Papaya is a sweet tropical fruit known for the numerous health benefits it confers. Also known as pawpaw, the nutrient-packed fruit help fights inflammation, reduce cancer risk, improve heart health and digestion and protect the skin against damage. Less known are the beauty uses and benefits of the fruit.
Papaya for skincare
Clear spots and reduce skin blemishes
Papaya has skin regenerative properties that remove dead skin cells and trigger the generation of new layers. In this way, it helps treat a wide array of skin issues including hyperpigmentation, black spots, and dark circles under the eyes, elbows, and knees. Hyperpigmentation occurs when excess melanin is produced at certain points on the skin causing dark and flat patches on the skin.
The pulp of ripe papaya is nutrient and water-rich. This helps it seal moisture into the skin leaving the skin looking soft and smooth.
Repairing aged skin
The nutrients in papaya help reverse and slow down the effects of ageing on the skin by repairing, exfoliating, and hydrating the skin. The Vitamin C and Vitamin A in the fruit help fight free radicals that damage the skin’s collagen and its elasticity.
It reduces wrinkles by modulating the collagen and elastic fibres in the dermis. The vitamins C and Vitamin E in papaya help rejuvenate the skin, keeping it looking young. Pawpaw also helps reduce the appearance of crow’s feet around the corners of the eyes.
Reduces acne and pimples
The papain enzyme has skin-cleansing properties that help get rid of clogged pores. This in turn prevents the occurrence of acne and pimples. It helps with acne because it reduces skin inflammation and removes the dead skin cells allowing for the appearance of undamaged layers of skin.
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Heals wounds and cracked heels
Papaya has been studied extensively for its wound-healing benefits. It helps heal wounds and keeps the bacteria away which prevents the scar from getting bigger. This is why pawpaw is used to heal cracked heels. Cracked heels cause red or flaky patches, peeling skin, itchiness, bleeding from the cracks, and pain. Simply put some freshly crushed papaya on cuts, wounds, and burns to promote a speedy recovery.
Papaya for hair care
Because it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and enzymes, papaya acts as a natural conditioner, making your hair softer and smoother. There is anecdotal evidence about papaya boosting hair growth and strength. It can help add thickness, volume and shine as well as help reduce split ends.
Papaya is very useful in treating and controlling dandruff. The enzymes in it prevent the buildup of oil and impurities on the scalp which is one of the causes of dandruff.
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Crash some ripe pawpaw pulp. Add a tablespoon of sugar and optional oatmeal flakes. Rub this mixture on your face in circular motions once a week.
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Nourishing face mask
Crash some ripe papaya and add a tablespoon of honey to make a face mask. Apply on your face and neck and leave it on for about five minutes before washing off with lukewarm water. Do it twice a week for nourished skin.
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Hair mask and conditioner
Mix half a cup of yoghurt with some crushed ripe papaya. Apply to your hair as a leave-in treatment for about 20 minutes then rinse it off and carry on with your normal hair routine.
Alternatively, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to crashed papaya pulp and apply it to your hair. This is perfect for dry and dull-looking hair.
Mix some crushed papaya pulp with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of raw honey. This helps with tan removal as well as treating sun-related dark spots, ageing-related skin issues as well.
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