How to clear skin blemishes with apple cider vinegar

Toners seem to be the pet rock of facial care. Why not just cleanse and moisturise our face like we do with the rest of our body? Is it a ploy to get us to spend money on something we don’t really need?

The short answer to that question is that consumers that are slathering hormone-disrupting, synthetic cleansers on their face probably don’t need toner. However, if it is a natural one, toner can really benefit our skin; this post explains why, and helps you get started with a quick DIY toner.

Why your skin needs acid?

Soap is great at cleansing our skin, but poor at preserving its built-in protection system: the acid mantle. The acid mantle is like “like an invisible veil that keeps the good stuff (lipids, moisture) in and the bad stuff (pollution, bacteria) out. As the name indicates, the acid mantle is at its strongest — and therefore most naturally balanced — when the skin is slightly acidic, with an optimum pH of about 5.5.” (source) When we wash with soap, two things happen:

  1. We wash away some of the good bacteria that are part of our natural microbiome. However, those bacteria also live in the deeper skin layers out of the soap’s reach thus, repopulate quickly.
  2. Harsh soap or cleansers change the skin’s pH from acid to alkaline and wash off the “protective film” part of the mantle, which is sebum produced by our skin. Destroying the acid mantle leaves our skin vulnerable to harmful bacteria, germs, and pollutants.

So, how does apple cider vinegar benefit skin?

According to Dr. Bowe, apple cider vinegar “returns acidity to your skin and the malic acid in apple cider vinegar makes it antibacterial, wiping out bacteria.” Using a toner made with ACV restores pH, and then all you need to do is smooth on moisturiser and you’re done!

Other benefits:

  • It helps prevent and battle ageing: According to this article, women with alkaline skin develop more fine lines and crow’s feet than those with acidic skin.
  • Apple cider vinegar removes toxins from your face: Regular use of an apple cider vinegar wash will help draw toxins out of your skin leaving a youthful and clean glow.
  • It helps prevent acne and pimples: Anti bacterial and keratolytic properties gives ACV the potential to zap your bumps from the source.

How to make an Apple Cider Vinegar facial toner at home


  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (if you’re a DIY person, you can use apple scraps to make apple cider vinegar)
  • Distilled water or hydrosol (tea tree, lavender, rose or peppermint)

To Make

1:4 Ratio —Recommended for sensitive skin or if you’re just starting to use toner: Add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 parts distilled water or hydrosol.

1:3 Ratio — Add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts distilled water/hydrosol.

1:2 Ratio — Add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts distilled water/hydrosol.

1:1 Ratio — Add 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part distilled water/hydrosol.

NB: If using essential oils, mix the with the vinegar first, add in the water/hydrosol, then shake.

To Use

Apply to skin using a cotton pad or clean cloth (Some people prefer to pour it into a small spray bottle and spritz it on). Allow the apple cider vinegar toner to dry completely, then follow with a moisturiser. You could also try this face serum recipe.

Watch out for the next blog post in this series — Apple Cider Vinegar for improved heart health! :)