The power of papaya

Papaya, the luscious tropical fruit, is a boon to skin care, thanks to papain, an enzyme which has miraculous exfoliating properties. Here are some skin care uses of the fruit:

Treat dandruff: Shampoo hair with diluted papaya vinegar mixed with lemon juice. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse hair with diluted papaya vinegar.

Soften skin: Rub fleshy skin of a ripe papaya on elbows, knees, ankles and let it dry. Wash off after 10 minutes. Use papaya vinegar in foot baths to soften feet soles.

Smoothen wrinkles: Use papaya powder (known as paw-paw, available in health food or organic stores) face mask to get rid of dead skin cells and make skin tighter.

Treat acne and acne marks: Eat papaya. Apply mask of papaya vinegar once a week. Dilute papaya vinegar with water (1:10) and use daily as a skin cleanser. Treat difficult spots with undiluted papaya vinegar and papaya oil.

Reduce age-spots or spots due to exposure to sunlight: Rub the fleshy side of a ripe papaya on age spots every night. Let it dry for 15 minutes. Wash away. Helps rough and unclear skin too.

How to make…

Papaya vinegar: Fill two-thirds of a glass jars with thin slices of papaya along with its skin. Pour enough apple cider vinegar to cover the papaya. Let it mature for four weeks. Strain out the papaya and the vinegar is ready to use.

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

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