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Papain – Papaya for Skin Care

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Papain is an enzyme which is found naturally in unripe papayas. This enzyme has a number of interesting uses, and it appears in a variety of settings. People have been taking advantage of papain's properties for centuries in Latin America, and additional uses have been discovered in the modern era with research on the enzyme and its properties.

Historically, people harvested this enzyme by slashing the skin of unripe papayas and collecting the resulting sticky, latex-like sap. People could also cook with upripe papayas, relying on the green papaya to break up in the cooking process and release the enzyme, or certain leaves could be added to a recipe to soften the meat.

The papaya makes a wonderful addition to fruit salads, and also is delightful consumed as is. Papaya can be used as an addition to chutney or salsa. When used in smoothies, ice creams and pies, it adds tropical flavor to dessert offerings. There are many Mexican and South American dishes including the papaya, since it proliferates in these regions and is frequently a daily part of meals.

  • In some cultures, papaya leaves are believed to reduce inflammation, specifically in the prostate. The combination of papain and chymopapain, another enzyme found in papaya leaves, are believed by some to reduce inflammation in several other parts of the body.
  • " The fruit has an overabundance of essential vitamins and sumptuous taste. Papaya also contains cancer-fighting lycopene and inflammation-reducing enzymes called papain, which are used by doctors to fight pain and the symptoms of allergies.

Papaya can benefit skin from the outside as well as from the inside. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, this tropical fruit provides important nutrients for healthy beautiful skin. It's not just for eating, however — papaya for skin care as a topical application contains rejuvenating enzymes that exfoliate the skin for a glowing complexion.

Tip: When cutting the skin of the papaya off, rub the left over skin on your face. Put the flesh of the fruit side on your face and gently rub all over. Let dry. Rise, and enjoy soft skin.

The secret to papaya's skin beautifying and renewing properties lies in the enzyme papain. Enzymes are important in the body as agents that break down proteins. Papaya fruit is loaded with these protein processing enzymes, making it good for digestion and for exfoliation.

Good exfoliation is an important part of good skin care, as well as good digestion. Dead skin cells build up, leaving the skin looking rough and dull. An exfoliator removes the dead skin cells to reveal the healthy new skin underneath. The enzyme papain acts as an exfoliator by dissolving and breaking down the proteins in dead skin.

Masks and cleansers made with papaya get the enzymes from green papaya. The enzymes are isolated and then added to the product during production. Using an exfoliating mask made with papain enzyme is a natural way to cleanse and rejuvenate dull, tired-looking skin.

When using papaya for skin care, the whole fruit can be used as a mask. It's sticky and a bit messy, but the protein dissolving enzymes are all there. A ripe fruit generally is the easiest to use when preparing a whole papaya for skin care masks and treatments. The mashed fruit can be used alone or mixed with other natural ingredients and applied to the skin.

Papaya mixed with honey can make a nourishing, skin-brightening mask. The ripe fruit can also be mixed with coarse salt and used as a skin brightening exfoliating rub. Likewise, clay mixed with papaya creates an oil-drawing mask for the face and body.

Many exfoliating skin care products use alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These act to dissolve the proteins on the top layer of skin, exactly as the papain enzyme does. Using papaya and papain makes for a natural, plant-based alternative to the chemical exfoliants.

Good health is a major component of having good skin. Papaya fruit contains high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K — all important nutrients for good health. It is also a good source of the B vitamins, antioxidants and flavonoids. The papain enzyme contributes to good health as well by aiding in digestion and the break down and use of proteins. When using papaya for skin care, it is good both as a healthy snack and a skin-brightening facial treatment.

Nutritional Value

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