Papaya is one of those versatile and easily available fruits that can be consumed in many ways. But did you know that the delicious fruit can be applied to the skin too? Apart from indulging in papaya and making your taste buds happy, you can also put it on your face and pamper your skin with a fruity treat. In fact, the regular application of papaya can give you a naturally bright and radiant skin. For this, all you need to do 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 8 best homemade papaya face packs to try for the maximum benefits.
What is Papaya?
Papaya (also known as papaw or pawpaw) is a large berry fruit obtained from the small, sparsely branched tropical plant of Carica papaya. 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 in taste, 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 certain amazing beauty benefits, which makes it a great addition to many skin and hair care products. Though ripe papaya is consumed only as a fruit, the raw one can be used in salads, smoothies, and a number of 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)
Read Also – Papaya for Skin Whitening
Nutrients in Papaya
Papaya is not only delicious in taste but also highly nutritious by nature. A medium-sized fruit contains around 30 gms. of carbohydrate, 18 gms. of sugar, 5 gms. of dietary fibers, and 2 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 a number of 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 surface of the skin 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 in eliminating 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 elasticity of the skin (6), delays the appearance of visible signs of aging, and reduces the depth of existing wrinkles. (7)
- Papaya boosts the production of collagen in the cells, thereby turning the skin softer, smoother, firmer, and tighter.
- The enzymes in the fruit contribute to its anti-inflammatory qualities, which help in unclogging the pores and keeping acne under control.
- Papaya enzymes and phytochemicals also help in treating blemishes, dark spots, pigmentation marks, melasma, and even acne scars (8).
- Applying raw papaya topically is helpful in treating chronic skin ulcers. (9)
- The presence of protease enzymes in the fruit promotes 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 types of skin. Following are 8 simple and easy to prepare homemade papaya face packs that you must try for healthy and glowing skin:
1. Raw Papaya / Papaya Pulp
Take fresh raw papaya, grate it nicely, and apply it all over your face evenly. Let the fruit work for 10 minutes and then, rinse it with plain water. You can also use ripe papaya instead of the raw one. Just mash it or scoop out the pulp and massage your facial skin with that. After 20 minutes or so, wash the dried pack off.
2. Papaya and Organic Honey
This face pack is highly beneficial for dry-skinned beauties. Honey is a natural emollient with awesome antimicrobial and therapeutic effects. When 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 1 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 a wonderful natural solution for numerous skin woes including dry skin, oily skin, sun damage, dullness, premature aging, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and so on (12). So, prepare a pack by mixing 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel with 4 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. Make sure to use this face pack 1-2 times every week to get flawless skin over time.
4. Papaya and Gram Flour
Gram flour is not only always available in our kitchen but also 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 to it. 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 get rid of issues like blackheads.
5. Papaya, Honey, and Lemon Juice
If you have oily and acne-prone skin, go for this amazing papaya face pack made of 3 tablespoons of fresh ripe papaya pulp, 2 tablespoons of raw organic honey, and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Leave the mixture on your skin for 15 to 20 minutes and then, rinse it off 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 once every 3-4 days for visible outcomes.
Read Also – 30 Benefits of Papaya for Skin & Health
6. Papaya, Honey, and Milk
You can also prepare a face pack by blending 3 teaspoons of fresh milk and 2 teaspoons of organic honey with 4 teaspoons of papaya pulp. Once it turns into a soft and smooth mixture, spread it over your skin in a uniform layer. Let it dry completely. Then, rinse with plain water. Apart from the goodness of papaya and honey, this face pack features the cleansing and exfoliating properties of milk, 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
When it comes to providing intense nourishment to the skin, avocado works the best. So, include it in your papaya face pack to address problems like damage, dryness, dark spots, dullness, etc. effectively by delivering enough nutrients to the skin (16). Take 2 tablespoons of papaya pulp in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of mashed ripe avocado and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it. 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 mix all these three ingredients together to come up with a DIY skin brightening face pack. Take 2 tablespoons of mashed ripe papaya in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of fresh aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon of raw honey to it. Blend well and apply it all over the skin. Once 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 in conditioning and nourishing the hair, thereby strengthening and protecting it.
- The antifungal properties of the fruit may control as well as prevent dandruff by treating the yeast-like dandruff-causing fungus called malassezia.
- Certain compounds in papaya including lycopene have been found to stimulate the growth of hair significantly.
Health Benefits of Papaya
Now, here is a quick glimpse of how papaya can protect you against a number of 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 strong allergen (21) while 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, it is always advised to do a patch test before including papaya in regular face packs.
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 Face Daily?
Papaya can be applied to the facial skin on a daily basis 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 allergies reactions due to the presence of a high level of papain enzyme in it.
Does Papaya Remove Facial Hair?
The papain enzyme in papaya breaks down the hair follicles, which helps in removing 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 in bringing out our natural lighter skin tone. It also brightens and whitens the skin over time with its strong enzyme content.
Does Papaya Remove Dark Spots?
Yes, it helps in removing dark spots and all other types of pigmentation marks on the face with its extremely powerful enzyme content.
- “Caricaceae“, ThePlantList.org
- “Papaya“, CRFG.org
- “What are the Health Benefits of Papaya?“, MedicalNewsToday.com
- “Comparative Study of the Stability of Free and Modified Papain Incorporated in Topical Formulations“, SciELO.br
- “The Flavonoids Content in Leaves and Fruits of Papaya (Carica papaya L.) var. California and var. Gandul“, ResearchGate.net
- “Antioxidant and Immunostimulant Effect of Carica papaya L. Aqueous Extract in Acrylamide Intoxicated Rats“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Wrinkle Reduction in Post-Menopausal Women Consuming a Novel Oral Supplement: A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Randomized Study“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “A Novel Elastic Liposome for Skin Delivery of Papain and Its Application on Hypertrophic Scar“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Topical Use of Papaya in Chronic Skin Ulcer Therapy in Jamaica“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Comparison of Safety and Efficacy of Papaya Dressing with Hydrogen Peroxide Solution on Wound Bed Preparation in Patients with Wound Gape“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Honey in Dermatology and Skin Care: A Review“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Aloe Vera: A Short Review“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “In-House Preparation and Standardization of Herbal Face Pack“, pdfs.SemanticScholar.org
- “Vitamin C in Dermatology“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Epidermal and Dermal Effects of Topical Lactic Acid“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Eight Benefits of Avocado Oil for the Skin“, MedicalNewsToday.com
- “Benefits of Papaya for Your Skin and Hair“, Healthline.com
- “Papaya Preparation (Caricol®) in Digestive Disorders“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Prospective Study of Intake of Fruits, Vegetables, Vitamins, and Carotenoids and Risk of Age-Related Maculopathy“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Plasma and Dietary Carotenoids, and the Risk of Prostate Cancer“, CEBP.acrjournals.org
- “Papain Degrades Tight Junction Proteins of Human Keratinocytes In Vitro and Sensitizes C57BL/6 Mice via the Skin Independent of its Enzymatic Activity or TLR4 Activation“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Allergy to Latex and Papain“, JACIOnline.org