The Beauty Benefits of Apples
During this time of year apples are in abundance, and who doesn’t love the taste of a crisp, tangy sweet autumnal apple? We’ve all heard the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and it’s true — daily consumption of this fruit can even help maintain the youthfulness of your complexion, thus keeping the plastic surgeon away. Apples are loaded with the vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants — all essential for promoting healthy skin and hair.
Apples are rich in vitamin C, which stimulates collagen formation; maintaining this structural protein is crucial to the preservation of skin firmness and resilience. Apples also contain beta-carotene, the vitamin A precursor found in plant foods. Indispensable to healthy skin, vitamin A rejuvenates the skin by boosting new skin cell production. For great skin you also need the B vitamins found in apples, most notably B5 (pantothenic acid) and B9 (folic acid), which reduce acne flare ups and soothe inflammation, and B2 (procyanidin), which promotes healthy, lustrous hair. The antioxidant protection afforded by the phytonutrients, flavonoids and phenols contained in apples prevents cellular and tissue damage from free radicals.
One of the most important trace minerals for skin health is copper, which is vital to both collagen and melanin production. Apples are an excellent source of this mineral and regular apple consumption can result in a tighter, smoother and more radiant complexion. Healthy melanin (the pigment that colors your skin, eyes and hair) production ensures that your skin is naturally shielded from excessive exposure to the sun’s aging UV rays.
Apples are second to none as a topical ingredient; skin care companies have been exploiting the beauty benefits of malic acid derived from apples and extracting one of the hottest new skin care ingredients, plant stem cells, from this amazing fruit. I love Juice Beauty’s all-natural Stem Cellular line. Their Green Apple Age Defying Hand Cream also tops my list of rejuvenating skin treatments — its combination of green apple, lemon and aloe vera juice creates a phytonutrient cocktail that’s perfect for smoothing out wrinkles and reducing hyperpigmentation.
You can also harness the skin-saving power of apples with the following DIY recipes.
Apple Granola Masque
Revive lifeless skin with this exfoliating masque.
- 1/2 fresh apple, chopped, any kind
- 2 tablespoons colloidal oatmeal (finely ground particles), available at health-food stores
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk, full fat (I never use low-fat anything!)
- 1 tablespoon oat starch (to thicken), available at health-food stores
Blend the chopped apple in a blender, slowly adding remaining ingredients until the consistency is a thick liquid.
Apply one or two tablespoons of the mixture to your face, avoiding the eye area. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water.
Store the extra mask mixture in an airtight container for no more than five days.
- 1 apple, cut up with peel, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup witch hazel
Place the cut-up apple in a small saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Allow the mixture to cool completely, then strain out the apple chunks. Stir in the witch hazel and pour into a clean container.
To use, spray or apply to skin using a clean cotton ball and enjoy your smooth, fresh complexion!
Next week, I’ll explore the beauty and health benefits of fermented apple – in the form of that miraculous elixir known as apple cider vinegar.