Enzyme 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 skincare routine. When your skin is feeling dull or starting to break out, it's time to exfoliate. But should you use enzymes or chemical peels? 

Exfoliating improves the skin turnover, which is beneficial for skin renewal and keeps our skin radiant and fresh. It encourages the removal of dead skin cells – unclogging 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 be shed, which will leave your skin red, tender, and sensitive. In contrast, not exfoliating enough will leave your complexion looking rough and dull and will weaken your serums and moisturizers as they will not absorb properly. And remember to always wear sunscreen, especially if you are a serial exfoliator.

Listen to your skin and find your balance. 

Home-Maintenance Surface Exfoliants: What's The Difference?

Both chemical peels and enzyme peels deeply exfoliate to reveal brighter younger looking skin without surgery.

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 home-use, where it is much less concentrated than the chemical peels you would expect at a spa 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 non-abrasive exfoliant for all skin types. Enzymes work best 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 clients with very sensitive or irritated skin.

You May Prefer Chemical Peels If...

chemical peels1. 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...

chemical peels1. 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, clear skin and minimized pores. Enzymes can be used for wrinkles and natural acne scar products.

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 harmful 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 not only that, it has the aroma of an exotic beach with an infused tropical fruit air. We can't get enough!

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