Apple for Face: Benefits, Uses, and Recipes

Mark A. Carlson

Most of us know the expression, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Apples are widely known to be good for your health — when they’re eaten, that is. They’re a great source of fiber, they can improve your gut health, and they can even reduce your risk for diabetes and stroke.

But can this superfood also transform your skin?

Companies, like Juice Beauty, Annmarie Gianni, Boscia, and Glamglow, have all started including apple as an ingredient in their products. Let’s see what this fruit can do.

Why are apples having such a moment in the skin care world?

Well, there are a number of potential benefits when you use apples on the face. These benefits include:

  • supporting healthy aging
  • brightening complexion
  • acting as an exfoliant
  • potentially reducing acne
  • hydrating skin

Prevents premature skin aging

Many skin care companies are now using apple extract in their products.

As Najia Shaikh, dermatologist and founder of One Skin Clinic points out, apple extract is packed with phenolic acids and flavonoids, two components often found in fruits.

A 2019 study noted that phenolic acids are an essential part of a balanced diet, because they’re filled with antioxidants and offer a wide range of health benefits.

A 2016 review explained that flavonoids are also essential for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties.

However, many anti-aging skin care products also contain these ingredients.

As a 2019 study showed, both phenolic acids and flavonoids help protect the skin from damage caused by air pollution.

“Apple fruit extract is a beneficial ingredient due to its rich composition of phytochemicals,” Shaikh explains. “Flavonoids possess antioxidant activity, which helps protect the skin from free radical damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) exposure, pollution, and other environmental factors.”

According to Shaikh, apple fruit extract includes flavonoids, like:

May give you a dewy glow

Many people believe that applying apple cider vinegar to the skin can help to improve dullness. Apple cider vinegar is a derivative of apple that contains acetic acid and citric acid.

A 2021 study showed that acetic acid has antioxidant properties that can protect the skin from infection. It’s important to note that it can be harmful to the skin when used incorrectly.

Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which works as an exfoliating agent.

As one 2018 study showed, citric acid may help slough off your skin’s dull outer layer, revealing a fresh, dewy complexion underneath.

Joyce Carslaw, the founder of SmartAss Beauty, says, “Unlike most exfoliants, apple fruit water has no scrubbing bits or microbeads, which can break up the proteins that hold the skin cells together. Yet it helps to slough off the dead skin that gives your skin a dull appearance.”

May help reduce acne

Apples can also be good for acne.

As a 2018 study explained, citric acid found in apple cider vinegar may also help to reduce inflammation like acne. However, too much of it can result in damage to the skin.

“Apple fruit extract (Pyrus malus) is an excellent addition to skincare applications,” says Carslaw. “It boasts a rich vitamin content including vitamins A, C, as well as zinc, which are compounds thought to promote clear, healthy skin.”

Keeps skin hydrated

Apples contain a significant amount of vitamin E.

Two older studies from 1998 and 2006 showed that apple has water-binding properties that can help keep skin nourished and hydrated.

Apple extract and apple cider vinegar are used in a number of products designed to tackle specific skin concerns. These products include moisturizers, toners, peels, and masks.

For acne

The Inkey List Apple Cider Vinegar Acid Peel is a 10-minute peel that includes 2 percent apple cider vinegar. Acetic acid helps tackle bacteria and reduce acne. It also contains glycolic acid to encourage new cell turnover.

The Advanced Clinicals Glycolic Acid Toner is an affordable option with similar ingredients to The Inkey List peel. The formula contains apple extract, glycolic acid, and Vitamin E. Reviewers say it helps tighten pores, reduce acne, and leaves them with a glow.

For dull skin

The Sand & Sky Australian Emu Apple Glowing Skin Kit contains the brand’s popular Super Bounce Mask and Dreamy Glow Drops. These products are fan-favorites for dull skin.

Juice Beauty has gotten plenty of attention for its organic skin care products that harness the antioxidants in green apple extract. The Green Apple Peel Full Strength Exfoliating Mask contains acids for a “spa-grade exfoliation.”

For dry skin

The Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer is another crowd-pleaser from Juice Beauty. It contains alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, and vitamin C to help your skin retain moisture and feel nourished and protected throughout the day.

MAC Cosmetics is famous for its makeup, but it also has plenty of skin care products. The MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream is an illuminating, brightening moisturizer that contains apple extract to help your skin stay dewy, fresh, and bright.

As Sharin Shafer, the cofounder of Skinfluencer explains, “It’s widely acknowledged by expert dermatologists that apples and apple fruit extract can be beneficial ingredients when formulated correctly.”

Shafer says simply applying slices of apple to your face can give you a quick hydration boost.

“The vitamin E in the apple will keep the skin soft and hydrated, while the juice in the slices will firm up the skin and help maintain the skin’s natural pH balance,” she says.

For acne, try using mashed apple with heavy whipping cream or coconut milk.

“Mashed apple mixed with milk cream offers relief for acne” Shafer says. “Using this paste regularly on the skin will help you remove dark spots from your skin and reduce spots from appearing.”

While it’s possible to safely create DIY apple masks and peels at home, sticking with well-reviewed and tested products that contain apple extract is usually the best bet.

This way, you’ll avoid using too much of certain ingredients, like apple cider vinegar, which can be harmful to the skin’s barrier in large quantities.

If you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, like acne or eczema, consult a dermatologist before placing apples on your face or trying new products that include apple extract.

Want to know more? Get the FAQs below.

What about using apple juice on skin?

Pure apple juice contains many of the benefits of apples. Raw apple juice is best to use in DIY masks and peels, as it contains vitamin C, nutrients, and antioxidants. Plus, it’s easy to find in the store.

Should you use the apple skin?

You may have heard that the skin of the apple contains a lot of the beneficial nutrients of the fruit.

While apple skins are filled with lots of healthy fiber and antioxidants that may benefit your skin, they also tend to contain bacteria and dirt. So, if you plan on using apple peels in your at-home skin remedies, make sure they’re squeaky clean.

Does apple extract benefit hair?

Apple extract isn’t just useful for your skin, it can also improve your hair health.

A 2018 study found that apple polyphenols can kick-start keratin production in the hair follicles, helping to encourage hair regrowth after patterned hair loss. Using serums for the scalp that contain apple extract may help thicken hair.

Is applesauce good for skin?

The benefits of applesauce for the skin are similar to those of regular apples, but it’s important that there aren’t too many added ingredients in the mixture.

Carslaw suggests making your own apple purée and adding other ingredients for a DIY mask.

Can eating apples improve skin?

“There is currently more research concerning the health benefits of eating apples rather than applying them topically via skin care products,” Shaikh notes.

In other words, while apples may be beneficial in skin care products, eating an apple is the only guaranteed way to get all the antioxidants and vitamins contained in the fruit.

Apples probably aren’t the first ingredient you think of when it comes to skin care, but they have the potential to transform your skin when used properly.

It turns out, an apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away — it may keep the dermatologist away, too.

Meg Walters is a writer and actor from London. She is interested in exploring topics such as fitness, meditation, and healthy lifestyles in her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and the occasional glass of wine.

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