When we were younger, “getting some sun” gave us a rosy glow that gave off the impression of health and youth.
But over time, too much sun exposure damages our skin… gives us an uneven complexion… and makes us look older than we actually are.
It’s enough to make you want to cover yourself from head to toe!
Unfortunately, once the damage is done, staying out of the sun won’t reverse it.
The discoloration won’t go away in the winter, either.
In fact, the dry, cold weather ages our faces even MORE.
Fortunately, there’s an exotic tree that’s been protecting people in the most tropical of climates for ages…
And if you get your hands on its fruit, it can do the same for you.
A sweet treat for skin gone sour
In India, the Tamarindus indica is considered sacred for its usefulness as a shade tree.
Locals plant it around their houses and in their gardens to protect them from the harsh sun and tropical heat.
But the fruit can also protect YOU from showing any visible signs of damage from the sun.
The trick is identifying the tamarind– because this “fruit” grows in pods and looks more like a pea or a bean.
Harvesting it involves either shaking the pods out of the tree… or collecting them off the ground after they’ve dropped out on their own from the wind.
The hard shell (or skin) of the pod protects the soft, sticky fruit inside.
You may have never seen… or tasted… tamarind on its own…
But it’s a key ingredient in something we’ve all had, whether on a steak or in a Bloody Mary.
Tamarind is what gives it that “sweet and sour” flavor.
But while tamarind makes a delicious addition to curries and chutneys… and is incredibly nutritious… you may want to save the fruit pulp for its external uses.
When used as a mask, tamarind can lighten and moisturize your dry, aging skin.
But that’s not all.
Its high concentration of natural sugars – specifically, one called xyloglucan– works to bolster the immunity of your skin!
The cutaneous immune system is what’s responsible for protecting your body’s largest organ from getting damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
And tamarind can penetrate your skin so deeply… it works on a GENETIC level.
That’s important because DNA damage not only visibly AGES you, but it can also lead to more serious skin conditions, including cancer.
Tamarind is also packed with:
- antioxidants that fight free radicals, including carotene, cinnamic acid, and vitamin C
- skin-boosting minerals, like magnesium
- tartaric acid, an effective exfoliator
- geraniol, an antiseptic, and
- methyl salicylate, which soothes irritated skin.
When using fresh tamarind pods, get the softest ones you can.
If they’re not available fresh, you can also find prepared tamarind pulp (or concentrate) online or at your local health food store or ethnic food market.
Use it in a topical face pack, and mix it with lemon for an even more powerful lightening effect.
Try a patch test first somewhere less obvious than your face to make sure your skin can tolerate it and that you get the desired effect.
Tamarind and its constituents are also sometimes included in natural cosmetics and face creams.