What’s intriguing about these natural fruit enzyme exfoliators is that they only eat dead skin cells when applied to your face. They, therefore, leave you with a much more uniform skin layer while stimulating collagen and new cell growth.
I had always assumed that only scrubs helped in exfoliating the skin. This was when I had first ventured into skincare. I used to enjoy rubbing scrubs on my face and see it removes the dead cells.
scrubs do come with a disadvantage on Skin
However, scrubs do come with a disadvantage. It tends to leave the skin red and looking raw, especially if I rub it too enthusiastically.
It was later in life that I learned about glycolic acid, which is a chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid. These chemicals may be a little overwhelming at first, but the shedding isn’t visible.
Once it is done working, glycolic acid leaves your skin looking very smooth and bright. It also helps keep the skin hydrated while boosting collagen production.
No scrub can achieve all of this. Such scrubs don’t even exist, which is why I inadvertently switched to using chemical exfoliants.
However, there is something even newer in the market today, which is an enzyme exfoliant. This is a product that is based on enzymes that are extracted from everyday foods like papaya and pineapple to eliminate all the cells that are dull and dead.
This makes you wonder what’s so great about them, and if they are better for your skin than their chemical counterparts. You also wonder if they are worth your attention and time too.
What is an exfoliant?
Exfoliants help get eliminate all the skin cells that are dead. It could be said that it works like sandpaper where you have to manually scrub or buff away surface skin cells.
Chemical exfoliants work to remove dead skin cells by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds them together.
While enzyme and chemical exfoliants are said to be quite similar, it’s not always true because some things are done differently. They, unfortunately are not always good for your skin.
What are enzymes?
Skincare ingredients have always been a hot topic for debate. However, there is one super ingredient that is not faddish and has been on the radar for some time now. This is enzyme, which is now becoming rather popular with many people talking about it.
Enzymes are the hottest skincare ingredient now. They are not only important for glowing skin but gently exfoliate the skin to give you a brighter and clearer complexion.
In short, enzymes are substances that help improve some chemical processes by acting as a catalyst. They are derived from plants, fruits or by fermentation and help set a specific and important skincare reaction.
How do enzymes exfoliate the skin?
They work by ungluing the bonds that exist between dead skin cells. This, in turn, makes skin exfoliate and come off.
The best thing about all this is that enzymes do it without disturbing your pH level at all. It is your pH level that maintains your skin’s equilibrium so that it is at its best.
Chemical Acids Vs Enzymes
This is a very important point in skincare to remember, and the main difference between chemical acids and enzymes.
While chemical acids can burn or weaken your protective barrier, enzymes usually do not inflame, irritate or damage your skin in any way.
The recent emphasis in skincare lies in looking for methods to nurture the skin by preserving healthy bacteria and not by stripping it. This is what makes enzymes a better and more effective alternative to brighten and tone your skin.
There is a slight problem. Like most of the popular skincare ingredients around, enzymes are slightly expensive.
However, this is nothing to worry much about because there is a DIY alternative available. We have been using it for quite a few years now.
How do enzyme exfoliants work?
Enzymes are fantastic and do some great things. If you wonder what and how they work in exfoliants, well, the enzymes here are proteolytic in nature or enzymes that break down proteins.
If you wonder what keeps your outer facial skin layers rough and dull, it is keratin protein.
What are the most common enzymes used in enzyme exfoliants?
The three enzymes you will find repeatedly popping up in this type of exfoliant are:
- Papain, which comes from papaya. It is better known as Carica Papaya Fruit Extract on your skincare product labels.
- Pumpkin enzyme, which is a pumpkin derivative and is known as Cucurbita Pepo (pumpkin) enzyme
- Bromelain that comes from pineapple and is known as Ananas Cosmosus (Pineapple) fruit extract.
Why Using a Fruit Enzyme Peel is Beneficial for Smoother Skin?
It’s better to use enzymes because they are softer on your skin than scrubs. They are anti-inflammatory which is great because it helps soothe any skin irritation.
It helps revitalize & renew the skin. It helps regenerate, and heal aged, marked and problem skin.
- More even skin tone (less redness thanks to anti-inflammatory properties)
- Reduction in pore size
- Smoother skin with fewer lines and wrinkles
- A healthy glow
- Softer skin
- Hydrated Skin
- Plumper and more youthful complexion
What’s wrong with enzyme exfoliants?
Despite being great skincare ingredients, they do have a disadvantage. They are divas, which means they won’t work if a product’s pH level and the temperature isn’t right.
This means there is a chance of environmental changes making them unstable and eventually useless.
It is not easy for chemists to use enzymes in their products. They need lots of time to make something they are happy with.
This is why there are not many brands or types of enzyme exfoliants on the market today.
Even if they do come up with something, there is a huge chance of ending up with unstable enzymes.
For example, skin products containing enzyme exfoliants exposed to sunlight or in a hot room for weeks can go bad.
In short, it proves that enzyme exfoliants have to be kept someplace cool and dark.
There is also the chance of enzyme exfoliants irritating sensitive skin. Now, you may be confused with this point because it was earlier mentioned in the article that enzymes are anti-inflammatory in nature.
However, this applies only to those having sensitive skin. It all depends on their skin because some may tolerate retinol while others may not.
So while enzyme exfoliants are generally gentler on the skin than scrubs, you won’t know how it acts on your sensitive skin. It’s only after trying it that you find out if it does wonders, or creates havoc on your skin.
What are the best enzyme exfoliants out there?
If you are thinking about taking the risk and trying enzyme exfoliant on your skin, I feel that the Makeup Artist Choice Triple Enzyme Peel is worth trying.
It costs $22.75 and contains the enzyme exfoliants bromelain, pumpkin, and papain. It also has aloe Vera to help soothe the skin and kaolin clay for absorbing excess oil.
The only drawback about this product is the way it is packaged. The jar has to be quickly closed tight to prevent its deactivation because of exposure to excessive light.
The reason I recommend the product is because it is also available in cheap $3.00 sample packages.
This means you can at least try it and see if enzyme or chemical exfoliants are better for your skin without spending too much money.
Another one is the Raya Pumpkin Enzyme facial puree. This resurfacing treatment gently exfoliates the skin to improve the appearance of fine lines, age spots, freckles, and rough skin.
Pumpkin Enzyme Puree is rich in vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes known for their antioxidant and exfoliating properties.
It minimizes pore size and other skin imperfections, while stimulating the production of new and healthy skin cells.
This product is recommended for dry, mature, and sensitive skin types, as well as oily and problem skin types.
DIY pineapple or Papaya enzyme mask
The most important ingredient for this scrub is pineapple, pumpkin or papaya. Pineapple contains bromelain, the fruit enzyme that is also a gentle exfoliator that removes the dead skin cells that clog pores and in the process, makes your skin look dull.
What’s intriguing about these fruit enzymes is that they only eat dead skin cells when applied to your face. They, therefore, leave you with a much more uniform skin layer.
It’s a rich source of vitamin C, which is a strong antioxidant that protects your skin from UV light and damaging free radicals.
Regular use of the mask will give you better-textured skin. You will also notice reduced age spots, fine lines, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.
In short, the pumpkin, papaya, and pineapple extract not only make you look years younger but are also a great source of the antioxidants vitamins A and C.
It is also rich in zinc, which reduces inflammation and redness.
Oats & Raw honey
Raw oats are naturally anti-inflammatory and are natural humectants like raw honey. This is how and why the scrub can help regain skin moisture.
It’s also good for acne-prone skin because it helps reduce existing swollen pimples. Honey is also antibacterial, so it helps fight bacteria in acne-prone skin.
Follow up with a Hydration Mask
It’s not enough to just apply an enzyme peel. It has to be followed by hydration mask treatment. This is because hydration masks help in the absorption of the ingredients by suffocating the skin for a while.
I like using raw or Manuka honey for hydrating purposes because it’s naturally hydrating and has antibacterial properties.
It also helps improve the production of cells to repair tissue.Take a look at the instructions below.
As your skin grows very sensitive to the sun after wearing a peel, it’s better to use a sunscreen with a high SPF when going outdoors. Also, make sure that you keep your new complexion properly shaded when outdoors.
This is important because not protecting your skin after a peel only exposes the fresh and vulnerable skin to the harsh sunlight.
You will notice a reaction where the spots you had tried to lighten or brighten end up darker. You can avoid this by using sunscreen and wearing a flat, wide-brimmed hat whenever you go outdoors after using a peel.
Pineapple and Raw Oats Enzymatic Exfoliator
- 2-3 slices of fresh pineapple (or use papaya or pumpkin)
- 1 tablespoon of raw oats
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey (or Manuka if available)
- Blend the pineapple until it creates a smooth mixture, then add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Apply the enzyme peel onto fresh cleansed face and gently massage the scrub in circular motions onto your face and leave on for a 10-15 minutes. Note: It may feel a bit tingly.
- Wipe off with a washcloth soaked in a warm water. Then, rinse it off with cool water.
- Follow up with raw or Manuka Honey mask ( find instructions below).
Stay out of the sun if possible for the rest of the day, as this mini peel can make your skin extra sensitive and vulnerable to damaging rays.
Manuka Honey Mask:
1. Smooth raw honey or Manuka honey onto your face (Make sure the UMF is 10+ or higher).
2. Leave the mask on for 10-20 minutes.
3. Wipe off with a damp washcloth and rinse with water.
4. Repeat this honey mask as often as you want!
Pumpkin and Papaya Enzyme Exfoliator
- 1 can (15oz.) of Pumpkin Purée (or peel, steam, and purée 12 oz of fresh pumpkin)
- 1/2 sliced medium-sized ripe Papaya (peeled, seeded, and diced)
- 1 egg (act as a binding ingredient)
This Fruit enzyme peel is full of :
- Brightening and Anti-Aging Enzymes
- Natural Exfoliants for Smoothing and Resurfacing
- Antioxidant-Rich Ingredients
Blend the ingredients until smooth. Use immediately and discard any remaining peel. It makes a lot, so invite a few friends over for a peeling party!
For the leftover, place the pumpkin peel mask mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze them.
Once you’re ready to use, just grab 2 or 3 ice cubes and let them thaw in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and apply the mixture accordingly.
1. Smooth the fruit enzyme peel onto your face with a fan-shaped facial brush or your fingers.
Avoid putting the fruit enzyme peel onto any part of the delicate skin around your eyes or lips.
2. Leave the pumpkin peel mask on for about 10-15 minutes. It may feel a bit tingly.
3. Wipe off with a washcloth soaked in warm water and rinse with cool water.
4. Follow up with a raw or Manuka honey facial mask (check the instructions in Option #1).