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Apple Cider Vinegar Toner-Benefits & How to Make!

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A toner is a very important part of your skin care regimen. Toners help your skin retain moisture, maintain and/or restore pH balance and can remove any dirt or makeup left behind after cleansing. Apple cider vinegar is actually an incredible ingredient that can be used as a toner! You won’t believe the amazing benefits so today let me teach you how to make the perfect apple cider vinegar toner!

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

In my opinion, a toner should be an important part of your daily skin care routine. Toners are super easy to make and can really give your skin a boost! Whether you are dealing with dark spots, acne scars, the appearance of wrinkles or just simply want younger-looking skin, a homemade toner with apple cider vinegar and a couple other simple ingredients can do wonders for your individual needs.

Your Skin’s Acid Mantle:

First off, let’s discuss the acid mantle. The acid mantle acts as a protective layer on top of your skin. It keeps moisture in and let’s bacteria out. If it is damaged, all sorts of undesirable issues can pop up in your skin.

How does the acid mantle of your skin get damaged you might ask? Well, often times if the skin’s pH is unbalanced, meaning it is too low or too high, this can damage the acid mantle.

If the acid mantle is not intact inflammation and enzymatic activity can occur which can speed up the aging process. Skin that is too alkaline (higher pH than 5) is also more susceptible to sun damage because its protective barrier has been damaged.

Keeping your acid mantle intact is very important and this is where toners come in.

What is Face Toner?

Facial toners can seem to be one of those skin care products that could be nixed if you tend to be on the more frugal side of your beauty routine-which I am. However, toners actually have a very important job when it comes to the health of your skin…

A facial toner’s main job is to further remove dirt, excess sebum, makeup and bacteria from the skin. But that’s not all! Because most toners have an acidic pH of around 3-4, toners help restore the skin’s ph levels. If a soap based cleanser is used, the pH of the skin can become unbalanced. Having pH balanced skin helps the skin to not over produce oil or up it’s oil production depending on what the skin is needing. Balanced skin also helps serums and moisturizers penetrate more thoroughly.

Skin with a balanced pH appears healthier, is slightly moist, looks plumper, and has a healthy glow.

Why You Should Use a Toner:

Not only do facial toners help cleanse the skin and balance the skin’s pH, they also can contain ingredients to hydrate and nourish the skin. Depending on the ingredients in a toner, they can also remove dead skin cells which can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and encourage more cell turnover. Also, skin toners can reduce the appearance of pores and smooth skin surface.

Benefits of Face Toners

  • Restore pH balance after cleansing
  • Further cleanse the skin
  • Deliver hydration
  • Set foundation if used after applying makeup
  • Refresh the skin
  • Reduce pore size

Where Does a Toner Fit in Your Beauty Routine?

Cleanser: A cleanser is always first in your skincare routine. Cleansing the skin, whether you prefer oil cleansing or use a soap based cleanser should remove the majority of makeup and other impurities from the skin.

Toner: A toner always comes right after cleansing so that it can further cleanse as well as restore pH after cleansing.

Serum: A serum is used after toning but before your moisturizer and is meant to address a specific skin issue like the reduction of wrinkles.

Moisturizer: A moisturizer is used after a toner or serum or both. Well moisturized skin is a must and should not be skipped. Check out my favorite moisturizer, my DIY face oil with coQ10.

Eye Cream: Eye cream is the icing on the cake if you will. An eye cream is totally optional but can help tighten and smooth the skin around the eyes.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar on the Skin:

Raw apple cider vinegar is a result of fermenting apples. ACV is full of vitamins, minerals and beneficial acids. Plus, this natural ingredient has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which is an added bonus when dealing with skin infections such as acne.

ACV also has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it helpful for anyone dealing with sensitivity or skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis.

An acv toner is a good idea because it is a natural astringent and it balances the natural pH of the skin. Because of the acids in acv, it breaks up the bonds between dead skin cells revealing new fresh skin. In the natural DIY skincare world, it is kind of like a gentle, daily glycolic of alpha hydroxy acid peel.

ACV also can diminish sun and age spots and the appearance of scars. 

What Skin Types Should Use ACV as a Toner?

This DIY toner recipe is for all skin types but is especially helpful for oily skin and acne-prone skin. 

Apple cider vinegar returns acidity to your skin and the malic acid in apple cider vinegar makes it antibacterial which is imperative when fighting acne. It also has antiseptic properties as well.

Mature/dry skin can also benefit from apple cider vinegar! A study published in British Journal of Dermatology by Greg Hillebrand, PhD, of P&G Beauty Science, showed that women with an alkaline stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) developed more fine lines and crow’s-feet than those with acidic skin over an eight-year period. 

This is probably because an alkaline epidermis tends to be drier than an acidic one and we all know that oily skin ages way slower than dry skin.

**Sensitive skin types should use caution when using apple cider vinegar. Because of the acetic acid, acv can cause a burning sensation which is something we never want. If you are concerned, I recommend performing a patch test on your inner arm.

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner Ingredients:

  • Rosemary Essential Oil helps stimulate cell renewal and improves capillaries, spider veins and blemishes.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil helps brighten dull skin. It reduces irritations and itchiness and controls excess oil. It can help to lessen red, blotchy skin and increases blood flow.
  • Peppermint Hydrosol adds to the brightening effect as well as the increased blood flow that peppermint essential oil provides. You could choose any hydrosol to use or even use distilled water. 

Alternative Ingredients:

Instead of using peppermint hydrosol, you could use any other scent of hydrosol-there are so many!

You could also replace hydrosol with aloe vera gel or witch hazel.

I chose peppermint and rosemary essential oils because I wanted to create a tingly, cooling toner to brighten my skin but you could use any essential oil you have on hand. Tea tree oil is always a good idea for acne-prone skin types and lavender essential oil is my go to for all skin types. Both have powerful antibacterial properties and are healing and calming.

What You’ll Need to an Make Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Be sure to shake your apple cider vinegar before combining-you want “the mother” in your toner! 

This is a power packed toner is gentle enough for daily use. 

DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Yield: 2 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Toners are super easy to make and can really give your skin a boost! A toner is a very important part of your skin care regimen. Toners help your skin retain moisture, maintain and/or restore pH balance and can remove any dirt left behind after cleansing. Apple cider vinegar is actually an incredible ingredient that can be used as a toner! All skin types can benefit so today let me teach you how to make the perfect apple cider vinegar toner.


  • 1/4 cup Peppermint Hydrosol 
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 10 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 8 drops Peppermint Essential Oil 


  • 2 ounce Glass Spray Bottle
  • Funnel


  1. Add all ingredients in glass spray bottle and shake!


How to Use:

  1. Cleanse skin.
  2. Using a cotton pad, apply the toner all over the skin.
  3. Follow up with a serum and/or moisturizer

Did you make this product?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Apple Cider Vinegar Proportions According to Skin Type:

The above recipe is meant for dry skin. However, if you are oily or normal you might want to up the ACV/Peppermint Hydrosol ratio. Most sensitive skin types can handle this proportion but if it’s too much reduce the ACV to 1/2 tbsp. or even 1 teaspoon.

As a rule of thumb I would use a 2:1 ratio for normal skin. Meaning, keep with the 1/4 cup of hydrosol but up the ACV to 2 tbsp. For oily skin you can use a 1:1 ratio which would mean 1/4 cup of hydrosol to 4 tbsp of ACV.

If you are experiencing breakouts and they are painful, start out low. I would recommend only 1 tbsp. per 1/4 ounce.

Shelf Life of Apple Cider Vinegar Toners:

The shelf life of this apple cider vinegar face toner is about 2 months. ACV is very acidic and therefore is not a favorable environment for bacteria to grow. The hydrosol has it’s own preservative. The essential oils are antibacterial so my 2 mos. estimate is a guess but as you can see, you’re pretty safe. However, I like to make small batches of all my DIYs because fresh is best!

Apple cider vinegar can be used for a number of other reasons besides skincare and many benefits can be reaped by incorporating this versatile liquid. One big reason to grab a bottle of ACV is for your hair! ACV can give your hair loads of shine and smoothness when making a shiny hair rinse!

Also, apple cider vinegar can improve your health greatly when ingested. Drinking ACV daily is easy with my recipe for a mood & energy boosting (and surprisingly yummy) ACV drink!

Oh and by the way-I promise you won’t smell like vinegar after using this toner!! 

xx, Jenni

P.S. Download the label below if you’d like to make your own! I upload mine to Avery.


Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

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Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 9 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on how to achieve beautiful skin the natural way.

59 thoughts on “Apple Cider Vinegar Toner-Benefits & How to Make!”

  1. Hello Jennifer,
    Just found your blog from Camp Wander and have a question about the toner recipe. Why are you using the apple cider vinegar instead of organic witch hazel? Thanks Linda J

  2. Hi Linda! Thanks for your comment! Apple Cider Vinegar is so good for taking internally and externally! For the skin, it reduces inflammation, it helps to clear acne, regulates pH, and can be very soothing. The big benefit that hooked me was that it fades sun and age spots! Also due to it’s high amount of vitamins, it is great at preventing and reducing varicose veins. I am very open to witch hazel though, I just have always used apple cider vinegar. Stay tuned because I’m going to write a post on taking it internally-how to make it taste good and the huge list of benefits! Thanks!

  3. Hi Jennifer!
    I absolutely love this idea! I have been using apple cider vinegar and distilled water as a toner for a long time now. I just use 1 part water and 1 part acv. I like this recipe a lot better. Can’t wait to try it! Love the use of essential oils in this recipe!

  4. Hi Dawn! Glad you made the toner! The shelf life of ACV is about 3-5 years and adding water to it shouldn’t effect it especially if it’s distilled-I could be wrong though. I make small batches and go through it within about 6 mos. I don’t keep it in the fridge.

  5. Great idea adding essential oils … have used ACV and distilled water for years and never thought of adding the oils … many thanks and look forward to seeing more!

  6. You are very generous in sharing your lovely site and insightful DIY proyects, I have the feeling that you are very intuitive in the use of the products that you use. I cant wait to make this toner
    Thanks for sharing!! <3

  7. Can’t wait to try homemade toner! Question though, looking at the pic it says lemon e.o. but the recipe doesn’t have lemon in it. Am I missing another recipe? Thanks!

    1. Ha! Sorry!! It’s the wrong pic-I never noticed that-thanks for letting me know! I omitted lemon due to the possibility of it making skin sensitive to the sun. You can add it if you like, it’s great for oily, blemished skin-photo sensitivity is not super common but it does happen with citrus oils once in a while-you could use the toner only at night. Thanks!!

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  9. Hi Jenni, I’m your newest blog stalker! I’m new to the whole natural thing, and am having so much fun learning how to remove the nasty chemicals, you have some great and easy to understand info! I’ve always had T-zone oiliness, but I think thats changing as I age (ugh). My nose and the skin immediately surrounding it has started peeling like crazy for the past couple of years. Moisturizers tend to make it greasy and the (lifelong, it seems) blackheads run amok. Oil-free moisturizers don’t help. Have you heard of this and any suggestions? I’ve been using raw honey as a cleanser, feels great, but think I’ll try coconut new favorite everything! Also, could I use orange essential oil with the ACV/water toner? Still getting my stockpile together and have orange on hand. Thanks so much for your hard work, I’m a fan! 🙂

    1. Kate! Oh my, you are experiencing some frustrating conditions with your skin! It sounds like you are out of balance. I’m glad you are planning to make a toner-Orange oil will be great for brightening your skin up, but be careful about sun exposure-citrus oils can causes sensitivity. A toner will really help balance your skin. Ylang Ylang is a great essential oil to further help balance. Honey is awesome for your skin-it’s great for sensitivity and won’t clog pores-You might think about cleansing with honey in the morning and oil cleanse with coconut oil in the evening. Also, check out manuka honey-it’s like raw honey on steroids! You might find that you don’t need a moisturizer when you start to oil cleanse and tone. You might check out my Skin Clearing Serum. It’s aloe vera based and will not contribute to oiliness.
      Hope this helps!!

      1. Thanks so much, Jenn! I tried coconut oil followed by ACV toner last night, my skin felt pretty greasy afterward, but I’ll keep it up for awhile and see how it goes. I think I’ll follow your suggestion, honey in the morning, coconut oil at night (sounds like a song!). I remember reading about citrus oil and sun-sensitivity, so I’ll just use the toner at night. I’ll let ya know how it goes…thanks muy!

  10. Jenni I too am blog stalking you! I have a few questions. I have too friends who have very oily skin and thought this might work for them. Is the peppermint oil necessary? Also the toner I’ve been using is just aloe Vera juice and distiller water (recommended for oily skin but it works well for my combo skin). I was going to give them that until I saw this post. Any thoughts?

    1. Kate-I would absolutely tell your friends to use acv for oily skin. It’s amazing for most skin types, but it will work better than aloe for a toner. Peppermint is not necessary. Ylang Ylang is amazing for balancing oily skin. Lemongrass, Lavender, Lemon and Melaleuca (tea tree) are all awesome for oily skin. You actually don’t have to add essential oils at all if you don’t have any. Thanks!

      1. Hey Jen, while I loved getting the responses, thought I’d point this one out. Seems there is another Kate…her messages start with “Jenni I too am stalking you”. I received your replies via email, just making sure she gets replies also! I changed my nic on this post to KateJusKate, maybe that will help! Thanks..p.s., I’m LOVING coconut oil face wash and ACV toner! 🙂

          1. Jenn,..yes, I did, for both of your replies to the other Kate…thats how I figured it out! 🙂

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  12. What about using green tea in place of the distilled water.
    Or aloe vera juice.
    Would these affect the shelf life drastically?

  13. Hi Jenni,

    I plan on making this toner tonight and I have a few questions. I have an oily T-zone, so was going to try ylang ylang essential oil. How many drops of ylang ylang would I use? Would I also keep the rosemary and peppermint essential oils? If so, would I keep the number of drops the same? Sorry, I know it’s not an exact science but I want to try to tone down the oiliness in my T-zone. Thanks for any suggestions. Cindy

    1. Cindy-Ylang Ylang is a great choice to help your skin find balance! What I would do is replace the rosemary with ylang ylang (10 drops) and replace the peppermint (8 drops) with another oil like lavender. Or if you don’t have another oil that helps with oilier skin you could just keep it ylang ylang (18 drops). Rosemary and Peppermint will smell weird with Ylang Ylang so I would drop those all together. Hope this makes sense!

  14. Hi Jenni,

    I am using green tea in replace of distilled water. One part tea and one part ACV. Then I add jojoba oil, lavender essential oil and lemon essential oil. I am using it morning at night.

    Thank you so much for all your recipes I love it.

    1. Christine-I use this toner only in the morning. After I oil cleanse I apply an oil like rosehip or almond oil with some essential oils added to it. The pores are so open from the oil cleansing that your skin really benefits from a serum. I have very dry skin though. If you have oilier skin, you could use the toner day and night. Keep in mind, one action of a toner is to shut the pores.

  15. Hi Jenni,
    Thank-you for this DIY toner, can I use ACV and rose water(equal parts) instead of regular water, and Ia have a ane prone skin so what kind of essential oil I add ( if any)

  16. Hi! Question for you, Essential Oils are not water soluble, and most shouldn’t be used on your skin neat, since the EOs wont mix with the water, how do you recommend this product be used, shake it vigorusly and then apply it right away? I dont want to make it then burn my face if I do something wrong…

    1. Jen S.-Shaking the toner is not necessary. I use this toner daily and it works great just adding it to a cotton round and applying. Whether to use essential oils on the skin neat or not is a matter of opinion. I believe most essential oils can be used neat on the skin. Unless you are extremely sensitive, the oils in this recipe will not burn your skin. They both will give a cooling sensation. Hope this helps!!

  17. I have very sensitive skin, and suffer from perioral dermatitis. I have heard ACV is great for this and would love to try this toner, but I am unsure which essenual oils to use, and how much of each. What do you recommend?

    1. Diane-Chamomile and lavender are great for sensitivities. Frankincense is also very gentle and beneficial, plus it’s a great astringent. If you are using an 8 ounce bottle I would use either chamomile or lavender-10 drops and frankincense 10 drops of frankincense! Thanks!

  18. Hi! Do you need to use that particular ACV or can it be any type? I know that brand has “the mother”. I have some regular AC v and wondered if it would work also?

  19. Do you know what types of EOs to use for red nose and cheeks to hopefully reduce redness or make it go away altogether?

    1. Heidi-I don’t keep in the fridge. I would say the shelf life is maybe about 2 weeks. Since this post I have become a bit more careful with shelf life, so I make very small batches of anything that combines water based ingredients with oils. Thanks!

  20. Hi,

    Im going to try this recipe but I don’t have the rosemary oil. Can I subsitute it with tea tree oil instead?? Or will the tea tree with peppermint oil be too much??

  21. Hi! So excited to make this!
    I don’t have lemongrass though, but I do have a ton of other essential oils. Is there anything you can think of that I can use as a substitute for the lemongrass?

      1. Oops! I meant to post this question on the diy skin clearing serum post. I just made it but I don’t have lemongrass, thinking about substitutes.


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  23. Yes! I agree. Apple Cider Vinegar is amazing!

    I normally have oily skin, have large pores and am pimple prone. I was breaking out, had bad skin tone and was starting to develop fine lines. I bought the Made from Earths Apple Cider Vinegar Toner (its 100% organic) and have been using twice a day and my skin has improved substantially! I’m very impressed with how much smoother my skin has become. I now have NO PIMPLES. My skin was previously pink in complexion from the chronic inflammation. It’s actually calmed my skin now.

  24. What’s the difference in a witch hazel based toner and an ACV based toner? Can you use both in one toner? There are so many options it’s hard to know which to do! Do you alternate between the different recipes you post?

    1. Lindsay-I’m not sure I would use both in one toner. ACV is strong and needs to be watered down but it’s great at balancing the skin. In my personal regime I don’t use ACV, I prefer witch hazel because I think it’s more gentle.

  25. Hi Jenni

    I can’t find my email with the labels in it, if you could send me it again I would so appreciate it! And thank you for all your great recipes and can’t wait to try this one!

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