Everyone knows that a healthy diet should include fresh fruit. Fruit contains many essential vitamins and minerals that are typically under-consumed. A diet full of fruits and vegetables can lead to reduced chances of heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammation, diabetes, and cancer.
It seems that fruit is even making its way into our skincare. From bananas and avocados to watermelon and pineapple, our favorite skincare products are starting to look more and more like the produce section at our local grocery stores! And with good reason.
Fruit in general has a high water content, which can increase hydration in the skin, plus many antioxidants, which are known to be beneficial against pollution, aging, and other environmental factors. But one of the best parts of using fruit in skincare is the enzymes. Let’s talk about it!
What are Fruit Enzymes?
"Enzymes are comprised of amino acids and are types of proteins that are made by living things," explains Andrea Pfeffer, founder of a high-end skincare clinic in London, Pfeffer Sal. "They act as a catalyst, speeding up or allowing reactions to happen in conditions that they usually wouldn’t. As humans, we produce enzymes to speed up reactions in the body during processes such as digestion or metabolism," she says.+
You know that feeling when you eat a lot of pineapple in one sitting and your tongue starts to sting a little bit? That’s because the enzymes in the pineapple are breaking down the first layer of skin in your mouth. Enzymes act as a natural exfoliant, slowly dissolving the dead cells on the upper layer of the skin. They are known to smooth and soften skin, reduce pigmentation and scarring, brighten the complexion, and speed healing.
Are Fruit Enzymes Better than Acid Exfoliants?
While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with acid exfoliants, fruit enzymes tend to be a slightly more gentle way of exfoliating, and therefore appeal to a broader range of skin types and concerns. In general, people with sensitive skin may find that fruit enzymes are a safer and more beneficial way to achieve brighter, softer skin. Acids like AHAs and BHAs are definitely more powerful, so they may be too intense for people with very sensitive or dry skin.
What Types of Fruit Enzymes Are in My Skincare?
The most common types of enzymes found in skincare formulations are:
- Actinidin - Found in bananas, kiwi, mangos, and pineapples.
- Bromelain - Found in pineapples.
- Ficin - Found in figs.
- Papain - Found in papayas.
Some less common types of enzymes that are used for skincare include blueberry, honey, ginger, and pumpkin.
How Should I Start Using Fruit Enzymes?
Because fruit enzymes are typically used to exfoliate, we recommend starting to introduce them into your skincare routine slowly. Our Healing Face Cleanser ($20) is a great way to start that process. Formulated with Papain Enzymes, the exfoliating properties are supported by rich Amino Acids, skin-conditioning Vitamin B3, and healing Moringa Extract to gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin without stripping it of essential moisture.
Do you use fruit enzymes in your skincare routine? If you do, what do you think about them? Let us know if the comments!