Refreshing watermelons aren’t just a godsend on a hot summer day. From being heart-friendly to keeping your kidneys in good shape, this succulent treat also has a lot to offer your body. If you’ve also been wondering if watermelons have benefits for your skin, you thought right. Here are the benefits the watermelon has lined up for your skin.
1. Serves Up Anti-Aging Antioxidants
Oxidative stress has a role in making your skin look old and tired. But antioxidants from foods can counter the effects of free radicals which cause oxidative stress and stop you from aging before your time. Juicy watermelons which contain protective antioxidants such as vitamin C, glutathione, and lycopene are a yummy way to get a good dose of antioxidants.1 2
id="2-protects-skin-from-sunburn">2. Protects Skin From Sunburn
Exposure to the rays of the sun can damage your skin. Stay out too long and you might even get a sunburn. But noshing on watermelons can have a protective effect. This refreshing fruit is rich in a carotenoid known as lycopene, offering up about 4868 mcg per 100 gm. In fact, its lycopene content is 40% higher than that of lycopene poster child tomatoes.3 Research indicates that consuming a diet rich in this compound can significantly reduce skin reddening and erythema caused by exposure to UV light.45 Of course, do keep in mind that while watermelons can help protect your skin from the inside, you still need to use a good sunscreen when you go out in the sun.
id="3-brightens-skin-and-fights-pigmentation">3. Brightens Skin And Fights Pigmentation
The magic ingredient list continues! Watermelons contain an antioxidant compound called glutathione which has skin-lightening properties. Your skin color can be traced to the presence of a pigment known as melanin. The more melanin you have the darker your skin is. Glutathione works by indirectly inhibiting tyrosinase, which is an enzyme that has an important role in the production of melanin.6 Research has found that both oral and topical use of this compound can lighten skin.7 So if you’re looking to get rid of that tan or a patch of hyperpigmentation, munching on a watermelon and applying it on your skin can help.
id="4-fends-off-skin-damaging-pollution">4. Fends Off Skin-Damaging Pollution
Watermelons may be also able to protect your skin from the damaging effects of extreme environmental conditions. So how do they work? They contain an amino acid known as L-citrulline which is converted in the body into another amino acid called L-arginine.8 And the citrulline-arginine combo protects your skin from conditions such as dry, cold climates, and air conditioning, as well as pollution.9
5. Fights Wrinkles And Skin Dryness
Downing a wedge of watermelon will give you 23.2 mg of vitamin C, which meets 25% of your daily value for this important nutrient.10 11 So how important is vitamin C for your skin? Very! Not only is it a potent antioxidant, it also plays a critical role in the synthesis of collagen, the protein which gives your skin strength and structure.12 In fact, one large study that looked at the skin of middle-aged American women found that a higher intake of vitamin C was linked to a lower likelihood of having dry and wrinkled skin.13
6. Soothes Rashes
The ancient science of ayurveda considers watermelons to be an effective remedy for skin rashes. Eating the flesh as well as rubbing the rind on affected areas is thought to be beneficial for rashes and recommended for easing burning and itching.14 Watermelons are thought to work particularly well on heat rashes which break out due to excessive heat and sweating. Leave a watermelon rind to cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and then apply it to affected areas to relieve a heat rash.15
7. Works As A Gentle Exfoliant
Regular exfoliation gets rid of dead skin cells which makes your complexion dull. In the long run, it can even boost the production of collagen. And watermelons contain citric acid and malic acid, which are alpha hydroxy acids that can help to gently exfoliate your skin.16 If your skin is thick and oily, you might benefit from exfoliating frequently, say up to 3 or 4 times a week, while those with dry, sensitive skin may need to limit exfoliation to once or twice a week.17
Just apply a little watermelon juice on your face for a natural exfoliation treatment. You can even use watermelons and salt to make an exfoliating and invigorating body scrub. To make the body scrub, mix equal quantities of organic sea salt and fresh watermelon – it’s that simple!18
|↑1||Masaki, Hitoshi. “Role of antioxidants in the skin: anti-aging effects.” Journal of dermatological science 58, no. 2 (2010): 85-90.|
|↑2||Riso, P., F. Visioli, D. Erba, G. Testolin, and M. Porrini. “Lycopene and vitamin C concentrations increase in plasma and lymphocytes after tomato intake. Effects on cellular antioxidant protection.” European journal of clinical nutrition 58, no. 10 (2004): 1350.|
|↑3||Edwards, Alison J., Bryan T. Vinyard, Eugene R. Wiley, Ellen D. Brown, Julie K. Collins, Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Robert A. Baker, and Beverly A. Clevidence. “Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and β-carotene in humans.” The Journal of nutrition 133, no. 4 (2003): 1043-1050.|
|↑4||Naz, Ambreen, Masood Sadiq Butt, Muhammad Tauseef Sultan, Mir Muhammad Nasir Qayyum, and Rai Shahid Niaz. “Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims.” EXCLI journal 13 (2014): 650.|
|↑5||Stahl, Wilhelm, and Helmut Sies. “Carotenoids and protection against solar UV radiation.” Skin Pharmacology and Physiology 15, no. 5 (2002): 291-296.|
|↑6||Sonthalia, Sidharth, Deepashree Daulatabad, and Rashmi Sarkar. “Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 82, no. 3 (2016): 262.|
|↑7||alathi, Munisamy, and Devinder M. Thappa. “Systemic skin whitening/lightening agents: What is the evidence?.” Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 79, no. 6 (2013): 842.|
|↑8||Kaore, Shilpa N., and Navinchandra M. Kaore. “Citrulline: Pharmacological perspectives and role as a biomarker in diseases and toxicities.” In Biomarkers in Toxicology, pp. 883-905. 2014.|
|↑9||Kolasa, Kathryn M. “Nutrition and Functional Foods for Healthy Aging.” (2017): 881-882.|
|↑10||Basic Report: 09326, Watermelon, raw. United States Department of Agriculture.|
|↑11||Labeling Daily Values. National Institutes of Health.|
|↑12||Vitamin C and Skin Health.
|↑13||Cosgrove, Maeve C., Oscar H. Franco, Stewart P. Granger, Peter G. Murray, and Andrew E. Mayes. “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women–.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 86, no. 4 (2007): 1225-1231.|
|↑14||Lad, Usha, and Vasant Lad. Ayurvedic cooking for self-healing. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2005.|
|↑15||Watermelon’s surprising health benefits.
|↑16||Liu, Cuihua, Hongyan Zhang, Zhaoyi Dai, Xi Liu, Yue Liu, Xiuxin Deng, Feng Chen, and Juan Xu. “Volatile chemical and carotenoid profiles in watermelons[Citrullus vulgaris (Thunb.) Schrad (Cucurbitaceae)] with different flesh colors.” Food Science and Biotechnology 21, no. 2 (2012): 531-541.|
|↑17||Evaluate before you exfoliate.
|↑18||Comfort, Sandy. 100 Plus Organic Body Scrub Recipes: For Face And Body Exfoliating. Mayorline, 2013.|