For every sun ray shining down on my freshly inked arm and my newly even complexion, I am incredibly thankful for the skin benefits of papaya, particularly its ability to solve skin discoloration and anti-aging issues. Papaya face masks are becoming increasingly popular, probably in part because they're grown domestically (which equals affordable) as well as in Mexico and South America. While the summer brings us plenty of sun-related skin woes, this season also gives us the fruit needed to combat a fair amount of said issues. Yes, y'all, the earth is constantly working for us and papaya is a next level beauty product that is completely au natural.
Real talk: The sun is FREAKING me out. Yes, I begged for it all winter. Yes, in March, I was pretty certain that I would not make it through another 40 degree day with harsh winds ripping through my kinky curls. Of course, in typical East Coast fashion, I detested cool breezes and longed for that first 85 degree day where I would wear crop tops and short shorts. Now, I'm already over the sun and all the cruel games it plays on our skin. Even though I'm leaving the house equipped with a natural SPF and UV protection, I'm still fearing future discoloration and breakouts from getting, well, rather oily in the summertime. Like everyone else, I'm trying to enjoy the benefits of the sun without having it take my face.
The peptin in papaya acts as a natural digestive, which is great for anyone that gets slightly nauseated from the heat (me). According to Livestrong, when peptin is applied directly on the skin it acts as a natural at fighting signs of aging, providing smoothness and brightening abilities. Papaya has unique antioxidants that fight against aging skin and also smooth down inflammation and redness. That means you can be working against current breakouts AND future signs of aging at the same time.
Papayas are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, with potassium and magnesium to keep your skin drinking up nutrients that even the sun can't take away from you. According to StyleCraze, papayas act as a natural exfoliate that's able to remove dead skin cells, while brightening dark spots from acne, aging, and the sun. That's pretty much a dream come true when it comes to a fruit. Sound pretty good? Here are three of my favorite papaya-related skincare recipes to take for a test drive.
1. Papaya Brightening Body Scrub
This is a great, gentle scrub for those days when the sun has dried out your skin and left you with dark spots. As with any body scrub, do not use on broken skin to avoid irritation. You should be OK if you just have some slight peeling, but do a test a strip to make sure you don't cause additional burning. Use one slice of pineapple, one slice of papaya, one tablespoon of honey, and one tablespoon of finely grated sea salt. Blend your ingredients together in a blender and store in a dark container. For maximum use, store your scrub in your refrigerator.
2. Papaya Spot Treatment
It doesn't get much easier than this papaya spot treatment. Simply rub a slice of papaya on dark spots to begin lifting the color or redness. Use this papaya spot treatment on existing pimples to bring down inflammation.
3. Papaya Fruit Face Pack
Remember that body scrub you made? Most of it can be used for your new face brightening pack as well. Don't you just love natural ingredients? For this brightening mask, I use one slice of papaya, one slice of pineapple, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of coconut milk, and half of a banana. Blend your ingredients together in a blender. You'll notice you'll have an alarming amount of product left over that will DEFINITELY go rancid before you can use up all your daily face pack. Don't worry, that's for you to drink, since consuming these ingredients will certainly get your skin feeling all types of right as well. Go, papayas, go!
Image: Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson