Papaya, botanical name Carica papaya, is an oblong tropical fruit, often seen in orange-red, yellow-green and yellow-orange hues, with a rich orange pulp.
The fruit is not just delicious and healthy, but its pulp and peel are also known to have medicinal properties. The many benefits of papaya mainly stem from the high content of Vitamins A, B and C as well as from the presence of proteolytic enzymes like papain and chymopapain which have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties.
There are many uses of papaya peel including as an ingredient in many skin and hair care papaya products. The papaya peel can also be used in many home remedies. Application of the pulp or the peel with a little milk and honey can help protect, soothe and moisturize the skin. The papain enzyme gives the papaya face mask its exfoliating properties, and applying the mask for about 20 minutes can rid the skin of dead cells. It is also quite effective in ridding the skin of blemishes.
The papaya mask works both as a sunscreen and as a soothing salve for sunburned skin. The presence of Vitamin A helps to restore and rebuild damaged skin. In many cultures, the application of papaya peel is used as a skin lightening agent.
The papaya peel can be sliced into small pieces and soaked in vinegar for several weeks. The peel is then removed and the papaya-infused vinegar can be used for skin applications. The papaya vinegar with lemon juice can be applied to the scalp for 20 minutes prior to shampooing to fight dandruff.
The peel can also be simmered in olive oil, almond oil and rosehip oil, and the resulting papaya oil can be massaged into the skin and used with honey and rose water as a skin toner and skin cleanser. The papaya peel oil can also be used with cream as a face mask. Regular application of papaya mask and papaya vinegar can ensure a clear complexion.
Since papaya peel is rich in antioxidants, it can stave off wrinkles to a certain extent. It can be applied to the feet to soften the soles and to get rid of any cracks and corns. Adding papaya oil and vinegar to bath water, along with essential oils like lavender, orange and rosemary, can be nourishing, refreshing and relaxing, and can work as a pain reliever and muscle relaxant.