Enzyme Peel vs. Chemical Peels: Which Is Better For Your Skincare Routine?

Hormones, pollution, weather, stress… So many factors can wreak havoc on our skin, even with the most perfect skin care routine. Just like other life responsibilities, our skin requires thoughtful maintenance. When your skin is feeling dull or on the verge of breaking out, you know it’s time to exfoliate. There are a number of ways to do this, but the most common treatments are enzymes and chemical peels. Both methods are non-invasive and exfoliate deeply to reveal brighter and younger-looking skin - but which is right for MY skin?

 

THE DIFFERENCE...

CHEMICAL PEELS include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs). AHAs include Glycolic, Lactic, Malic, Tartaric, Mandelic and Azelaic. AHAs work by dissolving the inter-cellular lipids and proteins that hold dead skin cells to each other. The common BHA is Salicylic Acid. Salicylic is known for its lipid-soluble properties, making it a great option for oily and acne-prone skin. Glycolic acid in lower strengths tends to be the most popular at-home exfoliation treatment, which is significantly less concentrated than the pricey chemical peels that are offered at medical spas under the care of a licensed professional.

ENZYMES are naturally derived active ingredients found in many fruits. Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Papaya, Pineapple and Figs are just some of the fastest acting to dissolve dead skin to reveal smoother, softer and healthier skin. They are known to break up dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Enzymes are potent but are a non-abrasive exfoliant option for all skin types. Enzymes work optimally at body temperature - do NOT use it under steam!

(As a precaution, both enzymes and chemical peels should be avoided by users of Retinol products or anyone with very sensitive or irritated skin.)

YOU MAY PREFER CHEMICAL PEELS IF...

1. YOU ARE PATIENT WITH YOUR SKINCARE RESULTS
Long-term effectiveness is likely one of the most important considerations when picking an at-home chemical peel. In the battle of enzyme vs. chemical peels, Glycolic acid is always the winner. This is because Glycolic is the multi-tasker of the exfoliating world: it encourages new skin cells to grow and smooths the skin by penetrating to deeper layers than enzymes can. While enzyme peels may soften the skin and show immediate results, glycolic acid takes these results a step further by softening the skin and also brightening it.

2. YOU SEEK PROGRESSIVE ADJUSTABILITY
Glycolic acid can be adjusted to increase the level of exfoliation a person achieves over time. It is recommended you start at a lower grade for example 2-4% strength and graduate to a higher strength for better results. Enzymes do not have this adjustability. As a result, you may not notice true improvements in your skin over time.

3. YOU PREFER PRODUCTS WITH A STABLE SHELF LIFE
Enzymes can be temperamental to control when added to skincare routines. They must be stored in an optimal manner: no moisture, heat, or pH changes. Otherwise, the enzymes start to inactivate and become ineffective at exfoliating. Home-use chemical peels however, have a longer shelf life and are more durable.

 

YOU MAY PREFER ENZYMES IF...

1. YOUR SKIN IS EASILY IRRITATED

Both enzyme and chemical peels work to exfoliate dead cells, however chemicals can also damage and remove live tissue. The active ingredients in enzymes only leave a gentle tingling since they don't remove significant layers of the skin. As a result enzymes are far gentler on the skin than their chemical counterparts, but in no way less mighty or effective. Since they are safe and non-invasive, enzyme peels can be used at home to refresh skin and prepare it for proper hydration. As they are so gentle, enzyme peels are most recommended for easily irritated and sensitive skin types. However, they combat a number of other major skin concerns, such as anti-aging, congested skin and enlarged pores. Enzymes can be used for wrinkles and natural acne scars.

2. YOU ARE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING

Pregnant or breastfeeding women must not use chemical peels as the ingredients can absorb into your skin and potentially cause damage to your baby. In contrast, enzymes do not have contraindications or side effects. However, before using any type of exfoliation, you should always consult with a physician or medical professional and have your skin evaluated by a skin expert.

3. YOU HAVE A COMPROMISED IMMUNE SYSTEM

Cancer survivors or anyone with compromised immunity have to be very wary about what they put on their skin and it is recommended that they do not use chemical peels. Natural enzyme skincare products derived from fruits do not contain aggressive ingredients. But always check with your physician first.


+ ENZYMES JUST SMELL SO DAMN GOOD

 

Pom-CrushWell, Pom Crush Detox Enzyme Mask certainly does. The luxuriously curated natural mask uses six natural potent fruit enzymes extracted from Pomegranates, Figs, Pumpkins, Papayas, Pineapple, and Astaxanthin. They work harmoniously together to gently exfoliate and reveal bright, radiant skin. And as a bonus, it has the aroma of an exotic beach with an infused tropical fruit air. We can't get enough!

 

REMEMBER...

Exfoliating improves skin turnover, which is beneficial for skin renewal and keeps it radiant and fresh. It encourages the removal of dead skin cells – unclogging congested pores and preventing blackhead formation.

We recommend exfoliating 1-2 times a week, but no more than that! Over-exfoliating pulls cells away that are not ready to shed, which will leave your skin red, tender, and sensitive. In contrast, insufficiency will leave your complexion looking rough and dull which weakens serum and moisturizer application as they will not absorb properly. And remember - sunscreen is VITAL, especially if you are a serial exfoliator. 

Listen to your skin and find your balance!