I have many memories of the time I would spend at my grandparents home as a child. I remember setting food out for the squirrels and watching them climb up onto the window sill, hiding under the staircase and putting coins in my grandfather’s giant green glass bottle and sitting on the laminate countertop watching my grandpa cook in the kitchen. But there’s one memory that I treasure because it has such a strong scent attached to it. That memory is connected to the sweet smell of grapefruit.
I remember as a young child watching my grandpa pull a perfectly sliced grapefruit out of the refrigerator in the morning. The sour fruit had be cut by my Nana the night before and coated in sugar. He would eat the sweet citrus for breakfast at the wooden table next to the kitchen. It’s such a warm memory that I cannot taste or smell a grapefruit without thinking of his big hands maneuvering the delicate grapefruit spoon. Being a child I never asked him why he ate them, I only knew he enjoyed them.
Grapefruit has a high content of vitamin C. In fact, grapefruit contains 114% of your daily value of vitamin C. Some great benefits of vitamin C include:
- Building immunity to help fight off illness
- Aiding in the formation of collagen
- Helping with wound healing
I always wonder if my grandfather ate the fruit for these benefits or if he just loved the tart flavor.
The best way to utilize grapefruit is in it’s essential oil form. Although grapefruit is native to tropical Asia and West Indies, the oil is mostly produced in California. Definitely leave the juice and fruit for yummy smoothies and breakfast because with a pH of 3, these components are too acidic and would throw off your skin’s pH too significantly to be beneficial. Also, grapefruit undiluted or in an alternative form than the essential oil can cause photosensitivity.
Grapefruit essential oil is usually used as a way to give products a sweet scent, but the skin benefits should not be overlooked. Beyond the delicious flavor of this fruit, grapefruit can be utilized to improve the feel, health and look of the skin. Below I’ve listed little known ways grapefruit can benefit your skin. It is easy to see there’s a trend among these benefits: as a skincare ingredient, grapefruit helps to purge the skin of impurities in different ways.
Grapefruit functions as a great purifier. Although you shouldn’t use it topically undiluted, the anti-microbial properties help to reduce acne-causing microorganisms on the skin. There’s nothing more irritating than pesky blackheads, so you can think of this citrus as a pore decongesting aid (cucumber is also great for clogged pores). For those of you that struggle with topical oiliness or acne, grapefruit can help to balance out oil production reducing breakouts. What a winning ingredient for oily/acne-prone skin types.
Symptoms of Breakouts:
Increased discomfort from breakouts seem to exist mainly in the symptoms of acne. This fruit addresses these symptoms in two ways. First, grapefruit has strong anti-inflammatory agents that can calm the inflamed congested pore helping with the texture of skin. Second, it provides analgesic (pain relieving) properties to soothe the irritated area. If you are dealing with acne, a gorgeous ingredient to pair with grapefruit is green tea.
Your pores will continue to thank you when this ingredient acts as an astringent. This means it will constrict pores slowing the formation of future breakouts. This is perfect for those of you that seem to see the formation of new breakouts right next to where a previous breakout has been relieved. Astringents are most helpful in a toning mist to be applied after your cleanser or following any picking/ extraction.
The detoxifying effects grapefruit has can improve the overall health of the skin. When this ingredient is used the lymphatic system is stimulated. Our lymphatic system helps to carry away toxins introduced to the skin through environmental pollutents and chemical products. Grapefruit also encourages good circulation helping to nourish skin cells which helps them to function at a more efficient level. The efficiency of your skin can also be helped through grapefruit’s antioxidant levels. This will help to reverse imbalances caused by oxidative damage that causes premature aging, uneven tone and loss in elasticity.
As you can see, the function of this oil goes much further than just as a scent. This ingredient provides a perfect collection of benefits for those that deal with breakouts, oiliness or exposure to toxins on a regular basis. These deep cleansing, pain-relieving and detoxifying effects help the skin to glow! I utilize this oil regularly in my treatments, products and daily life. And, even knowing all the significant assistance grapefruit can offer my skin the most meaningful reason I appreciate a grapefruit is to remember my grandfather sitting at his breakfast table.
Tell me in the comments below which one of these benefits could you use the most?
Do you love the smell of grapefruit as well?
Lawless, J. (2013). The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. San Francisco, CA: Conari Press.