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?
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.
However, many anti-aging skin care products also contain these ingredients.
“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.
Citric acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which works as an exfoliating agent.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.