All About Botanical Enzymes & Peels
Hello and Happy Friday!
If you've been following my social media lately, (particularly on Instagram) you know I've been introducing you to the various tools and modalities that I use in my facials. Today, I'm extra excited though, because I'm here to talk about one of my very favorites. Botanical Fruit Enzyme Peels!
Before we dive too deep, you might be wondering what exactly is a botanical fruit enzyme treatment? And how does it differ from a more traditional chemical peel? Great questions. I'll tackle specifics in a minute but what you might be surprised to know is that a botanical peel really isn't much different from a "chemical" peel. In fact, they are close cousins!
In the first place, many chemical peel acids are actually derived from fruits, plants and even nuts. Alpha and Beta-Hydroxy acids are naturally occurring in some plants. A few examples of this would be glycolic acid from sugar cane, malic acid from grapes,
mandelic acid from almonds, tartaric acid from grapes, salicylic acid from willow bark and the list goes on.
Fruit acids are commonly used to treat the skin due to their enzymatic properties. Enzymes digest other organic matter, so when applied topically they help digest dead skin cells. The difference between the fruit enzymes that I use and a traditional peel is that the peel will be a blend of pure acids, whereas the botanical version uses a blend of actual fruit extracts.
Some of the botanical peels rely purely on the fruit and enzymes, while others actually infuse alpha and beta hydroxy acids with the fruit. And that's where the fun comes in. What I love most about working with botanical fruit enzymes is that the provide a customizable array of options for exfoliation. Some of the enzymes are infused with seasonal fruits are and released only in limited edition batches.
I use enzymes like coconut, papaya, raspberry and peach for clients who are pregnant or have sensitive skin and the results are akin to a good scrub. I also use more intense enzymes like cranberry and ginger that are nothing to scoff at in terms of intensity. If you're someone who likes to "feel the burn" I've got enzymes that will put peels to shame. This chart below does a good job of showing the range of options, though it doesn't even include them all.
Most of the time, I work somewhere in the middle of this scale. Fruit enzymes can be mixed in different ratios and can be selected to target specific concerns. Blueberry and pomegranate work great for acne, whereas I love cherry and passionfruit for aging skin. Whatever your skin concern, there's an enzyme for that. Fruit enzymes can even be "boosted" with a shot of glycolic or lactic acid to make closer to a true chemical peel. This is where the magic really begins in terms of me being able to customize and tailor an enzyme treatment to your individual needs.
At this point you might be wondering how do these botanical enzyme peels compare to a regular chemical peel? And why not just get a peel? Are these peels as effective and do they get the same kinds of results?
My answer comes from the experience of working with both for several years now. And with that experience in mind, I can safely say I prefer botanical enzyme peels. As an esthetician I love that they are far more versatile to work with. They produce more consistent results with less trauma to the skin. Specifically, enzymes work to break down old keratin proteins. They are anti-inflammatory and help rebalance the skin's pH producing a beautiful end result. I like to use a botanical fruit peel to exfoliate, followed by a hydrating mask to really deliver nutrition deep into the skin.
I can also speak to the benefits as someone who regularly uses the enzymes on my own skin. In my experience traditional chemical peels work great, but I usually have to suffer through a few days of my skin feeling irritated, itchy and flaky before the true "results" of the peel can surface. Sometimes my skin spends a few days feeling sluggish and looking kind of rough before it starts to look good. And sometimes absolutely nothing happens and I end up feeling disappointed.
Botanical peels, on the other hand, get the job done right away and without the downtime. Very occasionally clients will experience light flaking or peeling after an enzyme treatment, but the majority do not. Redness can occur during or immediately after a facial using the botanical enzymes, but it typically subsides in less than 30 minutes and is always followed by a radiant glow. My skin feels soft and hydrated and I also notice an improvement in my skin's overall tone. Pigmented and irritated spots are less noticeable and my complexion looks more even.
Some other things you might be wondering...
How does a fruit peel compare to dermaplaning or microdermabrasion?
They are all non-invasive forms of exfoliation, producing similar results. These treatments are really just three different ways of going about the same thing. That said, if you typically choose manual exfoliation treatments (like dermaplaning and microderm), I encourage you to try mixing it up with a botanical enzyme peel sometime. You just might like the results even better!
What other modalities can be combined with an enzyme peel?
Another perk to a botanical peel vs a chemical peel is that botanical enzyme peels can be combined with a lot more modalities. Chemical peels tend to be standalone treatments only because other product (like a mask or massage oil from a face massage) as these can interfere with the chemistry of the peel. But not so with fruit enzymes! I combine them in treatments alongside facial massage, masks and my personal favorite - LED Light Therapy - for a more relaxing and holistic facial.
How often should you get an enzyme treatment?
Because fruit enzymes are a gentle alternative to traditional peels, they can be done more frequently. Most are fine to do weekly, monthly or every 6-8 weeks. There's not really a wrong way to do them, but consistency does produce better results.
Any other pros and cons?
Just one last pro... botanical fruit enzyme peels smell 10,000x better than chemical peels. So now that you know the skinny on my amazing enzymes, I hope you're feeling inspired to try one at your next treatment. Still have questions? Feel free to shoot me an email to email@example.com. And stay tuned to my Instagram feed, for more info on all of the different fruit enzyme "flavors." I'll be introducing a different botanical enzyme
and talking about the specific benefits of each one on my Instagram feed, starting next month!