I’ve been hearing and reading about papaya a lot lately in the beauty/skincare world so I thought it would be appropriate to do an Ingredient Spotlight post on it this week. Papayas have been one of my favourite tropical treats for as long as I can remember. This superfood is a tree fruit that originates from Central America and Mexico. It’s rich in antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C, and flavonoids. It also provides the B vitamins, folate, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. Papayas have a wonderfully soft, butter-like consistency and a sweet, musky taste. Perfect on their own or added to other dishes.
They are known as the ‘fruit of the angels’ for their anti-inflammatory qualities both internally and externally (on burns and cuts). The flesh of the papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps the body digest proteins so many people who suffer from digestive problems will find papayas very satisfying. The black seeds in the middle of the papaya are edible but they have a sharp and spicy/bitter taste.
So why are skincare/beauty companies using this ingredient in their products?
Papayas contain alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs) and a high level of enzymes that work as a natural peel or exfolaiant on the skin. AHAs break down the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. They slough off these old cells and loosen dirt, makeup, and clogged pores to reveal the smooth skin beneath. Using papaya as a natural fruit-acid peel will also even out skin tone and fade scaring, lightening the complexion of the skin and leaving you with a fresh glow. Most skin types will see instant benefits from papayas, though it works best on normal-to-oily skin. Give this DIY Papaya Face Mask a try for a simple at-home treatment.
Papaya can be used on your hair as well, it works to exfoliate the scalp by removing dead skin and excess product buildup. Leaving your strands soft and voluminous! Try out this Papaya Hair Mask for split ends.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed a few of my recent photos both included papaya! After splurging on a non-gmo hawaiian papaya to take photos of for this post, I decided I would give it a try in my morning smoothie. I actually cut up and froze half the papaya in bite size chunks to use in my smoothies, fresh papaya can turn the consistency of the smoothie a bit gelatinous. It was sweet, creamy, and delicious. Here’s the recipe…
Papaya Dreams Smoothie:
-1 cup frozen papaya/mango mix
-1/3 cup raw oats
-1 tbsp bee pollen
-1 cup almond milk
I also just recently picked up the One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin B + Enzyme Cleansing Oil. This luxurious blend is made with papaya extract and papaya seed oil and honestly smells good enough to eat. It lifts away makeup like a dream and leaves the skin so soft. I’m hooked for life after one use. Rumour has it Leahlani Skincare is coming out with a few new products this summer and papaya will be one of her newest ingredients. If anyone knows how to mix papaya and skincare, it’s this lady! I’m bursting with excitement for the release of her new collection. Another product I’ve had good results with is the Eminence Organics Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel which uses the fruit enzymes from papaya to exfoliate and brighten the skin. I’m loving this fruit more than ever right now and I’m so happy to see several skincare companies incorporating it into their all-natural products.
What’s your favourite way to use papaya? Any papaya-based products you recommend?