Oranges make up 50 percent of global citrus fruit production, with 11 percent coming from the United States. The orange peel makes up 50 percent of the entire fruit, and has three sections: the flavedo, albedo and oil sacs. They contain an abundance of nutrients, including sugars, flavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants, with a variety of uses, including anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic properties. Orange peels are the main source of d-limonene, which is effective against breast and colon cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin. Despite its components, orange peels are generally discarded.
The presence of oxidants in the body and environment is one of the main causes of skin aging. Orange peels have high amounts of vitamin C and other anti-oxidants, making it useful in maintaining healthy skin. Orange-peel properties can maintain the natural balance of skin oils and tighten the skin by absorbing excess oils and removing dead skin cells.
How to Apply
Orange peel powder is found in commercial cosmetics, but orange peel face masks are easy to make. The powder can be purchased for as little as $2 per ounce, or prepared at home by grinding dried orange peels. Mixing orange peel powder and either milk or water in equal amounts will produce a paste that can be applied as a face and body treatment.
Traditionally, orange peels are used internally in teas to help with stomach cramps and as an appetite stimulant. Orange peel powder is used to flavor drinks, as a seasoning, and added to jams and jellies. Peels are also used as livestock feed. Its essential oil is used as a mosquito repellent and an air freshener. Its sugar content can be fermented to produce ethanol fuel. Orange peels are even used to kindle fires, due to its flammable yet slow-burning oil content.
Young children have developed intestinal colic and convulsions upon exposure to orange peel extracts, so it is not recommended for pregnant and lactating women. High doses of orange peel can also cause adverse skin reactions and phyto-toxicity in sensitive individuals. Orange peel consumption may increase stomach acid, which may interfere with acid-reducing medication like antacids.