Oranges are super yummers. But the best thing about them is how the deliciously zesty morsels come packaged up in nature’s own skin brightening agents. Yes, the often discarded orange peels are a skin spa all on their own.
For example, did you know that it’s not just the tasty orange that’s chock full of vitamin C? The peels are really where the vitamin C’s at, containing more vitamin C than orange juice! In fact, just 100 g of the zesty peels contains 136 mg of vitamin C while its flesh holds just 71 mg/100 g.
And that’s not all…there are tons of enzymes, flavonoids, and phyto-nutrients packed into the peel of the orange including vitamin C, vitamin B1, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene (converted to vitamin A by the body), choline, folic acid, aldehydes, d-limonene, and over 60 known flavanones.
This is really good news for your skin since…
- The potent antioxidants – flavanones – found in orange peels help reduce oxidative damage and combat free radicals that destroy skin cells and are linked to age-related symptoms (wrinkles, fine lines, age spots)
- The antioxdiants in orange peels also have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and naturally clean and disinfect your skin
Vitamin C in orange peels helps to make your skin glow as well as to fade spots, pigmentation, rough patches and restore brightness to dull skin
But skin benefits aren’t all that orange peels offer. They’re good for your health, too…
- Orange peels are rich in d-limonene, which has been shown to have anti-carcinogenic activities. It’s also often used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce gas in the intestines, alleviate cramping, and eliminate phlegm in the lungs and throat.
- A flavanone found in the pulpy white part of the peel called herperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol in animal studies.
- Orange peel is believed to have naturally histamine-suppressing compounds. Great news for those with allergies.
Oh, and did I mention…dried orange peels retain their heavenly orange scent?
In case you’re convinced and never want to throw away your orange peels again…here’s a simple way to make your own orange peel powder (that typically goes for around $10 on Amazon) that you can store away and use whenever you need some orange peel powder for skin whitening recipes.
DIY Orange Peel Powder for Skin Whitening
Step 1. Cut up the orange peels
Cutting them into smaller sizes now will make it much easier to grind them in a little bit.
Step 2. Place in the oven
Set the oven to 200º and pop the orange peels in for around 20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes to see if the rinds are dry.
They should look kinda crusty and the peels a little darker.
Step 3. Grind in a food processor or blender
Dump the dry peels in a food processor or coffee grinder and grind until they are mostly a fine dust…and you’re all done!
I usually don’t get 100% fine powder since oven-baking doesn’t entirely dry every part of the peel so I use a sieve to sort the powdery powder into a little vial and I usually toss the bigger pieces.
Store the powder in a cool, dry place. I think it lasts…forever…I don’t really know because I tend to use it in a few weeks’ time.
Now that you have the lovely orange powder, you can get to using it for a whole variety of skin lightening purposes. Like what, you ask? Let us count the ways…
How to Use Orange Peel Powder for Skin Whitening
Orange peel powder is not only all natural and chock full of skin lightening Vitamin C, but it’s also incredibly versatile in the ways you can use it. Here’s a little list of ways you can incorporate it into your skincare routine!
DIY Skin Lightening Facial Cleanser
One awesome way to use orange peel powder is as a simple facial cleanser. It cleans. It brightens. It is wonderful.
You can also blend the orange powder with a variety of other powders (green gram powder, baking soda, matcha powder, turmeric powder, ground roses, ground lavender, ground oats or a bunch of other cleansing grains) to make your own blend of face wash. Mix it with anything from water to rose water to aloe vera juice/gel to honey to milk and yogurt to give your face an all-natural and thorough cleanse.
Brightening Facial Scrub
Not a lot of grainy things are fine-ground enough to use as a facial scrub (your facial skin is precious stuff!), but orange peel powder works beautifully for this.
- Mix orange peel powder with water and gently massage on skin for an instant skin brightening scrub
- Or try it with milk or coconut milk for a nourishing exfoliating experience
- Adding a few drops of fresh lemon juice is nice as well
DIY Vitamin C Face Masks
This stuff is just so easy to add into pretty much any face mask you might want to make for an extra boost of skin brightening.
But my favorite, go-to orange peel face mask for whenever my skin needs a pick-me-up or I need to fade some stubborn pimple spots is the below simple combo. It works great on spots, helping to even skin tone, as well as to breath new life into dull, dreary skin.
So, what do you need?
- Oranges, of course. More accurately, orange peel powder. Orange peel powder is the highlight of this face wash recipe, so have that ready.
- Turmeric powder. Turmeric is an incredibly antibacterial and antifungal herb that is great for acne-prone skin, as well as very effective in lightening and brightening skin. Get it organic. We recommend this organic turmeric root powder – it’s $15 for a pound of the lovely stuff and it’ll last you forever.
You can simply mix the above with milk, water, or yogurt to make a face mask or you can add in the below optional things that take this face wash from awesome to awesome-r:
- Mung bean powder. Mung beans, aka green gram, is a great, all-natural skin lightening ingredient. I accidentally ‘discovered’ it in Thailand and ended up bringing home a dozen boxes of the stuff. I’ve already gone through most of it and now I get organic mung bean starch at Asian supermarkets – check at your local Asian supermarket for the stuff and make sure that it’s 100% organic.
- Rose water. This orange peel face mask is all powder, which is perfect since you can make a huge batch of it and then store it (in a cool, dry place) for months. All you have to do to use it is add water and this is where the rose water comes in. Rose water is a beautifully gentle astringent that leaves skin soft and hydrated – substitute rose water for plain tap water when using this face wash!
Scoop some into your bath
Orange peel powder retains their beautiful orange-y scent and a few scoops of it in your bath makes for wonderful aroma therapy.
DIY Skin Brightening Body Scrub
One of my favorite body scrubs is fresh orange sugar scrub, which I make using fresh orange zest, but is fantastic with a spoonful or two of orange peel powder added to it. Fresh, grated ginger is lovely in this as well.
And, of course, beauty’s not all orange peels are good for. You can also totally consumer this orange peel stuff…
- Orange peels make for a lovely tea. Steep the dried peels in hot water and add some honey to taste. Yum and good for sore throats, colds, and even constipation.
- Blend powdered orange peel into drinks for a zesty, orange flavor.
- Chew some fresh orange peel for a breath freshener. To make it last longer – grate some fresh orange zest and store in a little glass jar in your fridge for an instant breath freshener whenever you need it.
- Make a great smelling homemade oil by adding some orange peels in a bottle of olive oil. Let it sit for a few weeks and voila – you get orange-y oil.
- Cook with it, blend it into jams and jellies, add it for extra flavor to gravies and meat dishes, and of course…bake with it. Orange cookies, anyone?
Orange peels are even handy around the house…
- Boil some orange peels with a clove or two of cinnamon to get rid of odors in the house.
- Line the bottoms of your trash cans with orange peels for a natural deodorizer.
- Toss some orange peels into vinegar and soak for an orange-scented all-natural household cleanser. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, mix some fresh-grated orange peels with baking soda for a lovely scented, non-toxic household scrub. The oils in the orange peels make a natural cleansing agent and the baking soda serves as a fantastic scrub.
More Orange Peel Notes:
Keep in mind that oranges are a heavily-pesticided (is that a word?) fruit. When planning to use the peels – buy organic. You’ll have the peace of mind knowing that you’re not putting pesticides and herbicides in or on your body and you won’t have to deal with that pesky wax coating as well.