Let’s dive into one of my favorite fruits for anti aging and skin health.
The tropical fruit Mango has a long list of benefits for the skin. Including its high content of certain carotenoids and vitamin C. It’s also super-tasty, and easy to find in most grocery stores year-round.
This post will explain the skin benefits of eating mango fruit on a regular basis. As well as what mango can and cannot achieve when you apply it topically on your skin (there is so much false information out there).
This is what I’ll cover:
- General health benefits of eating mango
- Mango benefits for skin specifically
- Mango face pack – does it work?
General health benefits of eating Mango
Mango is often referred to as the king of fruits, in the part of the world where it originates from (India and South East Asia). Here are some of the reasons:
– Mango is pretty low in calories but full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
– One cup of mango will give you 70 % of the RDI of vitamin C. Now if you have read my post about vitamin C benefits for skin, you know I recommend a much higher intake than just the RDI. And eating mango can definitely help with that.
– When it comes to the other antioxidants, mango also very rich in polyphenols (for example mangiferin and quercetin), and carotenoids (such as zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene).
– Both groups of phytochemicals work as powerful antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress (fight free radicals), protect your cells from damage, lower inflammation, and strengthen your immune system.
– Like all other fruits, Mango is also a great source of fiber. Which feed your beneficial microbe and help strengthen your immune system even more.
– On top of all this, Mango is also sweet and tasty but without causing any weight gain. On the opposite, carotenoid-rich fruits are actually proven to help with weight loss. Especially the loss of abdominal fat. And they do not spike your blood sugar levels either like other sweets can do. This is thanks to both the fibers and all the phytochemicals that you find in fruits.
Mango benefits for skin specifically
Let’s talk more specifically about what eating mango does to your skin according to science.
Greater antioxidant defense
As mentioned above, mango is rich in two kinds of antioxidant groups called polyphenols, and carotenoids. Both are powerful antioxidants that will help protect your skin from free radical damage (sun, pollution, stress).
Mango is rich in both Beta-carotene (which is also a provitamin A) and Zeaxanthin. Both are two of the most studied and promising carotenoids when it comes to skin health and anti aging. They are not just amazing antioxidants themselves. But they are also shown to boost our own antioxidant production within our bodies.
Tip: I have an in-depth post about carotenoids (since they are amazing for the skin) if you want to learn more.
What you need to be aware of is that it’s important to fill up with antioxidants every day (since we get depleted of them quickly). And eating mango is a great way to contribute to more antioxidants in your skin.
Increased collagen production
As you may know, the natural production of collagen declines with age. But certain foods have the ability to increase this production and make our cells act younger. Mango is one example.
Mango is first of all rich in vitamin C. An essential role player in the process of producing collagen.
But mango is also rich in the phytochemicals polyphenols and carotenoids. Which both help with boosting collagen production and the production of elastin.
For those reasons, mango is indeed beneficial to eat for more collagen and firmer skin.
Tip: For a more comprehensive guide on what to eat for optimal skin, see my post about foods that can help tighten skin.
More hydrated and elastic skin
Mango is rich in the carotenoid Zeaxanthin. Which is shown (as well as the carotenoid Lutein) to alter gene expressions that increase the production of hyaluronic acid in our skin.
Hyaluronic acid is vital for the hydration and elasticity of our skin (and just as with collagen, our own production declines with age). So by eating certain carotenoids we boost our own production and get more elastic and moist skin. With less wrinkle depth.
Tip: This post will give even more ways on how to increase your natural hyaluronic acid.
Eating Zeaxanthin and Lutein has also been shown to increase skin lipid levels. And therefore increase elasticity even more. Improved Skin glow and overall skin tone are two more benefits of these carotenoids.
Mango is actually one of the few fruits that are rich in zeaxanthin (goji berries, persimmons, and honeydew melons are other examples). While lutein is much more common in both fruits and vegetables. That is why I found mango to be extra favorable to eat.
Mango is a rich source of Beta carotene. Which in turn is highly protective against UV-rays, blue light, and infrared light.
On top of that, zeaxanthin is shown to be exceptionally good at blocking out blue light and other harmful rays such as Infrared radiation.
These carotenoids do not just help against sun damage by being antioxidants. But also by actually blocking out the rays that are damaging (and aging) to our skin.
Tip: To learn more about sun protection for your skin (which is a must) see my post about anti aging sunscreens.
Mango face pack – does it work?
Some may wonder if it’s beneficial to apply this fruit topically on your skin. Since it seems to give so many benefits when eaten.
Well, the fact is (despite all skincare and body care product out there containing mango extract) that there is limited research on using mango topically.
There is one study though, that has found that one of the polyphenols in mango (mangiferin) could penetrate the skin (both epidermis and dermis). And help with inhibiting the breakdown of collagen and elastin. But this polyphenol was extracted and used in higher concentration than what you find in the mango fruit itself.
It is therefore wise to not expect too much from applying mango directly onto the skin. Even though you may hear promises such as more glowing skin, dry skin relief, less dead skin cells, less oily skin, less fine lines. etc. It may not hurt you to try either, but I would personally rather invest in eating the mango. Since so is what has the proven benefits for your skin.
Also, always remove your face mask if you experience any itchiness, irritation, or other discomforts. And restrain completely from using mango directly on your face if you have ezcema, severe acne, or any skin sensitivities. Again, eating the fruit is what will help your skin the best.
The kind of product that could be worth trying is those containing mango butter. This is usually found in hair mask products or body wash- and body lotion products. It is made from mango seeds and contains high amounts of fatty acids. Which can be beneficial to use topically if you have dry skin on your body.
- Mango is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie fruit containing lots of vitamin C, carotenoids, and polyphenols. All important for a healthy immune system as well as healthy skin.
- All the antioxidants in mango help your skin to fight free radicals from sun exposure, stress, and pollution. Helping your skin cells to stay younger for longer.
- Some of the carotenoids in mango are proven to increase collagen production as well as the production os hyaluronic acid in your skin. They also help preserve your skin lipids and make your skin more luminous.
- Certain carotenoids (found in mango) does not just help with protecting the skin cells from sun damage. But can also block the damaging radiation before it even hurts the cells.
- Using mango fruit topically has no proven effect on improving your skin. On the contrary, it should be avoided if you have sensitive skin and/or severe acne. The best way to gain all the skin benefits from mango is to eat the fruit since that is what is backed up by science.
- Mango butter is made from mango seeds. And is rich in fatty acids. It can be used in body (or hair) products and is probably beneficial if you have dry skin. But should not be used in the face.
Hope you learned something new about mangoes and their benefits for the skin. And that you feel inspired to eat more of it.
I personally start my day with a bowl of frozen mango, berries, pea protein powder, and a handful of nuts. It’s a great way to start my day knowing I’m boosting my skin with these nutrients.
Just remember that there are many other fruits (and vegetables) that are extremely beneficial for your skin. And you can learn more about them in my post about skin tightening foods.
Until next time, love your skin!