Live enzymes and skincare
Many spas, beauty salons, and plastic surgery cliniques offer expensive enzymatic and chemical peels of various kinds and degrees, some more aggressive than others, in the persue to combat the signs of aging. The purpose of an enzyme peel is to break down dead skin cells on your most superficial skin layer, the epidermis, to accelerate the process of skin cell replacement. This promotes younger cells and diminishes scars, stretch marks, age spots, fine lines and discoloration. Enzymes can also penetrate the skin to help cleanse pores and improve skin tone and texture.
Did you know, that many of the active ingredients in these types of peels are derived from various fruits and vegetables? Now, professionally formulated products are often quite more concentrated than just the fruits and do therefore require a professional esthetician or dermatologist to perform them. However, regular fresh fruits and veggies are a totally different story! You can easily make your own extremely effective fruit cocktail mask at home from some very common everyday ingredients you may even have in your fridge right now as you’re reading this.
PINEAPPLE🍍 - The richest source of the protein-digesting enzyme bromelain, widely used for its medicinal benefits, especially for combating inflammation and water retention in the body, and aiding digestion. Bromelain effectively dissolves dead skin cells, reversing free radical damage and smoothing skin texture, and is especially effective at reducing the appearance of acne scars.
PUMPKIN🎃 - Contains a high amount of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), one of the most fast acting and effective enzymes and widely used by the beauty industry. Pumpkin also contains high amounts of carotenoids, a type of vitamin A, which stimulates production of new skin cells and collagen when applied topically, effectively reducing wrinkles, finelines, age spots, and acne. Must be used in moderation, as pumpkin can cause excessive peeling if used too often on the skin.
GRAPES🍇 - Contains tartaric acid and alpha hydroxy acid, along with an impressive amount of antioxidants and flavonoids. Grapes are the perfect addition to any skin care routine to prevent the signs of aging such as age spots, sun damage, and an uneven skin complexion.
TOMATO🍅 - Praised for its high content of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, tomatoes are famous for their natural bleaching properties that help brighten, lighten, and refresh dull and dark skin while reducing the effects of sun damage and premature aging. Tartaric acid and lactic acid gently removes dead skin cells, while tightening pores and reducing excessive sebum production in oily skin. Tomatoes were widely used by farmers for protection against the sun while working outdoors all day long.
KIWI🥝 - Rich in lutein, an other type of carotenoid, kiwi fruits are powerful protectants against UV rays for people in hot and sunny climates. Lutein is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps relieve irritation and redness in the skin, while the AHA content in kiwis helps remove dead skin cells for a brighter and glowy complexion. Kiwis are great for sun spots, age spots, and dark circles under the eyes.
APPLE🍎 - A popular ingredient in anti-aging products due to its high malic acid content. Malic acid reduces hyperpigmentation by inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin. This gentle enzyme is suitable for all skin types, and can be used to tighten pores, minimize skin pigmentation, moisturize the skin, and help diminish fine lines.
HOW TO MAKE FRUIT MASKS AT HOME
The best and most effective way to make these power fruits and vegetables into masks, is to either puré or juice them, and with an applicatior or cotton ball applying a thin layer all over the face and neck after your cleansing routine. My personal favorite is tomato! It’s gentle enough for my skin, easy to apply as you only need a slice of it (no need for mashing or juicing), and it’s easily accessable all year around as it grows locally where i live. Kiwis are easy to slice a thin piece of as well and place below your eyes for a quick anti-dark-circle-treatment in the morning.
As these types of masks act as gentle chemical peels it is important to only keep them on the skin for 3-5 minutes to prevent irritation and excessive peeling of the skin. If you have sensitive, thin skin you should not exceed the 3 minute mark, and if you have thicker, oily skin 5 minutes is usually more suitable. It is normal to feel a tingling sensation from some of the fruits while on the skin, especially the ones containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). Once the time is up, rinse the mask off with warm water untill the tingling sensations disappears. Finish with a nourishing face oil or moisturizer to help the skin protect itself and build new skin cells after the ezyme peel. Avoid direct sunlight and excessive sweating 12h after the mask.
Homemade fruit peels are in general gentle and safe enough for anyone to use, there are however a few contraindications for when you should NOT use a fruit peel mask. These include intolerance of an ingredient, exacerbation of skin disorders, pancreatic diabetes and other diseases that lead to lowered immune functioning, any damage to skin surface, or active herpes episode.