Nourish Your Gut, Nix Your Acne: The Link Between Apple Cider Vinegar and Clear Skin

As someone who has delved deep into the world of skincare and natural remedies, I’ve explored the potential of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in promoting gut health and healing acne. Let’s embark on a journey to understand why drinking diluted apple cider vinegar could be the missing piece in your skincare routine, while also emphasizing the importance of steering clear of direct application to the skin.

Acne is a common skin condition characterized by the occurrence of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It can be attributed to various factors such as hormonal fluctuations, excess oil production, clogged pores, and inflammation. While topical treatments are often the go-to solution, addressing internal factors like gut health can also play a significant role in managing acne effectively.

Why apple cider vinegar is AMAZING for gut health and ultimately, your skin!

Apple cider vinegar is renowned for its numerous health benefits, particularly its ability to support gut health. Rich in acetic acid and beneficial enzymes, ACV aids digestion, promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. By nurturing a healthy gut microbiome, ACV indirectly contributes to clearer, healthier skin.

So let’s summarize why gut health is so important for clear skin and overall wellness and how apple cider vinegar can help kick start your gut health to clear skin journey:

  • Acetic Acid Content: ACV is rich in acetic acid, which aids digestion by facilitating the breakdown of food in the stomach. This can prevent digestive issues that may contribute to skin problems.
  • Beneficial Enzymes: ACV contains beneficial enzymes that support the digestive process, ensuring that nutrients are properly absorbed and waste is efficiently eliminated from the body.
  • Promotion of Beneficial Gut Bacteria: The acetic acid in ACV promotes the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which play a crucial role in maintaining gut health.
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: ACV has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Stable blood sugar levels can prevent spikes in insulin, which may reduce the risk of acne flare-ups.

By nurturing a healthy gut microbiome, ACV indirectly contributes to clearer, healthier skin. A balanced gut can lead to improved overall health and a reduction in inflammatory skin conditions like acne.

The pH balancing effect and why its important

Maintaining the delicate equilibrium of the skin’s pH balance is paramount in warding off acne and nurturing optimal skin health. Despite its initial acidity, apple cider vinegar (ACV) paradoxically exerts an alkalizing influence on the body upon consumption. This transformative property is not merely a quirk; it’s a potent mechanism that harmonizes internal pH levels, setting the stage for a complexion that thrives.

Here’s how the alkalizing prowess of ACV unfolds its magic, fostering a skin environment that’s inhospitable to acne and inflammation:

Balanced pH Levels: ACV, though acidic in its natural state, operates as a pH balancer within the body. By fine-tuning internal pH levels towards an alkaline state, ACV neutralizes acidity that might otherwise trigger skin inflammation and exacerbate acne woes. This equilibrium lays the groundwork for skin that’s calm, clear, and resilient.

Reduction in Inflammation: Inflammation is a common instigator of acne flare-ups, wreaking havoc on skin health. ACV, with its pH-balancing act, swoops in as a calming force, taming inflammatory responses that may manifest as redness, swelling, or irritation. By dialing down inflammation, ACV restores a sense of tranquility to the skin’s ecosystem, paving the way for a smoother, blemish-free complexion.

Hostile Environment for Acne-Causing Bacteria: Acne thrives in environments teeming with acidity, where acne-causing bacteria find fertile ground to proliferate. ACV’s alkalizing effect disrupts this ideal habitat, creating an environment that’s less hospitable to the proliferation of acne culprits. By tilting the scales towards alkalinity, ACV fortifies the skin’s defenses against bacterial invasions, reducing the likelihood of acne breakouts.

In essence, ACV’s surprising ability to shift internal pH levels towards alkalinity emerges as a game-changer in the quest for clear, radiant skin. By neutralizing acidity, quelling inflammation, and thwarting acne-causing bacteria, ACV emerges as a steadfast ally in nurturing a complexion that exudes health and vitality.

How to drink apple cider vinegar… the right way.

To maximize the benefits of ACV for acne, it’s imperative to consume it in a diluted form. Here’s how to incorporate ACV into your daily routine for improved skin health:

Diluted Consumption: Begin by diluting one to two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water. This dilution not only makes ACV more palatable but also ensures gentler consumption, minimizing potential irritation to the throat and stomach lining.

Expert Advice from the Glucose Goddess: Jessie Inchauspe, renowned as the Glucose Goddess, advocates for the consumption of ACV to regulate glucose levels and enhance gut health. By following her guidance, you’re tapping into expert knowledge that underscores the transformative potential of ACV for overall wellness, including skin health.

* I HIGHLY recommend you look into her book Glucose Revolution or try her 4 week program book The Glucose Goddess Method if you want to understand how glucose plays a massive role in overall energy, health and yes… acne! Click here to find her books on Amazon

Enhanced Flavor: While ACV on its own may possess a sharp taste, incorporating a teaspoon of honey or lemon juice can elevate its flavor profile, making it more enjoyable to consume. This addition not only enhances taste but also introduces additional health benefits, such as the antibacterial properties of honey or the vitamin C content of lemon juice.

If your not loving the taste of ACV diluted in water, I don’t blame you! Here are some easy ACV drink recipes you can make at home to make drinking your daily ACV more enjoyable. Check out the ‘Eating Bird Food’ blog’s article: Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Drinks for some awesome recipes!

Timing Matters: For optimal efficacy, aim to drink this ACV mixture once or twice daily, ideally before meals. Consuming ACV before meals may help regulate blood sugar levels, thanks to its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity, as highlighted by the Glucose Goddess’s expertise.

By adhering to these guidelines and expert advice, you’re poised to unlock the full potential of ACV for acne management and overall skin wellness. Diluted consumption, accompanied by the addition of honey or lemon juice for flavor, combined with strategic timing based on expert recommendations, ensures that you’re harnessing the power of ACV in a safe, effective manner.

Don’t put apple cider vinegar on your face. But if you do, do this instead.

While ACV can be beneficial when ingested, applying it directly to the skin is not recommended. Undiluted ACV is highly acidic and can cause irritation, burns, and even chemical burns if used improperly. Additionally, it may disrupt the skin’s natural barrier function, leading to further inflammation and worsening of acne symptoms.

However, apple cider vinegar can be beneficial for acne if diluted in the proper ratio according to your skin type and used as a toner! Here is how to make your own DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner for your unique skin:

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner for Acne


  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Distilled Water
  • 8 oz spray bottle

For dry/sensitive skin: Mix 1 oz apple cider vinegar with 7 oz distilled water. Apply using a cotton round in gentle circular motions on acne-prone areas of your skin.

For Normal Skin: Mix 2 oz apple cider vinegar with 6 oz distilled water. Apply using a cotton round in gentle circular motions on acne-prone areas of your skin.

For Oily Skin: Mix 4 oz apple cider vinegar with 4 oz distilled water. Apply using a cotton round in gentle circular motions on acne-prone areas of your skin.

If apple cider vinegar isn’t your vibe, consider these alternative topical treatments for acne

Instead of using ACV directly on the skin, consider safer and gentler alternatives for topical acne treatment. Natural remedies such as tea tree oil, witch hazel, aloe vera gel, retinol, and gentle exfoliants like AHA/BHA have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and exfoliating properties that can help soothe and treat acne-prone skin effectively without causing harm.

  • Tea tree oil: Natural antimicrobial properties help reduce acne-causing bacteria.
  • Witch hazel: Soothes inflammation and balances skin’s pH levels.
  • Aloe vera gel: Calms inflammation and promotes healing of acne lesions.
  • Retinol: Promotes cell turnover and reduces acne formation.
  • AHA/BHA exfoliants: Unclog pores and improve skin texture.
  • Salicylic acid: Targets acne by exfoliating and reducing inflammation.
  • Benzoyl peroxide: Kills acne-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation.
  • Green tea extract: Antioxidant-rich, soothes irritation and fights bacteria.
  • Zinc oxide: Anti-inflammatory and helps regulate oil production.
  • Niacinamide: Reduces inflammation and balances sebum production.

Now that we’ve got a good idea of alternative topical options for acne, let’s delve into practical top tips to optimize the effectiveness of ACV in clearing your acne.

My top tips for the best results when using apple cider vinegar for clear skin

Consistency is key when it comes to reaping the benefits of ACV for acne. Make it a habit to drink diluted ACV regularly and monitor your skin’s response. Start with a lower concentration and gradually increase the dosage if tolerated well. Additionally, maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and practice good skincare habits for optimal results.

Here are the top tips for using apple cider vinegar for acne:

1. Be consistent

Consistency is key to reaping the benefits of ACV. Regular consumption ensures its efficacy in promoting gut health and potentially improving skin conditions like acne.

2. Dilute it and make it taste better!

Diluting ACV in water before consumption minimizes its acidity, making it gentler on the digestive system. Drinking it regularly allows for a steady intake of its beneficial compounds. Also remember to spice things up! If your going to drink it every day, find some ACV drink recipes you like so drinking it is more enjoyable.

3. Watch how your skin reacts and adjust

Pay close attention to how your skin reacts to ACV. While it can be beneficial for some, it may cause irritation or sensitivity in others. Adjust usage accordingly based on your skin’s response.

4. Start low and grow

Start with a lower concentration of ACV to gauge your body’s tolerance. Gradually increase the dosage if well-tolerated, ensuring optimal benefits without overwhelming your system.

5. Its not a ‘one and done’ solution. Embrace a holistic approach to clear your skin

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains supports overall skin health. Adequate hydration is also essential for maintaining skin hydration and promoting a clear complexion.

6. Great habits = great skin!

Incorporate great skincare habits into your daily routine, such as cleansing regularly, using non-comedogenic products, and protecting your skin from sun damage. These practices complement the benefits of ACV for clearer, healthier skin.

Let’s get into the potential drawbacks and precautions when using apple cider vinegar

Despite its potential benefits, ACV may not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals may experience side effects such as digestive discomfort, tooth enamel erosion, or interactions with certain medications. It’s crucial to exercise caution, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating ACV into your regimen.

Remember: a consistent, holistic approach is key to clear skin

In conclusion, drinking diluted apple cider vinegar can be a valuable addition to your holistic approach to acne management. By supporting gut health and promoting internal balance, ACV addresses underlying factors that contribute to acne formation. However, it’s important to use ACV responsibly and avoid its direct application to the skin to prevent potential side effects. With consistency and proper precautions, you can harness the healing power of ACV for clearer, healthier skin.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I apply undiluted apple cider vinegar to my acne-prone skin?

No, it’s not recommended as undiluted ACV can cause irritation and damage to the skin.

How long does it take to see results from drinking diluted apple cider vinegar for acne?

Results may vary, but some individuals report improvements within a few weeks of consistent consumption.

Are there any potential side effects of drinking apple cider vinegar?

Possible side effects include digestive discomfort, tooth enamel erosion, and interactions with medications.

Can I mix apple cider vinegar with other liquids besides water?

Yes, you can add apple cider vinegar to herbal teas or diluted fruit juices for variety.

Should I continue using topical acne treatments while drinking apple cider vinegar?

It’s advisable to continue with your current skincare routine unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.

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Naya Miller

From battling persistent acne through my teenage years and into adulthood, I've developed a profound passion for the realm of acne skincare. My mission is to impart the wisdom I've gained from both personal experiences and exhaustive research on acne. I aim to guide you in discovering a tailored solution that effectively addresses your unique skincare concerns.

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