap the face, but your skin adapts to them after a while. ACV is a much stronger but also more natural and gentle acid, so your skin accepts it easier. It was an old cure way back-in-the-day for many things like arthritis joint pain, period pains and symptoms, and energy loss.

I would suggest buying ACV organically, because it has more nutrients and vitamins in there that are healthier for you and your skin. The ACV that isn’t in the organic section of your local store has been strained so that all of the benefits are lost. I especially recommend this if you’re drinking it or using it on your hair. (It tastes better, is healthier, and for some reason makes your hair a lot more shiny.) There are also people who suggest drinking it to cleanse your body at the same time that it treats it topically. I can vouch for this, as during the time I was drinking it every day my acne lessened greatly. To drink it, have a cup of water and put a teaspoon in it. Drink that 2-3 times a day. It doesn’t taste good, but you will get used to it. If you don’t, add honey to it to taste. Also try adding it with ramen, because it only ups the flavor. (ALWAYS DILUTE IT WITH WATER. It’s dangerous to drink it straight, as it will burn your throat and damage your teeth.)

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90 responses to “The Natural Acne Cure: ACV, Apple Cider Vinegar

  1. Pingback: Green Tea Facial Toner | cheratomo

  2. Very interesting! I got too lazy for tea too, I only recently made more and started using it in the morning because I was breaking out. I’m glad you found the good AVC because that original tasted sooo bad!

    • Me too, trust me. Yeah, I’m actually really pleased with how much my face is NOT breaking out right now, because it’s been crazy for a while now. >.<

  3. Pingback: How I’m curing MY acne « Sassy Steph B's Blog

  4. I really interested after reading some article about ACV benefit for acne problems. gonna try it. I just bought an ACV online coz I can’t found it in any store at my town.

    • That’s good. ACV can sometimes be hard to find. I hope it works well for you! It’s worked for me. I’m warning you, I did notice my skin “purge” as well. I got a few days in and they started coming up again, but I kept at it and now pretty much all of my acne is gone, about two and a half weeks later. Good luck!

  5. Pingback: Apple Cider Vinegar – Authentic Discovery « Energy's Soul Mission

  6. And here I was just using if for pickled onions :D

    • It’s surprisingly good for basically everything. Except tasting good. But only if it’s not organic, the organic tastes so much better. …In comparison, of course. xD

      FLIIINNNNN I MISS YOU OKAY

      It’s okay, I’m professional once again.

  7. hanan

    thank you for this amazing review! i just bought it and will use it during the night :)

    • I hope that it helps! Don’t forget that even more than what you put on your face, how much you drink and what you eat makes more of an impression. Good luck! :D

  8. Erikka

    I have always had acne and even on a clean vegan, gluten free diet i am struggling with it. I tried ACV a while ago and it didn’t make that much of a difference. I switched to witch hazel and that helped so much more. I ran out of my witch hazel and just used the ACV as a toner until I can get more witch hazel. I am also going to start taking ACV internally to see if it will make a difference.

    • Drinking it does make a good difference, but it takes a little while for you to see. I noticed that your digestion is a lot better, your food digests faster, and you detox faster. After a few days your skin gets brighter and pimples start to disappear.

      I believe the reason I had such a dramatic reaction is because I put it on my face several times in one day, as opposed to just once at night. I applied it maybe five times a day for two or three days and did wonders. I’m not sure what the long-term effects of this would be, though. Where would you find witch hazel?

  9. I started to use it morning and night with a cotton ball.I have not notice anything yet.My skin is very oilly how long think it will take??

    • If you want them to go away, you should use it more frequently than twice a day. Five times a day won’t hurt. It also depends on whether you’ve had the pimples for a really long time or whether they just popped up.

  10. But I have notice one thing my pores are shrinking but all my pimples have not gone away yet , I also use bare minerals make up to.

  11. I didn’t know about this but thank you!!!
    Now I just have to hunt some ACV down aha

  12. Blue

    HELLO! do you still apply facial toner? what brand of ACV you used?

    • I did for a long time but just two days ago I decided to give my face a break. ACV got rid of all of the pimples, but I had a lot of blackheads and stuff. I’m pretty sure that my moisturizer was causing those, though, but since I’m not moisturizing I decided to stop ACV because it could dry out my face. xD

      I just used the one I found in the organic section of my grocery store. I think it was called Bragg. If you want to drink it, Bragg’s tastes a lot better and keeps the nutrients, while stuff that isn’t organic strains all the nutrients away. :)

  13. park

    are apple vinegar and apple cider vinegar the same? just in case..

    and after how long will the drinking show any effects?
    and doesn’t applying it as a toner hurt or sting your face? thank you.

    • I believe they should be the same. Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented apples, and I don’t think it’s possible to make vinegar without fermenting them first, but you might want to check around google just to make sure (my search didn’t turn up much).

      The drinking, for me, I felt energized the same day after drinking it, and I believe it was either the very next day (but at least within three days) that I started seeing my skin glow. Since I wasn’t looking for my acne to go away at the time, I don’t know when that first started happening. I know that after about a week or a week and a half I looked into my dorm mirror and went, “Where did all of my pimples go?!”

      Applying it as a toner won’t hurt or sting unless you have microscopic cuts (so if you plucked your eyebrows, shaved or face, or your boyfriend has a beard). Even so, that doesn’t hurt much at all. If you have sensitive skin you don’t want to put it on more than once a day, though, because it might sting.

  14. DollyH

    My sister has had really bad acne for years. I’ve been looking and looking for different, affordable ways to help her get Rid of it once and for all! I’m hoping this will help her. Will it also help with weight loss if I drink it a couple of times a day?
    Thanks,
    Dolly

    • I’ve heard that it helps with weight loss by speeding up metabolism and helping your digestive track. While I don’t have any proof of weight loss (I’ve already got a high metabolism) I can say that when I drank it regularly, I found myself hungrier as if I digested my food faster, and also my digestion was the best it had ever been. I’ve heard that it does help, though. It wouldn’t hurt to try, as it’s very good for you in other ways. Generally it’s 1 Tablespoon per cup of water, two to three times a day. Hope that helps!

  15. in the article you say 1 tsp per cup of water, but above you say 1 Tablespoon. have you changed your mind on that?

    • It’s not that I’ve changed my mind, it’s that the size of my “cup” changed. xDDD Since it’s now a 12-ounce glass of water I use 1 Tablespoon. Essentially, 1 teaspoon is fine, but most people recommend in between 2 and 3 teaspoons per cup (and three teaspoons make a tablespoon). I would say it has more to do on how you deal with the taste. If you can handle more, then go for more.

  16. Alex

    Recently, I’ve started using AVC on my facial acne after reading this and other articles on the subject. I can’t decide whether to use a spray bottle to apply the AVC (messy but it’s so easy) or use a cotton ball. When I use the spray, I can tell that the AVC is getting into my pores (it stings!), but I’m not sure if it’s more/less effective than cotton balls, or even splashing on with hands. I’ve had craptacular acne for years now, and any help would be appreciated :)

    I’m using Braggs, undiluted with water… should I? I have quite oily skin, and it isn’t drying up. Thanks!

    • I have two pieces of advice! First, I used my hands to apply it because I was too lazy to go out and buy cotton balls. It worked very well, excepting a little bit of drippage and messiness, which isn’t a problem if you apply it over a sink.

      Second, I would recommend using it diluted. If it stings your skin, it’s too strong. It’s actually hurting and intensely drying out your skin and causing your skin to overreact to heal it, which would aggravate the acne. It shouldn’t sting unless it gets in an open wound (like a popped zit).

      Also, I have had some friends who have oily skin. Although I can’t know if this is what is happening with you I can share what they figured out works for them. They had super oily skin so they thought they had to wash it all the time with the strongest stuff and didn’t use moisturizer to try and get the oils off. What ended up happening was that they dried out their skin so much that it overcorrected and put more oil on it than before because the skin needed the moisture, which they then cleaned off, so it was an endless cycle and their acne kept getting worse. In the end they went way more gently on their skin and applied moisturizer and drank a lot of water, and their acne went away.

      I don’t know if this could be what is happening with you, but it is food for thought. I hope that helps!

      • Alex

        Hey, thanks for the quick reply! I’ll keep that in mind… I suppose I’ll take the extra time and pocket lint and go buy a nice moisturizer. As of yet my skin doesn’t feel like it’s been drying out (definitely less oily, but not dry), but I suppose diluting my AVC won’t hurt any! Maybe a variation of spraying, hands-on and cotton balls will help me determine which works best.

        And thanks again for the quick reply, I hope this works! Mad props to you if it does :3

  17. Oscar

    How do you use it for your hair? Can it help for hair lost? Thank you

    • You can wash your hair with it and it works as a cleanser. The ratio is basically 1/3 ACV plus 2/3 water. You can do cups, combine it in a bottle, and pour it over your head. I’ve heard ACV does help for hair loss, but those people were drinking it, so I would recommend trying that. I make no promises, however, as what I’ve heard about it helping is only hearsay. Good luck.

  18. mariah

    Trying this for the first time tonight. Your story is just like mine. I am not prone to pimples but lately its been a war zone on my face! Going to Vegas in a few weeks don’t want to have to worry about my pimples! I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes though. thanks for the advice!

  19. Kayla

    Do you wash it off if you’re not going out in the sun or just leave it on?

  20. Ashley Deckard

    I live in Colorado and am wondering if the sunshine will darken my skin? I put AVC/lemon juice/water toner on then, use olive oil as a moisturizer both morning and night. I out make-up on in the morning as well. Thanks

    • AVC can darken your skin in sunlight, and lemon juice can lighten it (it contains bleaching agents). These should only be problems if you do go out into the sun. I would recommend either only using toner at night (it might be rough on your skin to go for more than that) or putting it on your face and then washing it off before you head outside.

  21. Evy

    i just want to ask if the ACV is advisable to cure my dark spot acne scars all over my body,my face and mostly in my back and shoulder and i could not even use short blouse because of it. please help…thank you

    • I have heard that it helps scarring, and it helped mine, but I did not have extensive scarring. I would say you should give it a try, as it won’t hurt you. I hope it works out.

  22. I am starting it now! Just applied it…fingers crossed! I have been tired of my acne this year. I never ever had acne problems but last year and this year, they are like not planning to leave me alone! As soon one plans to leave me, another will pop up immediately. As far my diet concerns pure vegetarian no eggs. I drink right almost amount of water and try to exercise while I can (but get lazy many times).
    I am really done with my acne problem. That’s it. I want the solution. Ready to try out homemade remedies.will try this for few days and see if it works on me. Will it even help with the blemishes??

    • Have you been incredibly stressed? Did you maybe start University or a new job or get involved in a stressful relationship with a friend or love interest? I know that my face was always relatively clear until I went to college and then BOOM! The thing was, I didn’t FEEL as if I was stressed, but at the end of the semester when I realized that I had spontaneously lost six pounds (which is terrible because I’m already underweight, so it’s very dangerous for my health) and that I have to take it more seriously.

      It should help with the blemishes. As I’ve said before, I would recommend drinking it. Applying topically will help the acne that’s there but won’t do as much to prevent it as drinking it, which cleans your system before it can pop up on your face.

      Good luck!

  23. Ryan Anderson

    I just started using ACV a few days ago. I am a man and I found that using olive oil at night and helped a lot with shaving irritations. I read that some people mix ACV with olive oil and water and leave it on over night. I have have been doing that the past 2 nights and have already noticed a difference. The only down side is my face is a little dryer than normally but not to the point where I am thinking about stopping. I was wondering do you think it would be better do keep on mixing my ACV with olive oil or do apply to ACV as a toner and let it dry then put olive oil on over it? Also do you apply the AVC on a dry or wet face?

    • I apply it on a dry, just washed face. I would imagine if your face is a little dry you should add a bit more olive oil to the mix, as perhaps your face is just drier than what the recipe is for. One thing I noticed is that when I use ACV, my face has a kind of “dry” feel but it isn’t actually dry. I don’t know what it is, but it feels like it’s tighter (which generally for me means not moisturized) but it never amounted to anything. My face was softer than usual and didn’t flake or anything like it typically does when dry, so it might just be a side effect of it for some reason.

      If your face doesn’t feel soft like it does when it is well moisturized then you should do the other routine you suggested. I had a similar routine where I washed my face, put on ACV, and then put on an olive oil-based moisturizer and it all worked well.

      I’m glad that you’ve noticed a difference! Hurrah! (Also, that olive oil for helping with shaving irritations? Great idea. Gonna do that the next time I hurt my legs. >.<)

  24. Pingback: How To Treat Back Acne Scars | Planet Blog & Reviews

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  26. Jane

    maybe you can help me out. I’ve tried using ACV as a toner. my skin is generally very good (not too many problems with acne except sometimes right before I get my period). Like you, I don’t use soap on my face anymore, just oils (mainly olive and castor oils and tea tree essential oil which is WONDERFUL for clearing up acne!). so anyway, I tried 1/3 ACV and 2/3 green tea (a recipe from another site), and it burns my face. it burns like crazy! it turned my face bright, sunburn red for like an hour. I just sat there on my bed, curled up in a ball going, “gaaah it burns!” and my husband was like wtf… I have since used my mixture on my hair instead of on my skin. do you have any idea as to why would it burn my face so badly but not other peoples’? I really did want it to work.. wah!

    • Jane

      oh my goodness I am an idiot. I realized after posting this comment that at the time I had bought double acidity ACV (8% acidity instead of 4%) because it was cheaper. at the time I was only using it for my hair so I didn’t figure that it mattered. I think that’s the ACV I used on my skin recipe. doh. well I tried it again just now, (half ACV; half water), with my “normal” ACV. this is organic unfiltered ACV. it doesn’t burn my face :). It does sting a little but I’ll just use 1/3 ACV and 2/3 water next time instead of half and half.

      I’ve recently started drinking it because everyone on all-natural sites have been raving about it. it tastes kind of gross, but I could get used to it!

      Moral of the story: don’t use double acidity ACV on your face! baha!

      • Wow! I’m amazed your face survived that much pain!

        Considering even the 50-50 solution stung your face, you may just have sensitive skin (especially considering you’ve been using more mild things for your face, a sudden burst of BAM! ACV! probably freaked it out).

        I’m glad that you got it all figured out, and hope it works for you!

  27. icy

    ACV saved my skin, nothing else remotely worked (‘cept for antibiotics). I now use it on my hair (w/ baking soda) and it is a lifesaver. I had a wart on my little finger that compound W did jack shit to (except make it bigger) and when I used a bandaid to tape a small cotton ball soaked in ACV to it, replacing when the bandaid got too loose, it turned black within 3 days, after which I left off for a week, and then peeled the entire wart away. Not one to evangelize, but ACV has proved to be invaluable to me. I use Braggs.

    • I agree. ACV really comes through for a lot of different ailments, not just acne. I’ve heard it helps get rid of PMS symptoms, improve digestion, stop stomach aches, and in some cases helps sore muscles, and that’s not even the half of it! It really is kind of a miracle worker. Thanks for your feedback!

  28. gingersnaps99

    Drinking it and putting it on my pimples has always worked really well for me. It makes my skin glow a bit. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s dangerous to drink it straight though. I like drinking it straight. I usually add water to it but I know how to drink it so it doesn’t really touch my teeth or burn my throat. It takes some effort to perfect it. If you try to gulp it like water it will make you choke.

    • It’s dangerous to drink it straight in the conventional sense, where people drink it like water but don’t add water to it. I’ve also heard that if you drink it straight and multiple times a day, it can destroy the lining on your throat. It also wears down your enamel. It is acid, after all.

      Since you add water to it, it probably shouldn’t bother you. It does make your skin glow, doesn’t it? It’s kind of strange, but really wonderful.

  29. Pantropic

    Does this only work on raised acne or those weird under the surface red acne marks that occasionally erupt into a white head?

    • I honestly can’t remember. I believed drinking it helped with both, but using it topically (while it did help the under-the-surface ones, although they took longer) helped raised acne the best.

  30. Jayce

    ACV is also good for fungal treatment like dandruff that’s really annoying, when I put a concentrated ACV in my scalp it really solves the itchiness and flaking. I use ACV thrice a week put it in my scalp massage it and leave it overnight and rinse it with warm water in the morning. no need to shampoo just conditioner. I also use Braggs. thanks for info

  31. Sandra

    I used ACV for a week and my face has gotten worse! So I thought it didn’t work on me and went back with Clean & Clear Acne wash with salicylic acid. Is it normal that it gets worse before it gets better? Because in a way, I don’t wanna quit but what if it’s not working on me and I’ll just keep breaking out badly? I’m scarring pretty bad so I’m not sure what to do. Can I use the acne wash in the day and vinegar at night? I read somewhere that I shouldn’t use medicated stuff while on vinegar.

    • Tell me a bit about how you use it. Is your skin normally oily or dry? are you drinking a lot of water? When do you wash your face, with what, and when do you use ACV in your routine? Do you moisturize afterwards? What is the ratio you’re using on your skin? (1:1 ACV to water or 1:3 or what)? I’ll be better able to help you if I know. xD

      • Sandra

        I have combination of oily skin, usually my nose and forehead are somewhat oily and cheeks are not. I don’t drink a lot of water but lots of juice? I wash my face two or three times a day, in the morning, in the afternoon to wash off make up and at night… sometimes I don’t use anything to wash in the morning or night but just water, nothing else. Making sure I’m not washing too much and drying up my face. I do moisturize afterwards, although sometimes after I apply ACV, my face doesn’t feel dry so I leave it at that cause I don’t want my face to feel too oily if I apply moisturizer on top of that. I am using 1:2 (water:vinegar) as in 1/3 water and 2/3 vinegar. Because I know most people use 1:1, but there are also people who don’t dilute the vinegar and still works for them. So I’m diluting it but just not as much? I know it could aggravate skin if it’s too strong, but I don’t have sensitive skin and I don’t feel it burns my face or anything.

      • I would recommend properly diluting it to a 1:1 ratio. Considering how often you wash your face (water dries out your face, too, if you don’t put moisturizer on) and that you don’t put moisturizer on after using ACV, the amount you’re using is probably really drying out your skin. Additionally, do you use ACV every time you wash your face? Once a day is probably enough. ACV is acidic, and applying too much too frequently without something to return your skin to “normal” would throw off the natural pH balance of your body. ACV does tend to make things worse before it gets better, but getting breakouts is not really the typical experience. (Usually you get a few bumps, but they go away quickly.) Also, is the scarring happening because of the ACV? (That shouldn’t be the case, as ACV actually helps get rid of scarring.)

  32. Haylee

    I just started using this last night. I have really clear skin normally but last week, right around my nose these red patches came out of nowhere! They have little bumps that are filled with clear liquid, so filled with nothing basically, and the patches look horrible. I have a small one on my chin as well…I heard this could maybe help. I put the ACV on 2-3 times yesterday and noticed the last time I put it on that the patches turned almost white (sorta like hydrogen peroxide turns things white). I was wondering if you’ve ever noticed that or if that means it’s working?? I hope so….

    • It sounds like you were fine the way you were before ACV. It also sounds like the ACV is drying out your skin, which would result in increased oil production and therefore more bumps, especially around the ridges of your nose (that’s where I get mine; my hypothesis is that because the skin kind of “folds” there, it’s harder to get the oil out and it just kind of sits there and stagnates). I would recommend stopping and seeing if it gets better.

  33. OOOPS: SORRY, could you delete my last comment? thanks! now here’s the real comment:

    now, the thing you need to know about me before you process what i’m about to tell you is that i have pretty much always have had dry skin to varying degrees. not just my face. my whole body. i would define myself to have mild acne (whiteheads, pimples). mild acne can be seen on my:

    1. face
    2. cleavage/decollètè
    3. back
    4. neck
    5. forearms

    i discovered benzoylperoxid in 2009 to deal with my mild acne in check and have been using it ever since. of course the result is that i have the acne in check, but overall my skin suffers from this. benzoylperoxid dries the skin, even with the moisturizer. the longer i’ve been using this stuff, the more i noticed that my skin looked a LOT older than it should actually look like.

    what i needed was a change in my approach to cleanse my skin.

    i’ve heard about the “ocm” a few months ago in “crunchy betty” and tried it with pure olive oil, but because of the effort, just dropped it. but a couple of weeks ago i started doing it again. first it was every night before going to bed. but my skin had a major break out. with lots and lots of zits. so i changed it to every couple of days. i’m not sure.

    well, and the thing is i heard about acv and how it can help you detox your body from the inside out. that is what i did. i’ve been drinking acv for a little over 3 weeks. the first 1.5 weeks were especially bad. i had huge pimples that i’ve never had before and so many whiteheads all over my face. but by now it has calmed down somewhat. though the main problem is that the whiteheads — not sure i can call them whiteheads — as most of them don’t have the white thingy. it looks like a rash a bit? (using acv toner in a concentration of 1:1 with water 2x day)

    what do you think? should i wait longer and give my skin time to adjust, see what it looks like and only THEN attempt to change the ratio. or do something right now? i’d have thought that my skin would have benefitted from a major improvement by now. do you think i’m doing something wrong? HELP!

    • I can tell you what I know, but keep in mind that I am not a skin-expert by any means. My skin is fairly dry all over my body as well, so we have that in common, but I’ve never had to deal with acne anywhere other than my face and somewhat my back.

      First of all, you HAVE TO clean up your lifestyle. One thing I’ve noticed is that exercising a little every day (the kind of exercise where you sweat) does absolute wonders for my skin. I think it’s because you’re sweating through your pores, clearing that out, getting fresh blood to your skin, and giving your body hormones it needs. Whenever my skin is horrible and I start exercising (well, sweating) a lot, my face clears up in maybe a week. I personally like to run for around 30 minutes a day, but since the weather has been horrible I’ve been doing blogilates (she’s on youtube) instead.

      Second, make sure you drink a lot of water. Water is really important when your skin is dry and improves your skin a lot. However, sometimes drinking water isn’t enough. I’ve noticed that even if I drink a lot of water, my skin the next day can feel either dry or not dry. I’ve realized this has to do with whether I get enough vitamin A, C, and antioxidants in my diet. When I get enough, and I go to sleep, regardless of whether I get a lot of sleep I wake up the next day and my skin is soft and feels actually moisturized, which for me is rare. I would recommend eating a salad a day, maybe drinking a V8 (they’re not that good for you but sometimes I’m just lazy), eating berries (blue and black!), or drinking green tea. If you find an infusion with acai berry (it would have to be a good infusion), get it. Not only does it taste good, but acai berries are EXTREMELY good for you.

      Okay, third is what you’ve heard a lot: get sleep. Especially since you were using benzoyl peroxide.. it is acid, after all, and your skin probably needed a lot of time to recover from the damage it was getting. Overall, your whole body needs the same thing. When I get a good amount of sleep, my skin will feel a lot more… plump? Is that the word? Firm, yet moisturized? -shrug- If you don’t get sleep, you’re putting your body under a lot of stress, and it won’t be able to heal from the products you’re putting on it.

      Fourth, stress. I’m in college and it was only when I got into college that I started to break out because stress is a b*tch (pardon my french). Find ways to calm down. Of course, if you sleep and exercise, you’ll pretty much be fine.

      Okay, ALL of the ways above are MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more important than what you put on your face. Make sure you don’t forget this! I rarely, if ever, use my face wash because most people don’t actually need it. If you have dry skin, you probably don’t need face wash. (I know this isn’t what they tell you, but they want money. -shrug-) You DO need to wash your face, but you can wash it with just water and a soft facial cloth. If you ever feel up to it, I would recommend backing off on how often you clean your face. Especially since you have dry skin like mine, overcleaning with products can dry your face out like none-other. Additionally, when you refrain from products you can notice when your skin is dry and when it has moisturized by itself. (again, when my face is dry it’s typically because I haven’t been sleeping/drinking/have been stressed, and not using product helps me know what my skin needs.) Keep using moisturizer, though. Moisturizer is very important! Make sure it doesn’t have any fragrances, and if possible try to use sunscreen in the mornings on your face and neck.

      Next, I would recommend using body lotion for your body and facial lotion for your face if you don’t already. Body lotion is typically a lot stronger and better. Make sure to read the ingredients on the bottle, though. Good ingredients include olive oil, soy butter, and things like that. If your skin gets dry day after day, look at products marketed for black people. xD

      Next, about the way you clean your skin – don’t scrub it! You can exfoliate, yes, and gently in little circles, but don’t exfoliate every day or scrub it intensely. That’s really bad for it – it microscopically cuts your skin (kind of like, if you’ve ever had a boyfriend with a beard and kissed him and tried to put ACV on your skin that night, DON’T DO IT, IT HURTS) and your skin has to spend time healing, so it spends less time helping your acne.

      NEXT, (god this is a lot, hahaha) when you want to pop your zits, don’t. (Oh, I know how you want to.) Instead of popping them, use your face rag, run it in REALLY hot water (not hot enough to burn but pretty hot), squeeze out the excess water, and put that to whichever pimple looks like it’s gonna burst. Wait for maybe 30 seconds, then gently rub in a circle. If it didn’t “pop,” try again a couple of times, never rubbing too hard. If it doesn’t pop, you have to wait for a different day. This is how I get rid of them when they look bad, and my skin heals much faster and without scars because of it.

      NEXT, when you finish washing your face and it’s wet, reserve a facecloth as your “this is only for my clean face and no other part of my body” cloth. Pat your face dry, don’t rub (rubbing mixes everything together, patting soaks it up). That way you’re not accidentally rubbing yourself with excess conditioner.

      Now, to answer your question about specifically ACV (god this is so long, I’m sorry xD), make sure you are drinking enough in water but not too much. Drinking too little won’t help as much. Now, your breakout was normal. When you first go on ACV, it gets worse (your body is detoxing) and then it gets better, provided your body has enough vitamins/water to keep it good. At least, that’s what I experienced myself.

      As for the toner, I would recommend not using it twice a day. Since your skin is already dry, try using it only when you go to bed. It’s possible that your skin is drying out and that’s why you have rash-looking acne. (I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of acne that isn’t necessarily a pimple – it’s more like a pimple under the skin, right? From my personal experience, that kind of acne is best solved by getting your health back in order.) Additionally, try doing a ratio of 2 water to 1 ACV. Too much ACV can be drying for your face and bad for you. It’s best to start small and go up from there so your face has time to adjust. I would really think about giving your face a little break for maybe a week or two, using your products only once a day and washing with water the rest of the time, and not scrubbing as frequently (if not stopping product overall), and trying not to wear much makeup. That way your body can adjust back to its equilibrium, and from there you can try using your routine again and you can see which products actually work and which ones don’t.

      OKAY! I’m sorry this was super long! I guess I learned more about acne through my own journey than I thought I did. Still, I’m not an expert. We have a similar skin type, but these things might not work for you. I would suggest giving them a try (I mean, what have you got to lose?) but I can’t guarantee they will work. I CAN guarantee that all the steps that have to do with your health will DEFINITELY help. Usually people neglect those because they’re the harder things. It’s easy to use a new product. It’s hard to make yourself go to sleep on time or to eat a salad when you don’t like it or to exercise when you don’t feel like it. Try being healthy, because that’s what has helped my acne probably more than anything else, and when I fail to give my body those things, my face (and back Dx) show it.

      Oh! One last thing. Try not to stress out about your face. Either look in the mirror and think, “Man, I love my skin,” or, if that’s too hard, try looking in the mirror and feeling ambivalent about it. It’s not that important in the grand scheme of things, and I firmly believe that how I talk to my body influences how it looks and behaves. (I mean, if someone criticized you all day, you wouldn’t want to be all happy and glowy, either.)

      OKAY. I’M DONE! I hope that this helps! Let me know if you have any changes. Good luck!^^

  34. hi cara!
    first of all, thank you SO much for writing such a thorough reply. must have taken you quite some time!

    EXERCISE & SHOWER
    you’re right about the exercising. though i am slim now, who knows for how long if i don’t start exercising in earnest soon if not sooner. omg, if i exercise so much i am sweating like a pig, then i’d have to shower everyday. –i thought that to be drying for the skin too. how do you manage?

    SLEEP & FOOD
    since i am of indian origin, i usually eat lots of vegetables (curries etc.) (although not enough fruits and definitely a salad every day! sleep seems to be okay too, i sleep about 9+ hrs/day. now that you mention the berries … i do have a iron deficiency (due to me being practically a vegetarian).

    ACV TONER:
    i will do the acv toning only evenings starting from now on. and moisturize right after (i use body milk instead of body lotion because of the dry skin. is that ok do you think?) i don’t really wear make up anyway. so if i go out i wash the acv off my face and try to use the sunscreen (if i remember).

    ACV TONIC:
    about the acv tonic. how do you if you drink too much? i’ve been taking 1 tablespoon acv in a warm glass of water (sometimes with a little raw honey) 2-3x day and had no problem (except for heartburn and migraine in the first week of starting the regime which i am guessing is from the detoxing phase since it hasn’t happened again).

    • Showering every day is not bad for your skin, although this depends on the quality of your water. I notice that when I shower after exercising, especially when I go running (and sweat all over my body) my skin doesn’t feel dry or need much moisturizing (I think the sweat going through the skin moisturizes it, as if the water is typically under our bodies and letting it pass through moisturizes the cells). In any case, when my skin is dry after a shower I just apply moisturizer. Generally speaking I apply moisturizer immediately after every shower (doing this immediately after traps the water from the shower on your skin, so you get double the moisture!) Applying after every shower makes sure my skin is good, because I tend to get eczema if it is dry for too long. x.x

      Making sure that you’re getting a wide variety of vegetables is important, and you’re doing a lot better than me so far xD Make sure you get enough iron!! Iron is extremely important, and most women are very low in it. Also, too little iron can contribute to old/brittle looking skin and hair, so that might have contributed to how you said your skin looked aged. Berries/antioxidants and iron are important! (I’m the opposite of you, I love fruit but don’t really eat vegetables.) Fruit is very important for your body, as Vitamin C is an extremely important nutrient (and one that your body essentially cannot overdose on).

      From what I could tell from research, body milk is the least moisturizing, body lotion is next, and body cream is the most moisturizing. Body milk has a lot of vitamins, but it only moisturizes the surface of your skin, so it won’t keep your skin moisturized or prevent it from thinking it’s constantly dry. Try using body cream? I use lotion because I got a lot for Christmas, but body cream is by far the most beneficial I’ve had. (Good job not using makeup! I don’t like it either. xD)

      You’re drinking a good amount. I think if your stomach starts feeling like there is acid in it (you know the feeling? it’s like a burning) then it’s too much, but you’d have to be drinking A LOT. I’ve heard of people drinking it by the glass, but I feel like that’s not healthy. x.x

  35. Jordy Peri

    Hey I just started drinking apple cider vinegar 3 days ago and applying it at night about a week ago. When I was just applying it my skin looked great but when I started drinking it oh my. I woke up on this 4th morning with 6 HUGE pimple. They are like cystic. I have never broken out this bad. Is it just pushing stuff out of my skin. My skin is a train reck right now and I have school pictures tomorrow. I just want to hide right now. I can feel more popping up under the skin too.

    • Oh wow, that really sucks! If I had to guess I would say it’s pushing the waste up out of your skin, but it could also be that you’re allergic to it or drinking bad ACV. Make sure that’s not the case, and then if you keep having breakouts just stop using it.

      Make sure you are eating lots of vitamins (and not very many processed foods – stay away from dairy and cheese), sleep a lot, don’t touch your face, and drink A LOT OF WATER (no soda or coffee or anything!) There’s not much you can do now before tomorrow, but hopefully taking really good care of your skin will help a little bit. I’m sorry this happened to you and I hope it gets better!

  36. Tracy

    Ive enjoyed your post and more importantly you reply to each and every post. Good work. Now to my question. I don’t know whether what I have is acne or just a rash all over my face. I started using ACV a week ago. The rashes were drying but now they seem to be back full force. I have not stopped using it. I use five tablespoons with one tablespoon of acv on my skin. I also drink one tablespoon in a cup of water. Will ACV help with my rashes?

    • Thank you very much!

      My experience with ACV has entirely been about acne, not rashes. Therefore I’m not sure what to do if it was a rash. I found a post on the internet saying that ACV can help rashes (it definitely won’t hurt, especially since you’re diluting it). However, it also said that if it doesn’t start to go away, you should get it checked out.

      That being said, I’m not sure whether you have sensitive skin, but the ACV might be too diluted to have an effect. When I used it I used 1 part water to 1 part ACV, and it seems you have 5 parts water to 1 part ACV. My recommendation would be (unless you have sensitive skin) to try to increase the amount of ACV and see if that helps any.

      Thanks for reading! ^^

  37. Isabelle

    Hi, I just started this today for acne and I was wondering how long you leave it on for? I left it on today for about 5-10 minutes. Is that too short or long? And can you leave it on over night or is that bad?

    • To be honest, I didn’t wash it off unless I was heading outside in the morning. 5-10 minutes should be fine, and I didn’t experience any negative side effects from leaving it on.

  38. Jack

    ive been thinking about putting this on my chest and back due to acne. Does the smell go away once you rinse it off?

  39. trey

    Hey, its just when i search across the internet and come straight to your site about the acv. Haha. Im from asian. And yesterday i just start my regimen by drinking a tablespoon of acv straight into, And drank a lot of water. But im not mixing it into a water. Ist okay ? And i did put it on a sprayer by diluting acv :1 and water 4. The way i put it on my face is by spraying on my face and swab it with the cotton pad. Thank youu

    • The way you’re applying it to your face sounds fine, but make sure you dilute the ACV when you drink it. It can wear down the enamel on your teeth (just like lemons) and make it reaaaaally hurt to eat certain foods. It’s better to be safe than sorry! :)

  40. Kait

    ACV will not damage your teeth, you can take a shot of it by itself. That’s what I do, and it actually helps to whiten your teeth. Just swish it around in there

    • Whitening your teeth is inherently damaging, actually. You must have a really thick enamel and really healthy teeth. I actually wore down the enamel on my teeth just by using whitening toothpaste. After a while I wasn’t able to eat sweets, and I had had no idea that the toothpaste was damaging my teeth until they were already hurt. @-@ My boyfriend has really sensitive teeth, too, and for him straight ACV really hurts. Basically, I think that just because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean it’s not doing harm, so I think it’s best to warn people.

  41. Hi cheratomo,

    Please do comment on my routine.
    I wash my face an antibacterial facial wash which is very mild.
    I have a toner with clindamycine and i also apply a clyndamycine solotion afterwards. And then i pat pure ACV on each pimple. and then i put sunscreen after everything dried up.

    in the evening after washing i put ice on pimple. do everything except sunscreen. i put moisturizer at night.

    Is this good for you? Or should i stick to the washing of face and ACV only…

    Please help. With the ACV my pimple do sting a bit but then it goes away.

    • Make sure you dilute the ACV when you put it on each of your pimple. I know sometimes you want to feel it stinging so that you know that it’s working, but trust me – it only hurts in the long run. If your face is stinging, you’re doing more harm than good. I don’t actually know anything about clyndamycine, so I can’t comment on that. Antibacterial face washes are okay, but antibacterials tend to be very drying, and also questionable for the face. Some bacteria is good for your body, and antibacterial can be considered irresponsible since it makes antibacterial-resistant strains of bacteria. Just make sure you’re making an informed choice. Other than that, continue putting on sunscreen and make sure to moisturize your face twice a day! Moisturizer is the most important thing, even if your face is usually oily. :D Don’t forget to drink lots of water and eat and sleep well. It sounds like you’re doing fine. :3

  42. Donna

    My acne-prone areas are my shoulders and chest – and the only thing that works is washing them daily in the shower with the Citrus Clear Face Wash. Since I have been using it – no shoulder or chest acne.

    • There are certainly products that work well. In the past few years, what I’ve been using hasn’t worked (it can’t counteract the horror that is the stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition that is my college life) and I’ve discovered that certain products (in particular, Korean ones) are very effective!

  43. Hey! i have a question. After cleaning my face with apple cider vinegar, do i leave it dry naturally? or do i clean my face with a towel?

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