Why I'm Obsessed With Skin Smoothing Enzymes
Enzymes are an aesthetician's best friend.
Enzymes are effective enough for all skin types including sensitive, fragile, acneic, pigmented, sun damaged, textured, premature aging and every skin issue in between. They are designed to be used with or without steam and can elevate any facial experience. Enzymes are one of my favorite steps in a facial.
When you are 18, your skin proliferates on its own every two weeks. As we get older, that proliferation process slows down naturally to every 3-4 weeks. Our skin becomes sluggish and needs a boost. Using enzymes helps keep the proliferation process on a proper time schedule so you do not have the buildup that makes your skin yellowish, sallow and gray.
Enzymes have a non-abrasive, proteolytic effect that induces superficial cellular exfoliation of the stratum corneum. Think PAC-MAN, chomping away or digesting all your dull skin cells (corneocytes) on the surface. Your skin becomes thickened with dead skin cells, oil, make up, dirt and grim. It forms a type of “glue” that needs to be broken down and enzymes rise to the task. They are gentle but highly effective if used properly. They can be combined with AHA’s like lactic, glycolic, kogic, or malic acid for a more intense response or other ingredients that support their task. Some popular enzymatic ingredients are Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Enzyme Powder, (Carica papaya) Papain, Cucurbita (Pumpkin) Enzyme, Bromelain, cherry and blueberry.
Exfoliation is key to smooth skin but don’t over-exfoliate. Avoid exfoliating either too often or with chemicals too harsh for the skin. Over-exfoliation can lead to other issues that would need to be addressed. It's not necessary to over exfoliate! (I did this once with a 70% glycolic peel and I broke out with whiteheads for 1 month!!) Unless you have a serious skin concern like pigmentation or grade 3-4 acne, monthly facials with enzymes will leave your skin healthier, thicker and more bouyant, less fragile or compromised.
My love affair for enzymes in the treatment room allows me to successfully perform a facial with favorable results. Some of my favorite enzymes come from pumpkin, cherries, pineapple and papaya, but enzymes can be coupled with other ingredients to kick up your level of glow to brilliant! Think Edward Cullen sparkling in the sun from Twilight! For example, cranberry fruit ferment, kojic acid, and pomegranate enzymes can also give you bright skin while breaking down the proteins accumulated on the skin’s surface that causes your skin to look sallow and uneven. I love enzymes because they are versatile, smell amazing and do not damage the skin if used correctly.
While most enzymes are for professional use only, there are at home exfoliating options including chemical and manual exfoliants. For example, the Walnut Scrub by Herbologia is a manual scrub with walnut powder to be used 1x-2x a week at home. Her Royal Hempress uses 8% glycolic in her Exfoliating Serum which is the perfect amount of chemical exfoliation to be used overnight underneath your night cream. I also use a custom 20% lactic acid during my facials which boosts all the enzyme therapy without over exfoliating or stripping the skin.
Learning what is best for you is fun and exciting. You can keep an arsenal of exfoliants for different occasions and moods. Learn how to use them and enjoy! I sure do! My NYC spa treatment room offers many different types and strengths of enzymes for all skin issues and concerns. To book an appointment for one of the best NYC facials you'll ever have, click here.