Papaya is a versatile and readily available fruit that can be consumed in many ways. But did you know that the delicious fruit can also be applied to the skin? Apart from indulging in papaya and making your taste buds happy, you can put it on your face and pamper your skin with a fruity treat. Regularly applying papaya can give you naturally bright and radiant skin. All you need to do for this is include the simple and flavorful item in your regular DIY face packs. Here is everything you need to know about papaya, its skin benefits, and the eight best homemade papaya face packs for maximum benefits.
What is Papaya?
Papaya (papaw or pawpaw) is a large berry fruit obtained from Carica papaya’s small, sparsely branched tropical plant. Native to Central America and Southern Mexico, this species of the papaya plant is known to be one of the 22 accepted species in the genus Carica of the Caricaceae family (1). The round, plump fruit has a green outer skin that turns vibrant amber to yellowish-orange as it ripens. While the black seeds of ripe papaya are bitter, its soft orange pulp is pretty sweet and flavorful (2). Being rich in vital nutrients, this all-year-round delight is used as a natural home treatment for several health conditions. It also boasts impressive beauty benefits, making it a great addition to many skin and hair care products. However, ripe papaya is consumed only as a fruit; the raw one can be used in salads, smoothies, and other culinary dishes.
India is known as the biggest producer of papayas. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the country produced more than 5 million tons of the fruit in the year 2013 itself. (3)
Nutrients in Papaya
Papaya is not only delicious but also highly nutritious by nature. A medium-sized fruit contains around 30 gms. of carbohydrates, or 18 gms. Of sugar, five gms. of dietary fibers, and two gms. Of protein. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C and provides as much as 224% of its recommended daily intake. The fruit also contains plenty of other vitamins (A, B5 or pantothenic acid, B9 or folate, E, K), minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper), and antioxidants (alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene). The wholesome fruit also contains various proteolytic enzymes, such as papain, chymopapain, etc. You can get almost 120 calories from one medium-sized papaya.
Why Use Papaya for Skin Care?
As papaya is full of essential nutrients, it helps different organs and systems in the body function optimally. This promotes skin health and treats several skin issues effectively. We have summarized the skin benefits of papaya below:
- Papaya hydrates and rejuvenates dry and dull skin with its high potassium content.
- It sloughs off dead cells gently from the skin’s surface to reveal the fresh layer of skin underneath and make the skin look brighter.
- The papain enzyme in papaya contributes to its depilatory effects and helps eliminate unwanted body hair. (4)
- Flavonoids in it keep skin infections away with strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. (5)
- The antioxidants in the fruit combat free radicals in the body, which improves the skin’s elasticity (6), delays the appearance of visible signs of aging and reduces the depth of existing wrinkles. (7)
- Papaya boosts collagen production in the cells, making the skin softer, smoother, firmer, and tighter.
- The enzymes in the fruit contribute to its anti-inflammatory qualities, which help unclog the pores and keep acne under control.
- Papaya enzymes and phytochemicals also help treat blemishes, dark spots, pigmentation marks, melasma, and acne scars (8).
- Applying raw papaya topically helps treat chronic skin ulcers. (9)
- Protease enzymes in the fruit promote the healing of postoperative wounds (10), sunburns, and skin irritation.
Read Also – Top 10 Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds
8 Quick and Effective Homemade Papaya Face Packs
Face packs made of papaya are inexpensive, quick, effective, and suitable for all skin types. Following are eight simple and easy-to-prepare homemade papaya face packs that you must try for healthy and glowing skin:
1. Raw Papaya / Papaya Pulp
Grate a fresh, raw papaya and apply it evenly on your face. Allow it to work for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with plain water. Alternatively, you can use ripe papaya by mashing it or scooping the pulp and massaging it onto your facial skin. After approximately 20 minutes, wash off the dried pack for a refreshing and natural skincare treatment.
2. Papaya and Organic Honey
This face pack is highly beneficial for dry-skinned beauties. Honey is a natural emollient with excellent antimicrobial and therapeutic effects. Combined with papaya, it hydrates the skin from deep within and keeps it soft, supple, and smooth (11). Take out a medium-sized slice of ripe papaya. Reduce it to smooth pulp. Pour one tablespoon of raw organic honey into it and blend well. Now, spread the paste all over your skin. You can also massage your skin gently with it by using your fingertips. Wash it away after 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat it at least twice every week for the best results.
3. Papaya and Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera is an excellent natural solution for numerous skin problems, including dry skin, oily skin, sun damage, dullness, premature aging, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and so on (12). So, prepare a pack by mixing two tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel with four tablespoons of mashed ripe papaya. It should form a smooth paste of medium consistency. Cover your entire face and neck with it and wait for 20 minutes. Then, rinse it off. Use this face pack 1-2 times weekly to get flawless skin over time.
4. Papaya and Gram Flour
Gram flour is always available in our kitchen and is used widely as an active ingredient in face packs for its potent benefits (13). Mash a few pieces of raw papaya in a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of gram flour. Combine properly to get a thick paste with no lump in it. Massage your facial skin with it gently. After 20 minutes, wash it off with lukewarm water. Using this pack regularly will shrink your large skin pores and help you eliminate issues like blackheads.
5. Papaya, Honey, and Lemon Juice
If you have oily and acne-prone skin, go for this fantastic papaya face pack of 3 tablespoons of fresh ripe papaya pulp, two tablespoons of raw organic honey, and one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Leave the mixture on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes, and rinse it with lukewarm water. While honey will hydrate and nourish your skin well, lemon juice will cleanse the skin thoroughly and shrink the pores to avoid breakouts with its astringent effects. Vitamin C in lemon juice will also protect the skin from sun damage, thus minimizing the risk of photoaging (14). This face pack should be repeated every 3-4 days for visible outcomes.
6. Papaya, Honey, and Milk
You can also prepare a face pack by blending three teaspoons of fresh milk and two teaspoons of organic honey with four teaspoons of papaya pulp. Once it becomes a soft and smooth mixture, spread it over your skin uniformly. Let it dry completely. Then, rinse with plain water. Apart from the goodness of papaya and honey, this face pack features milk’s cleansing and exfoliating properties attributed to lactic acid. This minimizes the appearance of dark spots and brightens up the complexion (15). Try to use this pack at least thrice every week.
7. Papaya, Avocado, and Olive Oil
Avocado works best when it comes to providing intense nourishment to the skin. So, by delivering enough nutrients to the skin, include it in your papaya face pack to effectively address problems like damage, dryness, dark spots, dullness, etc. (16). Take two tablespoons of papaya pulp in a small bowl. Add two tablespoons of mashed ripe avocado and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well with the help of a spoon. Apply the paste onto your skin and allow it to dry. After half an hour, wash your face with fresh cold water. Repeat it twice every week.
8. Papaya, Aloe Vera Gel, and Honey
Instead of combining honey and aloe vera gel separately with papaya, you can combine all three ingredients to create a DIY skin-brightening face pack. Take two tablespoons of mashed ripe papaya in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel and one tablespoon of raw honey. Blend well and apply it all over the skin. Once it gets dried, wash it off with lukewarm water.
Hair Benefits of Papaya
Nutrients present in papaya are beneficial for our hair, too. Check out the hair benefits offered by the fruit below (17):
- Vitamin A in papaya regulates the production of sebum on the scalp. This helps condition and nourish the hair, strengthening and protecting it.
- The fruit’s antifungal properties may control and prevent dandruff by treating the yeast-like dandruff-causing fungus called Malassezia.
- Certain compounds in papaya, including lycopene, stimulate hair growth significantly.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Now, here is a quick glimpse of how papaya can protect you against several health conditions:
- Reduces chronic inflammation
- Prevents constipation and aids digestion (18)
- Increases calcium absorption and decreases its urinary excretion for better bone health
- Improves the levels of blood sugar in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients
- Minimizes the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Keeps asthma in control and averts an attack
- Wards off the risk and progression of age-related macular degeneration (19)
- Protects against certain types of cancer (20)
Side Effects of Papaya Face Packs
Though papaya is a natural ingredient, it may cause adverse effects on your skin if not used carefully. For some people, the papain enzyme in the fruit may act as a potent allergen (21); for others, the latex in it may trigger allergic reactions (22). These may lead to issues like rashes, itching, swelling, dizziness, headache, sneezing, and even breathing trouble. Hence, a patch test before including papaya in regular face packs is always advised.
Papaya is a large berry fruit with a soft, sweet orange-colored pulp and a green outer skin that turns yellowish-orange as it ripens. Raw papaya has multiple culinary uses while ripe papaya is consumed only as a fruit. Being rich in vital nutrients, it is widely used in the treatment of several health conditions as well as many skin and hair care products. Papaya is a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and various proteolytic enzymes (papain, chymopapain, etc.). It promotes skin health through exfoliation, hydration, rejuvenation, brightening, lightening, acne control, depilation, collagen production, blemish removal, wound healing, wrinkle management, and so on. Face packs made of papaya for healthy and glowing skin are inexpensive, quick, effective, and suitable for all types of skin. Apart from using raw papaya or papaya pulp, you can also combine honey, aloe vera, gran flour, lemon juice, milk, avocado, olive oil, etc. with it for this purpose. Papaya also benefits our locks by conditioning it, stimulating its growth, and eradicating dandruff. It also aids digestion, reduces inflammation, improves bone health, manages diabetes, reduces the risk of heart diseases, prevents asthma attacks, averts age-related macular degeneration, and protects against certain types of cancer. However, a patch test is necessary before including papaya in regular face packs as it may lead to adverse effects in some people who are allergic to it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Papaya Be Applied on the Face Daily?
Papaya can be applied to the facial skin daily when combined with other skin-friendly ingredients in a face pack.
Can I Leave Papaya on My Face Overnight?
Leaving papaya on the face overnight is not advised as it may cause allergic reactions due to a high level of papain enzyme.
Does Papaya Remove Facial Hair?
The papain enzyme in papaya breaks down the hair follicles, which helps remove unwanted hair from the facial skin. It also prevents the hair from regrowing, thus eliminating the hair permanently.
Is Papaya Good for Skin Whitening?
The cleansing and exfoliating properties of papaya help bring out our naturally lighter skin tone. Its strong enzyme content also brightens and whitens the skin over time.
Does Papaya Remove Dark Spots?
Yes, its compelling enzyme content helps remove dark spots and other facial pigmentation marks.
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