Make Your Own Natural “Skin Brightener”

apple cider tonerLately it seems all I hear about is how GOOD FOR YOU Apple Cider Vinegar is! Specifically THIS stuff…raw, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar. As a matter of fact, I was at my sisters house recently and she actually made us all drink a “shot” of the stuff. AHHHHH!!!!  It was AWFUL to drink!!!!

So, needless to say, I’m not much of a fan of DRINKING the stuff (although I’m TRYING to overcome that!)….but the I have heard SO many good things about the benefits of apple cider vinegar in general that I was intrigued when I saw this recipe at The Daily Green for a DIY Facial Toner with aspirin that promised a BRIGHTER complexion. I personally can’t pass up a promise like that! :-)

I decided to do a little research because as smart as I think my older sister is…another opinion/review never hurts. :-)

Here is what I found:

Apple cider vinegar is naturally antiseptic and antibacterial, and it helps balance the pH of your skin. Apples are loaded with nutrients like potassium, pectin, malic acid and calcium. The fermentation process used to make cider vinegar from the apples fortifies the vitamins and minerals, making them even more powerful.

Aspirin contains salicylic acid which is the most frequently used beta-hydroxy acid when it comes to skin care. It clears away excess oil, cleans out your pores and exfoliates your skin to loosen and help remove dead skin cells. Sounds like a winning combination to me!  (If you have delicate skin, use sparingly.)

apple cider toner

apple cider toner


1/2 ounce organic apple cider vinegar

3 ounces mineral water (or distilled water)

5 plain aspirin tablets, uncoated (I used BC powders because I couldn’t find plain aspirin ANYWHERE! But I didn’t have to crush them, so that was a bonus.)


1. Dilute 1/2 ounce organic apple cider vinegar with 3 ounces water.

2. Use pestle and mortar to crush aspirin tablets. (or use BC powders)

3. Add aspirin tablet mixture to water and vinegar mix.

4. Apply toner sparingly to areas with acne, rough skin or enlarged pores. The solution will stay fresh for one month in the refrigerator.

apple cider toner


While my skin isn’t necessarily “sensitive”…I live in a very dry area so when I tried this…I used it sparingly. I used it after I washed my face…and before I put moisturizer on. While I didn’t see any NOTICEABLE “brightening” (I’m guessing it takes more than one application)….I did like the way it made my skin feel and will continue to use it (and eventually might be brave enough to try and DRINK it again!) :-)

Are you an apple cider vinegar believer???


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  1. says

    YES! I am a GREAT believer in ACV and have this very bottle in my kitchen – never without it! I use it in a daily tonic – two teaspoons in a glass of water and swear by it for assistance with sluggish-ness (without going into details…!!) I also use it to condition my hair after washing with bicarb soda. Love the stuff!

    • Denise Holtz says

      We tried drinking it as well, mixing it into a bottle of water. Unfortunately, it did just the opposite for sluggish-ness for both DH and myself. Also irritated our stomachs to the point of pain, so we had to stop. Not sure why it affected us both that way, but it did. I do use clear ACV in a lot of my cooking, though, and replace white vinegar with it in recipes.

  2. Kara says

    I’ve been using ACV and aspirin plus green tea mixture for a year on my face and it has cleared up my adult acne. Didn’t know it would brighten my face, but now that you mentioned it….. I think you’re right. Another thing that has cleared up my acne is plain old baking soda. Just make a paste and lightly apply to face or back (I needed some help there). Cleared right up!

    • Katie says

      Hi Kara, can you tell me more about how this worked (and the baking soda paste)? Did it ever feel super drying or irritating, while using it? At the moment, bc I have such sensitive skin, I use the oil cleansing method, which I love and then moisturize with other natural oils. But I’m always interested in other natural tonics and blemish remedies.

      • Rose Myrtle says

        Hi, Katie,
        I just wanted to tell you that I’ve started using this baking soda paste a few days ago and the first day I felt a tingling feeling the first time I used this, but the second time it was fine, I’m not sure why I felt that, but I have sensitive skin also. I hope it works for you! :)

      • jasmine says

        Hi Katie, I wanted to tell you that I just came across a recipe for an acne solution that contains a combination of powdered oatmeal (just regular oatmeal put in the blender), baking soda, and honey. I used it on my face this morning instead of soap and it was great! I have sensitive skin and I think the oatmeal really offset the baking soda. My face feels soft, smooth and not oily or dry today (I also used a moisturizer afterwards). Hope this helps!

    • says

      Hi Tammy, You are Making Apple Cider Vinegar yourself? WITH the Mother? Have to check this out. I just paid almost $4.00 for a small bottle and am all for saving where possible! Also. FYI I have done an aspirin mask made by disolving aspirin (dollar tree)with water and while at my age no acne I did it to shrink pores, and it DOES!!

  3. Marsha says

    I like Chey’s idea of mixing ACV with apple juice to drink. I mix about a teaspoon of local, organic honey with some warm water and then add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar to that to drink. The honey adds some healthy properties to the mix and makes the vinegar much more palatable!

  4. Janet McCord says

    My mother swears by apple cider vinegar and drinks it all the time and especially with honey for a cold or a cough. It’s bad to drink I know but you can get used to it…I think. My mom is 87 and still in pretty good health, thank the Lord.

  5. Shaine says

    Mineral water….could you be more specific? Are you talking about the carbonated kind?
    I love the fact that you photograph your ingredients…labels and all. Makes it so much easier for shopping purposes. No mistakes.
    I’m new to your blog …and loving it.

  6. Lynn says

    ACV is great I use it on my face, diluted with water, also put ACV in a med bowl, half ACV, half water, stand in tub naked, rub this mixture really hard all over your body. When mixture is gone, get out of tub, don’t towel dry, dry natural. Helps circulation, pores etc…also put couple drops in what ever your drinking. Good for your heart and gives you energy!!! Love it

  7. Alyssa Pierson says

    I always keep lots of apple cider vinegar on hand – it’s the only thing I’ve found that completely takes the smell of cat pee out of clothing, throw rugs, etc… First I wash the stinky load with nothing but ACV (I just dump a bunch in, I don’t measure it, maybe about a cup?), then I wash the load with my normal laundry detergent and dry like normal. Voila! No stink :)

  8. says

    Have that very same bottle in my fridge! My mom does too! Whenever we were sick or felt it ‘coming on’, she’d mix up a cup of hot (not boiling) water, a splash or two of this ACV and a little bit of honey. It kept us from getting sick. Now, I’ll try it on the outside of me! :)

  9. says

    Drinking this has definitely helped my skin. I have rosascea, I drink about 2 tsp in a cup of hot water with some honey. I really enjoy it-it’s very mild tasting that way. I swear my rosascea is better when I drink this regularly. The bumps and redness are lessened.

  10. says

    I’m late to the ACV game, but I’ll be buying it now!! Through you, Jillee, I’ve learned and done so many neat things for my home!! :) I’ll be making my third batch of homemade detergent later today!! And, I’m due for a foot soak with that great recipe you shared AND I have lots more on my list to do!!! Thanks so much!!!

  11. Kathleen says

    I have been using 1/4 c ACV to 3/4 c water to rinse my hair once a week to heal my itchy scalp and I recently started drinking it to help curb my appetite as well as the other health benefits. But ACV does need to be diluted with water (or juice) when drank as drinking it straight can damage the enamel on your teeth.

      • Monica says

        My scalp was so itchy I was going to go to a scalp doctor. I tried ACV it helped 10% but thats it and cant forget smell. I now wash with Seacrets black mud soap and only apply daily moistire or oils to my hair and nor scalp and its 100% better. To learn about the soap try best solution

    • Virginia Rose Jansen says

      The vinegar rinse for hair is excellent Not only does it cleanse the things that make an itchy scalp . but it also removes the build up of stuff on the hair itself. I wash my hair and use the vinegar rinse and let it set while i take a leisure bath. i let the water out of the tub and use the shower to rinse my hair and swish out the tub before i step out.

  12. says

    I totally love ACV as a toner. I recently had a bout of steroid acne and this was the only thing that helped clear it up. I use Proactive every day but it still wasn’t touching the break out. So I simply started using just ACV as a toner and within on day the redness and inflammation was reduced. I plan on continuing to use this in my skin care routine. It worked wonders!

    • Jennifer says

      Hey Leslie, I know this is an old post BUT I am just coming across this site! I, too, have been using ACV as a toner religiously now for about 6 months and it has made my skin look a lot healthier and a bit more rejuvenated. I have turned 30 this year and am attempting to keep my skin looking like it’s 20. ;) I have suffered from acne most of my young adult years and I wish I wasn’t such a dummy back in the day to believe in all the hype of big marketed products such as Proactiv.

  13. Margaret says

    Applecider vinegar is great, I drink a glass every morning before breakfast since I can´t remember when. But of course I dilute it with water!
    I mix it in the evening so it is room temperature when I drink it. This makes wonder with my IBS !

  14. deniseinark says

    I once read that there are 3 types of AHA’s – lactic (in milk) urea, and glycolic (fruits) and the best exfoliation regimen will contain a good mix of these along with BHA salycilic acid. I’ve used a salycilic acid toner – the pink stuff from J&J – for years on my scalp as a treatment for that waxy oily scalp condition that the doc called seborrheic dermatitis. The prescription shampoos for that ruined my hair color and even condition, but this did the trick for WAY less money. Some parts of the country don’t have BC Powder, it’s called Goody’s but it’s the same thing. I bought the Braggs ACV after reading that it is a great anti-inflammatory and the prescription NSAIDs I’ve been taking still weren’t cutting it. I quit because I just couldn’t face swallowing it, but it seemed to work while I was doing it. Reading this encouraged me to try again and sweetening it makes ALL the difference!

  15. Samantha says

    I use apple cidar vinager on my excema. It developed about a year ago on my fingers, I think from washing my hands so often with harsh detergents at work. I had tried everything including steroid cream from the dermatologist. Came across someone online who said to try ACV and it cleared it up in no time!. Everytime I feel it coming on or get an itchy spot on my hand I dip a Q-tip in some straight ACV and apply directly. Works like a charm ;)

  16. EmilyM says

    I swear by ACV, for so many things! Last winter I battled a sinus infection for 2 months…my doctor tried 3 different and increasingly stronger antibiotics, which did nothing (I’ve never had a sinus infection before and do not “abuse” antibiotics by not finishing a Rx) and was getting ready to send me to a specialist. As a last ditch effort, I researched natural remedies for sinus infection, and decided to give ACV a try. After a week of drinking ACV 3 times per day, my sinus infection was completely cleared up! The stuff is amazing!

  17. says

    I read another blog today singing your praises about the ACV- I’m definitely trying it. I developed melasma (dark spots) and am so curious to see if this will work. Fingers crossed…
    We’d love for you to link up to our new weekly blog hop- photo friday- any of your fav. pictures from any posts are welcome!

  18. Kris says

    I swear by ACV as well, for a number of ailments, but especially the “skin condition” on my feet. I do HAVE to mention that Aspirin is NOT the same chemical formula as the one in acne products. Aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid and the one in acne and skin preparations is Salcylic acid. I’ve seen this all over the web and just want to make sure and clear that up. I’m planning on using lemon juice as my next skin brightener test, will see!

    • nancy ,,, from alberta says

      i saw that you would like to use lemon juice , my daughter & i have been using lemon juice & sugar on a cotton pad , soak the pad with lemon juice then dip it in sugar then rub all over your face leave on for 10 min them rince with warm water , it make a great exfoliation , your face will feel so soft you will love it ..

  19. Rose Myrtle says

    Hi, Jillee, I really can’t see how this “skin brightener” is natural because you’re putting medication on your skin and it goes in your pores. To me, it just doesn’t seem natural to be putting medication on your face. The medication has drugs in it.

  20. Jaime says

    I am a huge believer! Mix your “shot” with Apple juice. I love it! I actually cannot drink apple juice without it anymore. It is too sweet! I find that when I drink it like this when I am tired I am almost instantly more energetic too! I love the wine Glass idea. I may have ot add that to my routine! :D

  21. Diane says

    ACV is wonderful and I have used it for so many things! I also drink it. Remember, there are no rules as to how much you dilute it or what you dilute it with. You can also take a tablespoon in the morning with a huge glass of water and do it again at night. Honey is healthy and can help take the edge off a bit as can fruit juices.

  22. Suzanne says

    Drinking ACV in a glass of juice is great. It does help cover the taste, but most people don’t have a problem with the taste – it is the smell that drives you away. Try drinking it (mixed with water or juice) through a straw! Makes it go down a lot quicker and easier.

  23. alyssa says

    Not sure if anyone mentioned this but it is super important. If you are pregnant you should not use this because of the aspirin. Not sure if it applies to nursing mothers also? The aspirin can cause birth defects when taken internally or applied topically (because your skin is absorbing it).

  24. Maggie says

    As Cathy mentioned with acv and wellness the same trick mixed with water and honey is good when you are sick, 2 tablespoons acv and 1 of honey with warm water for a cold, I swear by this! I did a project back in highschool on a fad diet of the acv diet where you take a diluted shot or so of it before meals. When researching it though I found that acv is basically a super food for all sorts of health issues

  25. Sally says

    I tried drinking ACV as well when I found out about all the good things it can do for you but found it gross no matter how I tried it. I was doing some looking online and found that they make ACV pills. I went to my local health food store and found some. I got a bottle of 200 tablets for about $5. They’re more expensive than a bottle of ACV but don’t taste as bad as drinking it, which I found was worth the extra bucks.

    • Tina says

      If you don’t mind telling me. Why did you want to try ACV? The reason I was wanting to know, is because my daughter & my best friends daughter has trouble with acne & wandered if the tablets worked for that. I thought they would be easier for them to do than trying to drink it. Thanks!

  26. Amanda J. says

    Not to scare you away, but it did me, and I used to drink it. I bred fish and we fed our first hatching fry vinegar eels. Turns out “the mother” in that stuff is nematodes.

    This is what they look like:

    Yep, lil protein bearing critters which feed baby fish. That’s what you’re drinking :)

  27. Suzanne Gerard says

    Mix equal amounts of ACV and honey to make a syrup. Put one ounce of the syrup into a tall glass. Add 7 ounces of water and ice to taste. You now have “switchel” which was used in colonial days as a drink for the men working in the haying fields. It will help balance electrolytes and will also ease heartburn. Also, it is good and refreshing!

  28. Tina says

    I already use ACV for a lot of things around my house. Thanks for the new ideas. I’m going to try drinking it and see if that helps me! I do have a tip to pass on. I was getting winter clothes out of my building and found that my tote had leaked and no telling how long our clothes had sit there with water. Needless to say they were mildewed bad. I was going to just toss them but I thought well I have been using baking soda for everything else, why not use it to wash these clothes. It didn’t work so after the 3rd wash I used ACV along with my regular laundry detergent and it took away the mildew smell!

  29. Myra says

    I keep ACV in a small spray bottle in my bathroom. I spray it on my scalp to help with itchy and flaky scalp. I let the ACV dry on my scalp then wash my hair. After I shower, I let my hair air dry then I lightly sprits more ACV on my hair and I slick it back into a pony tail and let that air dry. Once dry, it acts like hair spray and keeps my hair from frizzing and keeps fly aways in place, then I style my hair. I also use ACV on bug bites and random itchy spots on my skin. I lightly sprits ACV on a spot that itches, rub it in for a second then let it dry. If you do this on a bug bite that you’ve been scratching at, it will slightly burn/sting.

  30. Natalie says

    Thanks!,,,I am definetley trying this!,,,I have ACV next to my sink always! ,,,so many benefits,,,we do drink shots of it when we feel a sore throat coming on,,also good for burns to take the sting away!

  31. Awesome1 says

    I would really like to try this but I can NOT get over the smell. I’m very very sensitive to smell and I gagged when I opened the bottle.
    Is there something I can mix with it to get rid of the smell but not reduce the effectiveness?

  32. Tracy Allen says

    Two years ago I had a wart on my finger that the dr. tried twice to freeze. I did a little research and finally used ACV on that stubborn wart. After 3-4 days it fell right off. I didn’t have organic so I just used regular cooking ACV. I’m thinking I may take the plunge and buy some organic to get me going in the morning! I have quite a grocery list going with big batches of baking soda, peroxide, white vinegar and washing soda. May as well add ACV to the list! Thank you!

  33. clare says

    I used to use a cloth soaked with ACV and then bandaged around my horses’ legs (knee, cannon, fetlock) when they had swelling- by morning it would be gone! I’m sure than could apply to people too. I bathed any of their skin irritations with it too, cleared them up quicker than any of the market products!

  34. Karen says

    If you drink 1 tsp of AVC in hot water with honey before you go out for supper, and then one more when you get home you can ward off food poisoning…..also if you do get food poisoning, I use 1 Tb in hot water with honey and it takes it away. I also mix 1 part vinegar with 4 parts water and as much rose water as I like, and spray it on my skin after showering, and it has made my skin silky smooth like a babies….

  35. jeanette says

    I have been using Bragg’s ACV as part of my deodorant routine for almost a year now. I will NEVER go back to store-bought! (I apply each, in layers, to my pits- 2 drops of essential oil, whichever one I’m in the mood for, a spray of Bragg’s, then a dusting of powder from Lush- right now it’s “Guv’ner”). I live in AZ and it gets pretty warm and stinky here, but not me!


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