The Reluctant Stylista

Likas Papaya soap - The Reluctant Stylista

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love going to the beach and the souvenir tan that goes with it. I love being an island girl and looking the part.  So it may come as a surprise that one of the very few products I can highly recommend is a popular whitening soap here in the Philippines: Likas Papaya soap.

Yeah, I know, I’ve seen the cheesy ad back in the day that was almost iconic of its time (and not in a good way).  Frankly, as I found out years ago, the ad doesn’t do it any justice.  I first tried this soap out for dark spots and uneven tan lines.  It works.  Back then, I wasn’t so particular with facial wash, so I mostly used the same product for my face.  That’s how I learned how well it deals with facial skin.  And as my younger self wasn’t so blessed with clear skin, I can honestly say this is the only soap that I can rely on to clear stubborn pimples.   I buy it about two weeks before a special event if I have to dress up in style and I’d rather not have a huge ass zit to ruin the effect. It’s more effective if you use it just before a pimple surfaces.

Anyway, I don’t use Likas Papaya much anymore, as I said, I’m not a fan of whitening–and this soap delivers its promise.  I’ve been researching about it online, and apparently it’s also somewhat of a cult favorite and secret weapon abroad for acne problems and skin lightening.  But being Filipina and thus naturally tan, I can attest that it does work–if someone abroad claims it doesn’t, she’s probably already snow-white.

What I appreciate about it is that even though it does whiten, the skin is noticeably luminous and radiant, instead of ghostly pale (and when I use the word noticeably, that means anyone noticing apart from yourself).  I use it concentratedly on areas that need it and then stop after a while, or at least until the next big event comes up.  I don’t want to end up with my face not matching the rest of my body.  But if you’re into whitening, then you can probably use it to your heart’s content.  The soap has been touted herbal and organic, which for me means more points.  I’ve tried other papaya soap brands that are cheaper, but you never know with their ingredients.

Likas Papaya soap is about P60.00 I think, locally (I usually buy the small, tavel size one, which is about half that price). Amazon.com lists it for $3.99. Cheap, but not as cheap here.  I heard people hoard it from Asian stores across the globe.

Other things of interest:
Papain, enzymes that are found in papaya fruits, are used for treating burns, cuts, stings and rashes.  So it’s a really good idea to use it after your beach trips, especially for sun burns!

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