The adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," has been found to be more than true. In fact, it has been proven to be both one of nature's best antioxidants and a friend to anyone who wants healthy hair and skin.
Granny Smith and Red Delicious
Nutritionists say that two varieties of apples, the Granny Smith and the Red Delicious, are best for the skin. While all apples are good for you, these two varieties in particular contain abundant amounts of both collagen and elastin, both great for youthful skin. In addition, Braeburn apples contain ingredients that can protect you from harmful UV rays, one of the most damaging threats to healthy skin. Simply eating raw apples can help your body by introducing antioxidants, which prevent cell and tissue damage, preventing wrinkles and aging, and promoting health hair growth because of a compound known as procyanidin B-2.
How About an Apple on Your Face?
You can make simple face masks from apples and even applesauce. While there are many recipes for homemade face masks using apples, here are two that combine the antioxidant benefits of the apple with the exfoliating benefits of ingredients like wheat germ and oatmeal. Using apples in facial applications means your skin will be getting Vitamins A, B and C directly from the masks. Face mask with wheat germ: 1 tbsp. pureed apple (or organic applesauce), 1 tbsp. wheat germ. Mix the wheat germ with the pureed apple until you've made a smooth paste. Wash your face, then apply the face mask, avoiding the eye area. Wait 10 minutes for the mask to dry and remove it with warm water. The wheat germ will act as a gentle exfoliating agent. Face mask with oatmeal: 2 tbsp. of rolled oats, 1 1/2 tsp. of cornmeal, 1 tbsp. of honey, 1/2 medium apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped. Use a fork to mix the oatmeal and cornmeal with the honey, which acts as a natural moisturizer, in a small bowl until you create a paste. Using a food processor, combine the paste with the apple until blended. Gently scrub the mixture onto your face in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Apple Cider for Acne
One popular home treatment using apple cider vinegar for treating acne, has been shown to rid skin of bacteria and oils and balance the skin's pH level. Simply dilute a high quality apple cider vinegar in purified water, with one part of the vinegar to eight parts of water. Soak a clean cotton ball with the apple cider vinegar mix and gently moisten your skin with the cotton ball. Rinse with warm water. Avoid rinsing your face with the cider mixture, since vinegar can also dry out the skin. Apple cider vinegar is also great for removing overnight blemishes, if you dab your face with vinegar before bed. If you have age spots, many nutritionists say they can be lightened if you dab them with the vinegar before bed.
Treatment for Sunburn
Many alternative medicine proponents say that apples can help you recover more quickly from sunburn. To treat your sunburn, add 1 tsp. of glycerine to the pulp from a grated apple. Mix it together and then apply it to your face for about 15 to 20 minutes. Wash the mixture off using cold water. This remedy often prevents blistering and peeling later on.
Natural Skin Toner
Apples also work as the perfect ingredient to tone tired and stressed-out skin. You can use green apples, in particular, to give your skin a healthy, toned glow. The Granny Smith apple if your best bet. Core the apple and remove the seeds, but leave the peel on. Cut the apple into small cubes. Combine the apple and 1/2 cup lukewarm water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil. Remove it from heat and allow to cool completely. Strain the apple mixture through a colander or a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of witch hazel. Apply the mixture to your face with a clean cotton ball, or spritz it on your face using a spray bottle.