Papaya, the sweet orange-coloured fruit is loved and eaten by all and sundry. He who does not love papaya should be thrown into the sea with a stone around their neck, right? Well, apart from its wonderful taste and beautiful colour, papaya’s medicinal properties are to be reckoned with as it transcends health benefits, showing up in skin care and even hair care regimes. It’s so useful that it was called “The Fruit of Angels” by Christopher Columbus. If it was called that, then you should be willing to find out why .
We’ll start by looking at the properties of Papaya. This would give a glimpse as to just how highly beneficial this fruit is.
Nutritional Content Of Papaya
Papaya is rich in fiber and as a result is able to aid digestion. The fiber possesses the ability to absorb toxins that may be found in the colon that may lead to cancer. These toxins are afterwards eliminated from the body through the bowel movements. Fiber also nourishes the microorganisms in the body that are beneficial.
First off, did you know that one small papaya contains around 300% of the amount of vitamin C recommended daily? Crazy! Other vitamins it contains include : Vitamins A, E and K.
Some of the minerals contained in the fruit include : phosphorus, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium etc.
An example of an antioxidant found in papaya is beta-carotene. The antioxidants in the fruit strengthen immunity and get rid of free radicals that may be harmful. Some of these antioxidants are vitamins found in the fruit, too.
These are vitamin P, semi-essential nutrients that are responsible for natural modifications and response to biological changes that may occur in the body. These responses are mostly protective actions taken against viruses, allergens and carcinogens.
Papain, also known as papaya proteinase ,is a powerful enzyme found in papaya, just below the peel of the fruit when it’s unripe. This enzyme is responsible for the skin care benefits of papaya – the skin whitening anti-aging, exfoliation and other benefits. It can also handle digestion problems, sore throat and inflammations .
Skin Properties Of Papaya
1. Keeps Skin Moisturized
Papaya is rich in vitamins, water, minerals carbohydrates and fat. These help to maintain the water content on the skin when used. The pulp of a ripe papaya should be used to make the most of its hydrating and moisturizing properties. You could eat it or you could make a face mask out of it with honey acting as a natural humectant. Papaya seeds also possess these hydrating qualities. The fruit is therefore ideal for dry skin .
What you’ll need
- A tablespoon of mashed papaya.
- One teaspoon of honey
- Pour the honey into the mashed papaya and mix thoroughly.
- Apply generously onto your face or any other part of your skin.
- Let the mask sit for at least 30 mins.
- Rinse off with cold water.
2. You Can Say Goodbye To Wrinkles
Remember, papaya contains antioxidants that are responsible for its anti-aging properties. The alpha hydroxy acids dissolve dead skin cells, thus preventing visible aging signs like fine lines, crows fee and wrinkles It also contains papain, vitamin C and E. The papain enzyme works on the collagen and elastin in the dermis, rejuvenating the skin and reducing wrinkles. With this anti-aging effect, the skin is not just prevented or slowed from aging, it is kept soft and supple. You can add olive oil while making the most of this benefit for maximum results.
What you’ll need
- Papaya Peels
- Take the peel of the papaya and apply all over your faced, neck and whatever parts of the body you desire.
- Let it sit for about twenty minutes before rinsing off with cold water.
3. Reduces Dark Circles
If you have dark circles around your eyes, then sit up, this is for you Papaya possesses natural bleaching properties that are able to lighten dark spots and circles on the face or body. The green part especially is highly effective as regards this. You could incorporate lemon juice and honey to enhance its effectivity. At the end of the day, be assured that your skin will be happier.
What you’ll need
- Half a cup of mashed green papaya.
- Add some lemon juice and honey to the mashed papaya. This is however optional as you can use just the mashed papaya .
- Apply onto your face and allow on for about ten minutes. Pay special attention to the dark spots, dark circles and other affected parts of the skin and face.
- Massage your skin with the paste on your face for a while.
- Wipe the paste off with a clean cloth
- Afterwards, rinse your face with lukewarm water
4. Banishes Acne
Acne and pimples are most commonly as a result of clogged pores. Alpha hydroxy acids found in papaya takes care of the unclogging process, getting rid of the dead skin cells and preventing acne and pimples. The papain in the fruit also aids in cleansing the skin and unclogging pores. Its juice is especially effective for this cause, and clears the skin, thereby curing or preventing the acne altogether. You could even eat the papaya instead to cleanse the system, that’s already half of the acne battle in your favour. The leaves, the skin and the seeds are just as effective as the pulp of the papaya, and are even able to soothe inflammations and heal scars.
Here’s what to do :
- You could choose to apply the mashed pulp onto your face or extract its juice with a blender.
- Apply onto the affected area. If you’re using its juice, then apply onto your face with a cotton ball on the affected area.
- Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes before washing off with water.
- It is advised that you use this at least once everyday steadily until there are noticeable changes.
5. Say Hello to Brighter Skin
Papaya possesses a mind-blowing ability to naturally bleach and lighten the skin. Its vitamin C content protects the skin from the sun’s damage . The proteolytic enzyme,papain contributes greatly to Papaya’s bleaching and skin cleansing properties. It is advised that you use it in small quantities to avoid excessive lightening.
- You could use this one of two ways -by rubbing the flesh on your face or using its juice.
- If you’re using the flesh,then simply slice the flesh of one ripe papaya and rub onto the areas you would love to see some changes.
- Let it sit and dry up on your skin before washing off with cold water.
- If you’re using its juice instead, then blend the papaya and add a teaspoon of honey,yogurt and Vitamin E oil.
- Massage slowly onto your skin and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.
- Rinse off afterwards with cold water.
- Do this for at least thrice a week consistently to get the best results.
You could choose to go for products containing papaya as you will reap papaya’s benefit. There are also lots of papaya face masks you could try out. Do your research however,before having anything on your face.