Enzymes

Enzymes 101

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In my last post on Acids 101 I decoded all Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids however this post I will talk about Enzymes. They are different to Alpha Hydroxy Acids in the way they operate. AHA’s dissolve lipids (oils) that hold cells together, penetrate in skin and loosen the clingy skin cells. However, enzymes dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of skin. Enzymes are not pH dependent; therefore limited exfoliation can be achieved.

Skin Concerns: used to treat pigmentation, acne, fine lines, sun spots. The only catch to these products are the enzymatic activity (active period) lasts 4-6 months.

Textures & Consistency: comes in all forms, cleanser, exfoliants, peels or masks. Generally you can smell the original primary ingredient.

The Experience: stinging, tingling are common however you have to be guided by your skin’s tolerance.

Operation Mode: Enzymes are wonderful surface exfoliants without any manual scrubbing tugging or pulling action. They’re are gentler on the skin compared to AHA’s however some aggressive enzymes such as Papain may not be the best option for sensitive skins.

The table below shows the main types of enzymes used in products aiding in removal of dead skin cells with some product suggestions:

Source Enzyme Name Products Suggestions
Papaya Papain Cleanser: Jan Marini Clean Zyme

Exfoliator: Tatcha Rice Enzyme Powder, Kate Somerville ExfoliKate

Mask: Astara Green Papaya Nutrient Mask, Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Mask, Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalising Mask, Elemis Papaya Enzyme Mask, Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator, Jan Marini Skin Zyme, Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy Mask

Moisurizer: Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Pineapple Bromelian Cleanser: My Chelle Enzyme Fruit Enzyme Cleanser, Alba Botanica Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser

Exfoliant: Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant

Mask: Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask, Philosphy MicroDelivery Purifying Peel

Pumpkin Curcubita Exfoliator, Peel: Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub, Perfect Image Labs Pineapple Pumpkin Enzyme Peel (includes AHA’s),

Mask: Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Mask

Pomegranate Cleanser: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser

Mask: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

Blueberry Mask: Ole Henriksen Blue/Black Berry Enzyme Mask

Hope this was helpful and thank you for taking the time to read this post!

HHW.com

xx

 

Peels – Face Off (not literally)

P1010031Few days ago, I posted my reviews on Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (sensitive) and Andalou Naturals Kombucha Enzyme Exfoliating peel. Today I have a face off/comparison for you:

Base Alpha Hydroxy Acids Enzyme
Exfoliate skin Yes Yes
Fine lines & wrinkles Unable to comment – don’t have any fine lines or wrinkles (in my 20’s)
Improved tone Yes Yes
Skin Clarity Yes Yes
Smoother skin/congestion Yes Yes
Dark spots Yes No
Pigmentation help Yes No
Texture Yes Yes
Dries skin after use Yes – after exfoliation need to moisturize Yes – after exfoliation need to moisturize
Suitable Skin Type Sensitive except rosacea and very sensitive skin Active & Oily; Sensitive
Packaging Clear glass jar with white lid Opaque Tube
Quantity 2 fl oz. 1.8 fl oz.
Price $39 $14.95
Availability Brand Website, Whole Foods, Ulta Brand Website, Whole Foods
Animal Testing NO NO, Vegan, Gluten Free

My Thoughts: Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

I received a deluxe sample size from my monthly Birchbox subscription. I love some enzyme action on my skin (Read More Here) and therefore this product got me all excited.

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The product is white thick paste with super micro exfoliating granules (almost feels like sand). Vasanti claims it provides similar effect of microdermabrasion therefore aluminum oxide crystals listed as second ingredient. After massaging on skin for couple of minutes, you can really feel the gentle grittiness. Then emulsify with water and you have some form of lathering action. Loved the whole process however it left my skin feeling tight, dry, stripped of natural oils and worst of all consistent use over 2 weeks broke me out.

So I investigated further into the ingredients and below is breakdown of what each ingredient does:

Please note: I’m not a chemist, this is plain internet research to conclude why my skin reacted.

Aqua (Water), Aluminum Oxide (used for Microderm procedure), Cetyl Alcohol (organic alcohol), Decyl Glucoside (foaming agent for sensitive skins), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (lathering agent- can cause irritation), Glycerin, Propanediol (viscosity controlling agent that can cause irritation), Panthenol (skin conditioner-form of B5), Emulsifying Wax NF(derived from plant- or petroleum-based wax converted into an emulsion with the aid of added detergents.), Glyceryl Stearate (lubricant and slows loss of water from skin), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (essential fatty acids for skin), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil (not good for acne prone skin), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate (form of vitamin e made with natural vitamin e and add acid), Papain (papaya enzyme), Parfum, Phenoxyethanol (preservative-not irritating), Caprylyl Glycol (conditioner and moisturizer that helps increase the shelf life of a product).

After analyzing this in detail, I realized it has some irritating ingredients. In addition, papaya enzymes is listed as 4th last ingredient which really disappointed me. Considering name of product I expected papain to be 2nd or 3rd ingredient. It’s a shame because I really enjoyed using the product.

Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator – $34

xx

HHW.com