What is Enzyme?
Enzymes are chemicals that speed up the rate of chemical reactions without being consumed in the reaction themselves. Our skin enzymes have two main uses: One for exfoliation and the other as an anti-inflammatory. In fact, enzymes derived from fruits are effective exfoliants and are often gentler than other methods like scrubs and microdermabrasion.
The enzymes work by specifically breaking down the keratin protein or the top dead layer, revealing the newer, smoother skin below. They are able to digest keratin protein and stratum corneum, thus strengthening healthy skin with natural antioxidant vitamins as they exfoliate.
Enzymes Derived From:
In skincare, the most popular and commonly used exfoliating enzymes are derived from pineapple, papaya and pumpkin. Pineapple contains the strongest of the three enzymes called bromelain. Papaya contains the enzyme papain, and pumpkin is rich in the enzyme protease. The enzymes in these fruits are so potent that you can actually mash them up and apply on your face and get supple skin in a few minutes. The antioxidants that are added to the skin as these enzymes work are vitamin-A from pumpkin’s protease, and vitamin-C from pineapple’s bromelain and papaya’s papain. Other fruits that have skin smoothing enzymes include grapes, strawberries, pomegranate, and cherries.
These enzymes function as a scavenger of free radicals and protect the skin against oxidative damage. Simply put, enzymes can protect against damage from the sun, environmental pollutants, and even acne. However, they can be quite unstable because of changes in environmental temperatures and its pH due to exposure. So it is a good idea to use freshly mashed fruit as soon as possible on your skin for maximum benefit.