Fall in Love with Enzymes

We all want smoother skin, skin that feels soft to the touch. None of that dry, flaky skin that’s been out in the elements too long or dried up from an unbalanced routine. Our skin, (especially those of use with stress reactive skin) have skin that’s ever changing. This is in part because of our genes, but also because the environment is always changing. Fall is a time for change, let’s embrace it a little with the right tools to keep our skin riding the season of change.

Acids or Enzymes?
When it comes to changing your skin, acids and enzymes help change and turnover the skin. They cause the skin to shed old cells and new ones to grow quick. Using acid products like Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Brightening Emulsion or Naturopathica’s Ginger Clarifying Concentrate will get the skin to turnover and change quickly, but acid-based products might not be right for everyone. This is where enzymes come in.

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What are Enzymes?
"Enzymes are comprised of amino acids and are types of proteins that are made by living things. They act as a catalyst, speeding up or allowing reactions to happen in conditions that they usually wouldn’t. There are many different types of enzymes. As humans, we produce enzymes to speed up reactions in the body during processes such as digestion or metabolism. Enzymes break down the keratin protein in the upper layer of the skin, which bonds dead skin cells together. Without this the dead skin can gently slough off. This results in smoother, softer skin and also helps diminish scars and pigmentation." says Andrea Pfeffer, founder of London-based skin clinic, Pfeffer Sal. (source).

Enzymes are like fertilizer for your skin. Just as leaves fall onto the ground, they fall onto the ground and decompose into the soil acting as a fertilizer for the soil, sharing nutrients with the soil from growing all summer, in turn helping to grow new plants (grass, ferns, moss) in the Spring. This process happens on our skin (but thankfully much quicker!). We put enzymes (or acids) on our skin, they break down the upper layer of the skin and help to promote new cell growth. Losing the old skin and exposing the new cells, is also a reason to stay out of the sun after an enzyme peel or a facial.

Which skincare products have enzymes? How do I find them?

"Most of the enzymes used in skincare products are sourced from fruits and vegetables, such as papaya, pineapple and pumpkin," Pfeffer continues. "These enzymes are called proteolytic enzymes and their role is to break down proteins. Ever wondered why your mouth can feel a little sensitive and funny after you eat pineapple? This is down to the enzymes breaking down the flesh in your mouth," explains Pfeffer. (source)

Here at Everly Grace Whole Beauty we recommend the following Enzyme products for each skin type. Not sure which skin type you have? Here’s a quick list of skin personalities:

Adaptive: Your skin is resilient and requires minimal attention. You may experience congestion, breakouts, dullness or an oily t-zone, but these issues typically resolve quickly. Your skin’s balance is in check and likely already doing a good job keeping itself in balance. Check out Natropathica’s Sweet Cherry Brightening Enzyme Peel once per week, usually in the evening followed by Natropathica’s Kombucha Bio-Cellulose Mask. This peel might be a little too much for your skin, but the Kombucha mask should get things to calm down and bit and get them back in check. EGB pro tip: keep the package of the mask and use the leftovers from the mask as a daily serum!

Stress Reactive: Your skin is highly sensitive to factors such as lack of sleep, poor diet, a high-pressure lifestyle and changes in the environment. For those finicky stress reactive skin-types out there, check out (also a fall favorite!) Natropathica Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel once a week, followed by Natropathica Carrot Seed Soothing Facial Oil, which can also be used daily.

Hormone Reactive: Your skin is influenced by the ebb and flow of hormones; you may experience oiliness, breakouts and uneven skin due to puberty, your class menstrual cycle, or menopause. Your skin needs to roll with the punches - a good enzyme product for you is the Juice Beauty Exfoliating Cleanser. Use this once per day, probably in the evening followed by a moisturizer such as Natropathica Calendula Essential Hydrating Cream.

Mature: Your skin lacks moisture and may show facial lines, wrinkles and sun damage. For this skin type, we recommend Natropathica’s Pear Fig Polishing Enzyme Peel. This is a nourishing mask that helps smooth and rejuvenate dry, devitalized skin with hydrating Fig, smoothing Jojoba Beads and exfoliating Pear Puree for glowing, polished skin. After the peel, use Epicurean’s ORAC Age-Protect Serum - this is a great serum for Mature skin types.