For those who are unfamiliar, enzyme peels are one of the safest facial treatments out there. Made of real fruit-based enzymes, enzyme facial treatments help treat impurities within your skin without any harmful additives.
Enzymes are “proteins that help speed up chemical reactions in our bodies” (Cleveland Clinic). They can eliminate dead protein residue in the skin, and even reverse signs of premature aging (European Beauty).
Generally, enzyme facial treatments are safe for all skin types and meant to improve the skin’s overall function. By stimulating your capillaries to allow fresh oxygenated blood to flow to your face, enzyme peels get rid of your dead skin cells, flush them from your skin, and remove debris with lymphatic drainage for healthier, brighter skin.
For Sensitive Skin
Since the active ingredients in enzymes will not remove significant layers of your skin, this makes enzyme facial treatments suitable for people with sensitive or easily irritated skin.
“These proteolytic enzymes help to break down proteins—including keratin proteins in the outer layer of the skin. This helps dead skin cells slough off, leaving the skin smoother and softer, with decreased discolorations.”
Being naturally derived from fruits, enzyme peels are far less rough on your skin than chemical peels and other more intense treatments on the market, such as laser resurfacing treatments and microdermabrasion. You don’t need to worry about dangerous chemicals, toxins, or side effects as enzyme facial treatments can even be made at home to refresh and hydrate your skin.
For Pregnant, Nursing, or Immunocompromised
For those pregnant or breastfeeding, we recommend enzyme facial treatments as they are much safer than chemical peels, while still highly effective in deeply exfoliating your skin.
Since chemical peels contain ingredients that can absorb into your skin and harm your baby, they are generally not recommended by doctors for pregnant or nursing women or immunocompromised people.
We also recommend enzyme peels for the immunocompromised because they do not contain aggressive ingredients.
Some of the popular fruits infused in enzyme peels are: “pomegranate, pumpkin, papaya, pineapple, and figs…one of the key ingredients to spotlight is the pumpkin enzyme peel. This fruit enzyme is rich in vitamins and minerals to not only exfoliate the skin but to help your skin prevent and stay clear of blemishes. Pumpkin enzyme also has a smaller molecular structure than most other fruit enzymes, which makes it easier to penetrate deeply into the skin surface” (Sonage).
Enzyme facial treatments can also help target issues like wrinkles, acne scars, congested skin, and large pores.
Of course before using any type of skin exfoliation, you should always consult with a medical professional and have your skin evaluated by a dermatologist.
Benefits of an Enzyme Facial Treatment
If your skin is easily irritated, “enzymes are a great choice for those with sensitive skin who can’t tolerate alpha and beta hydroxy acids. They provide a more gentle way to exfoliate and brighten the skin,” says Dr. Hadley King.
Enzyme facials stimulate pressure points on the face, tightening the skin and increasing blood circulation to your face (European Beauty).
During the treatment, the mask applied on your face will create a “reverse osmosis effect,” helping flush out impurities using transfer messenger enzymes, which then deliver fresh oxygenated blood to your skin. This stimulates the lymphatic system, ultimately resulting in more oxygen rich blood flowing back to your skin to nourish it (HW Medical Spa).
After getting your face treated, you will typically notice brighter and dewier skin, among other benefits, such as boosting collagen production, improving skin texture, and reducing fine lines; pores; and blackheads.
Aftercare and Final Thoughts
Enzyme facial treatments tend to show immediate results and are mild enough for you to safely return straight to the office after your esthetician office visit.
While there’s a chance you may experience some tingling or redness after an enzyme peel, there is very little recovery time needed.
Given that enzyme peels are made of natural ingredients, they will not damage or irritate your skin much.
However, like all facial treatments, your skin might be slightly more sensitive to sunlight after, so you should avoid sunlight for a week after your enzyme peel. If you must go out in the sun, then be sure to always apply SPF 30+ and avoid direct sunlight between 10am-4 pm if possible when the sun’s rays are strongest.
All in all, enzyme facial treatments are an effective and relatively mild skin treatment for brightening and exfoliating, but be sure to check with your healthcare provider with any specific questions concerning your skin’s needs.