Enzymes as a form of exfoliation
I love using enzymes in my enzyme facials, fruit enzymes such as pomegranate are great for oily or acne prone skin. Lemon enzymes are wonderful for hyper-pigmentation/sun damaged skin and one of my personal favorites is Papaya-Coconut.
Enzymes utilized in skin care primarily include those that digest protein in skin, such as keratin, which is present in high concentrations in the upper layer of the epidermis. Papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple are two of the most common enzymes. Enzymes are generally very safe, because they have a limited reactivity with skin due to the fact that they can only digest the keratin protein they come into direct contact with. The key to success with enzyme systems is keeping the enzyme active before it is applied to the skin. For instance, a single-enzyme product that contains water and enzyme has a very short shelf life, because the enzyme can digest itself. Also, it should be noted that many enzyme products are formulated together with acids, which can make the exfoliation more aggressive. These treatments should be categorized as chemical acid peels rather than an enzyme. Very often, these additives are not disclosed; therefore, skin care professionals should be sure to test different enzyme products and choose the appropriate strength for a specific client.