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Watermelon for the skin: Fight acne with this summer fruit

The summer months call for refreshing fruit juices and all things cool. Watermelon tops the summer fruits because it has a high water content, something you need in abundance due to the scorching heat. You can cut it and eat it or use it to make DIY face masks to soothe your skin. If you are looking for home remedies to fight acne, try watermelon. A popular cosmetic dermatologist explains why watermelon is good for the skin and how you can include it in your summer skin care routine to fight acne.

To find out how well watermelon works on acne-prone skin, Health Shots reached out to Dr Jaishree Sharad, a popular cosmetic dermatologist, author, TEDx speaker and founder of Skinfiniti Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic in Mumbai.

watermelon skin benefits
Watermelon is good for your skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Benefits of watermelon for the skin

Watermelon is not only about water content, it is also a fruit rich in antioxidants, multivitamins and minerals, making it incredibly good for your health.

Here are some more benefits of watermelon:

• It contains high levels of lycopene and vitamin c which are antioxidants that fight free radicals and protect the skin from damage, says Dr Sharad.
• It is good for those looking for anti-aging ingredients. It reduces collagen damage, maintains skin elasticity and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
• It is a rich source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin A, potassium, copper and magnesium, all of which help brighten dull skin.
• Magnesium found in watermelon seeds helps reduce stress hormone levels, balance hormones and relieve acne.
• The presence of malic acid in watermelon acts as an exfoliant that helps remove dead skin cells. So you will see a reduction in blemishes and dullness.

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Watermelon masks to fight acne

The nutritious summer fruit can be used to soothe and calm the skin. Simply applying watermelon juice to the face with a cotton ball for 10 to 15 minutes can relieve skin irritation and redness, says the expert. It increases the body’s nitric oxide levels, which promotes wound healing and also reduces acne. Here are other ways to include watermelon in your summer skin care routine!

1. Watermelon with yogurt and honey

Combining mashed watermelon with yogurt and honey and then leaving the paste on the face for 10-15 minutes can be beneficial. The antioxidants in the honey and watermelon can reduce inflammation, while the yogurt can exfoliate the skin.

watermelon skin benefits
Make watermelon face masks at home. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Watermelon and tomato

A mixture of mashed watermelon and tomato pulp can be used by those with oily skin to even out the skin. Malic acid in watermelon and lycopene in tomato act as natural exfoliators and soothe the skin.

3. Watermelon and banana

You can apply a mixture of watermelon juice and mashed banana on your face for 20 minutes, as the anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve acne.

Dr Sharad says the white rind of watermelon can also be used to soothe irritated skin. Just freeze thin slices of the fruit and apply them to your face for 15 to 20 minutes. This will provide hydration and also soothe your skin.

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You might be a fan of home remedies, but try not to use ingredients like lemon and scrubs with watermelon. While lemon is a potent acidic agent containing lactic acid, watermelon has malic acid which also does the job as an exfoliant. So combining two acidic agents can cause your skin to become dry, red and flaky. It is especially bad for women with sensitive skin who may experience more serious side effects.

Strong abrasives like sugar and ground walnut shells should also not be mixed with watermelon face packs. Watermelon seeds already act as a natural exfoliator, and the abrasive texture of sugar scrubs and ground walnut coatings can be too harsh on the face. This means you can end up with dryness, irritation and rashes.

A word of caution before you head out and try these watermelon masks! Before trying any home remedy, consult a dermatologist or do a patch test.

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