Apples and the natural malic acid contained in them are powerful exfoliants, making them a great seasonal source for healthy skin. What’s the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away?
Well, there’s some truth to that due to all the nutrients found in this seasonal fruit. And there’s no better time than autumn to find apples in abundance!
The different types of apples also provide a variety of nutrients. Sometimes, it’s because of their color. For instance, red apples have polyphenols, while green apples do not. Honeycrisp and Crimson Gold apples have higher levels of antioxidants, while Fuji has the most B vitamins.
How can we utilize these nutritious fruits for our face, skin, and hair?
We’ve previously discussed the difference between chemical and physical exfoliation, and now we’re delving into one type of chemical exfoliant, alpha-hydroxy acid. Malic acid is one of the alpha-hydroxy acids and can be found in several fruits and vegetables [source].
Malic acid has various benefits in addition to exfoliation (i.e., removal of dead skin cells). It functions as a humectant, promoting skin hydration through moisture retention. It creates an improvement in overall skin texture by promoting cell turnover. And it reduces fine lines and wrinkles by thickening and plumping the skin [source]. In addition, malic acid has also been shown to reduce the signs of acne and prevent acne formation.
Apples are a naturally potent source of malic acid [source], so using them to create skin treatments makes a lot of sense!
4 Malic Acid Beauty Recipes
These four apple-based beauty recipes will nourish the face, skin, and hair. Regular use of malic acid will provide antioxidant power to prevent premature aging. It will help brighten a dull complexion and keep skin free of dead skin cell buildup that contributes to irritation and acne formation.
Now, let’s get cooking in the kitchen with some beauty recipes!
1. Exfoliating Applesauce Mask
- 2 tablespoons organic, preservative-free applesauce, or you can make your own fresh applesauce
- 1 tablespoon ground organic oats
- 1 teaspoon raw organic honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional—if you have sensitive skin, this can be omitted)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and apply to your face and neck. Leave it on for 10 minutes. As you wash the mask off, feel free to gently rub the skin in circular motions. Towel dry and follow with moisturizer.
2. Cleansing Applesauce Scalp Treatment
It cannot get more simple than a one-ingredient recipe!
- 1/2 cup organic, preservative-free applesauce, or you can make your own fresh applesauce
Apply organic, preservative-free applesauce directly to your scalp and hair. The malic acid will break down any clogged hair follicles and dead skin lingering on the scalp.
Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse. Conditioner is not necessary as your locks will be left shiny and clean.
Use several times a month to cleanse the scalp. You can also try this apple cider vinegar scalp scrub!
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Peel
- 1 tablespoon organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Pour the apple cider vinegar into a bowl or small cup, and if you are treating pigmentation or sun spots, you can add a squeeze of half a lemon. If you have more sensitive skin, just skip the lemon juice.
Dip a cotton round in the apple cider vinegar, and then gently swab over your face in circular motions. Avoid the eye area.
Tingling sensations are to be expected. However, if you feel burning, you can dilute the apple cider vinegar with water. If the tingling or burning sensation does not subside with cooling and frequent skin moisturization, it is recommended that you contact your dermatologist.
Leave the peel on for 5 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Using this vinegar peel a few times a month will help slough dead skin cells, encouraging the formation of new skin. Its exfoliating effects will also help with the absorption of serums and moisturizers.
4. ACV & Apple Treatment Peel
- 1 teaspoon organic, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon applesauce
Combine and mix the ingredients in a bowl, and then apply to your skin using a treatment brush. Let it sit on the skin for 10–15 minutes. Then remove with a soft wash cloth and water.
If you plan on apple picking this fall, grab a few extra apples and put all that healthy malic acid to good use! The less an apple has to travel, the more nutrients it retains, so pick local varieties whenever you can.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
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Can I use Filtered Apple Cider Vinegar instead of the raw, unfiltered one?
I’m not so sure about using pure vinegar as well as a lemon on your face as both these ingredients can be very drying and irritating to the skin and do more harm than good.
I’ve been using acv for months now and its the best thing I’ve used for my combo skin. I use it as toner and since I’ve been using it I’ve had less breakouts and my skin is not as oily as it was. It does dry your skin initially but not as much as most Otc products, but once you use it daily your skin adjust. I’m sure with the lemon initially it will be a bit irritating but you can always dilute eight witch hazel.
Liz Detrich says
Because ACV has four different types of acids (malic, citric, glycolic and lactic acids), dilution is very important.
ACV works better if one uses raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV; the best vinegar to purchase would be one that still contains the ‘mother’, which looks like a milky cloud at the bottom of the bottle. Shake well prior to use, and dilute 50/50, use every other day, once a day, and gradually work your way up ‘if’ no irritation is present.
ACV can cause irritation, swelling and redness if one goes overboard – excess irritation causes hyperpigmentation, something none of us want.
Yosian Martinez says
I do it all the time, and works perfelty well, the only thing is that you most used at night, after sunset, because the sun can stain your skin, and apply some avocado mask with oil olive after to moisturaizer. and you will feel your face very smooth and clean. it wont affect you the next day with the sun. Much better then all the craps the company sells for business. Good luck.