DIY Beauty: vinegar + aspirin for back acne

Okay now everyone, pinch your nose and read this if you have back acne! I’ve got a simple remedy for you to use at home that works but is totally unpleasant for the nose. Well, unless of course you’re a great fan of vinegar!

Salicylic acid & Alpha-Hydroxy Acid
I wish someone told me this when I was a teen because I used to have pretty bad back acne. It was so bad at one stage that I would make sure that my back was fully covered and I would avoid going swimming. I mean, spotted backs are unsightly! Well, I’m way over that adolescent phase and my back is pretty clear now but sometime ago, I had a couple of back acne and I remember reading about using vinegar. Anyway, this remedy can be used on the face for acne too for both the vinegar and the aspirin will help to slough off the old skin. In fact, this is almost your equivalent of a self-made anti-acne product because aspirins are are acetyl derivative of salicylic acid while apple cider vinegar contains AHA or alpha-hydroxy acid. But I didn’t use it on mine though because I think putting both together on my skin might be too harsh. And I wouldn’t recommend this on sensitive skin types for sure.

Easy peasy recipe
Okay, this is an easy recipe. All you need are aspirins, which are readily available from the pharmacies or drugstores. Next you need apple cider vinegar, preferably of organic grade. I use that from Bragg. And then there’s distill water, or just water since it’s only for the back. So the exact recipe is:
– one aspirin, crushed.
– one capful of apple cider vinegar
– one capful of water
(I use the cap from the vinegar bottle for measurement – double or triple the dosage if your affected area is large.)
Mix them all and use a cotton pad or ball to dip into the solution to apply to your affected area. If you back is full of acne, then you probably need some extra help there. The texture is a bit gritty due to the aspirin but it’s still easy to apply. I typically apply after bathing, leave on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash off or wipe off later.

Use as an exfoliator
As my back acne wasn’t severe, I only used this a couple of times in a week. The small acne dried up very quickly and were sloughed off when I bathed and the bigger ones subsided and subsequently, sort of disappeared perhaps as I couldn’t feel them anymore. I guess if you want to maintain a smooth back, you can probably use this recipe like an exfoliator for your back. But I can’t guarantee that your hands will be long enough to reach. (~_^)

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  1. stella says

    i have very clogged pores on my decolletage and back that result in a zit once a while, but the bigger problem is these little bumps–probably due to clogged pores or dust mites and exposure to sofas etc. which we don’t usually think about; unlike bedsheets and pillow cases, upholstery and sofa cases can’t be changed or are not changed that often, so they do trap a lot more dirt!

    what i’ve been doing in the last 2 years or so, which i find effecting in clearing up my skin in the areas, is to treat them as i do the skin on my face. so i wash my decolletage and back area just below my shoulders everyday with a tea tree wash, exfoliate every week, and apply a gentle toner to it with a cotton pad every night–it keeps the areas clean, and moisturized (body lotion is too much for those areas for me). i suppose u can use a toner with anti-acne properties too, but a normal toner works for me and my skin there has cleared up considerably

    • sesame says

      Good tips! I think keeping the area clean will help. For some it could be due to oiliness or even due to internal issues. I think mine is more from the former – it was on my upper back.

  2. Audris says

    Don’t have back acne (luckily) but I do have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms. Will give this mask a try, since I have the ingredients at home.

    Read the article today on the 3 bloggers featured. Showed it to my mum and I asked who looked the youngest. She pointed to you 😉 I concur.

    • sesame says

      Not sure if this recipe for work for those bumps. And that reminds me, I should try this on a stubborn bump on my neck.

      Haha…pictures can be deceiving ah. But still, thanks a lot for making my day. :)

  3. Ellie-B says

    I suffer from the hormonal pimple – one or two big, unsightly blemishes around my chin area every month. I am very excited to try this recipe, I hope it works! Thanks for the tip :)

    • sesame says

      Use it with care on your face…although some people have had success but it could be harsh. Try on spots first.

  4. Cara says

    wow! What a great tip! No one likes backne or any blemish for that matter! I especially love that I have everything in my apartment to try it out.

      • Cara says

        Thanks sesame! I’m currently using Yes to Tomatoes shower gel for my body wash. If u wanna give it a whirl, here’s a link: ttp://

        LOVE IT so far, but I will def let you know when I give this a try!!

        I <3 all your reviews and tips! :)

  5. snow0016 says

    hi! great tip! i have back acne too and i don’t think apple cider vinegar is readily available in our place. do you think sugar cane vinegar will have the same effect?

  6. says

    Great! You just reminded me of my old recipe for toner: apple cider vinegar + mineral water in 1:1 ratio. I’ve not tried adding asprin though.

    • sesame says

      Adding aspirin makes it more potent but if your skin has no issue, then it’s not necessary as ACV itself is good enough.

  7. says

    Hi Sesame :)
    i think this brand of aspirin is easily dissolvable unlike some other brands that i’ve tried. So if you are using this brand, you can skip step 1 (“,)

    • sesame says

      It does? I’ve never tried other brands of aspirin before and I’ve always just crushed these. I should try and leave it in the solution.

  8. serene says

    Ugh. This stinky thing! I have this in my fridge and will only drink if it’s heavily diluted. BTW I read that you must get VCA that has “the mother”.

    I’m very sure my back acne is caused by my shampoo. I have 4 or 5 that I alternate as and when I like… and 3 of them cause pimples to pop out on my back within a few hours. Luckily, it’s always less than 5 pimples or so. I never get shampoo on my face for that reason.

    • sesame says

      Yes, ACV with the mother – the one I recommended, Bragg, has that.

      Try to wash your face after shampooing…that way, you get any shampoo off your face.

  9. lisa says

    Is it okay to use rice vinegar instead of ACV?
    ACV’s kind of expensive here; and I don’t think my mum would let me buy it. -.-


  1. […] 6. Help treat acne Besides regulating the pH level of our skin, apple cider vinegar is often said to have natural anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore effective to treat acne causing bacteria. In this case, it is best to use the apple cider vinegar as a toner, diluted either with mineral water or green tea. I wouldn’t recommend using this too often if you have sensitive skin but it might make a good spot treatment for blemishes or it might work very well if you have back acne. If you are interested to try it, check out my DIY recipe using aspirin and vinegar. […]

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