What is Papaya?
When you think of papaya, you probably think of a tasty and healthy tropical treat. Papaya originated in Mexico and Central America, but is now grown in many tropical and subtropical climates around the world. Papaya, scientifically known as Caricaceae, is sometimes referred to as ‘pawpaw’. Historical legend has it that Christopher Columbus referred to papaya as ‘the fruit of the angels’. With its refreshing taste, sweet scent, and amazing health and skin benefits, the name proves to be a fitting choice.
A Multi-purpose Tropical Ingredient
Besides providing an array of nutrients when eaten, papaya can also benefit the skin. The tropical fruit contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which all play a role in improving both the health and appearance of skin. Papaya is very high in vitamin A, which helps increase skin’s elasticity as well as increasing collagen production, which helps keep skin firm and bright. Papaya also contains high levels of vitamin C, which works to keep skin looking youthful.
Papaya is a natural wrinkle fighter due to its high concentration of the antioxidant lycopene. Multiple studies have shown that lycopene can help reduce wrinkles, since it's an antioxidant that effectively fights free radicals that contribute to the appearance of aging. The fruit also contains beta carotene, another powerful antioxidant, which helps even skin tone and improve complexion. Papaya can also promote healthier hair, since the vitamins and minerals contained in the fruit can work as an all-natural conditioner.
Papain: Papaya’s Powerful Enzyme
Beyond providing benefits from its many nutritive properties, papaya contains a powerful enzyme called papain. Papain is an all-around incredible compound, since it is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. This enzyme, which is most plentiful just below the skin of the fruit, has the ability to dissolve proteins. This ability makes papaya perfect for exfoliating, clarifying, and removing toxins from skin. Papain can help get rid of dead skin that causes clogged pores, resulting in skin that is glowing and refreshed. Clearer pores also help reduce acne, making papaya a useful addition to beauty routines for many kinds of skin. The papaya enzyme is also known to help those who struggle with a build-up of keratin, which can cause small bumps to form on the skin. A study conducted by Biomed Pharmacother demonstrated that the papain enzyme in papaya can also help reduce the appearance of scars.
The abundance of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes found in papaya make it a powerful and effective ingredient to treat a wide variety of skin issues. The fruit extract, when taken in capsule form, effectively unlocks the incredible potential of papaya.