Natural ingredients are a treasure trove of antioxidants. As summer fruit falls from the trees and overflows shelves and farmer’s markets, use this bounty in DIY treatments for your skin.
Benefits of Applying Fruits Topically
Creating a DIY mask with the freshest fruit will give your skin high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and micronutrients. Wash the fruit to remove dirt and any possible chemicals. Remove the seed(s) and mash/use a food processor to make a paste out of the fruit flesh.
- With apricots, peaches, and nectarines, there is no need to remove the skin.
- With mangos, you need to remove the skin; it contains the same allergen found in poison oak and ivy.
It is important to note that allergy to all fruits has been reported. Often the most allergic components of fruit are found in or under the skin, or in unripe fruits. The most likely culprits are apples, peaches, kiwis, mangos, and citrus.
Benefits of Apricot Use In DIY Mask
Apricots are rich in phenolic antioxidants, Vitamin A, carotenoids, and Vitamin C. Antioxidants fight free radicals that lead to skin structure damage. Vitamin C and Vitamin A (retinol) are also proven to help skin build collagen to reverse and prevent the appearance of wrinkles.
You also want to eat fruits high in beta-carotene to help give you a warm summer glow. Did you know this glow has been scientifically proven to be more attractive than a sun tan?
Add Apricots To A Honey-Orange Juice Mask
By creating a facial mask with apricot, your skin will soak up free radical fighting antioxidants, vitamin C and A to help fight free radical damage. Orange juice is also rich in Vitamin C. This is a great nutritional and antioxidant boost against wrinkles.
Mix in some honey (manuka honey has healing and antibacterial value) with fruit puree and a dash of orange juice to make a facial mask. Test on your forearm first to be certain you are not allergic to the fruits.
Why Does Skin Dull As We Get Older?
As we age, our skin decreases in cell renewal on the epidermis (the top living layer). This layer also becomes drier, and can’t hold moisture as well as younger skin. The dead cells get stuck and don’t exfoliate as well naturally.
The sum total is dry, crinkly, flaky and lusterless skin. That’s why exfoliating your face with a scrub like my Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Scrub twice a week will give your complexion a renewed luster. For a bright youthful skin tone, follow exfoliation with a few drops of my Instantly Luminous Facial Serum to instantly plump and deeply hydrate.
In the dermis (the second living layer of skin), collagen is lost, especially after menopause and from years of damage from sun exposure. Water-binding components of the dermis also decrease, including hyaluronic acid. Adding a professional glycolic acid product to your skin care will help counter this. Highly effective options include my Glycolic Acid Face Creams and my Ultra-Fast Body Smoothing Kit for the body.
Aging throughout the body is also associated with an acceleration of oxidative damage from free radicals. This means skin structures such as cells, collagen, and elastin are at greater risk of damage from the sun and environmental stressors such as pollution.
This happens throughout the human body with age and it is why eating a diet high in antioxidants is doubly important for keeping your entire body healthy and attractive. You can load your skin with antioxidants by applying Green Tea Skin Therapy once or twice a day. I’ve used it for years, as have thousands of my patients and customers. It continues to be one of our most popular products.
Benefits of Using Mango To Reduce Dullness
Mangos are loaded with vitamin C, A, and B-6, as well as antioxidants and beta-carotene. These vitamins and antioxidants replenish the skin’s supply and increase vitality.
Use mango with coconut oil and sugar or salt to form a rejuvenating skin scrub!
Mixing sugar or salt crystals with oil and fruit pulp creates a nice exfoliation for your entire skin. Adjust the ratio of sugar or salt to oil and fruit pulp to get soft skin and a youthful glow! Make your scrub using only the freshest fruit and use it immediately to capture all the antioxidant goodness and vitamins.
What Causes Age Spots?
The most common age spots are ‘liver spots’ (called solar lentigines). They are increased pigment in the epidermis and dead cells due to years of sun exposure. You never see them on parts of the skin where the sun never shined!
Liver spots, wrinkles, skin thinning, reduced skin immune strength, and skin cancer are all reasons why dermatologists recommend the best sun protection every day. I advise mineral zinc oxide sunscreen be applied daily to all exposed skin. 365 days a year, because all UV rays cause these skin problems! I’m picky about sunscreens. I only recommend products I’ve seen continuously work.
Another common age spot is a seborrheic keratosis. This is a growth that is an increase of epidermal cells and dead cells. Pigment is present throughout, giving a ‘barnacle-like’ appearance: raised, crusty, and brown. You may need a doctor’s help to totally rid yourself of these spots. It is not something normally done at home, but you can soften and lighten them with your fruit scrub.
The Best Fruit To Help Reduce Age Spots
Papaya is my top choice, and it is loaded with antioxidants (including lycopene and polyphenols), vitamins A, C and some B vitamins like pantothenic acid and folate. It also contains beta-carotene. Papaya is the most unique and effective fruit for this task because it is rich in enzymes (papain and chymopapain) that break down protein, and helps to exfoliate skin.
These enzymes have made papaya a time-honored skin brightener and an ancient remedy to treat warts, corns, and other skin problems; it may even heal burns and wounds! Use only ripe papaya. Unripe papaya contains latex, which can cause allergy and irritation.
Many summer fruits contain other natural skin lighteners (phenolics, flavanoles, flavonones, isoflavanoids, terpenes, quercetin etc). They have been used for centuries. Some of the best include kiwi, which contains flavonoids that have been shown to inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme important for skin pigment formation.
Lemons are also a time-honored skin bleaching remedy. They contain citric acid which exfoliates skin and inhibits melanin formation. Lemons are also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Use in small concentrations due to possible allergy and skin irritation.
Papaya With Plain Greek Yogurt and Lemon Juice For Age Spots
Papaya can be used as a facial mask in 2 ways. The flesh right under the peel can be applied directly to the skin alone, or with a little Greek yogurt and honey rubbed in.
Greek yogurt, with live culture, is an ideal addition to a face mask. It is rich in friendly microorganisms. These ‘good bugs’ interfere with ‘bad bugs’ that cause inflammation and subsequent hyperpigmentation. This is known as “bacterial interference”.
Skin care companies and drug companies are currently studying this. Expect to see medicines that capture the benefits of these ‘good bugs’. You can add Greek yogurt to your own face mask for a fraction of the cost.
Mixing Greek yogurt with papaya fruit puree and a dash of lemon juice. Papaya enzymes will loosen and exfoliate dead cells. The citric acid in lemon juice will exfoliate and help to inhibit melanin pigment formation. The ‘good bugs’ will run the probiotic “bacterial interference” to set your skin up for health.
For all the above masks, you should test the mask on your forearm first to be certain you are not allergic.
Xiaowei Ma, et. al., Polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant properties in mango fruits, Scientia Horticulturae, Volume 129, Issue 1, 25 May 2011, Pages 102–107
Aravind G., et. al., Traditional and Medicinal Uses of Carica papaya, Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies Year : 2013, Volume : 1, Issue : 1 First page : (7) Last page : (15)
Nico Smit, el. al, The Hunt for Natural Skin Whitening Agents, Int J Mol Sci. 2009 Dec; 10(12): 5326–5349
Maregesi, S.M., Kagashe, G.A. and Felix, F, Documentation and Phytochemical Screening of Traditional Beauty Products Used in Missenyi District of Tanzania. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, (2014) 4, 355-364
Gunia-Krzyżak A, Melanogenesis Inhibitors: Strategies for Searching for and Evaluation of Active Compounds, Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(31):3548-3574
Could Probiotics Be the Next Big Thing in acne and rosacea treatments SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Feb. 3, 2014) https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/could-probiotics-be-the-next-big-thing-in-acne-and-rosacea-treatments