The Beauty Benefits of Papaya

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“What is that mixture you are putting on my face?” I asked my aesthetician D as she slathered on a smooth mask during my facial. “It’s a papaya and yogurt mask,” said D. “The healing enzymes in papaya help exfoliate the dead skin and the yogurt is soothing”a good antiaging remedy.”

According to D, papaya is a wonderful fruit with many benefits. “Papaya helps with digestion too,” said D. “It’s good to eat papaya after a heavy protein meal.” I was eager to learn about this benefit, even though my gastroenterologist did tell me that I have a beautiful stomach after he looked down my tummy during my endoscopy. I’ve had irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn during my life after 50, so anything that will help with these issues is a positive attribute.

Dr. Cari Case, a chiropractor from Pennsylvania, writes on her For a Healthy Future blog: “Papaya is rich in many vitamins, minerals, nutrients and antioxidants including vitamin C, folate, potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, carotenes, flavonoids, B vitamins, magnesium and pantothenic acid.” Dr. Case says that “the carotenoids, antioxidants and vitamins in papaya can help keep your eyes healthy. In fact, they may also reduce the risk of macular degeneration, an age-related condition resulting in loss of vision.”

After my facial, I drove right over to Whole Foods Market to buy some cut-up papaya and plain yogurt. D said to keep the papaya in the freezer and defrost a few chunks before eating or using on my face. To make an at-home facial, D said all I have to do is mash up the papaya, mix it with some yogurt, put it on my face, lie down for 20 minutes and let it soak in and then wash it off.

With my homemade cider vinegar toner and now my at-home papaya facials, I am going to have such fruity and fragrant skin during my life after 50. Ooh, ooh, ooh, but I’ll need to stock up on plenty of papayas to also maintain my fabulous looking and hopefully fabulous feeling stomach.

I wonder with my green thumb if I can grow a papaya tree in my backyard? Let’s see what it says about growing papayas? Ooh, ooh, ooh, I found a website that explains how to grow papaya from seed.  It says it is easy to do. Let me just read down a little bit. Yes, yes, yes, I think I can do it.

Uh-oh! Oh no! The Tropical Permaculture website says: “To grow good papayas you need a frost free climate.”

With global warming, maybe when I’m in my 80s I’ll be able to grow papayas in the Northeast. Meantime, I guess I’ll be purchasing my papaya chunks at the market.

Christopher Columbus dubbed papaya “The Fruit of the Angels” after discovering its luscious taste, soft butter-like consistency and rich texture. Papaya is popular all over the world and for good reason.

This tropical fruit is rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, and has antioxidant properties. It also contains magnesium, potassium, niacin, carotene, protein, fiber and an enzyme called papain that provides many health benefits.

Not just the fruit pulp, even the seeds of papaya have many health benefits.

Papaya has several components that are great for your skin as well as hair. This is why this fruit enzymes are found in many cosmetic, beauty and hair care products.

Here are the top 10 beauty benefits of papaya.

1. Brightens Skin Complexion

One of the most effective beauty benefits of papaya is lightening of your skin complexion. It contains natural bleaching properties.

In addition, its cleansing properties help clear the skin of impurities. The vitamin C in it also helps protect skin cells against sun damage.

  • Rub the fleshy part of a thin slice of ripe papaya on your face, neck, hands and legs. Allow it to dry, then wash it off with cold water. Do this 3 or 4 times a week.
  • Another option is to make a face pack by mixing ½ cup of mashed ripe papaya and the juice of 1 lemon. Massage the mixture all over your face and neck. Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing it off with cold water. Do this at least once a week.
  • Also, you can blend 1 cup of green papaya and 1 teaspoon each of vitamin E oil, honey and plain yogurt into a paste. Gently massage the paste onto your skin. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water.

2. Hydrates Skin

Papaya is rich in water content that helps keep the skin soft, smooth and moisturized.

When blended properly, it can be used as an excellent face mask to hydrate your skin.

  • Blend ½ cup of ripe papaya into a fine paste. You can also add a little raw honey. Apply the paste all over your face and neck. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off carefully with cool water and pat dry your skin.
  • Include ripe papaya in your diet. You can enjoy this fruit as it is or blend it with other hydrating ingredients such as watermelon and cucumber to make smoothies.

3.Keeps Aging Signs a t Bay

The vitamin A in papaya helps remove dead skin cells and keeps the skin soft and supple. The alpha hydroxyl acids in it help dissolve dead skin cells to prevent signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. The vitamins C and E in papaya rejuvenate your skin to help you enjoy younger-looking skin.

  1. Thoroughly mash ½ cup of overripe papaya.
  2. Mix in a few drops of raw honey and 1 tablespoon of milk.
  3. Apply it on your face and neck.
  4. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water.
  5. Use this face mask once or twice a week.

Also, eat papaya daily to delay the signs of aging.

4. Reduces Acne and Pimples

The papain enzyme in papaya has skin-cleansing properties that help get rid of clogged pores. This helps prevent acne and pimples. In addition, the exfoliating effect of papaya removes dead skin cells to help unclog pores.

  • Extract the juice of a few raw papaya pieces. Apply the juice on the affected skin using a cotton ball. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Use this remedy once daily to get rid of acne and pimples.
  • You can also simply rub a piece of raw papaya gently on the affected skin for 10 minutes. Then, wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this once daily.

To prevent acne, pimples and blemishes, include raw and ripe papaya in your diet.

5. Fades Skin Spots

Papaya is also beneficial for lightening skin spots and removing tan from your skin due to the several enzymes it contains.

It can help treat black spots, acne spots, brown spots as well as dark elbows and knees. In addition, papaya will tone your skin and improve your complexion.

  1. Mix ¼ cup of raw papaya paste, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ tablespoon of raw honey.
  2. Apply it on the affected skin.
  3. Allow it to dry, then wash it off with cool water.
  4. Use this face mask 3 or 4 times a week to reduce spots of any kind.

6. Treats Wrinkles and Crow’s Feet

You can also use papaya to diminish the appearance of wrinkles as well as crow’s feet. Papaya has antioxidant properties that help reduce the appearance of crow’s feet around the outer corners of the eyes as well as wrinkles around the mouth or forehead.

In addition, the vitamin C in papaya helps fight off free radicals that damage the skin’s collagen and elastin.

  • Rub a small piece of raw papaya gently around the eye area for 5 minutes once daily to get rid of crow’s feet. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with cool water.
  • Another option is to mix 1 tablespoon of ripe papaya pulp with a little bit of olive oil. Apply it on the affected area and let it sit for 20 minutes. Wash it off with cool water and apply a moisturizer. Repeat every other day.

7.Heals Cracked Heels

Cracked heels cause red or flaky patches, peeling skin, itchiness, bleeding from the cracks and pain. Ripe papaya can treat cracked and dry heels, mainly due to its moisturizing properties.

  1. Mash 1 cup of ripe papaya into a smooth paste.
  2. Apply it on your freshly cleaned heels and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash your feet gently with some warm water and pat dry.
  4. Apply some olive oil and wear a pair of socks overnight.
  5. Do this daily before going to bed to enjoy soft and smooth heels.

8. Lightens Unwanted Facial Hair

To get rid of unsightly facial hair, you can use raw papaya. When used regularly, the papain enzyme in raw papaya can weaken the hair follicles on your face to prevent regrowth. Ripe papaya also contains this enzyme but it is higher in raw papaya.

  1. Mix ½ cup of raw papaya paste and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  2. Apply this paste on the affected area and allow it to dry on its own.
  3. Scrub off the paste, then rinse your face with warm water.
  4. Do this once a week.

9. Nourishes Hair

In addition to skin, papaya is very beneficial for your hair. This fruit is rich in several minerals, vitamins and enzymes that can boost hair growth and strength.

It can even help add thickness, volume and shine to your hair as well as control baldness. Papaya also contains protein that helps reduce split ends.

  • To make a papaya hair mask, blend 1 cup each of ripe papaya, ripe banana and yogurt along with 1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil. Apply this mask to damp hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap for 30 minutes, then rinse it out with warm water. Use this hair mask once a week to enjoy healthy hair.
  • Also, regularly eat papaya. You can include both raw and ripe papaya in your diet.

10. Controls Dandruff

To treat and control dandruff, papaya is very useful. Several enzymes in papaya help prevent the buildup of oil and impurities on the scalp, which is one of the causes of dandruff.

  1. Blend 1 raw papaya thoroughly until there are no lumps.
  2. Add ½ cup of yogurt and mix well.
  3. Apply this mixture on your scalp as well as hair for extra shine.
  4. Leave it on for 30 to 40 minutes, then wash it off with cold water.
  5. Finally, shampoo your hair.
  6. Use this remedy once or twice a week to treat dandruff.

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