Pineapple, native to Central and South America, contains enzymes and the antioxidant vitamins A and C, according to Epicurious. In addition to providing a healthy treat, pineapple has a long history in folk medicine and natural beauty treatments. It's a source of alpha-hydroxy acid, an ingredient in wrinkle creams that helps with exfoliation, the process of sloughing off old skin.
A mask of crushed pineapple may offer the benefit of enzyme activity on the skin. The bromelain from pineapple helps in removing dead skin from burns, according to University of Maryland Medical Center. Although pineapple flesh contains much less bromelain than a bromelain extract, it may help to relieve dullness and dryness from dead skin cells on the surface. A blender works well to make pineapple into a thick consistency for a mask.
Applying vitamin C to the skin may have a beneficial effect because of its antioxidant properties. Correctly formulated vitamin C creams may protect against the aging effects of sunlight and reduce wrinkles, although further research is needed, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society's website, DermNet NZ. As with bromelain, the vitamin C in fresh pineapple isn't concentrated the way it is in wrinkle creams, but it provides an inexpensive alternative for a home beauty treatment. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to get enough vitamin C, DermNet NZ suggests. Pineapple is a rich source of vitamin C, and its antioxidant activity may help to protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells and lead to visible signs of aging.
Soothe and Soften Feet
Pineapple has a mild exfoliating effect due to the fruit's acids, including alpha-hydroxy acid. A mask made with fresh pineapple blended with mint and other herbs creates a cool and soothing treat for the feet, according to the American College of Healthcare Science. A fresh pineapple foot mask may help smooth rough skin and calluses. Leave the mixture on for 10 minutes, then use a pumice stone to polish your heels and other rough areas. A pumice stone is a fine-grained volcanic rock that sands away calluses.
Pineapple Beauty Benefits Considerations
Use freshly cut pineapple for a skin treatment. Vitamin C loses potency when exposed to oxygen. Refrigerate leftover homemade pineapple beauty products in an airtight container, such as a canning jar. Once it's cut, a pineapple will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days. Keep it tightly wrapped to protect it from air and odors.
Some people are allergic to pineapple. As with any beauty product, rub a nickel-sized amount on an unobtrusive area of skin and check for any reaction. Don't use the mixture if redness, bumps or swelling occur. Don't apply pineapple to burns, broken skin or rashes.