As we age, natural exfoliation can take up to 40 days or more, which leads to a buildup of dead skin cells. This means fine lines, uneven skin tone, and in some cases, acne. Incorporating natural fruit enzymes into your skin care regimen is a great way to clean, correct, and polish the skin, as well as deliver nutrition to skin cells.

Good-Bye Dead Skin

In the late 1800s, papain (found in unripe papaya) was first explored and recognized as an enzyme useful in digesting protein. This makes papaya useful for light exfoliation, as it operates in a way that’s similar to digestive enzymes breaking down food in the stomach; it digests dead skin to reveal fresh, healthy cells.

Fruit Antioxidants

Fruit enzymes also offer antioxidant benefits to the skin. To visualize oxidation, think of an apple that’s been cut and left out in the open. It turns brown. Yet, if you squeeze a lemon over the apple right after slicing it, it staysfresh and looks more appetizing. While we wouldn’t want lemon juice (at 100 percent L-ascorbic acid) on our skin, we do want the benefits of a more gentle, buffered substance to stabilize pH and control acidity. Products including fruits like blueberry, kiwi, lemon, pomegranate, and pumpkin provide great antioxidant nutrition to the skin.

Stay Hydrated

Natural enzymes in the epidermis require water, since water regulates almost every enzymatic action. This raises interesting questions: Do you drink enough water? Do you live in a dry climate or other environment where trans-epidermal water loss is great? If there is not enough water among skin cells, natural enzymes will not kick in. Adding water to your diet will further enhance enzymatic activity.

Lisa VanBockern is founder and owner of Skin Script Skin Care of Tempe, Arizona. She is a formulator of corrective fruit enzyme products and educates on that topic. Her esthetic focus has been on corrective skin treatments for all ethnicities.