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!
We previously discussed the difference between chemical and physical exfoliation, and now we’re delving into one type chemical exfoliant, alpha hydroxy acid. Malic acid is one of the alpha hydroxy acids and can be found in several fruits and vegetables. Malic acid has various benefits in addition to exfoliation (i.e. removal of dead skin cells) which include skin hydration (functions as a humectant, promotes moisture retention), improvement in overall skin texture (promotes cell turnover) and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles (low levels of malic acid have been found to penetrate deeper into the skin and stimulate collagen formation).
Apples are a naturally potent source of malic acid. The wonderful benefits of malic acid include boosting our immunity, detoxifying metals from our bodies, and contributing to overall healthy skin. In addition to the above, malic acid has also been shown to reduce the signs of acne and prevent acne formation.. These three apple based beauty recipes will nourish the face, skin and hair. Regular use of malic acid will keep skin free of dead skin cell buildup that contributes to acne, dull complexion, and premature aging. Now, let’s get cooking in the kitchen with some beauty recipes.
1. Exfoliating Applesauce Mask
- 2 tablespoons organic, preservative free applesauce, option to make your own fresh applesauce as well
- 1 tablespoon ground oats
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional- if you have sensitive skin, this can be removed)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and apply to face and neck. Leave on for 10 minutes. As you wash the mask off feel free to gently rub in circular motions. Towel dry and follow with moisturizer.
2. Cleansing Applesauce Scalp Treatment
- 1/2 cup organic, preservative free applesauce, option to make your own fresh applesauce as well
It cannot get more simple than a one ingredient recipe! 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 on for 10 minutes and then rinse. Conditioner is not necessary as locks will be left shiny and clean. Use several times a month to cleanse scalp.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Peel
- 1 tablespoon organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 lemon (optional)
In a bowl or small cup, pour in the apple cider vinegar and if you are treating pigmentation or sun spots, you can add a squeeze of half a lemon. More sensitive skin should skip the option of the lemon. Using a cotton round, dip the cotton in the apple cider vinegar and then gently swab over 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 and/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. A few times of month will help slough off dead skin cells, encouraging new skin cells. It will also help with absorption of serums and moisturizers.
If you plan on apple picking this fall, pick up a few extra apples and put all that healthy malic acid to good use!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who performs adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.284