Throughout history, the apple has played a huge role in many important moments. Mentioned in the Bible, it was the pivotal fruit in the Garden of Eden. The Pilgrims planted the first apple tree of the Americas in Massachusetts. Then Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity when he sat under an apple tree and observed an apple fall.
And most everyone has had the childhood experience of a parent informing them that: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
But where apples really shine is what the apple’s extract does for skin. The apple, as with other fruits, is a natural antioxidant. It also contains polyphenols, which are reducing agents like vitamin C, E, and other antioxidants that help protect the body’s tissues from oxidative stress and inflammation.
An Apple A Day – for My Skin?
Fighting Free Radicals
The body experiences two types of aging – chronological aging, which begins the day you are born, and photoaging – the changes in the appearance of your skin due to exposure to sunlight, pollution, smoke, and other environmental hazards.
While there’s nothing (yet!) that anyone can do for chronological aging, there is a lot that can be done for photoaging! Photoaging is caused by free radicals: unpaired electrons that can damage skin cells by attacking the cell’s DNA and mitochondria.
Once that damaging process begins, skin loses its collagen, elastin, and undergoes other damage, which causes the skin to sag, lose its elasticity, develop hyperpigmentation (age spots) and undergo other maladies. The end result is that you look older than you are chronologically.
That’s where apple extract and its polyphenols come into play. The potent antioxidants inside the apple extract work to fight the free radicals.
While the human body produces its own antioxidants, it can’t produce enough of them or produce them fast enough to put up a really good antioxidant fight. So by topically applying skincare products that contain apple extract, the antioxidant powers within them help the body fight off those free radicals.
They also work on oxidative stress, a condition that occurs when free radicals oxidize cells throughout the body. Oxidative stress comes from free radical damage due to excessive exposure to tobacco smoke, ultraviolet light, air pollution, excessive stress, exposure to fungal toxins, and other environmental causes.
By avoiding these triggers, you’ll reduce your chance of having oxidative stress. The only way to combat it once it occurs is by using antioxidants.
Apple and Fruit Extracts for Skin Care
There has been explosive growth in the use of apple extract (Pyrus malus) in skincare products since 2003. These include a variety of anti-aging products, acne treatments, and skin brightening products. Many products use the extract for its vitamin C derivatives that work to nourish, protect, and soften skin.
Oils extracted from apple seed are often combined with salicylic acid for use as an acne treatment, helping to prevent acne breakouts, reduce the redness that is often associated with acne, and firm the skin. Apple extract also works as an excellent anti-inflammatory, working on various skin maladies like psoriasis, eczema and other skin irritations.
NOT JUST APPLES
But what is remarkable is the fact that these skin-healing properties are not limited to apple extract. Other fruits have anti-aging, anti-acne, and skin brightening properties as well. They all contain vitamin C and other antioxidant properties that help reduce the impacts of photoaging while fighting free radicals and oxidative stress.
Skincare and cosmetic companies use fruit extracts in their products for their powerful anti-aging and rejuvenating properties. Fruits are known to contain natural alpha hydroxy acids, which are powerful antioxidants. They work by removing dead cells from the surface of the skin while helping the skin retain moisture.
Various fruit extracts also have a large quantity of vitamins and minerals, which help to heal imperfections and make the skin look vibrant. These include strawberry extract which is rich in vitamin C and polyphenols, as well as guava and papaya extracts which are high in vitamin C, A, B9, and potassium.
Benefits of Apples for Skincare
Apple Stem Cell Research
There’s a growing trend to use apple stem cells as part of a procedure to renew aging skin. Scientist working for various skin care brands claim to have found a way to take apple stem cells, mix them with medical grade oxygen, and produce a face cream designed to rejuvenate skin cells.
It’s not science fiction, and no, the apple stem cells don’t mix with human stem cells. And while the extracts are therapeutic and they seem to be able to give aging skin back the elasticity it has lost, claimed benefits of “smooth and firm skin” are likely due to the antioxidants in the apples.
So, how does “apple stem cell therapy” help to rejuvenate skin cells?
It all started in Switzerland when stem cells from a rare Swiss apple, called Uttwiler Spätlauber, were turned into a patented liposomal preparation. It contained very small bubbles that were made out of the same material as the cell membranes from the rare Swiss apple.
This variety of apple is renowned for being able to be stored for very long amounts of time without shriveling or showing signs of aging. The cells are rich in phytonutrients, proteins, and long-living cells.
Once the stem cells are cultivated, they can be formulated in skincare products that are used to enhance the longevity of human skin cells. These cells also have been shown to have age-delaying and anti-wrinkle properties, which has made them one of the most new and exciting ingredients in skin care formulations.
The apple stem cells and their anti-wrinkle effects were tested on 20 volunteers aged from 37 to 64 years of age. It was evaluated after 28 days of use by measuring wrinkle depth at the start of the study and at the end.
Results showed a remarkable, visible decrease in the wrinkle depth for every subject in the study. Both facial wrinkles and crow’s feet were measured.
While more studies are needed to determine if the results were attributable to stem cells specifically, other benefits of products employing this therapy may include their ability to stimulate the body’s own skin stem cell regeneration, help to protect human stem cells from UV light, and reverse environmental damage.
Incorporating Apple Extract Into Your Regimen
Apple extract has many anti-aging properties, including a large amount of essential fatty acids that help to keep skin moist and plump.
Apple extract is also key to minimizing fine lines and wrinkles due to its large amount of vitamin E and C. It also contains vitamin A, which is known to help prevent comedones from forming, which causes the most common form of acne.
Begin a regimen of using skincare products with apple extract for its anti-aging properties. This includes skin cleansers, emollients and lotions that work to improve the overall texture of your skin while preventing aging, wrinkles, and fine lines from forming.
These products also work to help the epidermis retain moisture, which helps to soften and soothe dry and flaking skin. A daily regimen of using apple or other fruit extracts will also help soothe skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema with their anti-inflammatory properties.
These extracts are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and other nutrients that will leave your skin looking more youthful and firm. When you ponder the question, “an apple a day – for my skin?” – your answer should, and hopefully now will be: “absolutely!”