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Papaya for Skin: Benefits, Whitening, and How to Use

By Nancy H, PharmD
June 24, 2023
7 minutes


Did you know that natural ingredients, especially papaya are among the active natural ingredients you can leverage for your skincare routine? Papaya has several benefits for your skin besides the vitamins your body organs get from it. Read on to learn more about the benefits of papaya to your skin.

Also, read more about 10 foods for skin glowing and flawless.


Papaya, a fruit known for its sweet and juicy taste, is full of nutrients that benefit the body. Papayas are large, pear-shaped fruits with thin green or yellow skin that turns orange when the fruit is ripe. The scientific name for this delightful fruit is Carica papaya , while most natives call it pawpaw.¹ It used to be very common in Southern Mexico and Central America until it became irresistible worldwide. Papayas are not only delicious but also offer several health benefits for all organs of the body. They have antioxidants, vitamins A, and C, with P, and proteolytic enzymes like papain.² These properties in papaya can improve collagen production, help nurture the skin, and prevent skin aging.

More so, among the properties of papayas are antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. According to a study, these properties prevent your body from deleterious diseases to have a healthy lifestyle.³ Besides these features, a pay as have some outstanding benefits for your skin:

Dark Spots Treatment

You can use papayas to treat dark spots on your face because they contain an enzyme called papain, which has exfoliating properties. This enzyme can lighten your dark spots over time and brighten the affected area. It can also reduce or end the appearance of pigmentation on your skin. Finally, it can also cure acne spots, and dark knees and lightens discolored elbows.

To use this solution for dark spot treatment:

  • select ripe papaya or soft to the touch
  • prepare the papaya by cutting it into small pieces and removing the seeds and skin. mash the papaya into a pulp or blend it to create a smooth paste.
  • wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt or impurities.
  • apply it to the affected areas or dark spots on your face
  • ensure you massage it into the skin using circular motions in a gentle way
  • allow the papaya mask to sit on your skin for about 15-20
  • rinse it off after the recommended time with lukewarm water

Melasma Treatment

Little did you know that papaya has the potential to cure melasma? Melasma is a common skin condition that results in spots and discolored patches on the skin.⁴ This condition makes the area affected to be darker than other parts of the body.

How to use:

  • mash either ripe or unripe papaya
  • place it on the target area and it will make your skin smooth and soft

Hyperpigmentation Cure

Papaya is an active anti-pigmentation with some exfoliating properties that can help reduce or terminate hyperpigmentation from the body. Hyperpigmentation occurs due to the excess of melanin production in the skin cells. This condition may cause skin discoloration and irritation in your body. With the proper usage of papaya’s properties such as vitamins and natural enzymes, you can reduce the effect of hyperpigmentation on your skin. Nevertheless, follow the medical guidance of your dermatologist to utilize papaya properly.

Read more on hyperpigmentation and how to treat it.

To use papaya for the removal of hyperpigmentation, you can try any of the following methods:

  • mash ripe papaya and apply the pulp directly to the affected areas
  • leave it for 15-20 minutes
  • rinse with lukewarm water
  • repeat these steps 2-3 times a week

Face Exfoliation

One of the benefits of papaya is face exfoliation. Papaya has exfoliating properties that help remove dead skin cells and unclogged pores. The papain (an enzyme in the fruit) is also an active agent among these properties. To use papaya as an exfoliation ingredient, you can follow these steps:

  • get either ripe or unripe papaya, honey, and lemon
  • mash the papaya on a plate and ensure it is smooth
  • add a teaspoon of honey to the papaya pulp if desired
  • also, add a few drops of lemon juice to help brighten the skin
  • blend the papaya pulp (and honey and lemon juice if added) until you have a smooth, consistent mixture
  • use this remedy to cleanse your face and neck thoroughly before applying the mask
  • allow the mask to sit on your skin for 15-20 minutes before you rinse it off with lukewarm water

Skin lightening

Papaya lightens and softens the skin when you add its enzyme called papain with alpha-hydroxy acid to exfoliate, dissolve the dead cells from the skin and reduce clogged pores in the skin. Additionally, it has vitamin C, which is also a natural antioxidant that whitens the body. Likewise, it can also lighten up your private parts by removing the discoloration.

How to use

  • get your ripe or soft papaya peeled
  • blend it until it is pureed and thick
  • clean your face or any target part with water and dry it
  • apply the papaya paste to the target area and wear it for 15 minutes
  • wash off with warm water and dry it.
  • ensure you repeat this procedure three times a week for positive results

This papaya toning remedy can also help tighten pores, refresh the skin, and promote a lightening complexion.

How to use

  • mash papaya with turmeric powder
  • add a spoonful of honey to form a thick paste
  • wear it on your face gently for 25 minutes
  • rinse it off with warm water and repeat three times a week.

This procedure will not only lighten your skin but also make your skin healthy.

Skin Glowing

Using papaya as a moisturizer can help hydrate and nourish your skin. This will leave it soft and glowing.

How to use

  • make a simple homemade papaya moisturizer by mashing up a ripe papaya
  • apply it to your face for about 15 minutes
  • ensure you rinse it off with warm water

This procedure will help saturate your skin and give it a healthy glow.

In addition, you can mix mashed papaya with a teaspoon of honey to enhance the moisturizing and antibacterial properties.

Apply the mixture to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water.

Read more about other natural ingredients to lighten up your private parts.

Anti-aging Properties

Papaya can also enhance healthy skin because of its variety of nutrients. Its antioxidant properties help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by unstable molecules. 5 By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants also help reduce the signs of aging, such as wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Additionally, its enzyme can help remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, leading to a smoother and more youthful appearance.

To achieve this solution:

  • blend papaya chunks with a tablespoon of brown sugar or oatmeal to create a do-it-yourself body scrub
  • massage the mixture onto damp skin in circular motions, then rinse off.

This scrub will exfoliate and soften the skin, leaving it smooth and rejuvenated.

Skin Disease Remedy

Skin disease is a type of condition that affects your skin health and makes you uncomfortable . 6 You can experience itchiness, rashes, inflammation, or other skin conditions. Though some skin conditions may be due to factors like genetics, environment, and lifestyle, there are natural ingredients that can cure them. One of these natural ingredients is papaya. Papain and chymopapain are proteolytic enzymes, the properties in papaya that can heal skin diseases. This papain gets rid of various skin conditions, such as acne and blackheads. Its antioxidant properties like beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, are also effective to cure skin diseases. They help the skin revive and recover from any skin infections.

In addition, chymopapain can treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. This anti-inflammatory property may help reduce itching, redness, and inflammation associated with these conditions.

Skin Wound Healing

Papaya has the ability to make skin wounds heal quickly. When applied topically to a wound, the enzymes in papaya may help remove damaged or dead tissue, promoting wound healing. They may also have anti-inflammatory properties, reducing swelling and promoting a healthier environment for the wound to heal.

While papaya can aid in wound healing, it’s important to note that it is not a substitute for proper wound care. It’s essential to keep wounds clean, protect them from further injury, and seek medical attention. You can only use papaya as a complementary treatment, but only with the knowledge of your healthcare provider.

Final Takeaway

The bottom line of using papaya is to have better healthy skin. Though scientific research is ongoing, papaya has several beneficial compounds that may positively affect the skin. These properties are agents of potential benefits for skin whitening, anti-aging, healing, and prevention of diseases.

However, it’s important to note that there are factors that can cause your skin conditions and papaya may not be the right ingredient. It’s best to consult with a dermatologist before incorporating papaya or any new skincare product into your routine. They will give you medical advice based on your specific needs and concerns.


1. Papaya by Maribel Ovando-Martínez, et al.




Health Benefits of Papaya

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev


MELASMA: DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT by American Academy of Dermatology Association


Anti-Aging Effects of Terminalia bellirica, Phyllanthus emblica, MDPI

5061 › sustai…PDF

Recognizing neglected skin diseases: WHO publishes pictorial training guide, Departmental news


Nancy H, PharmD
I am Nancy a licensed pharmacist with extensive knowledge in the healthcare industry. I enjoy writing on a variety of topics including; disease management, dietary supplements, nutrition, fitness, functional medicine, and lifestyle changes for optimal health. Below is my Linkedin profile
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