Add this tropical fruit extract to your beauty routine for glowier, brighter skin

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With an unrivalled ability to boost radiance and speed up skin cell turnover, meet the buzziest fruit on the skincare block: papaya.

When it comes to skincare, more often than not, we’re all looking for the same thing: glow. We want firm, radiant skin that looks and feels healthy. So it’s no surprise that acid exfoliators are big business. One ingredient that’s having a moment in the spotlight? Papaya. 

With an impressive ability to slough away dull skin, speed up cell turnover and boost collagen production, this hardworking extract is able to quickly deliver visible results. And it seems that consumers are catching on. Interest in papaya-based skincare is massively on the up, with Google searches for papaya-based facial scrubs up 300% year on year.

But with a myriad of exfoliating products on the market – from AHAs to BHAs, peels, scrubs and toners – it can be difficult to decipher which is best for your skin. And this is where we can come in. Below, we’ve rounded up 11 of the best papaya-based skincare products that are great for nibbling away dull surface skin cells and revealing the brighter, healthier skin beneath. 

  • Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm

    If you’re nervous about using an exfoliating product, an enzyme-packed cleanser is a great place to start. As the formula is quickly washed off your skin, it won’t leave behind any residue that could potentially irritate sensitised skin but is still effective at boosting glow and sloughing away duller skin cells. With a potent mix of exfoliating papaya enzymes and calming papaya seed oil, this cleansing balm leaves skin feeling clean and bouncy.

    Shop Glow Recipe Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm at Cult Beauty, £29

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  • Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner with Moringa and Papaya

    For a deeper hit of exfoliation, a toner is a must-try step. Powered by 2% salicylic acid, papaya enzymes and chlorella, this alcohol-free toner works to gently exfoliate skin – revealing a radiant and glowing complexion underneath. Sweep onto skin after cleansing as a glow-boosting step. 

    Shop Farmacy Deep Sweep 2% BHA Pore Cleaning Toner with Moringa and Papaya at Cult Beauty, £14

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  • Edena Papaya Oil Cleanser

    If natural skincare is your thing, you’ll love this no-frills skincare oil from Edena. Organic papaya oil works to effectively remove make-up and a build-up of daily dirt and grime, revealing a clean and refreshed complexion – without overly stripping the skin. 

    Shop Edena Papaya Oil Cleanser at Wolf & Badger, £52

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  • Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

    This bestselling peel utilises the exfoliating fruit enzyme action of both papaya and pineapple to help smooth, brighten and clarify your complexion. Apply to cleansed skin and leave on for 15-20 minutes to let the enzymes get to work. Rinse with lukewarm water and reveal a brighter complexion in mere minutes.

    Shop Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel at Lookfantastic, £36

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  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

    Dubbed the ‘Hollywood two-minute facial’, this hardworking exfoliator utilises the powers of pineapple, papaya and pumpkin enzymes to boost lacklustre complexions and leave skin gleaming. The thorough formula sloughs away dead skin cells without leaving your base feeling tight or stripped. 

    Shop Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment at Lookfantastic. £24

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  • Odacité PA+G Hyperpigmentation Serum Concentrate

    If you’re concerned about hyperpigmentation and dark spots, this high quality serum is great. It’s formulated with papaya fruit enzymes to dissolve dead skin cells, working to even the appearance of skin tone. Plus, geranium and lemon oils work together to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines at the same time. Win-win.  

    Shop Odacité PA+G Hyperpigmentation Serum Concentrate at Space NK, £38

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  • Tatcha The Rice Polish

    While grainy-feeling exfoliators aren’t great for your skin (they can cause micro tears and damage to the skin barrier), this finely ground rice bran powder is different. When mixed with water, it works to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it feeling softer and smoother. The game-changing formula also contains papaya enzymes to further remove dead skin cells from the top-most layer to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion underneath.

    Shop Tatcha The Rice Polish at Space NK, £60

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  • The Beauty Crop Papaya Enzyme Cleanser

    For a daily dose of papaya exfoliation, this gentle cleanser is great. It removes make-up, excess oil and pollution, leaving skin clean and soft. The papaya enzymes work together with lactic acid to gently exfoliate dead skin cells, revealing a brighter, smoother complexion without stripping the skin of its natural oil.

    Shop The Beauty Crop Papaya Enzyme Cleanser at Beauty Bay, £12

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  • REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

    Powered by a unique fruit-fuelled formula, this bestselling glow-inducing face mask contains a complex of acids derived from pineapple, passionfruit and papaya. It works hard to gently exfoliate and visibly balance the complexion in minutes. Simply apply to cleansed skin and wash away after 10 minutes. Trust us: the glow is real. 

    Shop REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask at Lookfantastic, £36

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  • BAO Dunia Papaya Enzyme Cleanser

    The BAO skincare collection features four products all heralding the hero ingredient – papaya enzymes – to eliminate surface dead skin cells that make skin appear dull and cloudy. This foaming cleanser works to gently lift away make-up and impurities, revealing a brighter, smoother-looking complexion. 

    Shop BAO Dunia Papaya Enzyme Cleanser at Revolve, £59

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  • Ceremonia Papaya Scalp Scrub

    Papaya enzymes are not only great for exfoliating dull complexions but the skin on top of your head, too. This scalp scrub harnesses the potent power of papaya enzymes together with Bolivian pink salt to provide thorough exfoliation – removing dirt, impurities and product build-up from the scalp. The result? An unrivalled clean feeling and lighter, bouncier locks. 

    Shop Ceremonia Papaya Scalp Scrub at Space NK, £26

    buy now

Images: courtesy of brands; Stylist

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