Enzymes are natural proteins compromised of amino acids. Most of the enzymes used in skincare are sourced from fruits and vegetables. These enzymes are called proteolytic enzymes because they can break down proteins, like keratin, in the skin. Breaking down skin proteins accelerates skin exfoliation that means they remove only the topmost layer of dead skin cells at the surface allowing new skin cells to emerge. Enzymes are special because they take only what they need (dead skin and proteins) and leave behind the healthy skin, a balanced, clear, and radiant complexion.

Enzymes versus AHAs and BHAs

Enzymes act somewhat similarly to fruit acids and AHAs though they are typically a gentler way to exfoliate and brighten the complexion and may be especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin. In general, acids like AHAs and BHAs are more aggressive so there is an increased chance of potential skin irritation. Enzymes don’t require the low pH needed to make acids effective exfoliating agents and work better at more neutral pH’s between 5 and 8. Therefore, won’t disrupt the pH of your skin like acids will.

Here are some great examples of fruit enzymes to add to your skincare collection – pineapple, papaya, banana, passionfruit, guava, and pumpkin.

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