I’ve blogged about my acne problems before (here and here).  And like I’ve said before, when it’s bad…it’s bad.  So whenever I hear about something that can possibly “cure” my acne, I want to give it a try.  And that’s how I got started with apple cider vinegar (ACV).  It was almost like the universe was inviting me to try it out.  Every blog I turned to (ok slight exaggeration) was touting its miraculous benefits.  So I did very little research and started my own regimen.  I should have read more carefully – more on that in a minute.

Every morning before breakfast I would heat up about 10 ounces of water in the microwave for one minute.  I would then add one tablespoon of ACV and one tablespoon of honey.  After stirring like crazy, I would guzzle it all down as fast as I could.  FYI – ACV does NOT taste very good.  But I’m a trooper and went on with this routine for about 3 1/2 weeks.



By the time the third week rolled around, I went from nothing happening to a lot happening…on my face.  Instead of my little existing acne clearing up, I was breaking out and it was bad.  In fact, it hadn’t been this bad in years.  I had pimples on my jawline, chin, cheeks, and forehead.  I wanted to cry every time I looked in the mirror, but I didn’t because I knew, without going back to the internet, that this was happening because of the ACV.

At the end of week three, I started reading more forums and websites that had personal reviews from people who drank ACV in this same way and some for the same reason.  What I read this time around was that many (not all) people break out from drinking ACV.  Apparently it works by purging your body of toxins before it starts to heal.  The purging can come in the form of acne.  Ding ding ding!  That’s absolutely correct.  For anyone out there with acne prone skin thinking about using ACV to “cure” the problem, there is a very good chance that you will break out like crazy instead…at least at fist. 

Well, the story doesn’t stop there.  Dumb me decided to keep on with my morning drink because I figured once this purging phase was over my skin would clear up.  It didn’t.  In fact, it got worse as the days went on.  I gave up 3 1/2 weeks into the whole thing because I had a strong suspicion that my body and ACV don’t exactly jive nor would they ever.

I then went back to the forums a third time.  This time I was looking for people who had experiences similar to mine.  I read a couple of reviews where people said that ACV works great as a toner, especially to keep acne at bay.  Now most people would have been like no freakin’ way but not me – I gave it a try.  I made a sample batch of the “toner” that very night (1 tablespoon ACV and 3 tablespoons water).  So for another week or so, I applied this mixture to my face…day and night.  I’m not sure why I thought this would work.  Wishful thinking maybe.  It didn’t necessarily get worse, but my face was definitely not clearing up either.  And with that, I gave up on ACV once and for all.

I am now working to get things under control and have taken on a new routine.  I’m hopeful that this will work and am already seeing some positive results.  I don’t want to speak too soon, so I’ll do a follow up post in a few weeks.

The biggest moral of this story: just because “everyone” is doing something, doesn’t mean you should too.

Ok ok, another lesson learned is that I should really give up on these all natural “cures.”  Acne is something I’ll probably have to deal with my entire life.  All I’m saying is that I hope my new simplified routine works!  Fingers crossed.

Have you used ACV to treat your acne and seen positive results?

UPDATE: I recently blogged about a new routine and products that are working wonders for me.  Click here to read more!

By Parita

137 thoughts on “My Experience with Apple Cider Vinegar”
  1. Oh boy I am sorry you had to learn this lesson the hard way, P! I know how demoralizing it is when a specific routine backfires but it’s good to hear that you aren’t going to continue with the ACV just because it worked for others. I’ve never used ACV to tread acne but I have been taking it for the past few months (in tablet form) to help re-balance my hormones. Although I am not sure if ACV is the one to give credit to, fortunately I have been seeing noticeable changes and am therefore going to continue taking it…at least for me, it isn’t hurting me and luckily it’s natural.

    By any chance have you been tested for PCOS? One of the side effects are acne and apparently it’s very common with those of Indian ethnicity!.

      1. Hi sweety! I was struglling with my acne almost 15 years ,and I tried every cream and cure possible.you know what I mean.and now my face is much better .and the problem is inside not outside .so dont be angry ,thinking that your body is your enemy.en fact acne is the best thing that happened in my life.I tell you why.the diet is the problem for all diseases in this world.95% at least.and I started to investigate all kind of diets to clear up my skin and now I am a vegan.no animal products !the biggest guilty for acne is the fat.doesnt matter if is oil or butter or nuts ,or milk.so if you keep your fat intake at 2% maximum, your face will be fine.also maybe is a good option not eating grains.the grains give a lot of skin problems(maybe not the rice).I hope I gave you a little joy.Bye!

      2. No dairy.
        No meat.
        Minimal sugars.

        Retin-A – easy, topical, and it is THE cure when combined w no dairy and no meat.

        SPF like Jane Iredale BB Cream w SPF20 or comparable, natural mineral makeup lines.

        Drink water, lower stress w exercise, eat clean.

        No nasty, hormone producing dairy. I know we are all raised to love our ghee and yogurt but they poison the cows w hormones and antibiotics now that get in our systems… No nasty, slimy, mucous producing, acne causing, filthy dairy. Yay! Good luck!

        1. try using Beauche Set. I had very severe acne and scarring. I started using this product and i did see change in 7 days. It has been 3 years now. Acne has never been a problem since.

      3. Maybe whether someone keeps breaking out or not depends on many factors and one of them is the amount of toxins your are ingesting inside your body like the unhealthy food, the inorganic food containing pesticides, the chemical based skincare, the polluted air you breath, the synthetic and cheap fabrics you wear, etc.

      1. Not sure about how common it is with people of Indian ethnicity. If you do suspect or have any issues I highly recommend getting blood work done so that your hormone levels can be monitored. I had this done back in December and the results showed no imbalances.

        Something that is common, however, is cysts on the ovaries. When I had my routine visit this past week, my doctor said that cyts can be common for some people but do not mean that you have PCOS. Bottom line, I think if someone suspects that they have it they should get blood work done to confirm.

    1. i have been suffering my whole life with really really bad acne. after much lab testing on myself i came up with some real good pointers to control acne:
      1) start taking 100grams of curd(indian dahi) after every meal. really helps in new breakouts
      2) every morning and lunch eat one whole cucumber. cures toxins from the body. first week you may see some breakouts but will reduce exponentially third week onwards.
      3) start using a facewash which incorporates neem (azadarachita indica) in its ingredients. it really worked wonders for me. the one i used is the himalaya neem facewash. but be careful if after one week you still feel new breakouts coming then stop using it and go to your tried and trusted facewash (experience of a friend).
      4) stop using face scrubs for at least a month. i found whenever i scrubbed the pores on my face looked bigger and voila next week a new pimple showed its head. so use scrubs sparingly.
      5) whenever you wash your face use really cold water. the more warmer the water the more longer your pores remain open for bacteria to clog them. so whenever you take a hotbath at the end just wash your face with cold water for those pores to close.
      6) just before sleeping wash your face with a facewash only.
      7) for scars the only thing that works is FRAXAL LASER period. nothing else does or will work. dont spend on anything else as you will be wasting your time.
      hope this helps as i had been suffering from these nasty things for a very very long time.

  2. I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you! I drink my ACV daily and use it as toner, and it works for me. Skin is SO individual though. Have you ever tried applying tea tree oil directly to a pimple? it’s a great spot treatment (for me). I put a little on the bump at night and by morning it’s either gone or mostly gone (depending on the severity).

      1. Hi Partia,Though this blog was posted years ago,I came up here today lookong for solution to same problem as you faced with Apple Cider Vinegar.
        I have taken it for almost 2-2.5 weeks and with a break of almost 1 week,I took it again…my skin was never this bad…blackheads are like pouring out like never before…pimples all over my face ….Please suggest what remedies you took to rectify the harm done by the ACV…Would be of great help to me.


      2. Hey! I just wanted to say that maybe it was the honey? Honey is pure sugar and sugar spikes our glucose and insulin levels, which are directly linked to acne. Especially in PCOS. Did you ever try it without honey?

        1. Yes, at the time of this post (10+ years ago) I did it without honey/sugar! Thinking back other habits probably helped my acne thrive, but def no honey.

    1. not only is it a great spot treatment but cleanser as well. My daughter suffered badly as a teenager & myself have episodes from allergies & one thing we found that worked (after even Rx failed) was a tea tree body bar. You can also make a solution with tea tree oil with water that works pretty well too.

  3. funny timing for this post because I tried ACV mixed with kombucha last night because so many people have been touting the benefits of that “cocktail” but it was so gross I can still taste it this morning. I only had a shot glass amount of ACV, shot glass of kombucha and a lot of tea to drown out the flavors and it still didn’t cover it up. I’m still gagging this morning. not sure how else to hide the flavors in hopes of getting their health benefits. the blogs I read made this sound like the most delicious drink, I just don’t understand… it might just not be for me!

    1. I can see 1 tablespoon with ton of water and some lemon and honey tasting ok. BUT people who drink 2 tablespoons of ACV with less than 8 oz and say it tastes delicious are lying. Period.

      1. Didn’t beer and whiskey taste bad at first? I admit 1teaspoon practically ruined a 16 oz glass of apple juice on my first try. Within a week I was putting 1 tablespoon in 8 oz. One night I drank the last glass of apple juice and the next morning, I was out of luck….so i tried it straight. 1 tablespoon 1 swallow. I chased with a glass of water. During this weekend, I’ve taken 3 doses undiluted. I’m actually aquiring the taste. A week ago if you would have told me this, I too would have said liar liar! After reading more, I realize I need to add it to water to prevent damaging my throat and teeth. I actually like it.

        1. you really shouldnt drink ACV undiluted, its bad for your teeth!! ALWAYS mix it with at least half a glass of water and afterwards drink a full glass of pure water to wash out the acid from your teeth. THATS VERY IMPROTANT! otherwise you could do real damage to our teeth, teethcolour and gums.

      2. No, they aren’t lying. Your taste buds and body just aren’t a fan of the stuff. That adapts over time and you just needed to give yourself more time.

      3. I agree the taste is really hard to stomach but a friend suggested fire cider and I’m actually loving it. It’s ACV bottled with horseradish garlic onion honey ginger and spices. I add a TBSP to my ginger lemon tea with a bit of honey and it has a nice spicey yet sweet kick!

  4. Ironically, (and I never thought about this until now) I was drinking ACV just because I heard it was good for you and I grew to LOVE the taste haha. I would add a tablespoon into my glass of water at night and I loved it. My skin was REALLY bad about a month ago. Then I started using Proactiv around the same time that I stopped drinking ACV because I ran out… and I don’t know which one it is but my skin has gotten much better. I Think it’s more because of proactiv (which I know isn’t natural… but man it seems to finally be working) so now I’m curious about adding it back in. I also use it as a salad dressing so it’s not like I’ve totally stopped using ACV.

    I guess the answer is I don’t know what the answer is 😉 But I do think Proactiv is helping my skin!

    1. I had a lot of breakouts and proactive really cleared it up however when I stopped using it my skin got 10 times worse and I saw a skin specialist and they said that’s what happens with proactive. So if you stop using it be aware things could go back 10 steps. Good luck 🙂 I’m still trying to fix the damage of proactive 3 years later so hopefully works better for you.

  5. I think we get so immersed into the world of healthy living bloggers that every new natural thing seems to THE NEXT BEST THING to sliced bread (which of course is never white, gluten-free and artisan baked :P). Especially when it seems like it’s everywhere- we’re so quick to jump on the bandwagon. ACV has a lot of good health benefits, but in the end everything you do needs to be right for you – even if it’s not the most ‘natural’ choice. Tea tree oil is good for spot acne – but see how you go. I mean, you would have never known if you hadn’t of tried right?? Good luck 🙂

    1. You’re right, Sig! With this though, I honestly saw it starting to pop up everywhere, did some research (it sounded harmless), and gave it a try! I didn’t even know about the other health benefits until later! But I agree, just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for me. Definitely a lesson learned!

  6. Hey Pari. Really sorry to hear that ACV didnt work out, I use the same thing as a conditioner for my hair. But maybe, sandalwood powder, if you get it in any indian store nearby, will help. It cools the skin and is really beneficial. AND NO SIDE EFFECTS!!! I have oily skin and thats bad…but this is like a cleanser-toner, 2-in-1.
    Check it out…u can also use it as a body pack, by mixing a spoonful in some besan (chickpea flour). Dont know how much Indian things u use for everyday use like rosewater n sandalwood…but if u have time, check them out.

    1. My mom and aunts definitely made me use a lot of the Indian stuff when I was younger! I’m going to check out the sandalwood powder the next time I go to the Indian grocery store. Thanks!

  7. I’ve never heard of ACV being used for acne. Instead I’ve heard of being used for skin infections like folliculitis – which is what I used it for and it worked great. I don’t think I’d use it for acne though. I’m sorry it was such a horrible experience.

  8. so once upon a time i had mild to moderate acne, and here are a few things I believe cleared up my skin. The thing is you are pretty healthy yourself, so not sure if this would work on you…
    For me, a lot of it had to do with diet and exercise, and once again, you do both, probably better than I do.

    1. I believe sugar is a big culprit with acne, although now i can eat sugar without issues, i still eat all whole grains, rarely ever eat anything white. i dont’ take any sugar in my tea/coffee, but i do have a sweet tooth.

    2. I went to the derm for like 3 yeras and she had me try all this diff stuff, the one thing that worked was…
    Duac – it is 5% benzoyl peroxide and 1% something else, worked perfectly on the pimples, i never use this stuff anymore, but when it was moderate, i did.
    i also went on tazorac which is a retin-a.. i still use this stuff, not so much for acne, but to prevent wrinkles. 🙂 3 times a week or so.

    3. i love Neutrogena’s Acne Wash – the green scrub – gently exfoliates. love that stuff, use it everyday , twice a day.

    4. drink lots of water. no sodas, avoid juices.

    5. sleep.

    6. moisturize with something non-comodogenic. i love bobbi brown protective spf lotion, and olay 7 effects.

    try this.. and see if it works. but definitely love that neutrogena wash.

    1. Thank you, Nisha! Definitely trying to cut down on the sugar, but as you know, I too have a HUGE sweet tooth! And i drink more than 8 glasses of water a day (no sodas/juices). With the traditional medicine, which I’ve tried retin-a (made my skin super dry and flaky), I’m trying to steer clear for now. I feel like I’ve tried everything out there, and when I read about the side effects, it’s just not for me. We’ll see though – I may be changing my tune if my face doesn’t clear up in the next few weeks!

      I do need to get more sleep though – thanks for the reminder!

    2. Hi there,

      I’m curious why do you say no juices? I’m trying very hard myself to heal my acne and as a result I’m trying to be a lot healthier. Because of this I’ve now started making a mean green juice every morning which is super healthy – could this be making things worse?

      Appreciate any help!

      1. Hi Nat,

        Thanks for the question! I think Nisha was referring to processed juices that can be bought in the supermarket. I think the juice you are making at home is probably great for your skin and your overall health.


  9. I am so sorry you had horrible reaction with the acne. I have been suffering from acne for a year or so. I tried EVERYTHING!! It was so bad to a point where I was ashamed to go to work 🙁 and its so emotionally hurtful..Nothing topical worked on me..proactive and alike products, indian, ayurverdic stuff, drinking various concoctions of things you name it because I was so desperate to try everything anything. I have not tried ACV but now its tempting and I am going to try it because who knows it might be a miracle…However, not being able to take the acne stress anymore, dermatologist has put me on topical plus antibiotics pill and I have been taking it. It helped the acne clear up ALOT and scars to fade away but I still get acne..its not completely gone.. I am still on it and i feel like I have to be on it (mentally) but I really dont know if antibiotics are helping me that much coz inspite of taking it I still get acnes here and there..another thing I tried to rule out completely from my diet is CAFFEINE. I am coffeeholic & ate a lot of chocolate..that also have seem to helped me.. I will try the ACV from next week and let you know!

    1. I’m so sorry that you have also had to go through this. It’s not fun. I’ve been on and off different medications for years now. I just don’t want to go back to taking pills (for many reasons), so I’m giving a few more things a try.

      And feel free to give ACV a try – just a fair warning though – it may make your acne worse, esp if you have acne prone skin.

      If I find something that really works, you’ll be one of the first to know! <3

  10. I agree with @Honey…I tried so many things but finally giving up on sugar is what helped my skin. The ACV didn’t make me worse but it didn’t help either, so I threw in the towel on that one.

    So sorry it didn’t work for you, especially since you used it so diligently! How frustrating.

    1. Thanks, Ameena! I so wanted it to work and be my cure, but what can you do. I’m honestly trying to decrease the amount of added sugar in my diet – it’s just SO hard…

  11. Ahh so true. I was drinking it and having some major stomach pains, but like you kept thinking oh I just need to go longer..oye the things we do sometimes just hoping it will be a fix 🙂 at least we’re optimists right?

  12. I have ACv but I haven’t been using it for acne, but mostly drank it in the morning with lemon juice and water and stevia to speed up the digestion for the day… does it wrk? I have no idea. I don’t really see any difference to tell you the truth. So yeah, I definitely agree – there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all-cure.

    1. ACV made my acne problems 100x worse than they’ve ever been, but if it’s not affecting you then keep drinking! It has a lot of benefits, but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me. 🙁

    1. Thanks! I have cut dairy milk out of my diet entirely. And even my cheese/yogurt consumption has gone down. I really think it was the ACV that caused my breakouts to return. 🙁

  13. Well, it worked for me. But my acne broke out like crazy after I’d taken a round of antibiotics and thyroid meds… So I’m guessing that disturbed some balance I had going on, and the apple cider vinegar played a role in restoring it. =P You really have to look into the CAUSES of your acne, and then for the solution. Because I doubt acne is primarily caused by a single stress or imbalance.

    Aa well-trained naturopath (one who understands bioidentical hormone replacement therapy), would help you be able to determine what might be the reason for your acne. 🙂

    1. You’re absolutely right. There is no one single cause of acne. However, my husband and I both noticed an uptick in breakouts after I started drinking ACV. But everyone’s skin is different, right!? I’m so glad it helped you!

      I will definitely look into seeing a naturopath. Honestly, this is the first I’ve heard of that medical specialty. Thanks for the rec!

  14. i am facing acne recently…. dr.said it is because of hormonal changess.. someone told my mum to apply
    turmeric with milk(not boiled) and lemon mixed.. i wanted to knw does it works coz now m really tired of applying tubes,tablets,creams..

    1. Hi Nikita! I’m sorry but I don’t know if the turmeric paste will help or not. I did try it for a couple of days a few years ago but found that it was not worth the trouble for me. If your acne is bad, I recommend you try Proactiv. It’s honestly the only thing that’s helped me control my breakouts. Sorry I can’t be much help!

  15. Thank you do much for posting this, it’s like you were in my brain (even if this was posted a year ago!). I wish I had read this first, I get pretty bad hormonal breakouts occasionally that are hard to get rid of and I thought ACV would be the miracle solution. I have never had skin this bad, I even started getting breakouts on my back!!! I’m going back to tea tree oil. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover, I hope you’ve found something that works for you!

    1. Hi Sky! Thanks for commenting! Acne is not fun…at all. If anyone would know, it’d be me! I’ll send you a more detailed email soon about the things that are working for me and the things that didn’t.

  16. I just started using ACV on my cystic acne two weeks ago. My acne is clearing up. I just wash my face every morning in the shower with St. Ives green tea wash (I use the St. Ives green tea scrub once a week, too) and when i am done showering, I use a cotton ball to rub ACV on my entire face. I let it air dry and then I rub Mederma on my acne areas (chin, cheeks, & forehead) to help with scars. I use normal oil-free makeup. At the end of the day, just before bed, I wash my face with a hot washcloth and use ACV again on my entire face. That’s it… it’s the simplest routine I’ve ever had and is working AMAZINGLY. I’ve used SO many treatments- over the counter as well as prescription strength. I’m amazed at the results of using ACV in conjunction with mederma… my acne looks as good now without makeup as it used to when it was covered up with concealer, foundation, and powder. Maybe stop mixing it with water and just put it on your face!

    1. I have super sensitive skin and tried this tonight before reading this blog … My face is on fire and bright red every where I rubbed the acv did your face do this? Is this redness going to go away? :-/

        1. It did go away but it took a long time unfortunately. If you are breaking out a lot and it’s painful, I highly recommend drinking the ACV mixture. It’s not for everyone!

          1. Totally Agree! ACV gave me a lot of breakouts in my face and my my gums bleed whenever I brush my teeth.
            Maybe ACV is not for me as well.

            Im drinking this 2 tbsp with water, morning /evening.
            and so disspointed with tis. 🙁

            No I stop taking it and my face and gums gets better again.

  17. I know this may sound funny and totally weird. If someone told me this before I tried it, I would definitely rubbish it. I tried everything out there to get my acne gone, but nothing worked including Proactive. What worked is applying Castor Oil to my skin. I apply it almost every night and wash it off in the morning. While applying it I gently rub it in. The perk is it has majorly lightened my scars in just 3 months. In the beginning a lot of people were laughing at me and saying I have gone mad. Now, they borrow a bit of my castor oil for their boils, rashes and swellings. I also apply Calamine Lotion during the day and leave it on. No sunscreen, no other cream just a gentle face wash (Attitude from Amway). This is all I use on my skin and I wish I knew earlier. My acne went to the extent where I had huge abscesses on my face. Today no one would believe that my condition was so. I have light scars which I plan to take care of through laser or dermaroller. Hope your new regime has worked. 🙂 God bless

  18. I have had acne on and off for a long time and I have a few tips for anyone suffering, I started using all natural facial products without synthetic preservitives such as parabens, colours, fragrances or petroleum-derived ingrediants. I reccomend moor spa products they are amazing and it took time but my skin before i started using I had severe acne, cystic acne aswell to now i have very mild acne, and also a natural makeup is important too so you are not clogging your pores i recommend cheeky cosmetics its all mineral based makeup that will not make your acne worse also works great for concealing blemishes and scars.
    I do agree diet is a huge part and stress is huge too, which is hard to avoid because acne is stressful enough..
    also hormones in our food plays a big part in acne try eating hormone free meat and organic milk, also made a huge difference for me

  19. I’m not lying when I say I like the taste of ACV. I think I have about 3 tablespoons in my big mug with water. I mean, granted, when I drink it straight with my liver flush it’s not so great… But with water I love it. I’m using it because I have a fatty liver. I’m not sure if it’s working. And at first I did break out in a few zits, but they’ve settled for the most part. I get one now and again, but nowhere like you described. I hope it’s working for me. I came across this while looking to see how to tell if it’s working.

  20. You should go find a kinesiologist and muscle test the things you eat. You probably are allergic to wheat or dairy. Do you eat them? These foods are the worst foods for acne. Also you should try liver flushes. All your skin problems in your face is connected to the liver. If your liver is clean your skin will clear up because your body can remove the toxins through the liver and not through the skin. Also if your liver is clean food allergies will go away so you won’t get acne. Your body is removing toxins throught the skin to protect the liver. So my advice to you is do everything you can to boost liver function.

  21. first time trying the ACV drink for acne, we are trying to remove a mole on my husbands back with the ACV and read the back of the bottle for this drink. If you plug your nose and drink it it tastes like a lot of lemon in your water, not bad. Husband says it does not smell as bad as everyone says when we were treating his mole, I told him we’re used to the smell of vinegar because I clean with white vinegar all the time! ; )

  22. Try mixing 50% castor oil (exfoliating) and 50% olive oil (matches the PH of your skin) with just a dab of peppermint or spearmint oil (peppermint works better for me- both are androgen blocking. Androgens cause serbum build up which can cause acne). I mix the 50% oils together with a drop or two of the peppermint. I rub it on my face, take a hot shower and wash it off at the end of the shower. The second time I wash, I do the same but take a hot washcloth and leave it on my face for a minute then I wipe it all off. My scars have faded for the most part and the acne, if it comes, doesn’t really scar much anymore. It goes away quick. I have also combined this with eliminating anything that could cause spikes in blood sugar, which contributes to androgen production (i.e. bread, pasta, soda anything with high carb or sugar load) and I can tell you- if I eat bread, I see new acne three days to a week later. The oils helped the pimples that wouldn’t go away to GO AWAY. Controlling my food helped me control new pimples. ALSO, if you really want acne to go away- this stuff is super expensive, but I see improvement when I eat salmon too. So I started messing with supplements and the off the shelf stuff doesn’t work but this stuff does help! http://store.spiritofhealthkc.com/green-pastures-butter-oil-cod-liver-oil-blend-120-caps/

    For the record, my mother has finally stopped nagging me about seeing the dermatologist! So take elements or even the whole combo. I promise you, every bit of it helped.

  23. i know this blog is somewhat old, but try applying organic coconut oil as a facial lotion. My face was having the worst kind of breakouts for months. The first week of using the coconut oil I got a lot of white heads (the body “purging the bad stuff”). After that week, my breakout totally healed up. I still have marks, but no major pimples or white heads since. Around my period, I am more prone, so I use witch hazel toner before applying the coconut oil.

  24. Hi Parita!
    I had the same experience as u!! so sad that acv didnt work for us and does so wonderfully for others…. unfair! but happy for those it has helped… blessed lot u r! so my chin n forehead r still suffering alot even after 3 weeks of having quit acv!! i hate it…. really dont know what to do to stop them from re-curring… its so hurtful… wish i’d NEVER stumbled across the “benefits” of acv! aaaahhhhhh

  25. Don’t mean to barge in on this conversation, but those with acne, have you tried anit-biotic wipes? They are much cheaper than Proactive and work better. My son had acne and gave up on Proactive. My dermatologist saw him and offered the wipes. They really do work well. His face is so much nicer now and even after he runs out of the wipes his skin stays nicer for longer.

  26. HI there, interesting to read your AWFUL experience with ACV. I just want to share that I too suffered with horrible ACNE for a long, long time. I resorted to painful laser treatments that left me with awful hyperpigmentation all over my face. ANYWAY…when I had my first child I had to give up dairy as it was giving him an upset belly through my breastmilk….days, DAYS after cutting dairy my skin healed completely. I had never considered that a dairy intolerance might cause this problem. I felt like I had to share because it was an absolute life changer for me, I had never had an GI problems with dairy, just skin. good luck and I hope you are finding something that works for you.

  27. Hey! I have struggled with cystic acne for years and years and have done and tried jut about everything too! I went through the process of using accutane THREE TIMES and it still came back.. one medication that really helped me was spironalactone. it helped wayyyy better than accutane did. you should try it!! also, I’ve studied a lot about cystic acne and a very common cause is because of hormone imbalance. Now I naturally have a hormone imbalance because I have hypothyroid disease. So my thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones on its own so I have to take synthetic ones. Nothing’s wrong with that, I just have to make sure I get my blood checked every 6 months to make sure my dosage is still okay. No harm otherwise. So get your thyroid checked, my cystic acne always gets really ba when my hormone levels are off. Otherwise it’s just one or two cysts here and there. I have also read that birth control is commonly used as a hormonal therapy treatment to specifically treat acne – it levels out your estrogen and progesterone levels, which makes all the difference. So try one of those methods. Cysts usually aren’t from dirty skin, the problem is usually in your hormones. so try those methods and see if it gets better! I only get them when I’m extremely stressed or when my synthetic hormone dosage is off so at least that’s what my problem was. Good luck! My heart is ever empathetic for your situation!!

  28. Hey Parita,

    Your skins looks gorgeous btw. Did you always use a microwave to heat you water? I mixed the acv with distilled water which is the purest. Microwaves release radiation and can alter the chemical composition of substances so maybe your water was reacting in a bad way. Also, if you were using tap water and microwaving it, it couldn’t be good. Tap water is filled with all sorts of harmful chemicals, especially if you live in NY or NJ. Sometimes it’s the little things that count most 😉

  29. I use a lemon juice and vinegar mixture for removing freckles and ACV for razor bumps. It actually works! (Both of them) so some ACV ideas are good ones.

  30. I used to struggle with acne and tried many natural cures and harsh chemical products. One day (about ten years ago) my sister came home from college to visit and her skin looked amazing so I asked what she used. It was ‘Neutrogena Deep Clean’ creme cleanser. I have been using it ever since and my face has been perfectly balanced. Try it out and I’m sure it’ll work for you as well.

  31. Fish oil works really well for acne….as long as you stay with it. If you stop it comes back. Found out about it by accident.

  32. Hi I know everyone is different, I suffered from acne for YEARS 18+, I still get it off & on if I go off. If I eat more than 30-40grams of fat/day & I am not heavily working out, I break out. Does not matter where the fat is coming from, & I too did the Vegan food route for a bit. Getting plenty of minerals on a daily basis from greens gives me a beautiful glow & complexion! This also has helped me to have a stronger immunity, once the immunity is too low, & I have a continual break out after months, I get ice pick scarring. I have juiced wheatgrass in the past however & healed some ice pick scarring that was caused by acne that was a good 10+ years old. & Last but not least, water, a few liters a day, every day. Also juicing citrus has helped me too, BUT as a warning I have read where many are not as lucky as I when it comes to grapefruit & oranges. Now I juice my greens as often as I can. 🙂

  33. Hi there, I found your blog post while looking for people’s experiences with ACV as an acne remedy (I’m curious about all natural way of keeping skin under control). I’ve tried lots of things over the years, and the only thing that’s kept my skin nearly completely clear (if I refrain from picking at the odd teeny tiny spot, now and then) is Vitamin A Acid, which I get a prescription for from an acne clinic. It might not be for everyone, but it’s worked for me for years. Might be worth a try. I’ve tried lots of “natural” solutions, but I have yet to find one that really, really works. Vitamin A Acid, which is applied in very small amounts at bedtime, pretty much removes a layer of skin off the surface of the face while you sleep, and then dissolves whatever “dirt” is found under that skin. So even if you feel a spot coming on, it’s 50% better by morning, and gone in a couple of days. It sounds kind of scary in print, but it’s not so harsh, and has been a bit of a miracle for me. Thought I would share, and I wish you luck on finding a solution that works for you.

  34. I hear you. I’ve been to 3 dermatologists and one internalist to figure out what has happened to my face over the last 3 years. Was diagnosed rosacea, then atopic dermatitis, to possible lupus rash and now we are back to rosacea. I’m currently (faithfully) following the latest dermatologists regimen but I’ve been tempted to try the ACV hype too because after 2 weeks I seem to be getting zero relief.
    Ugh when the first and second line treatments don’t work and countless natural remedies leave much to be desired it’s so easy to become a hermit!

  35. My son has a zit problem, which OTC creams could barely keep at bay and it was getting expensive. I tried ACV toner – 1 part ACV to 1 part spring water (I think you watered down your toner too much). This formulation works like a charm by working on skin’s ph balance. Yoh can also only use organic unpasteurized ACV.

    I also think you were drinking way too much !! 1tbsp per day, maybe 2, but more than that is overkill.

    I drink only 1tbsp per day mixed in fruit juice – and I can’t say enough about my increased energy, mental clarity , andd best of all, no more zits!

    Miracle in a bottle, is what this stuff is.

  36. Hello! I know this blog post is old but I just happened upon it having had the WORST acne breakout and realising the culprit – Cider Vinegar! I’ve been taking it consistently for about 8 weeks and noticed my skin becoming incredibly congested after week 1. I thought it might have been the products I was using, though none of them were new, but I cut back, simplifying my routine. My skin got worse, I was breaking out in cystic acne and had millions of small congested bumps all over my face. Urgh! Then I thought, aha, I’ll make the ACV toner, that’ll help! Oh Lord, big mistake! My skin then started to hurt which is when I knew something was amiss. The only thing that co-incided with my acne flare up was drinking the ACV. I stopped 3 days ago and already, my skin has calmed down significantly. No more new spots appear to be emerging and the redness is beginning to die down. Yikes. What works for the majority doesn’t mean it agrees with everyone! So Im thankful for your post. I was beginning to think it was just me that was having a reaction to it, so it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    1. Hello! You are not alone. I had the same exact experience! It was the worst breakout I’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot for me! Thank you for your comment!

      1. Hi ladies, we are in the same boat!! I have suffered with moderate acne since I was 18 right after my son was born, my face went crazy! I am pretty sure it had to do with my hormones. About 2 years ago I went on accutane and cleared ALL of that up! Since then I would have breakouts here and there but nothing like what it used to be (Thank God). I drank ACV about 1 year ago diluted with apple juice and had no problems for the 8 weeks i drank it. But recently I decided to drink it again just to help detox my body and hopefully give my skin that glow. Well let me TELL you what a NIGHTMARE! My skin started breaking out like crazy, cysts that I had never seen before and just so many breakouts! I did apply it topically only once but only in 2 spots so I don’t think that was the main problem but it sure didn’t help. Anyways I stopped after about 4 weeks of drinking it and it still didnt go away.. my skin was inflamed and hurt to even wash! 🙁 I went to the doctors and they put me on a 7 day anti biotic with a cream to apply because they thought it was a Staph infection..well the anti biotics along with the cream definitely got rid of the inflammation but the redness and some breakouts are still there and its been almost 2 months since I stopped ACV and about 2 weeks since I finished my anti biotics. Also the staph infection culture results came back negative so not sure what happened with my skin in this process. My skin is still red where the inflammation was and still getting breakouts more than usual but nothing like it was when I was drinking the acv. I did notice when I have dairy products my skin does not like it, so I definitely stay away from milk but its hard to stay away from cheese, yogurt and other things that contain dairy but I am trying!. Also I have stopped drinking coffee and switched to green tea. I did notice my skin was better when I’ve limited my caffeine and sugar.
        Someone recommended I try Lush products its all natural and the reviews are GREAT! Again what works for one might not work for all but its worth a shot! I am going to try making a home facial mask with Turmeric and olive oil, hoping I see some positive results! I do have an appt this week with my previous dermatologist just to see if there is anything he recommends, don’t think I want to go the accutane route again though!

        Wish you both the best and keep in touch for any great remedies you find out! 🙂

  37. I wanted to suggest mixing a little bit of honey and one or two drops of peppermint oil with the apple cider vinegar, diluted with distilled or bottled water.

  38. Hi! I’m also experiencing a break out on my skin like I have never seen before, I have a dry combination skin but not suffering from pimples except extreme dryness when approaching cold months. I started using ACV FOR slimming after reading the wonderful benefits it has. As I rite this my skin has super dry patches and itchy, this is only on my 2 and half weeks. at the moment I don’t know if I should pin point ACV, OR the mineral fondation i used, or the suspension from eating mussels, i know i also included wine more that the usual, or if it’s the allergic reaction to using clinique products. Years back I used clinique, until one day when I couldn’t use their eye shadows due reacting to them, I continued with their other product and then I developed dry rash with redness on my face. I was forced to discontinue with it and started using (Elizabeth Ardens Intervene). 4 months ago I went back to using clinique.Stopping with clinique and continued with ACV, UNTIL I’M CONVINCED. I know for certain ACV worked wonders on my dry scalp.

  39. Those who are having problems with ACV may be making it too strong b/c I started using it after having a recent break out with acne that wouldn’t go away. I ingested a cap full a day and made a toner out of it (1:3 ; 1 part ACV :3 part water) using it morning/night after cleaning my face with Noxzema and my face began to clear up the very next day. A week later my face has cleared up significantly and my acne has almost disappeared.

  40. You gave up on the ACV too soon. Your body doesn’t get overloaded with toxins overnight. And you certainly won’t get rid of them overnight. The cells can only work so fast. And that is affected by many factors from day to day. ACV can only help. Because it does eradicate many bad things. Thus freeing up cells. And that can only help the immune system. This of course will affect the thyroid and your overall hormones. Acne will be a problem for some. And it will be as long as the hormones are going crazy. Detoxing can take months and it often does. Stopping the ACV to get rid of the problem is like stopping in the middle of a marathon to stop the pain of exercise. You might feel better temporarily. But you’re going to feel alot of regret for not getting to the finish line!!

  41. Hi,

    I had a bad case of itchy scalp and a very itchy rash on my arms and hands after delivery, my research shows its the syntocinon that they give to induce labour that overloads the liver there by killing all the good bacteria in the gut. Anyway I started having ACV 2 tsps with water and honey before every meal so three times a day and within three days the itching stopped and the scarring on my hands is beginning to lessen.I have white heads and a bit of acne on my face which is started to clear up as well. ACV does work. I wonder why it didnt help you. But I am glad it worked for me. Its been a month now and I am still on it with awesome benefits.

  42. you forget that every medical treatment doesnt always work as well, so its a sad that you distance yourself for that reason from all natural “cures”. even the most intense drugs for acne sometimes dont show any effect or make the acne even worse.

    there is no general cure for acne or cystic acne, everyone has different reason why the skin is sick. and also, medical treatments always have nasty sideeffects, i have not heard of one single treatment, that does not cause dry skin or red skin, sensitive skin, is bad for your tummy or lever or kidney, or that does not turn down your immune system. its unfair to say all natural treatments wont work, because this particular one didnt. or even if several didnt work it doesnt mean they are all just myths.

    and please consider why apple cider vinegar is suggested and can help. because there might something wrong with the bowel system. this is just a common origin of skin problems, but surely this is not everyones cause. your bowel system is maybe perfectly fine and you disturb it with ACV. so please be aware of what is happening to you personally and dont state it together with a sentence like “just because everybody is doing it doensnt mean you should, too”. when everybody is doin it, this just points to a solution that might help many people (not all!) and it might be worth a try if you are careful, watch yourself and trust your instincts.

    ACV helped me incredibly and i am extremely happy and lucky that it worked. for the first time in my 20 years with acne all my skin troubles just disappear more from week to week and i myself cannot believe that its because of a glass with water and vinegar. im very sorry for you that it wasnt your solution, but dont take it away from others, because it was not something for you!

    1. how did u take it? ive taking it for 5 days now and at the beginner was amazing! it cured my spots but now i am having a horrible breakout. But i also have to say that i ate cheese two days in a raw, mozarella in a pizza, when ive cutted out cheese ages ago. So it may be the cheese? I dont know. I am afraid is making me worse after reading this blog. What should i do? should i stop it or what? It really affects my confidence.
      Ive been drinking it. One glass every day. 1/3… is that too much? two days i drank twice… I also used the toner twice per day. 1/3 as well, but yesterday i used it 1/2… cause i ate cheese, but i dont know if i am doing right or what.
      Please help.

  43. I tend to get really painful acne around my hairline and forehead, I think it’s hormonal. I was using the Citrus Clear Blackhead mask – and it left my skin feeling really hydrated afterwards which is something I didn’t expect, most likely due to the amount of essential oils in it. I really liked that. It didn’t smell odd and felt nice upon application. The following day I noticed that all of the painful pimples on my forehead and hairline had dried out and everywhere else felt nice and soft.

  44. Ladies, be careful with ACV. It can damage your teeth pretty bad, and burn your skin. Always dilute it. I’ve tried lemon, bicarbonate of soda and coconut oil to make sure I don’t damage my skin. So far so good. I will see how it goes. Also, I wash my face with spring water (Avene).

  45. I experienced the same horrible acne breakout when I went on the ACV detox drink two months ago and I am now just starting to clear up. I have a low tolerance for citric acid and I found out ACV is loaded with it (after the fact). My skin has been a nightmare and I am over 60 so this is one lesson I learned the hard way!. Always check the ingredients if you have any food sensitivities. I wish I had!

  46. I started taking ACV supplements a week ago. Over the last few days I have had increasing amounts of what looks like heat bumps under my eyes, around my nose and cheeks. Before this, my skin was actually pretty good. Now reading all your comments I am wondering if it is the ACV doing this to me as nothing else has changed. I will stop taking it for the next few days and see if these red bumps go away. It is horrible, you feel so self conscious when your skin is so bad 🙁

  47. I’ve been using the toner for a week now & the bottom of my face seems to have broken into a rash! I think I was better off with my store bought, simply face wash routine. Reading too much ‘natural’ this or that seems to be causing more harm than good. Mind you, I don’t even have acne issues. I simply came across this toner for combination skin with some redness. Fail!

  48. I don’t normally use a toner, but I wanted to add salicylic acid into my deep cleaning routine. I bought the Citrus Clear Sensitive Wash after reading the reviews. Some folks thought the “fruitty fragrance” was too strong, but I have a very sensitive nose and the smell was awesome – plus its not a fake smell – its actual lime and lemon. I really like how clean my skin feels after using it. I have enlarged pores around my nose and this definitely gets them clean.

  49. You probably have a yeast over growth an your zits are just excess yeast. ACV causes the yeast to grow more,thus resulting in more symptoms. Eat coconut oil and garlic. Use a lemon on your face

  50. Hi! Thank you for posting this–as I just started drinking ACV and lemon water on an empty stomach but the exact thing happened to me, as well. I’m glad I came across your blog post because I would have chalked it up to purging and continued drinking it.

    It seems like we have similar skin tone and reactions to similar products. I want to recommend hemp seed oil–it’s been the one thing that hasn’t caused my skin to react irritably! It’s actually made my skin glow and look great because it has a zero comodogenic rating. I use it as a night cream/oil.

    Also, would you say that lemon water on an empty stomach causes the same reaction that ACV did? Have you tried that? I’ve heard of the great benefits that lemon water has, but wondering if the acidity will wreak havoc like acv did. Thanks!

  51. I don’t deal with acne other than a few imperfections here and there. I am almost 50 and still use Clean and Clear face products to keep my face clear. Drinking ACV was a different story. It makes me break out behind my ears and down my spine in large, painful zits. No one seems to know why. I thought it was getting the impurities out but it is painful and a bit scary to experience it. I question how that reaction to something supposed to be good for me could cause such horrible outcomes. Once I stop, it clears up within days.

  52. Cut out dairy. Cut out sugars if you can or lessen them. If you eat meat, don’t.

    These things have hormones in them and spike yours.

    Then, get some retin-A and apply nightly or once every few nights depending on the intensity… Take a few days off if the skin peels too much.

    Use a White color sunscreen (thick titanium dioxide is white and is just easier to remember that way) in the daytime as your moisturiser. My absolute favorite is the Jane Iredale BB Cream with SPF20 included. The ingredients and texture are wonderful.

    Use natural products on your face like the Iredale line…. Like a Bare Minerals line with no extra chemicals.

    Drink water.

    Seriously, lay off the dairy. That stuff is gross.

  53. I’m glad you wrote this post. I experienced the same thing. I was on the green smoothie cleanse and decided to try ACV with water every morning. A few days later I was getting pimples on my face, in areas I never had before. It took a few more days before I put two and two together. Than earlier this week, I decided to try again and use less than 2tsp of vinegar and low and behold the very next morning, I woke up a large hard nodule on my cheek and a big juicy one above my lip. 🙁 Now it’s all about drinking water and staying on top of drying these suckers out.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! While ACV likely has a lot of other benefits, I don’t think clearing up acne is one of them. 🙂 I’ve never had such painful zits in my life. It was horrible. But you live and learn I suppose! What products do you use now?

      1. Yeah, it’s a process. To cleanse I drink water with lemon every morning. My skincare regime is with Proactiv +. It works most of the time and keeps my acne under control.

  54. I just found this post and it is SO helpful! There are so many different supplements and treatments that people take and it’s important to realize that it doesn’t work for everyone. I got on the bandwagon of ACV and had a few different encounters/reactions. Then I gave up and started again and most recently encountered the acne again! Once I realized it was the ACV and found this post, it all started to make sense!
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    1. You are absolutely right. Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. I definitely learned that lesson the hard way!

  55. I take it 2x daily to help with excessive sweating since hysterectomy. It helps slot but I’ll be getting the bioTE pelleting soon so not sure if I will have to continue. I have broke out terribly along chin. I have never had acne in 37 years now BAM!! lol it’s quite embarrassing… best of luck to you

  56. Hi I agree I got worse acne after using acv internally and externally too.never had acne prob and after using acv got bad acne..please now tell me how should get my skin back..should I stop using acv I took almost 4 weeks.

  57. I tried using it too… I had cleared my skin and the blemishes were all fading and guess what… started breaking like all hell had been let loose. Chin. Jaw line. White pus filled spots I hadn’t had for long time. And guess what the moment I stopped.. the breakouts stopped too. Not everything works for everyone. Only used it for 3 days and got a spot a day. Lol.

  58. Same thing happened to me 3 years ago…Total nightmare…had to go to derm doctor it got so bad. Allergic reaction to citrus acid.

  59. I’ve been taking acv for a week and noticed little red spots on my skin and face and normally I have nothing on me so I don’t know if to stop it or not

  60. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, most people have success with this toner because it balances out skin. I actually used this as a toner for a few months and noticed that it did improve my acne.

  61. I recently started taking ACV pills about 3 weeks ago, along with turmeric, digestive enzymes, and hair,nail, skin pills. I noticed rapid weight gain and really bad breakouts around my jawline, forehead and chin. I got really scared and stopped taking all my vitamins all together. But the one I tempted to stick with was ACV. I only stuck with it for 4 days more & quickly realized all along it was this specific vitamin that was causing my breakout! Sadly I cut it off, and I’m hoping to see an improvement
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  62. Im 16 years old and i’m suffering from mild acne. I tried this substance as a toner for a week. It did burn my skin and it worsen my acne. I tried consulting a dermatologist and he gave me some benzoyl lotion and clindamycin toner and another toner😅. I used them for 3 weeks and I haven’t given my face a rest to adjust to use this topical solutions. So i guess the problem build up.

    I have a question
    “How long should we rest our skin before trying new creams or skin care?”

    Uhmmm. For now I just got back from my usual routine, a local toner and vaseline and I can say my skin is getting tamed.

    I also want to try the diet but i’m still dependent with my parents. I guess if my parents don’t remove meat in our food I still can’t avoid it.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Much love here, im still experiencing breakouts😠😔. I wish we can all make it.

  63. I tried “demonic tonic “ just 1-2 tbsp as an immunity booster to implement into my daily diet for a little as a cleanse and immediately stopped because I began breaking out with big ingrown pimples on my chin jawlin and cheeks as well , horrible . Instantly began seeing the break out traveling down my chin it was horrible . Keep in mind I’m very healthy plant based diet I workout and have clear skim majority of the time though I have acne prone skin I believe the “purging “ effects of these antibacterial etc ingredients purged through my pores straight to cystic like acne . It took two weeks for all to clear was quite embarrassing tbh, and as I’m writing this have one left and it’s like a chin on my chin lol be CAREFUL with acv based products if u have sensitive skin !
    Thanks for the review

  64. I have adult acne. it’s irritating. I use the Dermalmd blemish relief serum a lot. and because it’s clear I can wear it all day. I put it on under my moisturizer. it’s smooth and clears up acne quicker than just the regular proactive step 3. if you’re looking for acne treatment to wear in the day time I suggest you try this one.

  65. Same is happening with me! I’m having breakouts after when I started drinking ACV and the bad ones!

  66. I’m so glad I found this post. After a week of daily use of ACV, my fave has broke out so bad. I went online to see if this was a common reaction and I found nothing but positive outcomes. Until I found this post and I’m glad that I’m not the only one! Thank you for sharing and I will be dropping ACC out of my routine for good.

  67. Hey there i am so happy i found somebody who faced these same problems.. The whole internet is full of its glory of acv. And let me share my experience. Dec 1 as the advent begins i was infact i am now in my lent. So i thought i can’t fast in the morning so thought to do IF. Additional to it, evening before going to bed 1teaspoon. Mixed with a cup of warm water. And morning before brushing 30 minutes, same drink. Let me tell you two weeks approximately, within a week i lost a kg weight😅. But there was something really strange that happened. The acne burst. Oh my God!it was so terrifying. Then my mom found out what i was doing and told me to stop drinking acv right away. Now before sleep not so consistently but i make sure to have a haldi dhood(turmeric latte😅). And its been a week, i stopped weighing me, and my acne is gone. I din use any treatments, because i do have a sensitive skin. So please be aware. ACV does work but doesn’t.

  68. Hi, I too am facing a similar experience, I have been drinking 15 to 30 ml ACV with warm glass of water in the morning. I had read that acv makes your body more sensitive to insulin, a good choice to lose weight 4 pounds in 2 months. I have had no pimples for last 10 years and now I am having such big jumbo pimples. My mom told me that probably the acv is not suiting me, as I have read your blog, It has been very helpful that acv may not work for us. Thank you for sharing your experience

  69. You know I thought I was just crazy cause i started taking acv gummies and using retinol and my face has been so bad so I said it probably has to be the retinol because i haven’t read anywhere that acv is causing anyone break outs so i stopped with the retinol and now my face is still breaking out so for a fact it’s the gummies. i wanted them to work 🙁 but my face is horrible rn my forehead is breaking out i have nasty painful bumps on my chin and cheeks

  70. Apple cider vinegar work but for better and fast result Dermalmd acne serum worked for teenage skin that no longer responded to antibiotics. Not drying, good for sensitive skin.

  71. I have never had acne and started taking the Goli Apple Cider Vinegar gummies and had a breakout every day for a month until I realized what it was – I found this article by looking up does goli cause acne. Wish I would have known before now I have a scar under my nose that doesn’t look like it will go away anytime soon

  72. It helped my acne. I was taking it to help with other issues and wasn’t even trying to treat my acne. It was just a good bonus. I had really bad cystic acne all over my face. Just goes to show that everyone’s different and it’s not a universal cure all. I think it really depends on what is causing the acne in the first place. Glad to hear you found something that is working though!

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