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Apple Cider Vinegar for Rosacea: More Harm Than Good?

Can using apple cider vinegar topically be good for rosacea? The truth is, there is no evidence that supports the use of apple cider vinegar for rosacea.

Read on

You might have heard about the multitasking kitchen staple, apple cider vinegar (ACV). In recent years this ingredient has been said to be anything from a brilliant kitchen cleaner to a cure-all skincare hack. But can using apple cider vinegar topically be good for rosacea?

The truth is, there is no scientific evidence that supports the use of apple cider vinegar for rosacea.

The rest of the internet is still singing the praises of apple cider vinegar, but we think this harsh vinegar could cause more harm than good when it comes to natural rosacea remedies.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects more than 14 million people in the US.

Rosacea causes skin flushing and redness throughout the center of the face, visibly broken blood vessels, dry skin, a tendency to blush easily, and rosacea related acne-like breakouts are a very common symptom as well.

Some may experience burning, stinging, swelling, thickening of the skin, and skin sensitivity.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, rosacea is common among those who are fair-skinned and those of Celtic or Scandinavian ancestry.

Drawbacks of apple cider vinegar for rosacea

Well, there really is no evidence that supports the use of apple cider vinegar for rosacea.

This alternative natural remedy may actually worsen rosacea symptoms if you aren’t careful.

Those with rosacea should steer clear from the chemical exfoliant lactic acid -- which is found organically in apple cider vinegar. (This is not a bad chemical in general, it’s just not great for those with rosacea.)Because of the harshness of apple cider vinegar, it has the potential to disrupt and weaken an already vulnerable protective skin barrier. Which could cause even more skin inflammation, irritation, sensitivity, and redness.

Those with rosacea often already have an impaired skin barrier function which might contribute to the condition itself. Although the cause of rosacea is still unclear, some hypothesize that the root problem is an impaired skin barrier. So using harsh ingredients like apple cider vinegar, chemical peels and harsh face washes could worsen symptoms by impairing the skin barrier further.

On the flip side, protecting and strengthening your protective skin barrier could reduce inflammatory rosacea symptoms.

Prioritize your protective skin barrier instead

Using apple cider vinegar for rosacea is a risky move. Although some people with rosacea have found anecdotal success using apple cider vinegar, it’s possible this could have the exact opposite effect for others.

Read more: 7 Easy Ways to Calm Your Rosacea Flare-up

Instead of using harsh chemicals to treat your rosacea, air on the side of soothing and strengthening your protective skin barrier.

Daily ways you can prioritize your skin barrier with rosacea:

  1. Cleanse your face with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser twice a day.
  2. Use lukewarm water instead of hot. (Hot water can be too harsh).
  3. Moisturize day and night with creams that contain hyaluronic acid and ceramides. (This “acid” is totally safe. It’s not stripping and is a mega moisturizer that helps build the lipid matrix of the skin.)
  4. Use emollient ingredients like jojoba oil.
  5. Remember to protect yourself daily from UV rays.
  6. Stay away from chemical exfoliants, scrubs, or alcohol-based products.

Proven safe and effective treatment for rosacea

We understand that the overarching goal of those treating rosacea is often to reduce and control the appearance of redness. This can be achieved with much gentler ingredients such as azelaic acid. (Don’t fear this acid, it’s one of the good guys when it comes to rosacea.)

Unlike the acids in apple cider vinegar, azelaic acid has been proven safe, and effective for those with rosacea. This is largely due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of azelaic acid.

Using azelaic acid is an FDA approved and dermatologist-recommended treatment for rosacea.

The best results were seen with 15-16% azelaic acid treatments which are often prescription-only medications like our Strut Rosacea Formula.


  • It is not recommended to use apple cider vinegar for rosacea.
  • Apple cider vinegar is potentially a harmful home remedy for those with rosacea.
  • Anything that is harsh or stripping could pose issues for those with rosacea.
  • Apple cider vinegar could make rosacea symptoms worsen.
  • ACV could weaken an already vulnerable skin barrier. Instead, opt for strengthening this barrier and skipping the use of apple cider vinegar.
  • 15% azelaic acid is an FDA approved treatment for rosacea.
  • The apparent anecdotal success of using apple cider vinegar for rosacea has been unfounded scientifically. These claims are found across the internet, however, Strut Health does not recommend this home remedy as it could cause more harm than good.

Strut Health treats rosacea online

Here at Strut Health, we have carefully formulated gentle rosacea formulas just for you. If our medical team finds you are a good fit for our prescription strength rosacea treatments, we’ll ship it right to your door.

Start by completing a free online questionnaire-based doctor's consultation to see if our rosacea formula is right for you.

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