Dragon Fruit For Youthful Skin

  • Zahraa Al-Lami Alevel Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Arabic, The UCL Academy

Have you ever considered having youthful, radiant skin that turns heads and dazzles everyone? Imagine accomplishing that goal with a fruit that sounds like it belongs in a fantasy novel - the dragon fruit! This exotic, vibrant fruit not only catches your attention with its whimsical appearance but also contains a secret potion for the youthful skin that everyone covets.

What is dragon fruit?

Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya, is a tropical fruit belonging to the genera cacti Hylocereus and Selenicereus. It is native to Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia, but it is now grown in many parts of the world where the climate is suitable. Dragon fruit is distinguished by its bright pink or yellow skin with green scales and its white or red flesh speckled with tiny black seeds.

Dragon fruit tastes like a cross between a kiwi and a pear. It is a low-calorie fruit with a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a popular choice among health-conscious consumers. It is frequently consumed fresh, either by cutting it in half and scooping out the flesh or by peeling the skin and slicing the flesh into pieces. Dragon fruit can also be found in smoothies, fruit salads, and dessert recipes.

Dragon fruit and the skin

Many people use a variety of skincare products and procedures in their pursuit of youthful, radiant skin. Dragon fruit, a colourful and exotic fruit, may hold the key to achieving youthful skin, and it is closer than you might think. Hylocereus spp, the scientific name for dragon fruit, is praised for its ability to improve skin health and fight ageing. The scientific basis for dragon fruit's skin-care advantages is examined in this article, along with the fruit's antioxidant content, role in boosting collagen production and skin-rejuvenating properties.4

Properties of dragon fruit for a youthful skin

The powerhouse of antioxidants

Oxidative stress brought on by free radicals is one of the main factors causing skin to age. These unfavourable substances can harm skin cells, causing early ageing, wrinkles, and fine lines. The high antioxidant content of dragon fruit is well known for helping to combat free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.

Vitamin C: protector of skin

A great source of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that benefits skin health in a variety of ways, is found in dragon fruit. Vitamin C aids in defending the skin against UV deterioration, a significant factor in skin ageing. Additionally, it helps with the production of collagen, a structural protein that keeps the skin firm and elastic. According to a study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, topical vitamin C plays a significant role in minimising wrinkle appearance and enhancing skin texture.1 While the study mainly concentrated on topically applied treatments, eating foods high in vitamin C, such as dragon fruit, can complement these advantages from the inside out.

Betalains: the unknown heroes

Dragon fruit also contains betalains, which are pigments with strong antioxidant properties. It has been demonstrated that betalains protect skin cells from oxidative damage and reduce inflammation.2 Inflammation is the body’s response to infection or injury and is also a common cause of skin conditions such as acne and redness; betalains can help alleviate these symptoms, resulting in a clearer complexion.

Copper content in dragon fruit

Dragon fruit also contains copper, a mineral that aids in the cross-linking of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin.3 These cross-links are critical for the structural integrity of the skin. Increasing your copper intake through diet can help you have firmer, younger-looking skin.

High water content for skin rejuvenation and hydration

Hydration is essential for maintaining healthy, youthful skin. Dehydrated skin can appear dull and can accentuate fine lines and wrinkles. Because of its high water content, dragon fruit is an excellent choice for keeping skin hydrated. Furthermore, the fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals that nourish the skin, such as vitamin B3 (niacin), which improves skin barrier function and reduces water loss.6

Dragon fruit possesses further skin-enhancing properties beyond those mentioned, including its ability to promote an even skin tone through inhibiting melanin production and in turn lightening dark spots as well as offering a nutrient boost to fortify skin vitality.

How to incorporate dragon fruit into your skincare routine

Consider incorporating dragon fruit into your daily routine to take advantage of its skin benefits:

  1. Fresh dragon fruit can be eaten as a snack or as a breakfast option. You can also incorporate it into smoothies, fruit salads or desserts.
  2. DIY Face Masks - Blend dragon fruit into a paste and apply it to your skin for 15 to 20 minutes to make your face masks. To reveal refreshed skin, rehydrate with warm water.
  3. DIY Toner - Extract the juice of one dragon fruit and save it for use as a natural toner. This can be applied after using a cleanser or any alkaline product that might have temporarily disrupted the skin’s PH as it provides PH level restoration and hydration.
  4. DIY Exfoliating body scrub  - Combine dragon fruit pulp with either sea salt, oats or sugar in order to create a scrub that promotes smoother skin and removes dead skin cells.
  5. To maximise its benefits, look for ready-made topical skincare products that contain extracts or derivatives of dragon fruit.


Dragon fruit is a potent natural elixir for youthful skin, as well as a delicious exotic fruit. Dragon fruit's antioxidant-rich composition, collagen-boosting effects, and hydrating properties have been supported by scientific research, making it a valuable addition to your skincare routine. You can nourish your skin from the inside out by incorporating dragon fruit into your diet and skincare routine, allowing it to stay youthful, radiant, and resilient.


  1. Fitzpatrick RE et al. (2002) Double-Blind, Half-Face Study Comparing Topical Vitamin C and Vehicle for Rejuvenation of Photodamage. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 1(1), 10-17.
  2. Tesoriere L et al. (2004) Antioxidant betalains from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) inhibit endothelial ICAM-1 expression. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1028(1), 481-486.
  3. Nusgens BV et al. (2001) Topically applied vitamin C enhances the mRNA level of collagens I and III, their processing enzymes and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase 1 in the human dermis. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 116(6), 853-859.
  4. Cosgrove MC et al. (2007) Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 86(4), 1225-1231.
  5. Kornhauser A et al. (2009) Applications of hydroxy acids: classification, mechanisms, and photoactivity. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 2, 113-122.
  6. Schmid D and Gruber M (2017) Niacinamide—Mechanisms of Action and Its Topical Use in Dermatology. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 30(6), 290-299.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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