As a writer and researcher, Alison is especially interested in using natural ingredients as inexpensive solutions to skin-care problems.
Going Back to the Basics of Fruits
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of eating fruits to feed your body and your skin with essential vitamins and minerals.
You may be surprised to learn that the main active ingredients in many rejuvenating skin care treatments such as anti-aging, blemish-fighting and skin peel products are actually AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, naturally found in many fruits.
In this article, we are going to look at:
• AHAs, what they are and what they can do for your skin.
• Simple homemade AHA skin care recipes for glowing skin.
• The vitamin and mineral content of various fruits.
• The best fruits to eat to improve your skin and why they work.
What Are AHAs?
AHAs are a group of compounds that are now widely available in over-the-counter beauty and skin care treatments, whereas previously, they were more likely to be found in professional, salon treatments such as skin peels.
The video below contains a great explanation of what AHAs do for your skin as well as showing you how to make a fruit mask peel (also see my recipe for a pineapple, papaya and honey mask below).
Which Fruits Contain AHAs?
There are different AHAs, and not all of them are found in fruits, but these are the main ones.
- Citric acid: As the name suggests, this can be found in citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges and also in pineapples.
- Malic acid: Found in both pears and apples.
- Tartaric acid: Found in grapes.
In addition to the above, there are two other common AHAs, which are not found in fruits.
- Glycolic acid: Perhaps the best-known name in the AHA group and found in sugar cane.
- Lactic acid: A constituent of milk that is also found in yogurt and buttermilk.
What Can AHAs Do for My Skin?
When applied to the skin, AHAs enable the exfoliation or removal of the top layer of dead skin cells that can leave your complexion looking dull and tired. Removing this layer will result in brighter, more glowing skin, as the younger, fresher skin cells beneath are revealed.
The advantage of using AHAs to exfoliate your skin is that you do not have to use scrubs containing harsh or abrasive particles which could cause tiny abrasions on the surface of your skin. Any damage to the skin surface for people suffering from acne is bad news, because it could allow acne-causing bacteria to enter the skin and set up more inflammation.
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For those with mature skin, manual exfoliation can contribute to further sagging and loss of elasticity, which is why so many prefer the gentle chemical peel effect produced by fruit acids. In addition, on mature skin, AHAs can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and even out skin tone, lightening darker patches of pigmentation or age spots.
Get More Benefit From Your Expensive Skin Care Products
Using these simple fruit acid treatments to remove the dead skin layer on the surface will mean that your expensive skin care products will be able to penetrate better into the inner layers of your skin. This will make them more effective and will also mean that you need to use less product to get the results you are looking for. It is a great way to save money on skincare!
Check Your Sensitivity First!
AHAs may not be suitable for everyone though, and it is always best to check your skin’s tolerance to any product containing AHAs before use, as redness and irritation can be a result.
Test out a small amount of any product (whether over the counter, or homemade from raw fruits) on an inconspicuous area of your skin, such as behind your ear or in the crook of your elbow. Monitor any adverse reaction and rinse off immediately if there is a problem—otherwise you are good to go and can try out the product on your facial skin or wherever you need to apply it.
There is also a potential problem with sun sensitivity after using AHAs on your skin, as sensitivity to UV radiation is greatly increased immediately after application and may persist for up to a week afterwards. For this reason, it is very important to ensure you apply a high SPF sunscreen product to your face and shade your skin in bright sunlight after using.
Ideas for Using Homemade AHA Skin Care Treatments
For a simple homemade skin peel, you need just three ingredients: pineapple, green papaya and a little honey.
- Cut up some fresh pineapple and some green papaya. You need about half a cup of each.
- Mash to a pulp or whiz in a food processor. If you choose the latter, don’t whiz it so much that you just get liquid—you need it to be the sort of consistency of baby food.
- Add a good tablespoon of honey. If you have some, manuka honey is the very best for this purpose.
- Making sure to avoid the eyes and lips, apply to your skin quite thickly and leave on for at least 10 minutes.
- Afterwards, rinse off with tepid water and pat your skin dry.
You will notice that your skin feels smoother and softer and will look fresher and more glowing, because the dead skin cells from the surface have been removed.
Pear Mask for Mature Skin
Another face mask you can make is to mash a cupful of ripe pears with a tablespoonful of honey. Use as above.
This one is ideal for mature skin, because the arbutin in the pear is effective on age spots and will help to lighten them and even out skin tone.
Which Fruits Should You Eat for Glowing, Healthy Skin?
Let’s take a quick look at which key vitamins our skin needs and why. In the table below, you will find out which fruits to eat to get the nutritional elements to get your skin glowing with health. Many expensive skin care products include vitamins in their formulation, and whilst these can be effective on the surface layers, feeding your skin from the inside out will benefit your whole body!
- Vitamin A: If your skin is feeling dry and irritated with a tendency to flake, or if you are an acne sufferer, your skin will benefit from adding more vitamin A to your diet. You may have seen advertising for skin care products that contain retinol or retinoids, both of which are derived from vitamin A. These are often anti-aging products, designed to rejuvenate mature skin by reducing lines and wrinkles. For acne sufferers or those with injury or scarring, vitamin A helps to repair and rebuild damaged tissues. So it is an important element in the diet for these people too.
- Vitamin E: Again, this is a very important vitamin in anti-aging products. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin against premature aging. It is added to many skin care products designed to treat the problems of maturing skin, but it is also great for younger women who have stretch marks.
- Vitamin C: This is another powerful antioxidant, and it is helpful in stimulating the production of collagen in maturing skin. Loss of collagen in the layers of your skin is what causes the sagging and wrinkling associated with aging, and boosting its production will help to restore suppleness as well as improve the surface texture, making skin look smoother, firmer and younger.
- Vitamin B Complex: Vitamin B is actually not a single vitamin, but a group of them. Niacin, or vitamin B3, is one of the most important for those suffering from acne and skin blemishes. It helps the blood to carry more oxygen to the skin, which is very beneficial in preventing the development of new blemishes, as well as helping to heal those already present. Another important member of the B group for skin is B1, which is also concerned with blood circulation and helps to get your skin glowing!
Eat a Rainbow Every Day!
One of the very best ways to ensure your skin receives all the nutrients it needs is to add a rainbow of colors to your diet—not by adding a lot of E numbers, but by adding a wide variety of different colored fruits and vegetables.
Try to add in a good mixture of red and purple fruits and berries, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as peppers, plus dark green leafy vegetables to ensure you are feeding your skin and the rest of your body with the essential nutrients it needs.
Fruits That Are the Best Sources of These Vitamins
dried apricots, cantaloupes, papayas, mangoes, tomatoes and peaches
guavas, kiwis, papayas, oranges, strawberries and all citrus fruits
dried apricots, kiwis, mangos and tomatoes
oranges, pineapples, watermelons and grapes
apricots, avocados, bananas, blackberries, dates, passion fruit and peaches
Get Ready to Glow!
I hope that this article has helped you to find out not only which fruits you should be eating to help your skin, but how to make some really inexpensive, yet effective homemade treatments for your skin.
The AHA fruit masks suggested will not only remove the topmost layer of your skin to reveal fresher, younger looking skin beneath, but they will also help to make skin care products penetrate your skin better, making them more effective and providing the added benefit of saving you money because you use less product. Enjoy!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Alison Graham (author) from UK on March 26, 2013:
Jacante, so glad to hear you enjoyed using the fruity face mask recipe I featured here. It's always good to get a personal recommendation from a reader, so thanks so much for taking the trouble to come back and leave your comment!
Jacante on March 26, 2013:
Tried out the papaya, pineapple, honey mask last night. Awesome!
vibesites from United States on March 24, 2013:
Really enjoyed reading this hub... lots of wonderful ideas and practical information. Fruits are certainly the way to go! :)
Voted up, useful, shared.
newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on March 22, 2013:
First of all, congratulations on becoming the Hub of the day. And thanks a lot for sharing so many valuable advices.
Alison Graham (author) from UK on March 22, 2013:
Thank you so much to everyone who has left a comment on my hub about the amazing benefits of the AHAs in fruits for getting a glowing complexion and which fruits to eat to get maximum benefit from all the antioxidants that are also so great for our skin as well as our general health. I have got some inspiration, ideas for a new hub and a lot of encouragement from everyone. Thank you HubPages for making this a Hub of the Day, I feel really proud to have one of my hubs chosen for this honor.
viewfinders from India on March 21, 2013:
Really a good hub, enjoyed reading it and sharing it with my friends.
Ashok Goyal from Rajpura 140401 Punjab India on March 20, 2013:
Great Hub ! Enjoyed the video too.
Jacante on March 20, 2013:
Love this! Can't wait to give those homemade AHA skin treatments a try!
Subhas from New Delhi, India on March 20, 2013:
Very informative as well as useful hub! We all are really going to benefit from this.
Anna from New York, NY on March 20, 2013:
I'm a huge advocate of using natural ingredients and can't wait to try your skin peel recipe. Great hub!
Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on March 20, 2013:
beautiful and inspiring article! Thanks!
salonhairtips on March 20, 2013:
Really great hub! Thanks for all the useful info! Natural remedies are always the best.
Alison Graham (author) from UK on March 20, 2013:
Thank you so much everyone for the super comments and encouragement, I am so proud to have been awarded hub of the day for this article which I loved researching and writing. Your lovely comments make it all worth while, thank you again everybody!
Tirralan Watkins from Los Angeles, CA on March 20, 2013:
Wow, this sounds amazing, Alison. I've been looking into natural remedies for my skin lately because of recent breakouts. Thank you for sharing this valuable information.
Keely Mahaffey from Maine on March 20, 2013:
I've suffered from acne since middle school, and have yet to find a product that works consistently to control my face! I've tried ProActive, which worked for a bit, but then it seemed my skin became immune to its benefits. I'm definitely for the all-natural approach to skin care, so I'm really looking forward to trying some of these recipes. Thanks for sharing!!
precy anza from USA on March 20, 2013:
Great tips! Would try using tomato sometime :) Loves the video btw, I used to watch Bubz Youtube videos and the funny ones :) Up and shared!
simplysmartmom from North Carolina on March 20, 2013:
Congrats on the Hub of the Day! You have reminded me that I should really eat more fruits - I don't eat nearly enough as I should! Great hub!
Patrick from Nairobi on March 20, 2013:
hahaha interesting article.
Koralee Phillips from Vancouver British Columbia Canada on March 20, 2013:
Awesome article. Congratulations for having the Hub of the day...You deserve it. I have never heard of the pear mask before. It definitely sound worth trying out. I absolutely love the home made skin peel, I have tried to find one oneline. The ones you get at the drugstore a junk, or at least that's what I have found. Voting up, awesome, and Tweeting :).
Keeley Shea from Norwich, CT on March 20, 2013:
Excellent Article! I can't wait to try some of the homemade recipes! I also like how you added an at a glance checklist for those of us who need to know quickly which fruits help with what vitamins! Voted up and useful!
Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on March 20, 2013:
I am definitely going to try this. Love that you included the video for visual. Thanks. Voted up and useful, and congrats on winning the Hub of The Day award. :)
RTalloni on March 20, 2013:
Thanks for all the information and tips along with the fresh fruit mask recipes. Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for a well-done post!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 20, 2013:
Eating a rainbow every day...great line. All of the luscious fruits (and veggies) do offer us so much goodness, inside and outside of our bodies. I will be giving some of these suggestions a try.
Sending Angels your way :) ps
Ashok Goyal from 448 Dalima Vihar Rajpura 140401 Punjab India on March 20, 2013:
What a nutritious Hub ! Preserved for ever and link Googled on my Google+
Amanda Littlejohn on March 20, 2013:
Excellent information, well presented and very inspiring!
I am a dedicated fruit lover and think that, apart from getting outdoor exercise every day, a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables is the surest way to good overall health, including the skin.
Thanks for an insightful and easy-to-read article that is packed full of useful information. :)
sana7866 on March 20, 2013:
good and fruity hub,,,, :) njoyed reading