As summer winds to an end, you may be noticing that your skin has become dry or a little sundamaged or dehydrated. The rays of the sun can cause a build-up of free radicals which causes prematuring aging, wrinkles and sometime age spots. If you are looking to refresh and replenish your skin by clearing off some of the dead skin cells and reducing the fine lines and the affects of free radicals, try using pineapple on your skin. Pineapple is a delicious tropical fruit, originally native to South America, and generally readily available througout the summer in North America.
Pineapple is high in the antioxidant vitamin C, which is effective in fighting free radicals. It also contains the powerful enzyme Bromelain. Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that can also help to fight itchiness and inflamation in the skin that can occure when skin is swollen or even sun burnt. Bromelain is said to also help reduce growth of certain tumours as well as prevent pain and swelling from rheomatoid arthritis. Eating pineapple can help cleanse and heal your skin but it is also affective when used topically on the skin as a facial mask and also as a body scrub. Like many fruits, pineapple is an affective alpha hydroxy acid, which can be used to remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the dermis, helping to smooth the skin and make it look younger. Bromelain and Vitamin C may also be affective in lightening and removing dark spots or age spots from the skin.
Pineapple is best when it is bought fresh(not canned) and does have a short shelf life. It takes a little bit of work to remove the peel and the stem, but the effort is worthwhile. The flesh is juicy and is the edible part of the fruit, but one also must remove the core of the fruit which is more solid and less sweet and juicy. After peeling the fruit, it is good for up to two days after peeling and an additional five days if the fruit is stored in the fridge. The following two recipes are to help remove dried skin, dead skin cells from the surface areas of the skin.
Pineapple and Strawberry Fruit Facial to cleanse and lighten the skin:
1/4 cup of fresh pineapple finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh strawberries finely chopped(roughly 2-3 strawberries)
1/4 cup of yogurt
1 Dollop of honey
Directions: Place the finely chopped fruit into a bowl. See if you can mash it up a little finer with a fork or potatoe masher. Add in the yogurt and the honey and stir together. When everything is mixed together apply to your damp clean skin and rest with the mask on your skin for at least 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse off all of the mask with water and pat your face dry. Follow up with a moisturizer.
Both strawberries and pineapple are high in vitamin C which again is an effective antioxidant to fight free radical damage. The bromelain can be affective for soothing a sunburn and might also be effective in removing brownspots from sun damage of the skin. Strawberries contain ellagic acid which can also lighten the skin as it inhibits melanin which is what gives the skin it’s colour. Both the lactic acid in the yogurt and the alpha hydroxy acid from the two fruits help to remove the dead skin cells on the dermis of the skin, leaving it smooth and fresh.
If you have been spending many days out in the sun wearing sandals and open toed shoes, you may also notice that your feet have become a bit rough or dry with callous. Try this Pineapple Body Scrub to keep your skin smooth and supple:
1/4 finely chopped and mashed fresh pineapple
1 cup fine grained Sea Salt
3/4 of a cup of olive oil ( or almond or grapeseed oil can be substituted)
Directions: Stir the above ingrediants together in a glass jar that has a sealable top until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Use the mixture in the shower to scrub and soften rough and dry skin on the heals and elbows. This mixture must be used within a few days, as pineapple has a short lifespan- which is possibly good for up to three days.