Cellular build-up is a primary cause of acne, dehydration and—gasp!—premature ageing. As a preventative measure and in order to maintain optimal skin health, regular skin cleansing and exfoliation are key and it’s something that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
But, with a dizzying array of products and treatments available, where do you even start?
Many people reach for alpha and beta hydroxy acids which are widely used to exfoliate and smooth skin however these are prone to causing irritation. Conversely, naturally, sourced enzymes can be the key to achieving optimal skin cleansing and exfoliation while effectively improving the appearance of skin and alleviating a variety of conditions.
We know that nourishing ourselves with fresh fruit and vegetables every day will help keep our body in tip-top condition so why wouldn’t we take the same approach to skin health? Fruit and vegetables are rich in nutrients such as enzymes and incorporating them into your skincare regime can produce all sorts of wonderful results that will leave your skin and complexion healthy and glowing.
So, what are enzymes?
Scientifically speaking, enzymes are biological molecules (better known as proteins) that the human body produces to speed up the rate of chemical reactions that take place within cells. Vital for life, enzymes serve a range of functions within the human body such as to break down and digest the food we consume.
When it comes to our skin and skin care, enzymes help break down old cells that linger on the skin’s surface—they literally separate and remove dead skin cells, leaving clear, smooth and luminous skin.
Enzymes are found naturally in many fruits and plant materials. These natural enzymes offer a more gentle and nourishing result than stronger and more abrasive chemical or microdermabrasion treatments. Not only do they help remove dead skin cells, but they balance uneven skin tones and do so without stripping your skin of essential natural oils or disrupting its pH balance.
How do enzymes work?
The upper layer of our skin naturally contains keratin protein which bonds dead skin cells together, holding them on the skin’s surface.
When used in skincare products, enzymes prompt an exfoliation action by breaking down the keratin protein. Without keratin (also an enzyme), dead skin cells gently detach from each other and the skin’s surface, leaving a smoother, softer complexion.
Botanically sourced enzymes are ideal for these skincare treatments as they are more delicate on the skin—making them especially beneficial for those with irritable and sensitive skin types and those prone to chemical reactions.
What fruit enzymes are good for skin?
The transforming effects of natural fruit and plant-based enzymes might be even more delicious that the delectable fruits themselves!
There are many types of fruit and plant-based enzymes, but the most common versions that you will find in topical skin care treatments include:
Actinidin - Found in kiwi, pineapple, mango, banana and papaya
Bromelain - Found in both the juice and stem of pineapples
Ficin - Found in figs
Papain - Found in papaya
If you’re in the market for skincare products containing fruit enzymes, the best enzyme exfoliator for sensitive skin contains:
Ultimately papaya enzymes accelerate the breakdown of keratin and the subsequent shedding of dead skin cells, restoring and rejuvenating your skin due to its repairing, exfoliating and hydration action.
Pineapple enzymes are extremely beneficial in treating and preventing acne, fine lines, sun damage, and uneven skin tone.
How will an enzyme facial benefit my skin type?
Enzymes are pivotal for skin rejuvenation processes as they gently exfoliate thereby improving penetration of products such as moisturiser, smoothing the texture of the skin, evening skin tone, and refining pores.
A key benefit of enzyme facials is that they are suitable for literally any skin type—sensitive, normal, dry, or oily, and everything in between.
Their botanical nature means that they are an especially suitable choice for people with sensitive skin as they gently exfoliate and brighten without the unwanted risk of irritation. Acne-prone skin types will also greatly benefit from enzyme facials due to their exfoliating properties without the irritating scrubbing action which is notoriously detrimental to acne-prone skin.
People experiencing rosacea, dehydrated dry skin, pigmentation, or enlarged pores will also experience significant improvements in their skin conditions when using enzyme-based treatments and products.
Enzyme exfoliators, scrubs, masks, and facials should be done no more than one or two times a week. Over-exfoliating will damage skin cells that are not ready to be shed, potentially leaving your skin red, tender, and sensitive.
What results should I expect from an exfoliating enzyme scrub?
When it comes to an exfoliating enzyme scrub—or an enzyme facial or enzyme mask for that matter—the results will be as wide-ranging as they are impressive thanks to simple, clean ingredients.
Not only will your skin experience a deeper exfoliation, longer-lasting hydration, and a brightening boost, you—and most likely your family and friends—will notice a host of other improvements.
The best enzyme face mask, scrub, exfoliator or facial is guaranteed to result in:
● Smoother and even skin texture
● Visibly hydrated skin (thanks to the extraction of toxins)
● Intensely moisturised skin
● Flawless finish as makeup is applied easier and smoother
So, if your current skincare regime leaves your skin feeling irritated, enzymes will be your new best friend and ensure youthful clarity is restored and texture is renewed. You might even have cause to pull out your ID card next time you head out with the girls!