Can Vinegar help control Cystic Acne?

Do you have acne or acne prone skin? Tried EVERYTHING but found that it did not do the trick? Well, let me tell you about my messes and successes in hopes that it will help some of you suffering through the same path as my skin once did.

Growing up, I never really had troubled skin. I did have my occasional stress induced pimple or two and my “It’s that time of the month” zit that came with it’s seven day army, but nothing a little Noxzema couldn’t handle. Once I hit my 20’s though, watch out! My face decided to go through puberty and the rest of me didn’t get the memo. Statistics show that adult acne affects 25% of all adult men and 50% of adult women at some time in their adult lives. People can develop unpleasant acne or have an acne recurrence in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond and worse, find that over the counter and prescription medications are not making any kind of an impact on the unwelcomed inhabitants and sometimes causing it to increase. Cystic acne is the most serious kind of acne blemish occurring around the jawline, chin and neck areas and affect nearly 30% of women and 20% of men ages 20 to 60 and beyond.

At 23 years old, I started suffering from not just acne, but severe cystic acne. My flareups would last weeks or even months and would spread from ear to ear along my jawline, neck and temples. I had moments where the flareups would subside and become dormant for a while, then come back in a painful vengeance. I tried it all, every over the counter remedy that you have ever heard of. I became one with ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoic acid, clindamycin,  benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid and sulferic acid. No matter how many acids I used, nothing worked. I went through 5 different dermatologists and begged to be prescribed accutane, (Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It is used to treat severe nodular acne. It is usually given after other acne medicines or antibiotics have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.) but to no avail. I went through painful laser treatments, facial peels and expensive organic treatments and still, no relief. My face was a war zone and everyone was able to see it.

After my self esteem went down to a -100, stopped taking all the antibiotics and threw away every bottle of topical acne creams I had invested much money and time into, I took my mothers advice. My mother, the illustrious Elsa Houdek, saw my face transform from normal, to bad, to depressing as my skin became worse with age. One day while having lunch with her, she said, “I know you’ve tried everything there is to try to clear up your skin, but why don’t you try cleaning your skin with vinegar at night before going to bed?”. So, I FINALLY did it. Well, what do you know! Just 1 week of using white vinegar after washing my face at night, I noticed all the nodules along my jaw and neck start to decrease in size, became less painful and no new ones in sight! 2 weeks after using the white vinegar, all nodules had disappeared and my skin was starting to heal. 3 weeks after using it, my skin was not only clear, but my pores had become smaller and my skin had a more youthful look to it. At 4 weeks, the vinegar had past the “time of the month” test having prevented any new acne to form and maintained a good balance of essential oil on my skin.

Here is a  routine I recommend to anyone willing to smell like a salad to bed and waking up with remarkable results:

Week 1-3:

  • Wash face with Cetaphil Gentle Face Cleanser to remove all make-up.
  • Use an exfoliating scrub to further remove traces of dirt and makeup, while sloughing off dead skin cells, to give your face a healthy glow. I prefer to use Pharmagel’s Enzyme Ex-Cell.
  • After face has been patted dry using a clean towel, apply the vinegar to a facial cotton pad or cotton round and apply the undiluted white vinegar to your skinusing a dabbing motion. It is important not to smear or rub products onto the skin, since that spreads acne-causing bacteria. Begin with a small amount of astringent, adding more as necessary. If you feel its to strong, dilute the vinegar by adding 1 equal part water.
  • keep hair away from the face as you sleep and make sure your pillow cases are always clean.

Week 4 and on:

  • Repeat and maintain same routine. If you have not done so already, this would be a good time to dilute the vinegar solution to 1 part vinegar and 1 equal part water. I would recommend applying the solution immediately after showering, as pores are open, to clean and close the pores.
  • If at any point you start to notice a potential flare up or a pimple wants to make an appearance, add straight undiluted vinegar to a cotton round and dab the problem area.

Remember, it does not work over night, but with consistent use, you will see a difference not only in the appearance of your skin, but in your self esteem as well. Thank you mom for your productive advice and thank you Jason (Oak Tree’s Sweetheart) for not complaining about my smelling like a pickle at night.

Don’t be shy, give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

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Oak Tree Vintage is your go to place for Craft Beer Awareness, Pin-up Culture and features on Local Artists! Want to know where to have a great craft beer & eat hand crafted foods after attending an artwalk; music fest or gallery and look like a doll while doing it all? Oak Tree Vintage will offer you some great insights on some of our local craft beer breweries, delicious eateries and offer you some insightful pin-up tips for your every day (or night) rendezvous. Drink well, eat right, become artistically aware and look fabulous! View all posts by Oak Tree Vintage

21 responses to “Can Vinegar help control Cystic Acne?

  • alicea

    thanks 4 the help def going to try this will keep u posted

  • candice

    Yes it does work very well I have to say,the results is amazing and fast!I had big bumps along my jawline and as a beauty consultant this was not good at all u can just imagine!To get rid of my huge painfull bumpy jawline I soaked strands of cotton wool in vinegar mixed a bit of dry Yeast with some vinegar mix it up to a paste apply the paste nice and thick than applied the soaked vinegar cotton wool on top of the Paste wrapped it close and slept with it during the nite,In the morning the cotton wool will be Hard and when u take it off u will see the dirt and black heads on the hard cotton wool and your cystic pimples will be flatten over night.

  • candice

    Yes it does work very well I have to say,the results is amazing and fast!I had big bumps along my jawline and as a beauty consultant this was not good at all u can just imagine!To get rid of my huge painfull bumpy jawline I soaked strands of cotton wool in vinegar mixed a bit of dry Yeast with some vinegar mix it up to a paste apply the paste nice and thick than apply the soaked vinegar cotton wool on top of the Paste wrapped it close and slept with it during the nite,In the morning the cotton wool will be Hard and when u take it off u will see the dirt and black heads on the hard cotton wool and your cystic pimples will be flatten over night.

    • Oak Tree Vintage

      It does dry your skin out just a bit, but definitely nowhere near as bad as any of the prescription medications. I personally felt that it worked significantly faster than anything else I have ever tried and was able to control the dryness with a bit of Argan Oil. Thank you for sharing your tips Candice, keep us updated!

  • Natasha

    I am trying it as we speak

  • Marie

    I’m going to give this a try hope it works! 🙂 fingers crossed

  • Karlie

    Going to try this i really hope this helps i been fighting really bad acne since i was 10 yrs old its getting old now im 21 its got to go now

  • Sab

    Thank you thank you thank you! I had this cystic flare up on my chin since last night and I was so worried about it. I applied honey and drank like 20 glasses of water but there wasn’t much of a difference. I just did this and it’s gone down in a matter of seconds! I can’t thank you enough!

  • pallabi

    can i use vinegar direct on my face?i used it n my skin is looking like buring

    • Oak Tree Vintage

      If you are having a negative reaction to any product, even a natural one, you should discontinue it’s use immediately. Some people have added witch hazel to the solution in order to cut the evasiveness of the vinegar making it 2 parts witch hazel and 1 part vinegar. If you decide to try this, make sure to try it on a small area first and see how your skin reacts to the solution before continuing. If any redness, itching, burning or pain develops, discontinue immediately and stick to products that are less acidic in nature. “Origins” or “Murad” have great natural products that are great for sensitive skin such as yours. You may want to give them a try.

    • clara

      yes, I do so daily now! don’t even smell it anymore n my skin looks fab at 42 now!

  • kiran

    Would like to give it try 🙂

  • Sans

    Do you still wash your face in the morning, or you only do this at night?
    Thank you

    • Oak Tree Vintage

      Hello Sans. I do wash my face twice a day, morning and night, but I personally only use the vinegar at night to allow it to penetrate into my skin without topping it off with makeup during the day. This has worked well for my skin, but others have used it both day and night along with an SPF lotion higher than 30 in order to minimize the darkness of existing blemishes. The vinegar may make your skin a bit more sensitive in the sun so be careful not to expose your face for too long if you decide to incorporate the vinegar in your morning routine!

  • clara

    I’ve suffered horribly immediately after turning 19 from painful n ugly cystic acne… like the article writer took n applied all to clear my skin… nothing worked for me. At the age of 32, it was suggested that i start taking birth control to level out my hormones. It worked! I stopped taking it n flare up would surface but not as bad as before. I was left with major ugly scaring n brown spots. so to remove the ugliness, I read that white vinegar or apple cider could minimize the unsightly spots. By accident or chance, I noticed that when my breakouts would surfaced they started to go away within days when I wiped my face with vinegar! then, I discovered that adding a dab of honey on the infected area would make it go away before it surface on the skin… so as soon as i feel a tingle skin eruption – I whip my face with vinegar n add a dab of honey… it does tingle/tickle a bit but it makes it go away w/o every surfacing or getting a big monster! woohoo! I’ve never been so happy than to discover someone so natural, organic, painless, n inexpensive to help my skin heal. I wish I could post before n after pics – it’s so drastic n awesome!

  • Corine

    Zits may affect your self-feelings and esteem of despression symptoms.

    Do not allow your zits to influence how you feel about
    yourself. Utilizing the tips below can provide better looking skin to become healthy and very clear Thanks for this excellent article

  • Catherine

    Hi am gonna try this very soon . These acnes are just getting me mad that I even think of suicide at times.

    Thank U.

    • Oak Tree Vintage

      Hi Catherine. Please remember that everyone has something that they go through that makes them feel a little insecure. If your acne problem is that severe, try asking your doctor if they could refer you to a specialist. If you communicate to your Dr how your situation is affecting you, they will act fast to find a way to help you through it. Don’t forget that beauty is not something we carry on the surface, beauty is who we are on the inside. My son suffers from the same problem, pretty severely actually which is why I am always looking for solutions that I can share with others. I urge you to seek help if ever you feel that badly about your skin Catherine.

  • Linda

    My acne is exactly as you described yours it stays for months on my chin nothing works except baking soda bt it changes the skin ph when used for a long time causing more breakouts. I will try white vinegar.

    • Oak Tree Vintage

      Hi Linda. Make sure you dilute the vinegar and slowly test how your skin reacts to the vinegar. I found that when my skin gets to dry, Emu Oil worked wonders. It’s good for your skin, won’t make you break out. Try researching it and see how you feel about it. Most health food stores like Lassens and Sprouts carry it.

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