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Tropical Papaya Face Mask

by | Last updated Sep 21, 2020 | Published on May 2, 2019 | Recipes

If we can’t be soaking up the sun on the beaches of south america, bring the tropics into this fun and light papaya face mask.

After living in Thailand for a couple years, this recipe is especially nostalgic to me.  Prior to that, papayas were not in my vocabulary.  Papaya, pineapple, coconuts, mangos and bananas were the go-to breakfast bowl fruits.  And when picked fresh, they are a delight.

But these tropical fruits pack a ton of skincare benefits, papaya especially.  They are readily available in your local grocery store, year round.  A delicious addition to breakfast, save just a bit for this week’s face mask. This mask combines coconut, lemon, papaya and kaolin clay into a soothing clay mask.

This tropical mask is great for:

  • Sensitive skin type
  • Moisturizing clay mask
  • Anti aging
  • Acne and blemishes
  • Dark spots or acne scars
  • Uneven skin tone or redness
  • Sun damage

I especially love this face mask for a girls night on a summer evening in the late summer heat.

Not only this, but Christopher Columbus nicknamed the papaya, “the fruit of the angels”.  So we must indulge in this angelic fruit!

Tropical Papaya Face Mask for Radiant Skin

Papaya is well known for its anti aging and skin lightening effects, therefore it’s a popular face mask ingredient.  If you can’t find fresh papaya at your local store, try this so over it papaya mask.  It combines papaya with another one of my favorite ingredients, hibiscus.  Which I also featured in the simple hibiscus clay mask recipe.     

With the soothing properties of papaya, I chose to use our gentlest clay in this recipe, kaolin.  One of the 4 types of clay found in our facial clay assortment pack.

What is Papaya?

Grown in India, South America, Carribean, Hawaii and other tropical destinations of the world.  There are 22 types of papaya, you might find a papaya tree looks like this:

Papaya Tree | How Payapa is used in Skincare

Made of 88% water, papaya is packed with moisture, but per 100 grams also has these nutritional daily values (from wikipedia):

  • Vitamin C – 75% of DV (daily values)
  • Vitamin A – 6% of DV
  • Beta Carotene – 3% of DV
  • Magnesium – 6% of DV

In my opinion, vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins to introduce, naturally, into your diet.  Vitamin C plays a vital role in development and repair of bones, skin, teeth and other tissues.  Because of this, its also amazing for your skin and a popular ingredient in many of your face masks. 

The easiest way to get the benefits of papaya is raw and sliced in a breakfast bowl.  This is what my breakfasts in thailand looked liked, delicious red dragon fruit, sliced papaya and mini bananas. 

Tropical Papaya Face Mask 1

Is Papaya good for your face?

Two of the ingredients listed from the nutritional content, vitamin C and beta carotene, particularly, are very beneficial ingredients for skin.

Double the dose of the antioxidant, beta carotene, is found in a papaya vs that of a carrot. 

Beta carotene, contains an ingredient called lycopene, a super strong antioxidant. Lycopene has even been found to be effective against reducing the risk of cancer. (PubMed)

What do antioxidants do for your skin?

Anti oxidants, vitamin c and lycopene, can help protect your skin from skin damage that occurs with age or from UV damage.  Free radical activity on your skin can damage your cells, resulting in affecting the appearance of your skin. AKA the dreaded wrinkles.

This 14-week study combined lycopene and vitamin c, the 2 main ingredients in papaya, with a couple other ingredients in a oral supplement.  The results proved a significant reduction in the depth of wrinkles due to the increase of collagen fibres on the skin.

Found in the outer layer below the skin of a unripe papaya is a proteolytic enzyme called, papain. Papain, after daily application as a serum in a 3 month study, found significant improvement in the outer layer of skin after only one month, and the 2nd layer of skin (dermis) after 3 months.  

Is papaya good for your skin

What are the benefits of Papaya for your face?

If the antioxidants found in papaya can contribute to reducing the risk of cancer, then I’m stoked about the potential benefits it can do for my skin.  This vibrant colored fruit also has some other benefits for your skin:

Moisturizing.  Papaya’s are made of 88% water, so they have a natural moisturizing effect.  Note since we combine this mask with clay, this mask isn’t a hydrating mask.

Anti aging.  Vitamin C and lycopene antioxidants work to fight the damage from free radicals on your skin. This reduces the appearance of wrinkles.

Collagen Production.  Vitamin C plays an important role with boosting the collagen production.  Oregan State University delves into the relationship between vitamin c and collagen but with limited research completed, there remains further studies required.  Collagen production declines with age, starting in your 30’s, and is an important part of skin elasticity.

Reduce Sun Burn damage. In this summary of antioxidants, Vitamin C can reduce sunburn cells by 40-60%.  

Is Papaya Skin Brightening?  A google search will produce lots of claims that papaya is a skin lightener.  While papain is listed in this skin whitening agents paper, it is also stated by wikipedia the whitening effect is minimal.  The concentration of papain required to lighten the skin is probably a lower concentration than found in a slice of papaya.  To achieve skin lightening effects, it is suggested to use the unripe layer beneath the skin of a green unripe papaya or papain powder. I couldn’t find any research that backed up the skin lightening claim.  Vitamin c serum used daily can also be effective for skin brightening.

We have referenced some studies that indicate the efficacy of papaya for your skin. It’s included in many skincare products that receive great reviews.  Although there is much more research that is to be done for this tropical fruit.

**Some people do experience allergic reactions to papaya, so make sure to do a test patch on your arm prior to full mask application.**


Our other Vitamin C rich clay mask recipes:

Cooling Mint Lemon Clay Mask, fresh and cooling mask for skin brightening

Hibiscus Clay Mask, beautifully colored face mask with double the antioxidants compared to green tea

Soothing Avocado Face Mask, packed with Vitamins E, C, and K


Tropical Papaya Face Mask 2

Should you use Lemon in a face mask?

Rule #1.  Never apply lemon directly to your skin.

The acidity of the lemon is quite strong and you risk potentially damaging your skin’s natural skin mantle which protects your skin.  That’s the same reason when using glycolic acid or AHA’s the recommendation to avoid sun exposure and apply sunscreen.

Like papaya, lemons are also packed with a high vitamin C content.  The polyphenols found in lemon also aid in sun damaged skin and are a promising remedy for skin brightening.  That’s why I chose to combine lemon in our tropical mask duo.

However, a way to sneak the benefits of lemon into your skincare is to use it with a clay mask.  Clay masks are very alkaline, so it creates a perfect balance between the two.  Our cooling mint lemon clay mask uses bentonite clay and lemon juice. 

What are the Benefits of Kaolin Clay?

Kaolin is clay is a pure white, fluffy clay that creates the perfect smooth clay mask.  I especially love using kaolin as a clay base when combined with other nutrient dense ingredients.

Kaolin clay is a natural mineral, mined from over 18 countries, but nicknamed “white china clay”.  Our Kaolin clay is mined in France.

It’s a super popular ingredient in skin care, some of the kaolin benefits for your skin are:

  • cleansing
  • exfoliating
  • absorbs excess oil
  • boosts circulation
  • mineralizing

Kaolin is one of the 4 types of clay in our facial clay assortment pack. I have super oily skin, and use this white clay as a daily cleanser.

You can also find Kaolin in manuka honey clay mask, one of our many kaolin clay recipes.

Tropical Papaya Face Mask Ingredients

Recipe Yield: 1 face masks

You will need:  

**What is the difference between fractionated coconut oil and virgin coconut oil?  Fractionated coconut oil is less likely to clog your pores and cause breakouts.  It always remains in a liquid state and doesn’t harden. 

Equipment required:

How to Mix Papaya Clay Face Mask

This recipe yields 1 face mask recipes, I prefer to give the recipes for single use and multiply as required.

**Some people do experience allergic reactions to papaya, so make sure to do a test patch on your arm prior to full mask application.**

Step 1: Mash or blend a couple pieces of papaya (without the skin) in a blender or wet spice grinder.  You can also mash with a fork but it definitely leaves a much clumpier mixture.  My first failed attempt was with a vitamix blender, which was way too large.  It worked splendid with a wet spice grinder.

Grind the papaya in a wet spice grinder till smooth.

Step 2: Mix the 1 tsp papaya puree with a ¼ teaspoon of fractionated coconut oil and ¼ teaspoon of lemon juice.

Tropical Papaya Face Mask 3

Step 3: Add the 1 tsp of Kaolin clay to the puree mixture.  Mix thoroughly until there are no clumps.  I like to use a mini plastic spatula to mix my face masks.  Avoid using a metal spoon.  

Tropical Papaya Face Mask Recipe Mixed

How to apply Papaya Mask to your Face:

This mask smelled so fruity and fresh to me.  Follow these quick steps to apply and relax while your skin soaks up some much needed Vitamin C. 

1. Cleanse your skin prior to applying a mask.  

2. Exfoliate.  Gently exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin.  

3. Apply the mask to your face and upper neck with a face mask brush.

4. Remove the clay mask BEFORE it dries.  This makes takes approx 10 to 15 minutes to get to the removal point.  To remove, gently splash water to rehydrate the clay.  Then remove with water or face towel.  

5. Follow up with a toner like witch hazel.

6. Apply a moisturizer.  I follow up this recipe with rosehip seed oil at night time.

Get answers to FAQ’s about face mask application in our how to use a dry clay mask instructions.

I’m also loving multi-masking right now.  Two options here.  I did a one-after-another type of multi mask.  So with my leftover papaya and lemon puree, I mixed it with some manuka honey for a hydrating follow up mask treatment.  You can also apply the clay papaya mask to the t-zone for oil absorption and the papaya and honey to the rest of your face to truly multi-mask.  


Tropical Papaya Face Mask Recipe Mixed

Tropical Papaya Face Mask

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A light, refreshing and tropical DIY face mask made from 3 tropical fruits. Amazing for brightening and rejuvenating your skin.


  • 1 tsp kaolin clay
  • 1 tsp papaya blended
  • 1/4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice


  1. Blend papaya in wet spice grinder, blender or mash together.
  2. Add coconut oil, lemon juice.
  3. Mix with 1 tsp Kaolin clay.
  4. Apply to a cleansed face. Relax and leave on skin for approx 10-15 minutes. This mask has a longer drying time, remove before dry.
  5. After mask, tone and moisturize.

Disclaimer: Our content does not constitute a dermatologist or medical advice.

Did you try this mask? I would love to hear how it worked for you! Leave a comment below.

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