Is apple cider vinegar good for your skin?

Let’s see what ACV can do for skin and how to use it.
Is apple cider vinegar good for your skin?
minute read

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Caley Scott, ND

Just ask any dermatologist — there is no one-size-fits-all skincare routine that everyone can rely on.

This means the search for the perfect skincare routine is never-ending, especially since skin changes with time and seasons. Maybe you’ve made progress on your skincare routine in recent years, or you’ve found success with a certain lineup product. What else can you add to the mix to make a difference?

Apple cider vinegar might be the answer you’ve been looking for. This powerhouse ingredient is loaded with nutrients, enzymes, and cleansing properties. Plus, it’s all-natural and always affordable. Whether you consume ACV as part of your diet or add it to your skincare plan, you’ll definitely find something to like.

Let’s talk about what apple cider vinegar can do for your skin, and the best ways to make it part of your daily routine. This is one skincare essential you won’t want to miss.

What is apple cider vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is a twice-fermented apple juice product, packed with nutrition and cleansing acetic acid. The health benefits of ACV begin in the body, and a small serving size can go a long way. 

People take ACV to regulate blood sugar, heal the gut, and improve digestion, among many others. That’s why so many are turning to ACV to help with issues like bloating, weight loss, and overall wellness benchmarks.

If you haven’t tried apple cider vinegar for yourself, now is the time to test it out. Just one or two tablespoons per day can make a difference, and the internal benefits will be seen on your skin as well. 

Later, we’ll touch on some easy ways to incorporate ACV into your routine, but for now, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the overall benefits of this natural superfood. 

What are apple cider vinegar benefits for the skin?

The benefits of apple cider vinegar for internal health are well documented, but that’s just the beginning. You can also benefit from ACV by using it directly on the skin, so long as you use caution and follow through with the proper dilution and application process. 

As a quick disclaimer, do not apply apple cider vinegar directly to your skin in its raw, undiluted form. Play it safe and drop a tablespoon of ACV in at least one cup of water before using it for any of the purposes we’ll talk about now. Remember to pay attention to your skin looks and feels before and after introducing something new, whether it’s a topical cream, ACV, or anything else.

With that said, let’s see why ACV makes for such a powerful skincare supplement across several key categories.

Cleansing properties

The cleansing effects of ACV can’t be denied — the smell is enough to convince anyone of that. 

The good bacteria found in ACV target and help clear away “bad” bacteria on the surface of the skin that cause odors, discoloration, and other unwanted elements. The key is to use ACV sparingly and focus on areas that you believe are the epicenter of odor. 

For example, under the ears or the arms is a great place to start with directly applying ACV in a diluted form. Combine that with a natural deodorant or essential oils to take an organic approach to smelling great without the unusual chemicals and additives found in most mainstream antiperspirants and cosmetics. 

pH level balance

Restoring skin pH isn’t something we usually think about. We tend to focus on appearance and feel, rather than the deeper science of dermatology. However, when you realize pH is key to balancing the skin and finding the sweet spot between dry and oily, it becomes a top priority — and apple cider vinegar can help maintain a healthy skin pH that wards off concerns like dryness or oiliness. 

When applying ACV to your face, always start by cleansing the skin first and diluting the vinegar with warm water. Soak a cotton ball with the diluted ACV solution and gently apply it to the face while avoiding the eye area. Wait 24 hours to see how your skin responds and proceed according to your results.

Gentle exfoliation

You might already be exfoliating your skin once or twice a week, and enjoying the results as you clear away dead skin cells and other buildup. Diluted ACV can offer a more gentle approach to exfoliation if you’re accustomed to harsher products, so consider trying it out to supplement your skincare lineup.

Again, just a small amount of ACV diluted in water is all you need to clear away dirt and debris your skin collects throughout the week — don’t go overboard. The acetic acid does most of the work here, and the cotton ball method should be more than enough to cleanse the skin during or after a hot shower.

Like all exfoliants, you don’t need to cleanse with ACV more than twice per week. Use it cautiously, and remember to track your results to see what works best for you. 

Shine and protection

If your skin looks dull or lacks a healthy glow, the active enzymes in ACV can help. When applied to the skin, ACV also acts as a protectant and natural moisturizer, provided you balance it with other compounds in a well-rounded skincare routine. Be aware that too much ACV can dry out the skin, so a measured approach always pays off when using it.

Remember that ACV is filled with living microbes that serve as a first layer of defense on the skin. This can help keep your skin looking fresh and healthy, even during colder months when you miss out on natural sunlight. 

So many expensive skincare products are designed to make skin look more youthful and vibrant. While ACV might not be the cure-all for glowing skin, it can definitely help your cause and do so at a much more affordable price. 

Hair health and strength

Skin and hair are often grouped together under a broad cosmetic umbrella. After all, we desire many of the same characteristics in both our skin and hair — strength, resilience, shine, and tone. Unsurprisingly, apple cider vinegar can help with hair as well, providing nourishment, protection, and undeniable radiance.

Hair health is another complex equation, and everyone has a different hair profile. Thankfully, ACV helps bring hair back to a state of balanced pH, ensuring better texture, volume, and strength at the root. Don’t forget that ACV is packed with living enzymes and microorganisms. 

These components, in addition to the acetic acid that combats bad bacteria, mean you have a hair health hack that can’t be overlooked. Add ACV to a homemade hair spritzer with clean water or essential oils, and you have a simple, low-cost addition to your hair care plan. 

How should you use apple cider vinegar for skin?

We’ve covered some of the big benefits of ACV when it comes to skincare and even hair health. But with such a potent and pungent ingredient, you might not know how to start using ACV in a safe and sustainable way. 

Now, let’s zoom in on a few practical methods to make the most of ACV in your skincare routine without side effects like redness and discomfort. As always, keep a close eye on how your skin reacts to ACV from the moment you start using it, and don’t hesitate to add or subtract other pieces from your skincare plan to make everything work synergistically. 

Toner or spot treatment

We’ve touched briefly on how to use ACV as an exfoliator or cleanser, but let’s review quickly how to use it. Dilution is number one, and you don’t want to overdo the amount of ACV in the solution you mix at home. 

When done correctly, the natural properties of ACV will clear away buildup, reducing the likelihood of pimples for acne-prone skin. Treat your ACV solution as you would your go-to acne cream or spray — spot treatments should be done as needed and not oversaturated on a certain area.

ACV combined with witch hazel is an effective natural toner, while mixing it with lavender or rosemary can help your skin heal from harsher treatments.

Best of all, you can test the waters with ACV by starting with spot treatments, so you can measure and modify your approach over days, weeks, and months to come. We suggest starting small and taking it from there. 

Make a facial mask

Facial masks are everywhere in the skincare world, and many are upcharged versions of simple solutions you can make at home with ACV. The process is a bit messy when done over the sink, but the savings and results are worth it.

To make a facial mask at home, start with bentonite clay or your favorite powdered mask materials. From there, you can mix in warm water and a dash of ACV to achieve the right texture to apply to your face. You can also include extras like green tea powder, essential oils, and more to create a personalized blend for your skin type.

When applied to your face after a hot shower, the substance will harden and feel “tight” — that means it’s pulling all the impurities from your skin and reducing blemishes on the spot. After twenty minutes or so, just wash the mask off in the shower or with a warm cloth, and watch as your skin looks instantly brighter and clearer.

With a balanced face mask like this one, you can easily perform this process twice a week and not worry about costs or extra time spent at the spa. It’s the perfect way to enter the world of DIY skincare and see what ACV can do for you. 

Use it in a bath soak

The next time you take a bath, why not add some ACV into the mix? This way, you get the whole-body effects of ACV and experience total cleansing on a new level like never before.

Keep in mind that low concentrations of ACV go a long way, especially when using it for the entire body in the bathtub. Spend some time soaking, cleansing, and enjoying the rejuvenating effects of ACV on every inch of your skin. 

You’ll find that ACV adds to the purifying effects of your bath, and you’ll walk away feeling fully refreshed. It’s no wonder why more people are keeping a designated bottle of apple cider vinegar in the bathroom. It has so many applications, from the shower and bath to the sink and beyond.

Add it to your diet

So many recipes already call for ACV, from salad dressings to marinades and even smoothies. While most of our tips so far cover how to use ACV directly on the skin, we also suggest keeping it in your rotation of ingredients in the kitchen. That way, ACV is working on every level — both inside and out — giving you the complete benefits of apple cider vinegar every day.

Remember that consuming ACV unlocks benefits that aren’t attainable by skin-only use. The vitamins, the enzymes, and blood sugar regulation all come into play by digesting and absorbing active ingredients through the gastrointestinal system.

Knowing this, don’t shy away from using ACV as a go-to ingredient. Even if you don’t love the flavor of it in water or tea, there are ways to incorporate ACV to make it work on your terms and tastes.

Get ACV from supplements

We get it — not everyone is built to handle ACV, whether it’s due to sensitive skin, skin irritation, or other side effects from direct skin application. Sunmed understands this, which is why we made ACV part of our Trim lineup of hemp extract supplements. 

Trim products were designed to help you manage your appetite and get more from your weight management efforts, and ACV is just one piece of that puzzle. Our Trim gummies, tinctures, and capsules also contain turmeric for extra antioxidants and a NITRO-V blend of THCV and CBDV.*

With cannabinoids working together with ACV and turmeric, Trim is a one-of-a-kind health booster that can aid performance, digestion, fat burning, and more. You don’t need to deal directly with ACV if you don’t want to — everything you need is in a portable and simple format already. Plus, you can take Trim anywhere you go instead of transporting liquid ACV in its bottle, making it the convenient option for many.* 

The bottom line

Apple cider vinegar is an ingredient like no other in the world of health and wellness. From gut health and weight management to the undeniable skin-boosting benefits, ACV should definitely make your short-list of must-have products at home.

We’ve offered so many ways to get the benefits of ACV, whether it’s with DIY skincare products, recipes, or supplements. What are you waiting for — make ACV a staple of your self-care plan today and discover endless possibilities. 


The effect of apple cider vinegar on lipid profiles and glycemic parameters | NIH

Is apple cider vinegar good for your skin and hair? | University of Nebraska Medicine

Apple cider vinegar may not improve skin barrier, pilot study shows | National Eczema Association

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar on the Skin | Klarity Health Library