Oranges have been known for a long time in history as one of the natural sources of vitamin c. In fact, the word orange is almost synonymous with vitamin C, that most people associate the color, smell and taste of orange juice as evidence of the presence of vitamin c in a product ( which can actually lead to making wrong decisions in case of vitamin c based skincare products where the product is actually expected to be white)
Here in Nigeria, we are blessed with sweet oranges which mostly grow wild without the use of pesticides and other chemicals, therefore the vast majority of oranges in Nigeria are organic and free of pesticides and other chemicals. Also another peculiarity of Nigerian oranges is the fact that they are usually green in color as compared to other species from more temperate climates.
This difference in orange skin color is dependent on where the orange tree grows. Orange trees grow well and produce fruit in temperatures ranging from about 15 to 30 °C. In more temperate climes, the green skin turns orange as the weather cools down in the autumn. This is because the green pigment chlorophyll is removed from the fruit, similar to what happens when the leaves of deciduous trees turn brown in the autumn. However, in tropical climates—like Ours- it is always hot so the chlorophyll is preserved and the skin of the oranges remains green.
Most natural products naturally rich in vitamin C also use oranges as a benchmark for relating the level of vitamin C present. For instance you see things like 10 times more vitamin c than oranges etc.
While we can enjoy the juicy sweetness of oranges, their peels have also been utilized in cosmetics to make naturally rich vitamin c products as the peels of oranges have been shown to have even more vitamin c content than the juice.
The active ingredient in orange peel is D-limonene. Limonene is oil soluble and therefore can be extracted by using a continous oil phase. Whereas the water soluble vitamins present in orange peels can be extracted using water or other water soluble solvents.
Dried orange peels can be ground and made into powder which can be added to face masks etc. or they can also be made into liquid extracts.
Orange peel has the following benefits for skincare :
Skin lightening as a result of the presence of vitamin C. Every 100g of orange peels contain 136 milligrams of vitamin C, while the fleshy part beneath the peel only has 70milligrams per 100 grams!
Vitamin c also acts as an antioxidant to combat the effect of free radicals on the skin.
Orange peels clean out skin by extracting dirt from deep inside the pores thereby reducing acne.
Orange peels are also rich in calcium which play a very effective role in skin renewing worn out cells and preventing DNA damage. They are also good for healing dry, flaky and itchy skin.
Pottasium content in orange peels help in hydrating skin and preserving moisture
Magnesium helps to prevent oxidative stress in skin cells for youthful glowing skin.
Join me later to see how I made my orange peel extract.