Pawpaw: skin’s elixir

Pawpaw is not only great for eating- it’s a go to fruit for DIY beauty. [Photo: Courtesy]
Papaya, also known as pawpaw, was once called the “fruit of angels”, thanks to its soft buttery flesh and its sweet luscious taste.

The tropical fruit, which is available all-year-round, is not only great for eating- it’s a go to fruit for DIY beauty fans. You will also find it’s enzymes in many beauty products.

Excited to reap the beauty benefits of pawpaw? Here are some of this fruits beauty benefits and how to incorporate it into your beauty care:

1. Skin lightening
Embarrassed by uneven, blotchy skin tone? What about unsightly darker skin on their inner thighs, armpits, knees or elbows. Pawpaw might be the natural beauty solution you’ve been looking for.

Pawpaw, with the enzyme papain which promotes skin renewal and cell turnover, is known to slough off dead cells and leave your skin looking significantly brighter and whiter.

Other elements in papaya such as alpha hydroxyl acids, Vitamins A and C, and flavonoids also help soften and lighten skin.

How: Mash or blend a piece of papaya and mix with a tablespoonful of honey. Apply the paste to clean skin and rinse off after 15 minutes. For an extra punch, add a tablespoon of aloe Vera gel or lemon juice to this mask.

2. Anti-aging properties
Anti-aging creams tend to be rather expensive, but papaya is a home remedy which promises great results.

Papain, Vitamin A, antioxidants, and alpha hydroxyl acids in the fruit help in cleansing – which keeps your skin healthy and wrinkle free. If you’ve already started getting wrinkles and fine lines, a papaya face pack can also reverse the signs of aging.

How: Smash or blend an overripe piece of papaya and mix well with a tablespoonful of lemon juice. Apply and wash off after 15-20 minutes. Use this treatment 2-3 times a week. Alternatively, mix papaya with a tablespoonful of olive oil.

3. Treat rashes and pimples
For centuries, people have used papaya as a home remedy for treating acne, rashes, and pimples. Papain is effective in reducing inflammation, which goes a long way in treating acne and pimples.

By moisturising and cleansing skin, papaya also helps prevent acne and pimples. When consumed, beta carotene in papaya also helps in the production of healthy cells.

How: Rub a raw piece of papaya (which has more papain enzyme) onto affected skin after cleaning it. Leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water. You can repeat this treatment daily till the problem is resolved. If you can’t find raw papaya, a ripe one will do. For oily skin that is prone to acne, mix papaya pulp with 2 tablespoonfuls of fuller’s earth.

4. Hair conditioner
A lustrous mane is the crowning beauty for many women.

By eating pawpaw or using it as a conditioner, it can boost your hair health by encouraging growth, fixing damaged hair, improving texture, and fixing split ends.

Papaya is also effective in removing chemical build-up and residue from hair products, clearing scalp and leaving your hair looking clean and healthy.

People with thinning hair can also use papaya masks to improve their hair volume. Papaya leaf extract is used in some hair products to help in hair conditioning.

How: Mix mashed or blended papaya with a two tablespoonfuls of olive or coconut oil, or half a cup of unflavoured yoghurt and apply thoroughly into damp hair.

Leave it on for an hour before rinsing off. If you used yoghurt, make sure to use shampoo to avoid rancid-smelling hair.

• Don’t use DIY papaya beauty treatments if you’re allergic to latex.
• Discard papaya skin and use only its flesh. The high papain content in the skin can irritate your skin.
• If you have sensitive skin, don’t use raw papaya on your skin.
• If in doubt, do a patch test before applying papaya masks.

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pawpawSkin lighteningpimplesHair conditioner