Think about foods that’ll help with a bright, happy complexion, and the usual “contenders” are undoubtedly avocadoes (for those fatty acids), oranges (nature’s shot of Vitamin C), and green tea (all those antioxidants!) As for the Guava? While it’s a juicy fruit reminiscent of a long overdue vacation in a tropical country, slathering it on your face may be the furthest thing from your mind. Well, major spoiler alert: you’re missing out! As it turns out, Guava is a powerhouse of a skincare ingredient worth getting on your radar (and skin).
Continue reading to find out why. Here, we dive into the ins and outs of applying Guava to the face – including the benefits you can expect, plus handy tips that'll help when building this good-for-skin fruit into your regimen.
What is Guava?
The Guava (Psidium guajava) is a common tropical fruit said to have originated in areas of Southern Mexico through Central America. Today, Guava is grown and cultivated in most tropical and subtropical regions – including Bermuda, southern Florida, the West Indies, and the Bahamas – and is enjoyed by people worldwide for its taste and nutrient profile (1).
Of course, we will put the spotlight on the fruit’s nutrient content. And Guava certainly doesn’t disappoint on that front. Guava (note: both the fruit itself and its leaves) is bursting at the seams with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potent flavonoids such as catechin, rutin, and beta-carotene. Better still, it’s also a natural source of Vitamin E (2, 3).
Benefits of Guava for Skin
But wait. How do the micronutrients found in the Guava fruit and its leaves serve as "skin-pleasers" (or, in other words, benefit the skin)? Let’s see.
#1: Fights free radical damage
Free radicals are the ultimate foes of a healthy, bouncy, and youthful-looking complexion. As highly reactive and unstable molecules, they rob healthy skin cells of their electrons to stabilize themselves – damaging collagen-producing fibroblasts, pigment-regulating melanocytes, and barrier-protecting epithelial cells in the process. Their impact on the skin is clear for all to see, manifesting as fine lines, sunspots, and a loss of elasticity (4).
Unfortunately for many of us, though, free radicals are a fact of life in today's modern world. There's pollution in the air, sun rays filtering in through office windows, and blue light exposure as work on your laptop.
And the tool you have on hand to fight them is … (no prizes for guessing it right) Guava. As mentioned earlier, Guava teems with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and a solid assortment of flavonoids. These are all antioxidants capable of "donating" extra electrons without becoming free radicals themselves. So, if it makes things easier, you can think of antioxidants as “skin superheroes” that stop free radical damage right in its tracks.
Meaning? Guava serves as the defense system your skin needs to counteract oxidative damage – leaving you with a refreshed, youthful radiance complete with a reduced appearance in fine lines and wrinkles. And for those who need extra convincing, perhaps research could help.
Numerous studies have found Vitamin C (which Guava is rich in) effective in decreasing signs of premature skin aging – helping minimize wrinkling and reduce visible roughness (5, 6, 7). The same goes for Guava’s Vitamin A content; research consistently highlights its ability to induce significant improvements in photoaged skin, including reducing fine lines, increasing smoothness, and diminishing hyperpigmentation (8, 9).
Another compound found in Guava worth highlighting is rutin, a type of flavonoid. Its antioxidant properties exert potent anti-aging effects. For example, a 2016 study shows that the daily application of a rutin-containing cream increased skin elasticity and decreased the appearance of wrinkles in participants after 4 weeks (10).
#2: Promotes the renewal of skin cells
Guava promotes skin rejuvenation via 2 separate but synergistic micronutrients: the first through Vitamin C and the second through Vitamin A. Let's first touch on Vitamin C. In addition to being a potent antioxidant, there’s also evidence to suggest Vitamin C increases proliferation (i.e., growth) of dermal fibroblasts – skin cells responsible for producing collagen (11).
Perhaps more impressively, Vitamin C is also known to promote the synthesis of barrier lipids (12). Just so you know: the term "barrier lipids" refers to the cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides that "fill in the cracks" between skin cells that make up your stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin).
Your barrier lipids play 2 critical functions (13). First, they prevent excessive moisture loss through the epidermis. And second, they act as, well, a barrier against environmental toxins and pathogens. So, to summarize, Guava's Vitamin C content could help promote the renewal of fibroblasts and barrier lipids – paving the way toward plumper, well-hydrated, and happier-looking skin.
Now, moving on to Guava's Vitamin A content and how it benefits the skin. Interestingly, besides doing pretty much the same thing as Vitamin C (i.e., stimulating the growth of fibroblasts and lipid barriers), Vitamin A also enhances epidermis turnover (14). This not only rejuvenates the skin from the “inside-out” – which fades hyperpigmentation – but also exerts an anti-comedogenic effect, which could help stave off future breakouts.
#3: Exerts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
Oh, and speaking of acne … Guava (its leaves, in particular) is especially beneficial for the skin owing to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Take this 2005 study, for instance (15). It found the guava leaf extract effective at killing acne-causing bacteria. And which compounds should you thank for this? Well, it’s none other than gallic acid and catechins.
Research exploring the effects of both flavonoids on the skin lends support to this. According to a 2020 randomized controlled trial, a topical acne treatment option formulated with gallic acid helped improve acne severity as effectively as either benzoyl peroxide or benzoyl peroxide combined with erythromycin (16). This 2013 8-week, randomized, split-face clinical trial published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed catechins’ effectiveness at improving acne (17).
Side Effects of Guava
The topical application of Guava (spanning between Guava extract to Guava seed oil to Guava leaf extract) is considered generally safe. That said, research suggests that the compounds found within Guava could cause skin irritation, especially in people with skin conditions like eczema (18). So, if you have eczema or sensitive skin, it's always a good idea to do a patch test before proceeding to apply any skin care product containing Guava onto your face.
But, of course, this advice applies to everyone – of all skin types. You never know how your skin’s going to react, especially when you switch up your routine. Better to be safe than bright red and burning!
How to Use Guava for Skin
With Guava's benefits in skincare rising to prominence, you can expect to find this juicy fruit formulated into all kinds of products – from cleansers to toners, from serums to moisturizers. So, how you use Guava depends on your preferences.
You can apply Guava to the skin both day and night. Just one crucial thing to be mindful of, though: avoid layering any Guava infused skincare products with exfoliating acids like glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids. They can alter the pH level of your skin, decreasing the effectiveness of Guava on your skin. It's also a good idea to stay away from benzoyl peroxide – it could oxidize the Vitamin C content in Guava.
Other than those 2, though, Guava works well with pretty much any skincare active you think of. Niacinamide, Collagen, CoQ10, Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid, etc. Already opening a new browser to search for Guava-containing skincare products to add to your repertoire? You don’t have to: they’re here on Terrakai Skin.
Here’s how you could use our Guava infused products for peak skin radiance and suppleness:
- Cleanser: Remove your makeup and wash your face with a non-stripping cleanser, like our Antioxidant + Rosehip Milky Cleanser (contains Guava!)
- Toner: Spritz on your toner of choice after cleansing. For a refreshing, hydrating skin boost, give our Guava infused Refreshing Goji + Mountain Pepper Berry Mist a go.
- Serum: Massage a few drops of serum (e.g., our Guava-packed Brighter Days Ahead Mountain Pepper Berry C-Serum) into your face.
- Eye cream: Apply your eye cream before you slather on your choice of creams and oils. Psst: our Age Defying Lemon Aspen Botanical Eye Cream nourishes and brightens the delicate eye area perfectly.
- Moisturizer: Use Balancing Guava + Mountain Pepper Berry Moisturizer during the daytime, then pamper your skin with our I Woke Up Like This Vitamin C + Antioxidant Overnight Cream (which is also formulated with Guava) as you catch your beauty sleep.
- Sunscreen (daytime): Sunscreen acts as a shield against the outside world (so you don’t end up applying all those products on your face for nothing).
Guava for Skin FAQ’s
What does Guava do to the face?
Guava contains many good-for-skin antioxidants that fight free radical damage, promote skin cell renewal, and kill off acne-causing bacteria. This results in plumper, more radiant, and youthful-looking skin.
Does Guava lighten skin?
No, it doesn’t lighten the skin. What Guava can do, however, is fade unwanted skin hyperpigmentation (e.g., sunspots and acne scars) – helping reveal a brighter complexion with an even skin tone.
What skin type is Guava good for?
Guava is suitable for all skin types – but could prove especially beneficial for blemish-prone individuals. Those with sensitive skin or eczema should practice extra caution when adding Guava to their regimen.