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Is Papaya Good for Anti-Aging?

Here at Hawaii Blue, of course we love our tropical fruits. And, while it is not originally native to Hawaii, the papaya is one of our favorites. Why? Because it’s chock full of anti-aging nutrients that promote and maintain younger looking skin. It’s the reason papaya extract is found in so many skincare products! Let’s take a look at the powerful anti-aging benefits of the papaya.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Papaya for Skin

What gives papaya its anti-aging power? Papaya is a rich source of vitamins A, C, and E. In fact, papaya is a better source of carotenoids than carrots or tomatoes. Along with this, papaya contains active enzymes, including papain, which has been extensively studied and shown to have numerous health and beauty applications. It also contains flavenoids, which act as antioxidants and encourage the production of collagen.

Here are some benefits of papaya for skin:

  • Reduces inflammation. Free radicals cause inflammation, which in turn contributes to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin. This causes dryness, dullness, loss of elasticity, and wrinkles in the skin. Chronic inflammation produces more free radicals which ultimately create more inflammation. Papaya contains enzymes papain and chymopapain that, along with antioxidants like lycopene and vitamin C, protect the skin against free radical damage. Therefore, papaya breaks the vicious cycle by decreasing inflammation and protecting the skin from further damage. 
  • Exfoliates and purifies skin. The papain enzyme is known as a “proteolytic enzyme”, which simply means it can dissolve proteins. This property of papain helps in exfoliation — removing damaged or dead skin cells, pollutants, and debris from the surface of the skin, and penetrating into interior layers to thoroughly cleanse pores. The result is skin that is more even-toned, brighter, cleaner, and clearer.
  • Moisturizes and softens skin. Aging skin is often dry, which contributes to sagging skin and wrinkles. The antioxidants and enzymes in papaya help to restore moisture to the skin, improving its elasticity and minimizing wrinkles.

How to Use Papaya for Anti-aging

Papaya can be applied topically to the skin for direct benefits. Check any drugstore shelf or skincare line and you’ll likely find a number of cosmetic products that contain papaya or papain as a primary ingredient. Alternatively, you may want to consider some DIY papaya facial treatments

Here are some suggestions for incorporating papaya into your skincare routine:

  • Use organic papaya soap to deep cleanse pores and brighten skin. 
  • Apply papaya leaf extract as an exfoliant to get glowing skin. 
  • Apply papaya pulp to your skin for a few minutes before proceeding with your regular skincare routine. 
  • Create an anti-aging face mask with pureed papaya, honey, and egg white to reveal tighter, younger looking skin.

And since papaya is so delicious, we also recommend eating it! Including papaya as part of a healthy diet will allow your entire body to reap the rewards of this anti-aging fruit! Add papaya to a fruit salad or blend it in with a smoothie. Get creative with a tropical fruit salsa or even papaya soup! 

A Word of Caution About Papaya

We celebrate the anti-aging benefits of papaya; however, it can also have adverse effects, particularly in excess, and for certain people. This is where the ripeness of the fruit comes into play. The enzymes papain and chymopapain are in unripe papayas, but are not found in the ripened fruit. If you are trying papaya for the first time, whether applying it to your face or eating it, stick to ripe papayas to be certain you tolerate them well. 

  • Direct topical application of unripe papaya could cause skin irritation due to the papaya latex and papain. People with sensitive skin should be especially cautious.
  • When ingested, unripe papaya can cause irritation or damage to the esophagus and stomach. 
  • Papaya latex found in unripe papaya can stimulate uterine contractions. Women in early stages of pregnancy or who have a history of miscarriages should not eat unripe papayas. 

Some people may want to avoid papaya altogether, whether ripe or unripe. These include:

  • People with latex allergies: People who are allergic to latex are most likely also allergic to papaya and could experience a cross-reaction. 
  • People on certain medications: Those who are on blood thinners should avoid papaya until consulting a doctor first. Papaya may increase the risk of bleeding.

Conclusion

Whether your skin is dry, oily, acne-prone, or just needs a pick-me-up, papaya is appropriate for most skin types, and can provide noticeable benefits for aging skin. 

Of course, papaya isn’t an instant fix for aging skin. If you want to see results quickly, come see us at Hawaii Blue Medical Aesthetics. We provide an alternative to cosmetic surgery with our targeted anti-aging solutions like dermal fillers and botox that can take years off of your appearance. Schedule a consultation at our Newport News, VA med spa today to see what we can do for you!