It is that time of year when our skin needs just a bit more TLC as the weather starts to play havoc on absolutely everything! I love to exfoliate my skin to give it a fresh look a couple days or so before a party, but this is the busy season and when I don’t have time to see my favorite Skin Therapist for a facial I do a quick homemade exfoliation at home!
So what exactly is exfoliation? Exfoliation is the removal of the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin's outermost surface or epidermis. Exfoliation is an important part of both facials and body treatments and keeping your skin healthy. When done properly, exfoliation leaves the skin feeling smooth and renewed. Exfoliation also makes it easier for your daily facial products like moisturizers and serums to penetrate.
There are actually two types of exfoliation, Mechanical and Chemical. Mechanical are those exfoliations such as abrasive scrubs or microdermabrasion. Today we are going to talk about Chemical exfoliation and how to do it at home between your facial visits with your favorite Skin Therapist. Fruit enzymes are the gentlest type of chemical exfoliation. Enzyme exfoliation removes dead skin cells by biological action rather than physical abrasion. Enzymes can also help with healing and nourishing the skin, treat spots, fine lines, and unblock pores. Unlike scrubs, it is usually safe to use on sensitized skin, fragile capillaries and rosacea. If in question, ask your Dermatologist or Skin Therapist.
To make your own Enzyme peel, you can use fresh fruits or capsules. Capsules have the advantage of being gentler and less likely to irritate, but most of my clients really love the fresh fruit pulp. It is usually stronger and more potent, so be careful if you have a sensitive/sensitized skin. Papain is gentler then Bromelain, and fig and pumpkin are even gentler. When in doubt, start out with a low strength mixture and use more buffer ingredient. Don’t forget to test an area before doing your entire face or body.
Bromelain Exfoliation with tablets:
You need pineapple tablets, sold as enzyme supplements for good digestion and/or weight loss. Choose capsules that have powder inside (not paste); or tablets, crushed in a coffee grinder (they are hard!) Use Bromelain tablets with GDU (Gelatin Digestion Units) of around 300. A higher GDU can irritate the skin. Mix with a little distilled water or natural yogurt (the yogurt keeps it from drying out on the face).
Fresh Fruit Enzyme Peels:
Use fresh fruit pulp or puree (use a fork or a blender). It should be noted that unripe fruits have more of the exfoliating enzymes. To make sure the mask won´t irritate the skin, use a "buffer" ingredient. In the following recipes honey, yogurt, aloe Vera gel or gelatin has been used as the buffer, but feel free to experiment around. Yogurt has the benefit of staying moist by itself, so you won’t need to spritz water.
Here are some favorites. Remember that the quantities of the ingredients are approximate, after a couple of times you´ll have fine-toned your own mix.
* 3 tbsp. Papaya (pureed) + 1 tsp. honey
* 3 tbsp. Papaya, 2 tbsp. Pineapple and 1 tsp. honey, pureed together.
* 3 tbsp. Ripe Pumpkin, 3 tbsp. Green Papaya, 2 tbsp. Pineapple, all pureed.
* 2 tbsp. papaya, 1/2 tsp. pineapple, 1 tsp. powdered green algae (optional), all pureed.
* 4 tbsp. pumpkin, 2 figs, (both pureed), 1 tsp. green tea, 4 tsp. cornmeal, 2 tsp. aloe Vera gel, 1 tsp. jojoba oil.
How to use
Cleanse face, either with a very gentle face wash, or just with water. Dry.
Rub the Enzyme Peel gently in a circular motion on the face, neck and décolleté avoiding the eye area and irritated or cut skin. You only need a thin layer of it on your skin.
Wait for 5-15 minutes and remove gently with water and a wash cloth.
** Suggestion, don’t forget your hands and your back for that pretty backless dress for Valentine's Day!