By Melissa Federico, LE and Beauty Writer
It has to be said: not everyone needs a chemical peel to see results in the treatment room. A wild notion, we’re aware. It’s just that society has been conditioned to believe that aggressive peels and instant gratification creams are what it takes to treat all skincare woes, and it’s just not true.
Prevention and maintenance are what it takes, and there is a way to keep skin conditioned for the long road ahead all while treating fine lines, acne, and even inflammation without using a chemical or mechanical exfoliation, and it’s with an enzyme. Below are the details on what an enzyme actually is and how it can be used to provide support and beautiful results as a part of a corrective facial or therapeutic spa experience in your treatment room.
The gap that enzymes fill is pretty crucial and beneficial for you and your clients. Enzymes are heavy hitters in the skincare world becuase they work on the dead layer of skin that builds on surface of the epidermis. They are universally great for all skin types, and they can be used to accelerate and enhance the healing and the peeling process because they also have anti-inflammatory qualities. As biological proteins, enzymes speed up the rate of chemical reactions within cells. These proteolytic enzymes, or enzymes that break down proteins, come from fruits and vegetables such as pineapple, papaya and pumpkin. They work topically much in the same way they work within our own biological processes, to breakdown and digest. The difference between an acid and an enzyme is that one digests and one dissolves. It’s important to note this key difference between enzymes and acids because when it comes to treating sensitive skin and higher Fitzpatrick skin types, an enzyme that digests can be a safer treatment option.
Your skin cells naturally turn over about every 28 days, and meeting this process to help it along the way with an exfoliant like an enzyme, is very beneficial for counteracting fine lines, acne and other skin concerns. Every month without the aid of an exfoliation the outermost layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum, builds up and results in a dull, rough appearance, fine lines and a build up of bacteria that leads to acne and inflammation.
Using an enzyme for monthly maintenance treatment is ideal because enzymes work to disconnect the intercellular glue by digesting the old and dead skin cells, helping this natural shedding process along, resulting in softer and healthier skin. Depending on your clients skin type and condition, as well as the formulation of the enzymes that you use, it’s great to use before a chemical peel. This really helps to accelerate the digestion of the dead skin cells and give the skin an even base before applying a peel. This results in a brighter tone and firm appearance. Enzymes are loaded with skin-building ingredients like antioxidants which also make them great for inflammation and acneic skin.
Use with steam to amplify brightening effects and create that spa-type experience that requires little downtime for the client. Combining enzymes with azelaic acid and salicylic acid will help to further amplify lightening and control acne and post-inflammatory pigmentation from acne.
Exploring new treatments for your clients is a great way use your imagination and educate yourself. Adding a versatile enzyme into the mix prior to a corrective peel or as part of a signature spa facial will help you treat every skin type with a radiant, youthful complexion.