An Overview of Enzyme Peels for Your Face


 An Overview of Enzyme Peels for Your Face

Do you want to reduce wrinkles, tighten your skin and fight acne at the same time? There’s a great new product on the market for just that purpose: enzyme peels! This is a quick article about what they are, what they do, how they work and why you might want to try one.

What is an enzyme peel? It’s a chemical solution that is specifically formulated for light exfoliation of skin. It looks very similar to an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) peel, which you might have heard of before. Enzyme peels contain three main ingredients: enzymes (usually from pineapple or papaya fruit), glycolic acid and lactic acid.

What do they do? The enzymes in peels work by causing the outer dead layer of skin to slough away, leaving behind the new, vibrant skin beneath. This process is called shedding. The enzymes cut through the individual cells of the top layer of skin, causing them to fall off and be replaced by fresh, healthy ones underneath.

How does an enzyme peel work? The enzyme acts on free radicals in the skin (the very same ones that AHA works on), potentially causing your complexion to become more radiant and firm while relaxing your facial muscles. Free radicals are essentially unstable molecules which can cause damage to your body’s cells if they are not kept under control. The enzymes in these products bind to free radicals and catalyze their destruction, effectively cleaning your skin from within. Since the enzymes are so small, it is a perfect time to use these peels. They are only 1/4-1/2 the size of an average enzyme solution, making them perfect for even the most sensitive areas of skin.

Why would you want to use these exfoliation treatments? You can use this type of product for a variety of purposes:

-Anti-aging: These peels can reduce pigmentation and fine lines. You will look more youthful after a peel (but don’t expect miracles here!).

-Tighten: Glycolic acid is the most common ingredient in this category. It is very effective at tightening pores, dark spots and fine lines.

-Intensify: The lactic acid in this group of products can be used in place of hyaluronic acid to provide more intense results. (If you are using a peel for anti-aging purposes, please note that this product may not be effective for such uses.)

There are two kinds of chemical peels that work via epithelial removal: enzymatic and low molecular weight. Both are useful but may not serve the same purpose. Some ideal people may have better results with one type than the other, so it is nice to be forewarned.

How do they work? They work by exfoliating the top layer of skin cells. This is why these peels are so effective at their intended purposes. It is the top layer that contains the cells that cause our most noticeable problems: breakouts and pigmentation. The enzymes in this group of products attack these cells on all levels, causing them to slough away (and your skin to become more radiant) while tightening your facial muscles. They can also fade dark spots, lines and wrinkles. The enzymes need the acids to work so you may need to apply the product before bedtime and wear a sunblock for many hours afterwards.

How do they differ from other exfoliation products? Most AHA acids are acid salts. This means that they are pure, concentrated forms of typically healthy acids that have been mixed with water for ease of application. Exfoliating solutions are usually made up of several ingredients, including lactic, glycolic and sometimes salicylic acids in various concentrations. The vast majority of these products have a pH of 3-4 (acidic).

What is the pH scale? The pH scale is just like everyday experience: a way to measure how acidic or alkaline something is. In chemistry, this simply means how many hydrogen ions (the positively charged part of water molecules) are available to interact with the hydroxyl group (OH) on each molecule. For example, a pH of 4 has four hydrogen ions for every one OH, a pH of 1 is a completely neutral solution, and a pH of 0 is an acidic solution. It’s really that simple. The lower the number, the more acidic the solution is.

If you want to get into chemistry further, it’s a good idea to check out The H+ ion from Dr Katz – A Free Therapy and pH scale from Dr Jerry Leaf – A Chemistry Primer.

The main difference between this type of product and AHA products is how they are applied. AHA treatments need to be diluted to a 0.5% solution (4 drops per ounce of water) and applied directly on the affected area. This is usually done by mixing 4 drops of acid in 1/2 teaspoon of water, or 10 drops per ounce for an equivalent strength.

Enzymatic peels, on the other hand, need the acids diluted first so they don’t cause any damage to your skin or your surrounding area. They are also less irritating to the skin. The acids in the solution come from pineapple and papaya fruit. Enzymes are added to cause the sloughing of dead cells, making for a smoother, tighter skin.

What is the difference between enzymes and AHA’s? Enzymes are easier to control than AHA treatments because they must be activated by acidity. This means that you cannot add too much or it will negate their effectiveness! In a way, this makes them safer for sensitive skin because you don’t have to worry about applying too much product. Enzyme products are also often more effective, potentially causing more effectiveness per use.

How else do I get rid of some of the bad stuff on my skin? This is one area where you can expect to see a variety of different products which are designed to help you with your particular issue. One great thing about the world of exfoliants is that everyone has different skin problems and wants something that will work best for them. Exfoliation is a great way to make a big difference in your overall health if you are concerned about things like pigmentation and fine lines. It’s a good idea to experiment with these products so that you can find what works best for your specific needs and skin types.


There are a lot of different products that can be used to clean your skin and lift up those skin cells. The best way to determine which product you should use is to look at your specific needs, the purpose of the exfoliation treatment and concerns about cost. One thing is for sure: exfoliation can make a huge difference in your appearance, potentially making you look years younger! Don’t leave it up to chance; we all deserve beautiful skin, whether or not we believe it.

Post a Comment