Think of berries, pineapple and papaya … what comes to mind? You may think of your favorite summer dessert, or of picking fresh fruit for jams and jellies. The ways to enjoy fruit are endless!
We are aware of the health benefits associated with the consumption of fruits; they are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, and some have even been called super foods.
Fruits can do wonderful things for our insides, but what about our skin?
As it turns out, fruits have beauty benefits as well as health benefits. The beauty and esthetics industry utilizes fruits in a variety of products, from cleansers and moisturizers for home usage, to professional grade products like facials and peels.
Angela Barbour, esthetics instructor at Wake Technical Community College, said, “The primary function of fruit and fruit enzymes is to act as a natural exfoliant and antioxidant.”
Exfoliation is essential for promoting younger-looking skin. Skin cells are constantly replenishing themselves; healthy skin usually rejuvenates about every 28 days.
As we age, this process can slow down significantly. Use of an exfoliation product can give this process a boost, revealing brighter, more luminous skin. Other benefits include the softening of fine lines, diminished wrinkles and less visible hyperpigmentation, or darkening, of the skin.
The antioxidants in fruit help fight free radicals, another enemy of healthy skin. Free radicals are particles in the environment, including smoke and smog, which along with the damaging effects of the sun attack good skin cells and cause skin to age prematurely.
Fruit enzymes help to detoxify free radicals, lessening their effect on the skin.
While we cannot reverse the signs of aging, Barbour says, we can do things to lessen environmental impact on our skin.
Barbour also stresses the importance of using a daily sunscreen of SPF 30, and notes that SPF should be reapplied if you are in direct sunlight or outside for extended periods of time.
After four to six weeks of fruit-based product usage, you can expect a smoother, more balanced complexion.
When instructing her students or pampering her clients, Barbour uses the Vital C professional line of natural skin care, which includes an Organic Passion Peptide Facial and Peel. If you are unable to get to the salon for professional treatment, she suggests this facial mask recipe you can make at home:
Puree pineapple, papaya and berries, ½ cup total.
Apply directly to skin, and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes.
If skin is sensitive, mix ¼ cup of the pureed fruit with ¼ cup plain yogurt as a buffer.
Relax and rinse clean.
Follow with moisturizer and sunscreen.
Written By Angela Coleman-Talbot