By Dr. Kaycee Reyes
Admit it, you have probably heard, seen, or used papaya soap in your lifetime. Look at grocery shelves and local beauty stores—they all carry at least one brand of papaya soap! While these soaps mostly offer whitening as what we all know papaya is for, what else can the skin benefit from this yummy and nutritious fruit? Let’s find out!
Papaya, with scientific name carica papaya, originated in Central America where it was used medicinally, until it became widespread and also became cultivated in most tropical countries like Asia, Africa, and India. Locally, papaya is also called capaya, melon tree, papau, pawpaw, papyas, and tapayas. It is packed with a lot of vitamins( A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, E, and folic acid) and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium), powerful antioxidants essential in fighting free radicals that may cause inflammation and disease, and of course the enzyme papain that is responsible for breaking down large protein fibers, improving digestion, and promoting nutrient absorption. Because this fruit is packed with all these, it is no wonder that through the years, papaya has been used for a lot of home remedies, including:
– Management of diarrhea
– Treatment of ulcers
– Curing a sore throat
– Lowering blood pressure
– Promoting breast milk consumption
– Regulating menstrual periods
– Preventing certain cancers
Moreover, it also offers remedies and benefits for the skin, such as:
– Treatment of burns, minor skin irritations, small wounds
– Helps ease eczema, rashes, and bug stings
– Can be used for warts and corns
– Makes the skin recover fast from sun damage
– Prevents premature aging
– Whitens skin
– Promotes skin exfoliation
– Moisturizes skin
– May be effective against acne
Because papaya is a versatile fruit, you can easily add it to your daily meals and enjoy its wonderful benefits for your overall health! For the skin, papaya can be mixed with a lot of different ingredients to achieve a certain effect, like adding lemon to brighten skin, adding honey to moisturize, adding milk to keep skin supple and wrinkle-free, or adding olive oil to treat existing wrinkles and crow’s feet! What’s more, applying just the plain papaya juice may also help with acne! You may have to wait weeks or months to see the effects, but since these remedies are natural, the irritation may be minimal, and people with sensitive skin can benefit from it as well!
More than whitening, papaya is a powerhouse of benefits that is good for our bodies and our skin! While using papaya as a natural remedy for the skin has been done for hundreds of years, still be cautious with its usage as every skin is different. To try the DIY papaya masks or scrubs, make sure to sample a small amount on your skin to make sure that it won’t cause irritation. As always, it is better to seek expert advice from a dermatologist to make sure you will be doing it right. For more serious skin conditions, please refrain from using natural remedies and consult a physician prior to self-medicating to avoid skin irritation or infection. Overall, papaya is a great all-around fruit, making it absolutely a papa-YES!