How Vinegar Helps in Acne Treatment

Acne is one of the most common and widely spread chronic skin disorders affecting millions of people around the globe.

A lot of methods and medications have been introduced with time which ranges from antibiotic and anti retinoid to various herbal and home remedies.

This article shall discuss the effectiveness of a product readily available in every kitchen, which is vinegar.

The article is further divided to talk about two kinds of vinegar for acne which has known to be effective in the treatment include apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.

What is Vinegar?

Vinegar is formed by a mixture of acetic acid and water and is readily used in food preparations around the world.

It is produced by fermenting ethanol and is one of the mildest acids available with a large number of industrial, household and health benefits.

It is also used for the purpose of cleaning as it tends to cut out the dirt because of its acidic nature.

It has been known to procure various health benefits fighting infections and other skin conditions with its anti-bacterial properties while at the same time proving effective for flu and cold.

How does Vinegar help treat acne?

Vinegar is known to possess anti-microbial properties which help in destroying the acne-causing bacteria thereby unclogging the pores that they had blocked.

This anti-bacterial property is present because of the presence of acetic acid which functions as a disinfectant.

It is the acidity of vinegar which helps in killing the bacteria as they cannot survive in the acidic environment.

There are two kinds of vinegar, with different compositions, that help in fighting the acne bacteria and preventing acne breakouts. These are white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar - how it helps, precautions and side effects

It is a kind of vinegar made from apple or cider. Apple cider vinegar helps in fighting acne breakouts in three ways. It contains beta-carotene which exhibits antioxidant properties and helps in reducing the oxidative stress and the resultant damage thereof.

It also possesses antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties which not only help in fighting the bacteria but also after that facilitates the healing process.

The pH level of apple cider vinegar is in between 4.5 to 5.5 which give it an efficient balance between being acidic and alkaline and is also similar to that required by the human body.

It therefore helps in maintaining the pH level of the skin.

Apple cider vinegar can be used on the skin topically by making a toner in many ways.

This simply requires mixing apple cider vinegar to water in a 1:1 ratio.  This should be mixed well after which it can be used as a spot treatment.

Use a cotton ball to apply it to the affected area. You can add other ingredients like aloe vera or witch hazel in order to make it better by carefully selecting what suits your skin better.

In order to use apple cider vinegar, the following precautions must be maintained:

  • The smell of it is extremely strong and if you can’t stand it, apply the vinegar at night
  • If you have sensitive skin, use an extremely diluted form of apple cider vinegar
  • You must stop using the toner in case of purging on the application of the vinegar
  • Do a patch test for allergies before completely relying on the treatment
  • Using apple cider vinegar may increase sensitivity to sun’s rays and you must avoid exposure as much as possible and wear a sunscreen or protective clothing when going out.

Possible Drug interaction 

Apple cider vinegar may react with the following medications:

  • High amounts of ACV decrease the potassium level of the body and this decreased level may increase the side effect of Lanoxin
  • Taking apple cider vinegar along with insulin may make the potassium level to go extremely down
  • It may decrease blood sugar in diabetic patients which will, therefore, require regulation of diabetic medications when taking apple cider vinegar
  • Taking it when also on water pill might make the potassium level go extremely down

White vinegar - how it helps, precautions and side effects

It is produced by fermenting alcohol and contains a pH level of 2.4.

It is a mixture of 5% to 8% of acetic acid in water and has a huge utility in food preparations. White vinegar has been used as a home remedy for acne since a long time though there is a lack of hard medical evidence to prove its effectiveness.

It generally works as an antimicrobial agent because of its acidity.

This helps in fighting the acne-causing bacteria and destroying them, thereby clearing the clogged pores.

It is also believed to possess antiseptic properties which help in not only fighting the bacteria but also facilitating the healing process of the damaged cells.

Its pH level again helps in maintaining the pH level of the skin.

White vinegar can be used topically in the following way:

Though it is less acidic than apple cider vinegar, it is advised that you dilute white vinegar in equal amounts of water to make a toner.

Before using this toner as a spot treatment, you must wash your face with a mild cleanser. After which a cotton ball can be used to apply this toner on the affected area.

It should be left on for 5 to 10 minutes before washing it off with water.

It can also be used in a mask form by adding to it baking soda or corn starch. After applying this as a mask on your face, leave it on for 15 minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water.

This mask might cause extreme dryness of the skin in which case you can apply a moisturizer.


Do a patch test before going forward with the application of white vinegar in order to check for allergies
In case you are buying it from the market, be sure to check it for adulteration

Othe general benefits of using vinegar

Vinegar has a number of benefits. Some of them are enumerated below:

  • They have known to be helpful in maintaining blood glucose level and check obesity
  • It lowers the cholesterol level thereby reducing risks of heart attack
  • It has been used to combat various infections of the body and skin

Does vinegar helps in acne - User review

We did an analysis of online consumer review to check for the effectiveness of vinegar in dealing with acne breakouts based on the experience of people who have already used it.

Here is a summary of what they liked and disliked about it:

What they liked about it:

Complexion: A lot of consumers were of the view that not only did vinegar help in reducing the frequency of breakouts but also gave a new glow to their skin. It was very effective in improving their complexion

Acne scars: Many consumers saw the fading away of acne scars and pimple marks on the application of vinegar. Thus it attacked both acne breakouts and the scars.

What they did not like about it:

Slow: Some consumers were disappointed with the speed with which it seemed to works. It is a very time taking treatment and is not an efficient quick fix if you are looking for one

Purges: A few consumers even experienced purges on the application of vinegar. But it has been argued that it is an initial reaction before it actually starts showing any improvement.


Vinegar is a very easily available product and most probably lying in your kitchen right now.

It is an anti-bacterial and antiseptic agent that will not only reduce the breakouts but also makes your skin glowing.

In order to try this out, you do not even have to go out of your house. If you are looking for efficient home remedies, this might just be what you have been looking for.

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