How to Exfoliate Your Face with a Papaya (Really)

Ugh, the arrival of fall means the arrival of dry skin—and if you don’t slough it off on the regular, your complexion might look dull until the trees bloom again. But shelling out for pricey exfoliants can add up. That’s why this all-natural tip from Cecilia Wong, the founder of Cecilia Wong Skincare, is particularly genius. 

What you need: A papaya, your daily cleanser and a clean washcloth.

What you do: Wong says to take the papaya and remove both the seeds and the papaya fruit itself (you can eat that) so you’re left with the skin. Cleanse your face as usual and pat it dry with your washcloth. Then gently rub the inside of the papaya skin in a circular motion all over your face for one minute. Dry and repeat, but this time let the juice from the peel sit on your skin for two minutes, then rinse. (Heads up: If you leave it on much longer, it might sting or cause irritation.)

Why this works: Papaya is loaded with papain, an enzyme that helps break down inactive proteins and eliminate dead skin cells, making it the perfect natural exfoliant for the skin. It also contains vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps minimize fine lines. The best part? You only have to do it once a month to see results.

All hail the grocery-store facial. And radiant skin for $3 or less.

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