Applying alpha hydroxy acid is an effective way to remove the top layer of the skin, eliminating small lines and wrinkles and improving your skin's appearance, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Although topical alpha hydroxy skin products are readily available, alpha hydroxy acids are found naturally in food enzymes. Pumpkin and papaya contain high levels of natural alpha hydroxy acids and can be turned into effective, skin-nourishing facial masks.
Pumpkin Facial Mask
Place 2 tsp.canned pumpkin in a small cup or mixing bowl. Use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. Alternatively, use 2 tsp. cooked, fresh pumpkin.
Stir in 1/2 tsp. warm, natural honey and 1/4 tsp. whole milk. Use full-fat cream if you have dry skin. Mix well.
Wash your face and neck with a cleanser suitable for your skin type, then pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Smooth the pumpkin facial mask onto your face and neck. Avoid the sensitive area around your eyes.
Allow the mask to remain on your face for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the mask from your skin, then apply a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type.
Papaya Facial Mask
Chop 1/2 cup of unripe papaya. Place the papaya in a blender container or food processor. If you have sensitive skin, use a ripe papaya.
Add 1 tsp. plain yogurt and 1 tsp. warm, natural honey. Use full-fat yogurt if you have dry skin. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
Wash your face and neck. Smooth the papaya mask onto clean skin, then allow it to remain for eight to 10 minutes.
Rinse the mask from your face with cool water, then pat your skin dry. Apply a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type.