Perk up your skin and eliminate the day’s worries with papaya. It’s beneficial for skin care and repair. You can use papaya to treat or eliminate old dead skin cells, dandruff and other skin disorders and even to reduce the signs of premature aging. The following recipes will show you how.

Acne: Apply a mask using the fleshy side of a green papaya skin on the acne. A papaya diet supports the treatment internally. Apply a mask of pickled grated papaya in vinegar once a week. Dilute papaya vinegar with water in a one to 10 ratio and use it as a skin cleanser. Treat stubborn areas with undiluted papaya vinegar and papaya oil.

Age spots: Place the fleshy side of the skin from a mature green papaya onto the age spots until the spots fade.

Dandruff: Shampoo hair with diluted papaya vinegar mixed with lemon juice and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse the hair with diluted papaya vinegar. Papaya hair shampoos are also available in health food stores.

Skin with enlarged pores: Washings or compresses with diluted papaya vinegar.

Skin, rough: Native Americans rub rough skin with the fleshy side of the skin from a ripe papaya.

Skin, unclear: For deep skin cleansing, apply a papaya mask followed by an application of papaya vinegar weekly, diluted with water in a one to 10 ratio.

Skin, hard: Repeatedly apply squeezed leaves or the fleshy side of the skin from a green fruit. For hard skin on the foot, use papaya vinegar in foot baths.

Sunspots: Apply the fleshy side of the skin from a green fruit to the spots. Also apply papaya vinegar to the spots.

Wrinkles: Old skin cells make wrinkles deeper. Use a papaya powder (sold in health food stores as "Paw-Paw Condiment") face mask to reduce old dead skin cells and to make the skin smoother. Apply the fleshy side of the skin from a green papaya.

In rare cases and with long-term application, highly concentrated papaya could cause sensitivity and skin irritation.

Papaya Vinegar

Cut the fruit (with the skin) into thin slices. Fill two-thirds of a glass jar with the papaya. Pour in apple cider vinegar until the papaya is well covered. Let mature for four weeks. Strain out the papaya and the vinegar is ready to use.

Papaya Oil

Cut the skin or leaves of a papaya into small pieces and place them into a pot (do not use an aluminum pot). Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to cover all the pieces. Simmer the oil for five minutes, then store the oil and plant parts in a cool place. After two days, extract the oil by squeezing the plant parts in a towel.

Skin Cleanser

3 Tbsp (45 mL) pure honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) wheat germ oil
1 tsp (5 mL) papaya juice

Mix the ingredients together. Wash the skin with warm water. Gently massage the cleanser onto moist skin, then rinse well with water. Apply twice daily.

Skin Toner

2 tsp (10 mL) papaya vinegar
1/4 cup (60 mL) rose water
4 tsp (20 mL) lavender water

Mix the ingredients together. Use twice daily.

Moisturizing Oil

2 Tbsp (30 mL) papaya oil
4 tsp (20 mL) calendula oil
1 tsp (5 mL) almond oil
1 tsp (5 mL) rosehip oil

Mix the ingredients together. Gently massage into the skin twice daily.

Papaya Fruit Mask

1 tsp (5 mL) pure honey
1 egg
1 tsp (5 mL) cream
1 tsp (5 mL) papaya oil

Mix the ingredients together and apply to well-cleansed skin. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the skin with warm water, apply papaya skin toner and then papaya moisturizing oil.

Bathing With Papaya

For these recipes, mix all the ingredients together. Add the oils to the bath water after filling the tub to prevent the essential oils from evaporating.

Relaxing Bath

1/2 (125 mL) papaya vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) papaya oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops cedarwood essential oil

This is a good anti-stress bath and it nourishes the skin at the same time.

Pain-Relieving Bath

1/2 cup (125 mL) papaya vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) papaya oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil

This bath is also excellent for muscle relaxation.

Refreshing Bath

1/2 cup (125 mL) papaya vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) papaya oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops orange essential oil

This bath will leave you invigorated and refreshed.

Treat yourself to an exotic fruit facial or papaya bath experience–you’ll never go back to the drugstore variety!

About the Author

Excerpted from Papaya The Healing Fruit by Harald W. Tietze, number 14 in the alive Natural Health Guide series. Available at your health food store or through alive books (1-800-663-6580).