One of the most beautiful and easily overlooked regions of Northern California, where vineyards blend into apple orchards, is Anderson Valley. Nestled two hours north of the San Francisco Bay, this historic landscape is known for Anderson Valley Brewery, and Boonville, a small farming town with its own dialect the locals are known to speak, called Boontling.
I try to go as often as possible, especially when winter turns to spring, to meander the sleepy coastal redwood groves at Hendy Woods, and visit the Philo Apple Farm.
This mask is inspired by my visits to Anderson Valley, and also by a certain Norse goddess, Idunn, whose apples of youth kept the gods immortal. Goddess of youth and springtime, even Idunn's name means "rejuvenation", and makes her an ideal presence to invoke when performing the ritual of this mask at home.
Apples are one of the few fruits that contain a unique AHA, malic acid. This hydroxy acid gently exfoliates dead skin, while hydrating and brightening.
Like so many herbs, sage is astringent, anti inflammatory, capillary strengthening, and purifying to blemish-prone skin. Containing carnosic acid, which is antioxidant and UV protective, plants like sage and rosemary are wonderful additions to fruit acids in a mask.
You will need:
1 apple (chopped)
1 bunch of sage
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (for oily skin)
or 1 tbsp rosewater (for dry skin)
Add the apple and liquid of choice to a blender or food processor and puree. Crush and bruise the sage with your fingers, releasing the aroma, then add this to the blender. Puree until an apple sauce-like texture is achieved.
Apply mixture to face using a brush or fingertips. The mixture will be thick and has a tendency to roll off skin, so a thin layer will suffice. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow with a facial oil or moisturizer of your choice.