I have the unusual good fortune of living 2 blocks from a lovely little apple orchard, nestled right in the middle of our sleepy Minneapolis suburb. Starting in early October, they sell several varieties of the most delicious apples I’ve ever eaten, as well as the out-of-this-world raw, unfiltered honey they collect from their two busy bee hives – an increasingly precious find in this sad age of beehive collapse. After lugging home 50 lbs of apples and as much honey as I can hoard without inviting open hostility from my neighbors, you will usually find me in the kitchen, whipping up cobblers, salads, and freshly brewed tea (in which I dump a gallon or so of raw honey and call it healthy).
But this year, I got to wondering what skin care recipes might be crafted from this fall’s bounty. I’m aware of honey’s abundant benefits to the skin…but what about apples? Turns out, apples are full of skin-saving Vitamins A and C, as well as malic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid, often used in acne treatments because it helps slough off dead skin and open clogged pores. Apples, as it turns out, also feel fabulously refreshing when mashed up and applied to the face. That’s right, people, it’s time to give your lunch box staple a second look, and here are a few recipes to get you started:
Apple Honey Mask
This incredibly simple yet potent mask clears up blemishes, removes dead skin cells, prevents new blemishes, fights aging, and leaves skin SUPER soft
1 Apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 Tablespoon raw, unfiltered honey
Pulse together in a food processor until well combined. Apply to the skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
Apple Sunflower Scrub
This highly moisturizing exfoliating mask is perfect for combination skin. The malic acid in the apple helps refine the skin’s surface, while the sunflower seed meal both moisturizes and exfoliates the skin. I recommend baking and mashing one whole peeled apple and storing in the refrigerator, taking out one tablespoon at a time, as you will only want to combine the ingredients immediately before applying to the skin.
1 Tablespoon baked peeled apple, blended in a food processor with approximately 1/2 tsp water, to create an applesauce consistency
1 Tablespoon sunflower seed meal
Combine ingredients in a small bowl to form a spreadable paste. Allow the mixture to thicken for 1 minute. Massage onto the face and throat. Because the mask will be slightly runny, it works best to lie down, so that the oils from the sunflower seed meal can soak into the skin. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse.
DIY Apple Crumble Beauty Scrub, by Kristen Arnett for the Whole Foods Market Blog
Do you eat it? Put it on your skin? Put it on your skin and then eat it? This delectable facial scrub is perfect for acne-prone skin, with both exfoliating and anti-bacterial ingredients.
- Half an apple, any variety, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 3 tablespoons crushed walnuts
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Juice from 1/4 lemon
- 2 teaspoons raw turbinado sugar
Pulse all ingredients except for the sugar in a food processor until well combined. Add sugar immediately before applying to your freshly cleansed face. Gently spread mixture all over your face, and leave on for 10-20 minutes for best results. To remove, gently rub mask all over the skin with damp hands, and then rinse off with warm water.
By the time you’ve pulled together all the ingredients, however, you’ll wish you could shove the scrub into your mouth instead of rubbing it onto your face. Thankfully, Arnett understands your dilemma, and was kind enough to provide an excellent apple cobbler recipe, which you can find over at The Whole Foods Market Blog.