Using papain from papaya extract will help prevent aging, heal acne, and more. Here is how you can add it into your skincare routine.
If you’re going to read this, I have to warn you:
You’ll probably never look at fruit the same way again.
We’re talking about papaya, and while its pear-like appearance may not seem like much, the nutrients it holds inside can do wonders for your skin, hair and even digestive system.
Not only that, it contains an enzyme known as papain that’s being studied by researchers around the world as an all-natural, plant-based medicine.
Read on to see why papaya extract may be what your skin (and tummy!) have been waiting for.
What Is Papaya?
Most typically known for being a sweet, tropical fruit, papayas (sometimes called papaws) are commonly grown in Mexico, Brazil and Hawaii. Papayas were originally found in the Andes in South America but spread with the help of the Native Americans.
When Christopher Columbus first discovered this fruit, he called it the “fruit of the angels” – probably for its heavenly, sweet savor.
With a pear-shaped, green exterior, its inside is soft and filled with dozens of gelatin-like, black seeds. Historically known for its potent digestive properties, papaya is growing more popular in the skincare industry for its innate ability to lessen the appearance of scars and dissolve dead skin cells.
Benefits of Papaya Extract for Your Skin
More than a delicious treat, papaya is loaded with vitamins and nutrients that make it great for the skin, hair and body. Such nutrients include vitamins A and C, which are highly concentrated and helpful in building collagen.
Because of this, papaya extract is known for its ability to fight signs of aging and create smooth, supple skin. Vitamin A is also necessary for cellular growth, which is vital for skin and hair health.
On top of that, papaya is home to free radical-fighting flavonoids that protect against cellular aging. Thanks to this and so many of its other nutrients, papayas can rejuvenate and hydrate the skin while also naturally exfoliating dead skin cells.
Want your hair to grow faster? Thanks to its rich folic acid content, papaya can help with that, too! It stimulates scalp circulation, which in turn, encourages hair growth. Its vitamin A content also works to boost sebum production, providing an effect way to hydrate hair without the use of harsh chemicals.
Perhaps papaya extract’s most interesting use lies in the realm of phytotherapy – aka the study and use of natural, plant-based extracts as medicine. According a 2014 study published in the US National Library of Medicine, papaya is extremely effective in wound healing, which is probably thanks to its powerful enzyme, papain.9 skin and hair benefits from papaya you'll want to have: Click To Tweet
How Does Papain Work?
Being the primary enzyme in papaya, papain is best known for its role in healthy digestion. It helps people absorb more nutrients from their foods because papain breaks down long protein chains into smaller, more easily digestible ones.
It is also a known anti-inflammatory agent, decreasing redness and swelling – especially in muscles and joints.
Papain has even been attributed with remarkable ulcer-healing properties. In fact, one study applied strips of papaya to topical skin ulcers and saw a 75% improvement rate – a rate that was far superior to over-the-counter treatments.
Other benefits of papain throughout the body include the following:
- Decreases fungal growth
- Supports immune system health
- Treats intestinal worms
- Treats hay fever and runny noses
- Improves symptoms of shingles
- Decreases sore throats and throat swelling
- Reduces pain and itching associated with insect stings and bites
Best Forms of Papaya
Like many other fruits, papaya can be eaten raw, though it tastes best once the skin is at least 80% yellow.
Helpful Tip: Go for papayas from Mexico because those from Hawaii are often grown using GMOs.
Papaya extract is another popular way of enjoying the health benefits of papaya without having to eat it every day. This extract can be found in both liquid and capsule form. However, liquid extracts usually provide the fastest results.
Thanks to its many skin-friendly properties, you can also find papaya in various skincare products, such as face masks, skin brighteners and conditioners.
How to Use Papaya + A Quick DIY Face Mask Recipe
When shopping for supplements or beauty products containing papaya, always choose organic varieties with as few ingredients as possible to ensure quality and potency.
Raw, ripe papaya can also be mashed and added to your skincare regimen as a refreshing facial mask.
Interested in trying it? Here’s a quick DIY recipe:
- Combine half of a mashed papaya with 3 Tbs of honey
- Mix into a paste & apply to face and neck
- Rinse it off after 20 min and enjoy a naturally hydrated glow
Want to put papaya to use along with other star anti-aging ingredients? Then check out our USDA Organic Eye Cream to rejuvenate crow’s feet, under eye bags, and more!
Papayas are certainly more than just delicious fruits. They are undercover powerhouses for the skin, hair and digestive system.
Papain, an enzyme that comes directly from the fruit, can strengthen and heal the body from everything from ulcers and inflammation to fungal growth and acne.
Consider incorporating this superfood into your diet or try a natural, papaya-infused product today!