Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Natural Exfoliants


Papaya contains the enzyme papain, which dissolves old, dead skin cells without harming the younger, live cells beneath -- much like the prescription medication tretinoin (Retin-A), but without the potential side effects of skin flaking and irritation, according to natural skin care advocates. It's also believed that the enzyme can help heal the skin and cause lines and brown age spots to vanish. Papain is most potent in young fruit, so be sure to get green papayas at the local organic supermarket for your skin care regimen [source: Cichoke]. Annie Berthold-Bond, author of "Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living," recommends mashing a green papaya and using it to make a facial mask [source: Berthold-Bond].