It's something many with blemished skin want to know: Can eating apples help acne? The answer, like nearly all answers to what helps troubled skin, is not black and white. However, there is no doubt that incorporating more quality apples into your diet will go a long ways towards improving your health from the inside out.
How Can Eating Apples Help Acne?
The best apples have several properties that make them excellent skin food. An apple is full of water, and balanced hydration is an important part of maintaining good skin. Apples are also full of fiber, which helps maintain good digestion - a crucial aspect of healthy skin. Add vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorous and potassium and you have a very compact and delicious food that promotes good health and appearance.
In some instances, acne is caused by an internal disorder of some sort. Yes, touching your face with your hands will promote bacteria, as will the use of certain cosmetics or unhealthful hygiene practices. Allergies, stress and hormonal imbalances can also create acne. However, both ancient and modern medicines agree that much of what causes acne starts on the inside. Thus, a healthful, balanced diet for healthy skin with an emphasis on whole foods goes a long ways towards keeping zits at bay. The apple, a naturally cleansing fruit, is widely considered a crucial ingredient for good internal and external health.
As healthful as apples are, if upping your apple intake were enough to kill acne, dermatologists would be out of business. No food is a cure-all or acne treatment on its own, and going on an all-apple diet is a recipe for indigestion. Nor do apples help everyone. Some people find the skin difficult to digest, which can actually create intestinal problems that then promote acne. Whether with the whole apple, freshly pressed juice or apple cider vinegar, it's wisest to incorporate apples into your diet as part of a healthful approach to eating, rather than as an expectation that you can then avoid acne for good.
Picking Your Apples
Can eating apples help acne if they aren't good apples? Although supermarkets and agribusinesses would say otherwise, the answer is basically no. The best apples to eat for maximum nutritional value are locally grown and organic, bought as soon after picking as possible. Apples have been prized for centuries because they can be kept in cold storage for months and remain perfectly edible. However, the longer an apple is stored, the more nutrients it loses. Apples bought in supermarkets may have been shipped from hundreds or even thousands of miles away, having not seen the tree for weeks or months. They are still a better choice than cookies, but they won't pack the same punch.
Likewise, an organic apple won't have been treated with dangerous pesticides. Even washing won't always thoroughly cleanse an apple. Because the skin is so thin and permeable, chemicals can get into the fruit and affect its content. You can, of course, peel the apple, but the bulk of an apple's nutrients lies just below the skin - which itself is healthfully fibrous - so it's preferable to eat it. When it comes to picking fruit, spend a bit more on local, organic apples and save money buying conventional fruit with thicker skin, like oranges and bananas.
Apple Juice and Vinegar
While you don't get the fiber, drinking the pure juice of an apple can still be of use in promoting good skin, thanks to its nutritional content. Likewise, there is much talk of organic apple cider vinegar being useful both as a topical astringent and part of a diet. Much is unproven, but it's possible it can be helpful.
If included as part of an overall healthful, balanced diet, eating apples can help acne if the acne is due to digestive problems and lack of certain nutrients. Just don't expect them to be miracle workers!