How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Lighten Acne Scars

If you have acne for any length of time you may notice acne scars forming on your skin. They can be particularly unsightly over time, and particularly embarrassing for teenagers and young adults at a time in their lives when they’re concerned about their appearance. Many people can suffer bad acne from their teenage years and right through adulthood, so it’s not a problem that only young people experience.

apple cider vinegar for acne

Acne is characterized by small or medium-sizes welts. They can be red, or they can be white heads, which are filled with pus and can break open. If left unchecked, acne can cause bad scars on your face and body. This just compounds the acne problem further, and makes people feel even more embarrassed by their bad skin condition.

Often covering up your acne with powder and foundation isn’t the best solution, as it’s not getting to the root of the problem, which is basically inflammation from within your skin’s hair follicles.

The best solution is to start treating your bad acne, and once your acne starts clearing up, to treat the bad acne scars on your face, neck, and upper chest and back. You can speed up the healing process and use apple cider vinegar to help lighten and heal your acne scars. There are also many natural ingredients that can be added to your apple cider vinegar to help speed healing and to decrease scar marks.

Why Does Acne Cause Scarring?

Acne is medically known as acne vulgaris. It’s generally caused by bacteria, often acne propionbacterium, though there are a few less common types that cause acne too. This is a long-term skin disease that can flare up, heal, then come back again.

While the acne bacteria can live in balance on almost everybody’s skin, there are certain things that can cause the bacteria population to grow, including stress, hormones, genetics, and inadequate skincare. It’s caused by a variety of conditions that occur deep within the hair follicles on the skin. The bacteria can cause the oil glands to work overtime on your skin too.

Hair follicles can clog up with dead skin cells and too much oil, causing large red inflamed pimples and a red rash. Often acne is only on one part of the face, but can soon spread if the original infection is not properly cared for.

While one or two pimples may quickly heal up, the more pimples you have on your skin, the greater the chances that there will be acne scarring. This is because the pimples often become infected with white pus. This is a normal part of the healing process but the pimples can break open. There is also the temptation for the sufferer to squeeze them open or to scratch them if they become itchy. These actions can lead to scarring on the skin. Acne scars are particularly noticeable on the face, though acne scarring can also occur on other parts of the body too.

No matter how careful you are, if you have acne, you may have scars on your skin, leaving people to find the best solution to healing and lightening them.

How Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help?

Apple cider vinegar can be an effective treatment for acne, and lighten up your acne scars. This is one of the best skincare treatments, as it is simple and affordable to try, and the vinegar can be used alone or made up into skin toner recipes to increase its healing benefits and decrease skin irritation. You can make up a simple toner and keep it in a small travel-sized bottle so it can be used on the go.

While you’re not going to experience a miraculous overnight treatment, there are many reasons why apple cider vinegar can help heal your acne. Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from apples. It has a high acidity that can aid in restoring the natural acidity and pH levels in your skin. When your skin is in a natural balance, it can better fight off harmful bacteria on your skin, particularly the one that causes acne.

Apple cider vinegar is also naturally drying and works as an astringent on your skin. These properties can help to heal your acne.

The third way apple cider vinegar can help is by lightening acne scars. It works because it can slough away the dead skin cells. Over time, this can aid in fading away your acne scars.

Apple cider vinegar naturally contains many vitamins that are essential nutrients for your body, including A, B2, B6, C, and E. It also contains malic and lactic acid, alpha hydroxy and amino acids.

How Long Does it Take for Apple Cider Vinegar to Work on Acne Scars?

It can take time for apple cider vinegar to work, so if you’re planning on looking your best for an event coming up in a few months’ time, start your treatment now. It’s also important to follow the instructions and not miss any treatments.

Skin results can vary from person to person. You may see results after just a few days, while some people may need to wait two weeks. This is the time it takes for the upper epidermis to renew itself. Your skin is composed of varying layers. For your entire skin’s upper surface to renew, it takes about a month for a teenager, and up to 42 days for a middle-aged adult. Particularly bad scars that have accumulated over years may take as long to clear up.

This is why it’s so important to treat your acne scars upon their formation, so that healing time is faster.

1. Apple Cider Toner Recipe 1 to Lighten Acne Scars

Many people don’t like to use apple cider vinegar right from the bottle as it’s particularly harsh and doesn’t smell that great. The best way is to make your own apple cider vinegar toner recipes. Many other ingredients, such as water, tea tree oil, honey, and green tea, can be added to make a soothing and healing toner that is pleasant to use.

It’s to your preferences whether you choose to make the tea tree oil toner, or the honey and green tea toner.

Ingredients List for Apple Cider Toner with Water and Tea Tree Oil

Collect together the following ingredients to make a toner that also utilizes the healing benefits of tea tree oil. The oil also adds a bit of moisture to your skin to counteract the dryness from the vinegar.

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • 2 teaspoons filtered or distilled water.
  • Two drops of tea tree oil.
  • Small bowl.
  • 100% cotton puff.

How to Make Apple Cider and Tea Tree Oil Toner

Follow these simple steps to make your apple cider and tea tree oil recipe.

  1. Pour all three ingredients into a small bowl.
  2. Stir thoroughly with fingertips.
  3. Toner is now ready to be used.
  4. If you wish to make a larger batch, store the toner in a small glass bottle with a cap.

2. Apple Cider Toner Recipe 2 to Lighten Acne Scars

If you want to benefit from the healing properties of honey and green tea, they can also be used to make up a special apple cider toner recipe.

Ingredients List for Apple Cider, Honey and Green Tea Toner

Collect together the following ingredients from your kitchen cupboards, or head to the store to buy what you need.

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
  • 2 teaspoons of green tea, already brewed and cooled down.
  • 1 teaspoon honey.
  • Small spoon.
  • Small bowl.
  • 100% cotton puff.

How to Make Apple Cider, Honey, and Green Tea Toner

Follow these instructions to mix up your toner. This toner will be thicker than the apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil version.

  1. Add vinegar and green tea to a small bowl.
  2. Measure out the honey and add to the bowl.
  3. Use a small spoon to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed up.
  4. This version doesn’t store well in bottles so mix it up as required.
  5. Use your toner immediately.

Best Way to Apply Apple Cider Toner

Once you’ve mixed up one or the either of the apple cider vinegar toner recipes, it’s time for facial application. After mixing up your toner, it’s best to apply immediately to your skin. Follow these steps to apply the toner to your face.

  1. Wash your face with a gentle soap and soft facecloth.
  2. Pat dry with towel.
  3. Some acne suffers use clean facecloths and towels each time they wash their skin, to avoid transferring any bacteria to the towel and then back to a different portion of their skin again.
  4. Dip the cotton puff directly into the bowl to soak up the toner. Then gently rub the toner around your face or the affected part of your body.
  5. You may need to apply more toner to the puff. If you find you’ve made too much, use the toner on your neck and upper chest regions.
  6. Apply the apple cider vinegar toner to your face or body three times a day: in the morning, after lunch, and at bedtime.
  7. Make up a small amount of toner to use at work for a refreshing break when your skin starts feeling tired or greasy.
  8. It’s best to avoid wearing foundation that can clog your pores, or face powder which can exacerbate an oily skin condition.

squeezed lemon

What Else Can I Add to Apple Cider Toner?

There are many ingredients you can add to your apple cider toner recipe. Do not mix more than two or three ingredietns together, as you don’t want to overwhelm your skin.

Choose one or two of the following ingredients to add to your apple cider vinegar toner recipe.

  • A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • One drop of lavender essential oil for its soothing and calming properties. It smells good too.
  • One drop of chamomile essential oil.
  • One teaspoon of witch hazel.
  • One teaspoon of rosewater.
  • One teaspoon of aloe vera gel.

Precautions and Warnings When Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Skin

With any type of cosmetic or skin care treatment you need to be aware of any problems or issues that can arise from using an apple cider vinegar toner on your skin. Keep these precautions and warnings in mind as you treat your skin with your homemade apple cider vinegar recipe.

  1. Keep doing your apple cider vinegar toner treatments until your acne is under control and you see great improvement in acne scars.
  2. If your pimples have broken open you may wish to dilute your toner even more, as the vinegar can make irritated skin burn.
  3. If you use your toner three times a day for a month and see no improvement, discontinue usage.
  4. Try to make fresh toner as often as possible, to obtain all the beneficial healing properties from the ingredients.
  5. Be sure to store your toner or apple cider vinegar supplies away in a dark cupboard, as sunlight can make them deteriorate faster.
  6. Don’t reuse the cotton puffs, ensure you use a clean cotton puff each time you use toner on your face.
  7. Follow expiry dates on all ingredients and discard if they’re past their prime.
  8. If you find it’s not lightening your scars and they are worsening due to further acne breakouts, you may need to visit a dermatologist who can provide advice or give you a prescription medication to clear up your skin.

Begin Your Acne Scar Lightening Treatment Now

There’s no point in waiting for acne to clear up on its own, as this is one skin condition that needs attention or it will quickly worsen. Apple cider vinegar works three different ways to combat the bacteria that causes it, to dry up the pimples that occur, and to slough off dead skin cells to reveal soft smooth skin beneath.

It can be frustrating to suffer from this skin condition, but fortunately your apple cider vinegar and favourite skincare ingredients will work quickly at healing up your bad skin condition so that you look your best for that special event coming up.


  1. Alyssa Haley December 18, 2017
  2. Keisha February 21, 2019

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