What is an Enzyme Peel?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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An enzyme peel is a beauty product that is used to deeply cleanse and resurface the skin on the face by treating the upper layers of skin tissue. This product is called a peel because it literally helps to peel dead skin cells off of the skin. By removing dead skin cells, the face is left clearer with a more even tone and texture. Furthermore, by removing the dead cells from the skin, these peels help to promote renewal within healthy skin cells. They can also help to diminish the visibility of scars, age spots, and wrinkles.

An enzyme peel is often made with fruit enzymes that both nourish the skin and help to slough off the dead skin cells. The most popular are the enzymes found in papayas, but some peels and similar products also use enzymes from green apples. The skin-benefiting properties are also found in pineapple, pumpkin, and aloe.

Sometimes these kinds of peels are called restorative enzyme peels. This is because, in the process of peeling away the dead skin cells, the skin is restored and becomes healthier and more able to heal and renew itself. One of the ways that an enzyme peel can improve skin health is by reducing acne. By thoroughly cleaning the pores and removing dead skin cells that may be clogging the pores, a peel can help to improve clarity in the skin.


An enzyme peel is different from a chemical peel in that it is much subtler in its effect. While an enzyme peel can usually be purchased over the counter and applied at home, chemical peels should only be applied by a dermatologist or skin care specialist. Furthermore, chemical peels usually remove far more layers of skin than those made with fruit enzymes. A chemical peel can leave the skin very sensitive and require recovery time during which the patient must apply medicated solutions and intensive moisturizers to the skin. Also, after some chemical peels, sunlight must be avoided.

In order to appreciate the best benefits of an enzyme peel, most dermatologists recommend maintaining a routine of exfoliation. By using a weekly deep cleansing mask, face polish, or other strong exfoliator, the benefits of the peel can be enjoyed for a longer period of time. Of course, it is helpful to reapply the enzyme treatment at regular intervals as well. If the skin becomes dry or irritated, it is important to discontinue the use of all peels and exfoliants or at least use them with less frequency.


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Post 4

I just had a pomegranate and lactic acid enzyme peel, followed by some scrubbing and massage four days ago. I had pretty smooth skin to begin with but after this treatment it seems uneven, with craters in places and white fine lines running across where that lady used some scrub to wash away the solutions. Can this be permanent?

Post 3

You should try the Lady Soma brand "Antioxidant Berry Masque". It works great, smells great, is all organic and is about four times cheaper than any other enzyme peel on the market (because it is half the price and twice the size).

It made a huge difference on my skin and I would recommend it to anyone who has acne or a dull, bumpy complexion. It does sting a bit, but it's supposed to do that and it's not so bad. And afterward it feels great.

Post 2

@Bertie68 - I've thought a lot about getting an enzyme or a chemical peel, also. I've read some reviews about both kinds. I just don't know.

People said that some of the enzyme peels were gentle on the skin, but only some scars, red spots and brown spots went away.

There are now some chemical peels that you can do at home. Women reported that they worked better than the enzyme peels - cleared up the skin better. But, you had to use a pretty strong solution. It took several days for the redness and stinging to go away. I don't know whether I would trust these products.

It is probably a good idea to go to a doctor instead of fooling around at home, if you want a chemical peel. It will cost you a bunch, though.

Post 1

It sounds like an enzyme peel can be good for the aging skin. Because a lot of them have fruit extracts in them like papaya, pineapple, vitamin E and different acids, they seem healthy. It's supposed to purify the skin, make it clear, and make wrinkles less noticeable.

I have a couple of problems with these masks. There's a lot of steps you have to take to do the procedure - it takes a lot of time, which I don't have.

Also, there are so many different cosmetic companies telling you that their product works and is the best. The beauty products are so expensive that you can't go out and buy a bunch to test them. Because of these reasons, I just haven't tried any of them. So much for looking young!

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