It’s prime grapefruit season, which means you have plenty of time to stock up on this delicious fruit that’s high in vitamin C, fiber, and lycopene. Add a grapefruit to your breakfast, and it will help you with high blood pressure [source] and weight loss [source], while it aids digestion and keeps your blood sugar from spiking [source].
Use the fruit on your face to exfoliate, detox, and brighten your skin. You can even use it as an ingredient in your own mood-boosting perfume. We’ll show you how.
Benefits of Grapefruit for Skin
When you think of grapefruit, chances are you think of vitamin C. And while it’s true that vitamin C plays a role in both immune function and skin health, that’s just one of the many things that make grapefruit so powerful [source].
Here are a few reasons you should add grapefruit to your daily beauty routine:
Natural source of antioxidants
Grapefruit is rich in antioxidants [source], such as beta carotene, lycopene, and, yes, vitamin C, all of which fight free radicals and protect against sun damage. The use of topical antioxidants is a quintessential component in one’s skincare regimen.
Exfoliates dead skin cells
Like lemons and all citrus, grapefruit has natural acids that exfoliate dead skin [source], keeping your pores clean and complexion bright.
A vitamin C derivative known as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate helps decrease water loss [source], so your skin retains more moisture and looks more supple. Not to mention, grapefruit juice acts like a natural toner, which cleanses skin, replenishes nutrients, and adds moisture (thanks to the fructose, which acts as a natural humectant).
Here are 6 of our favorite DIY ways to use grapefruit for the skin.
1. Fight fine lines with a citrus yogurt mask
The probiotics in yogurt fight acne and discoloration, while the vitamin C and retinol in grapefruit juice repair sun damage, reduce fine lines, and tone skin.
- 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
- 1/2 cup plain organic yogurt
Mix yogurt and grapefruit juice in a bowl. Apply a thin layer to clean skin and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and follow with daily moisturizer.
Apply weekly as a face mask or every 2–3 days as a spot treatment for acne and irritation.
2. Scrub off dry skin with a facial scrub
Chock full of salicylic acid, this scrub works magic on your elbows, knees, and any other stubborn rough patches. Fruit acids help slough off dead skin, allowing new cell growth to happen.
- 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Pour grapefruit juice into a small bowl, and add the sugar and grapeseed oil. Fold the ingredients over with a spoon to combine.
To use, apply the scrub to freshly cleansed skin, and use your hands to gently slough away dry skin.
Because it contains fresh juice, it’s best to use this scrub all in one sitting. If you’d like to make your scrub ahead of time, increase the grapeseed oil and add a few drops of grapefruit essential oil in place of the fresh juice. With these changes, it should last you 1–2 weeks in the refrigerator.
3. Battle oily skin breakouts with a clarifying mask
This clarifying mask is great for oily or clogged skin, and it’s especially beneficial if you’re battling back acne.
The fruit acids will help dissolve debris and sebum in the pores. Meanwhile, the honey is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, making it a potent acne-fighter.
Combine honey and cornmeal with the juice of 1/2 a grapefruit. Apply to your skin, and let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.
This mask can be used on the face, the back, or anywhere else you experience breakouts.
4. Brighten skin with a grapefruit oatmeal mask
This face mask from super celeb facialist, Joanna Vargas is loaded with antioxidants to leave your skin radiant. The natural acids in grapefruit and milk gently exfoliate skin and clear out pores while oatmeal calms inflammation to soothe dry, winter skin.
- Juice from 1/2 ruby red grapefruit
- 1/2 cup cooked, cooled oatmeal (not the instant kind)
- 1/2 cup milk (full fat preferably)
Mix ingredients in a small bowl. Apply and leave on skin for 15 minutes, then rinse.
5. Buff skin with a grapefruit coffee scrub
Your face might be the most visible in winter, but don’t neglect the rest of your skin. This grapefruit and coffee DIY body scrub recipe clears away dead skin and leaves skin soft and smooth.
You’ll again get the antioxidants and fruit acids of grapefruit along with the skin benefits of coffee. And olive oil is a pantry staple that deserves a place in your beauty routine.
- 1/2 of a ruby red grapefruit
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Coffee grounds, probably about 1/2 a cup
Drizzle olive oil on the cut side of the grapefruit and dip the fruit into the coffee grounds. Apply to skin and scrub your body in circular motions, starting a the feet and working your way upward.
Add more olive oil and coffee grounds as needed. This is the perfect solution for when you eat half of a grapefruit and don’t know what to do with the other half.
6. Boost mood with natural perfume
The scent of citrus is a known mood booster, so why not enjoy the fragrance all day long?
Use grapefruit essential oil to make a scented perfume, or use grapefruit peels to infuse botanical cologne. By adding solid oils, such as cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil, you can even make a solid perfume.
If you have a history of eczema, inflammatory skin disease, or contact dermatitis, discuss with a board-certified dermatologist before applying fragranced topicals on the skin.
Grapefruit Face Mask FAQ
Do I have to worry about grapefruit juice making my skin photosensitive?
Applying grapefruit juice topically can cause something called photodermatitis, which is essentially a sun-induced rash [source]. Don’t apply grapefruit juice to skin more than 1–2 times a week, preferably in the evening, to allow its effects to wear off before sun exposure. And always, always wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors (but you should be doing this anyway!), and bump up the SPF if you’re fair and burn easily.
Won’t grapefruit juice dissolve the sugar, making the scrub ineffective?
Not at the ratios we recommend. Yes, the juice will break down the sugar somewhat, but I think that makes for a gentler, less irritating scrub. If you prefer a grainier scrub, cut back on the amount of grapefruit juice.
Can I use other citrus fruits in place of grapefruit?
Sure! Lemon, orange, and even tropical fruits like mango and papaya make great homemade beauty products. Just keep an eye on the acidity (lemon juice is a lot stronger than grapefruit juice), follow the same guidelines in relation to sun exposure, and add water to dilute if needed to prevent irritation.
How often can I apply grapefruit to skin?
1–2 times a week is safe. As with all beauty products, keep an eye on your skin and give it a break if you notice redness, a burning sensation, or increased breakouts.
If I want to make these last longer, can I use a preservative?
A preservative is always recommended if you plan to make your products in bulk ahead of time. This is my favorite water-soluble preservative, but you can use whichever you like.
Can I use the grapefruit mask in my hair?
Yes! Grapefruit’s natural acids help break down sebum in the scalp and encourage cell turnover [source], both of which are great for healthy hair. You can also use the body scrub as a scalp scrub if you have flakes.
The next time you slice open that grapefruit for your breakfast, save half for your face (or body)!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.555