Have you been seeing more advertising for skincare products that claim to contain “enzymes” or “enzyme complexes”? If so, you’re not alone. The popularity of enzymes in skincare products is increasing, but as is so often the case, so is the confusion around what enzymes are being used and how effective they are for certain skincare concerns. Let’s learn more about what enzymes are and the role they may have to play in your skincare routine.
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are a broad category of molecules found everywhere in the body. They’re made of amino acids but act differently than protein molecules. Instead, enzyme catalyze reactions, that is, speed them up or make them more efficient. This makes them key players in reactions that need to happen quickly, such as digesting food or metabolizing energy.
However, because enzymes are found in practically every cell in our body, and there are thousands of different types of enzymes, not all of them are good for the skin. Here are a few that are.
What do Enzymes Do For the Skin?
In the skin, enzymes are responsible for helping break down nutrients that help nourish cells and provide the benefits you know and love. You should always have the necessary enzymes to facilitate processes like collagen production or antioxidant diffusion, but applying some enzymes directly to the skin can help by acting as mild exfoliants, like salicylic acid with a gentler touch.
The main enzymes used in skincare products are proteolytic and protease enzymes, which help dissolve dead skin cells by breaking specific bonds between them and healthy, vibrant cells. This means they provide a few specific benefits.
1. Clear Breakouts and Clogged Pores
Because your pores are the source of oils and sweat, the reason they get clogged are when dead skin cells and dirt and debris get trapped in these natural secretions without being cleared out quickly enough. Enzymes are designed to free dead skin cells from the surface of the skin without dissolving natural oils, helping with the natural flow of sweat and oil without overly drying out the skin.
2. Smooth Out Uneven Skin Tones
As a mild exfoliant, enzymes help the dull skin that’s mottled with dead skin cells and frequently refreshes the skin’s surface.
3. Helps Balance Dryness and Oiliness
Enzymatic skincare products are much gentler than exfoliants that use synthetic alpha or beta hydroxy acids, but they still help disperse excess oil without disrupting the skin surface’s pH. This makes enzymes a go-to ingredient for people struggling with sensitive or combination skin for a refreshed clean every day.
Skincare Enzymes in Your Diet
A critical source of vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids is your diet. Eating a balanced diet of fresh foods is a good way to ensure your body has the resources it needs to function optimally. Your doctor can help diagnose deficiencies in your diet and prescribe supplements to provide your body and skin with necessary enzymes or you can increase your intake of fruits rich in amino acids and antioxidants such as papaya, pineapple, or citrus fruits.
Our Favorite Enzyme Products
Epicuren Discovery is proud to carry products formulated with fruit ferment extract that carry potent enzymes for use up to several times a week to help you get that even, polished looking skin look you’re after.
- Pumpkin Apple Spice Peel – This blend of mild acids and enzymes is a gentle way to buff away the look of clogged pores and impurities up to 5 times a week as needed. Follow the directions for best results.
- Himalayan Superfruit Enzyme Polish – Another option for mild exfoliation on a nearly daily basis comes with the exotic aromas of pomegranate, goji, raspberry, and cranberry, among other superfruit extracts.
- Metadermabolic® Protein Enzyme Complex – Products with Epicuren’s original Metadermabolic® Protein Enzyme Complex imitate the enzymes found naturally in the body to produce potent effects on the look of the skin as it becomes accustomed to the increase in enzyme availability.
Professional-Grade Skincare Products By Epicuren Discovery
If you’re looking to cut through the hype and advertising of commercial products, Epicuren Discovery is your destination for potent, high-quality formulas designed with cruelty-free practices and as environmentally friendly as possible. Browse our catalog of gentle cleansers and exfoliants or find products that are perfect for your skin type and skincare goals by taking our Skin Quiz today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do enzymes help with acne?
Enzyme skincare products can help reduce the appearance of acne breakouts, although they are not the best solution for very oily skin, which may need more potent ingredients like salicylic acid to truly clear oils out of pores.
What are the best enzymes for skin?
The most commonly used enzymes are fruit fermentation derivatives, which are very similar to the body’s natural enzymes and that can therefore be broken down and repurposed for their intended use on the skin.
Are enzymes good for sensitive skin?
Yes! Enzyme-powered exfoliants are many people’s first choice with sensitive skin, as it rarely irritates the surface of skin.
Why are enzymes important in skin care?
Enzymes help clear away dead skin cells on the surface of the skin without removing a lot of excess oil. In this way, it is a great exfoliant that won’t irritate your skin.
Where do enzymes in skincare come from?
Most skincare companies use fruit-derived enzymes that are fermented and purified to make the molecules as close to human-produced enzymes as possible.