Fruit acids, also called “alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs),” have been in skin care for a while. In fact, even the Egyptians were known to take advantage of their anti-aging powers.
So it doesn't surprise us that they've become very popular lately, and we wanted to pass along a little secret — it's incredibly easy to make your own fruit facial mask.
And not only are they natural and good for skin, but AHAs are perfect for more sensitive skin types that don’t respond well to harsher anti-aging products. They might become your go-to option for exfoliating and fading fine lines and wrinkles, especially if you have sensitive skin.
You can find fruit acids in many of today’s skin products (including, of course, our own anti-
aging lineup). They include:
- malic acid (from apples and pears)
- citric acid (from citrus fruits like oranges and lemons)
- tartaric acid (from grapes)
Other AHAs don’t come from fruits, necessarily, but are still naturally sourced from foods. They are sometimes lumped in the group when talking about fruit acids:
- glycolic acid (from sugar cane)
- lactic acid (from milk)
- mandelic acid (from bitter almonds)
Some of these acids may work differently on your skin. Glycolic is thought to be best for lighter skins, for example, as it can sometimes cause irritation and hyperpigmentation in darker skins.
Both lactic and malic acids seem to be safer in darker skin types.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Fruit in Skin Care
AHA’s, on the whole, provide the following anti-aging benefits:
- Increase blood flow to the skin.
- Impart hydration, creating a natural dewy glow.
- Gently exfoliate, sloughing off dead skin cells and encouraging new cell growth.
- Fade the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Fade the appearance of hyperpigmentation and age spots.
- May help stimulate collagen and elastin production, to gradually improve sagging and bagging.
- Reduce skin roughness and create softer, smoother skin.
- Reduce the effects of sun damage.
And now that you know the amazing benefits, we're going to let you in on a secret — it's incredibly easy to make your own fruit facial.
Precautions to Take Before Designing Your Own Fruit Facial
If you’d like to try your own fruit facial at home, there are a few things you’ll want to consider first.
You’ll be using natural fruits, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t risks. For sensitive skin types, in particular, there is still the possibility of irritation, redness, itching, and even burning, depending on how you create your fruit mask, what ingredients you use, and how long you leave the mask on your skin.
If you’re just starting out, be cautious in your approach. Go with the gentlest formula you can, and leave it on for a short amount of time (usually five minutes or less). As your skin adapts and you start to become aware of what ingredients work best for you, you can experiment a bit more and leave the mask on longer so it can create more benefits on your skin.
Fruit acids, like any exfoliating products, also increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so remember to always protect with hats, umbrellas, and clothing, and with a safe sunscreen product (like zinc oxide).
Once you’ve taken all these precautions into account, you can start to have some fun. Homemade fresh fruit packs can do wonders for your skin. Not only do they hydrate and exfoliate, as listed above, but they are also full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that feed your skin what it needs to be its best.
They’re also chocked full of age-fighting antioxidants, which help fight off the free-radical assaults your skin must face every day, like sun and pollution. After a typical home fruit facial, your skin will feel refreshed and renewed, and will look more plump, healthy, and glowing.
Fruit Facial Recipes According to Skin Type
When considering the type of fruit facial you’d like to do, think about what you’d like to accomplish. Are you looking for a deep moisturizing facial, or are you more concerned with exfoliating? Do you need to lighten hyperpigmentation most of all, or tighten up pores?
“Fruit facials work great when you choose a fruit that suits your skin type,” says Paulomi Dhawan, who heads up the Svastii Spa at Powai, Mumbai.
We’ve got some options here to get you started that will address some of these skin concerns. Before you know it, you’ll be scanning the produce section not only for your meals, but for your skin care as well!
Before you pack on the fruit mask, take these preparatory steps:
- Cleanse skin - It’s important to start with clean skin. Use a gentle cleanser to wash away impurities and pat dry.
- Tone - To prevent your skin from getting too dry before you apply your fruit mask, it’s best to apply a moisturizing mist, such as our Rosemary Toning Mist or Neroli Toning Mist, to help prepare skin to accept the mask.
Now you’re ready to apply one of the following. Don’t forget to always apply moisturizer after you rinse off your mask.
1. Exfoliating and Freshening Papaya Fruit Facial
Mash a fresh papaya (the natural enzymes are great for sloughing off dead skin cells) with a cooked sweet potato. The vitamin A in the sweet potato may help to boost collagen production and encourage exfoliation and tightening.
Mix until they are well blended. If you need more liquid, add in some milk or yogurt. Apply and leave on skin for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.
2. Redness and Irritation-Soothing Cucumber Fruit Facial
Mix a grated cucumber and/or mashed banana with coconut water, aloe, and cooked oatmeal.
You can also add some cooled chamomile tea, and a few drops of white willow bark and calendula to up the calming and soothing effects. Leave on the skin for 10-15 minutes and wash off gently.
3. Moisturizing and Hydrating Watermelon Fruit Facial
Watermelon is a good choice for your moisturizing fruit facial. Mash it up into a smooth paste and apply it all by itself for a refreshing boost in hydration. You can also mix it with almond or olive oil, vitamin E, cream, honey, yogurt, coconut oil, and avocado for additional moisturizing effects.
Leave on the skin for as long as it stays moist, and then rinse off. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.
4. Pore Cleansing and Tightening Berry Fruit Facial
For this mask, you can use strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries, as they all have a tightening effect. Add a few grapes to help reduce acne breakouts.
Mash about 6 ripe strawberries (or 10-12 of the others) with a couple tablespoons milk, one tablespoon oats, and a half tablespoon of honey. Tomatoes are also good for oily skin, and can help remove scars, but they tend to be a bit harsher, so test carefully on a small spot of skin before applying all over your face.
Mix well, and apply on the skin. Leave on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing and enjoy the refined pores and healthy glow.
5. Youthful Citrus Fruit Facial
For this one, we're harnessing the exfoliating and freshening effects of citrus fruits. Mix up a quarter cup of orange juice (you may also use lemon, lime, or grapefruit juice) with about a teaspoon of honey.
If you have oily skin, add a couple teaspoons of clay or the Purifying Mud Mask to help absorb excess sebum.
Sensitive skin types can use oatmeal or yogurt. Carrot juice is also a good one for glowing skin, and will impart a natural sunkissed color.
6. Skin Lightening Fruit Facial
To fade age spots and hyperpigmentation, think cherries, strawberries, and kiwi. All of these help brighten the skin to make dark spots and splotches less noticeable. They’re also full of antioxidants that can help you avoid sun damage and further hyperpigmentation in the future.
Mix any combination of the above with yogurt, curd, milk, or a banana, and apply on the skin. Throw in a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to help fade scars. Leave on for 30 minutes if you can before rinsing. Mist with a toning mist to keep it from drying out if needed.
7. Banish the Dullness Mango Fruit Facial
If your skin is just looking “blah” lately and you want to bring it back to life, try mango and/or papaya. Both remove the dull surface of skin and reveal a healthier, more youthful appearance.
You can simply mash them up and apply the pulp directly to skin, or mix with a couple egg whites to tighten pores at the same time, or with honey or oatmeal to create a soothing paste.