Expert opinion on the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for skin care is mixed, and high-quality research on the subject is lacking. So it’s best to check with your dermatologist before working ACV into your skin-care routine.
Dr. Shapiro sees some potential benefits. “The acidity in vinegar can help clear skin and stop acne by drying out the blemishes and allowing for clear skin to take its place,” he says. “Apple cider vinegar can also help regulate the pH levels in your skin, which keeps it at optimum levels between being oily and dry.”
The right PH balance helps ensure that the outer layer of your skin, the acid mantle, is healthy.
To try apple cider vinegar for your skin, first wash the target skin area as you normally would, then gently pat a washcloth soaked in diluted ACV over your skin. It’s important to dilute the vinegar first, as it contains natural acids that may cause major irritation, even burns, if it is applied full strength to the skin, as a study reported. You may want to do a test patch first, especially if you have sensitive skin, by applying the diluted ACV on a small, less-visible area (such as behind your ear) and then waiting 24 hours to check for redness, irritation, or tenderness.