Do scrubs and chemical peels irritate your skin? Then it’s time to exfoliate a different way.
Enzymes are gentle exfoliators that are safe for sensitive skin. They remove the dead cells and brighten the complexion, leaving your face soft and radiant.
Over time, enzyme exfoliators will fade acne scars, erase fine lines, and clear up blackheads.
How can you enjoy all these benefits? Use the best enzyme mask for your situation once or twice a week.
Let’s talk about how to choose the exfoliating mask that best suits your needs.
What is the best enzyme mask?
Perhaps we should start by explaining what enzymes do for your face. They dissolve the keratin on the surface to get rid of dead skin. (1)
Fruit enzymes from pumpkin, pineapple, blueberry, and papaya are excellent for exfoliating. They are made up of amino acids that speed up cellular turnover.
As a result, regular use of an enzyme mask will make the skin smoother and clearer, with fewer scars and signs of aging.
But enzymes are not ideal for oily skin and clogged pores. Salicylic acid is better suited to tackle those challenges.
Instead, an enzyme mask is perfect for dry to normal or combination skin. Depending on the formula and your skin’s tolerance, you may be able to enjoy it once, twice, or more often each week.
Generally speaking, products like these are pH-balanced and moisturizing. They’re available in different formats, like overnight masks, powders that activate with water, peels, and masks that rinse off.
You may also treat sensitive skin with an enzyme mask, but please check the ingredients. Steer clear of artificial fragrances, alcohol, and glycolic acid. Lactic acid may be mild enough if you try a patch test first.
How to do an enzyme mask at home?
How often should you do an enzyme mask? In the beginning, exfoliate once or twice per week. You may find a toner with exfoliating enzymes that can be used every day.
Although many enzyme masks say to apply them to dry skin after cleansing, that’s not true of all brands.
If you don’t want to wait for the product to be shipped to you, should you chop up a pineapple and press it to your face? We’re not confident it would have the same benefits as a carefully-formulated skincare product. It might be a little too strong. After all, have you noticed how your mouth feels different after eating pineapple? Those are the enzymes breaking down the skin inside your mouth.
Are there any precautions regarding enzyme masks?
Other than checking the label and doing a patch test on sensitive skin, enzyme masks are safe and effective. Of course, it’s crucial to wear sunscreen as exfoliating can make the skin more sensitive to sunburn.
Still, enzyme masks need to be stored in a cool dark place. Unfortunately, the active components can be inactivated by high temperatures.
Best Enzyme Mask in 2023
Now, let’s start the reviews with the most recommended enzyme mask for all skin types.
Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
We’ve seen beauty experts call this the best enzyme mask for home use. It’s a luxurious experience that offers benefits similar to a chemical peel. It will reveal fresh skin and improve your complexion.
You only need to use it once a week as it’s quite potent. Make it part of your weekend pampering routine.
It doesn’t take much to cover the entire face as it has a thick, smooth texture that spreads easily. There are no abrasive particles that could scratch the skin. All the work is done by pumpkin enzymes, alpha hydroxy acid, and aluminum oxide crystals.
Don’t worry, it has a pleasant fragrance, and it’s paraben-free.
Oskia Renaissance Mask
It moisturizes and soothes like a balm but works like a chemical peel. This award-winning enzyme mask brightens and plumps the skin like you spent time at the spa.
The lavish cream starts out pink and turns white once it’s been massaged into the skin. The scent is a blend of passion fruit, rose, and chamomile.
The natural ingredients list includes papaya enzymes, citrus alpha hydroxy acids, prebiotics, MSM, and liposomes from garden cress. It’s the perfect recipe for a renewed, luminous complexion.
Murad Night Fix Enzyme Treatment
Murad’s enzyme treatment is a sleeping mask. Wear it overnight to rehydrate and exfoliate. Apply it on top of your regular moisturizer.
While you rest, it revives the skin with peptides and antioxidants to combat signs of aging. At the same time, it reduces redness with niacinamide and sweeps away dead cells.
It has a subtle fragrance that actually enhances the quality of your sleep. Plus, it’s free of parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, gluten, petrolatum, and animal ingredients.
Mario Badescu Enzyme Revitalizing Mask
This is a twenty-minute rinse-off mask. It features papaya extract, oatmeal, algae, and vitamins to brighten a dull complexion.
Wash your face and dry it. Then smooth on a thin layer of the mask, keeping it away from your eyes. Once you rinse with lukewarm water, you should enjoy a healthier-looking complexion.
Image Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque
It’s a makeover in a bottle.
Here you can combine skin care techniques for maximum effect. This mask contains both vitamin C and papaya enzymes to exfoliate and brighten skin tone. But that’s not all it offers.
With hyaluronic acid, it draws in moisture. Retinyl palmitate increases cellular turnover while grapeseed rejuvenates tired skin.
Wear it for up to thirty minutes before rinsing with tepid water. It calms reddened skin and makes the skin glow with health.
Alba Botanica Facial Mask, Papaya Enzyme
Here’s a worthwhile alternative to those pricey premium masks. It features organic aloe, pineapple, papaya, and mango to remove dull surface skin and boosts circulation.
It has a pleasing tropical scent, and it only takes five minutes a week to work wonders.
Arista Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
This mask will tingle, so keep it away from your lips and eyes. It’s a potent blend of pumpkin enzymes and glycolic acid.
It only takes five minutes to resurface the skin, leaving it smooth and renewed. It works like a chemical peel yet has additional benefits. For example, it’s enriched with vitamin C and antioxidants to slow down the aging process.
But the main ingredient is clearly pumpkin – it’s 95% of the formula. There’s also a dash of nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon, making us yearn for pumpkin pie.
Bliss Pumpkin Powerhouse
Pamper your skin with natural goodness. This exfoliating facial mask sweeps away dead skin and impurities while it boosts elasticity. It will leave your face vibrant and supple.
The magic comes from pumpkin bursting with enzymes. Moreover, it contains other powerful enzymes like bromelain from pineapple and papain from papaya.
Still, it’s not all about the exfoliation. It includes other skincare essentials like lemon peel, sunflower seed oil, and shea butter.
Happily, it’s free of parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil, phthalates, urea, petrolatum, DEA/TEA, etc.
Divulge Beauty Exfoliating Enzyme Face Mask
It’s a powder. You’ll have to mix it with hot water to spread it on your face. Leave it on like a mud mask for up to ten minutes before rinsing with warm water.
That may sound strange, but it’s handy to have it packaged this way. The next time you travel, you won’t have to worry about liquids in your carry-on. Also, it’s more shelf-stable.
It’s not abrasive as it doesn’t contain clay (although it does smell earthy). Instead, it has oat kernel protein with pancreatin to gently remove dead cells. It’s the peppermint leaf powder and menthol that give it the cooling sensation.
COSMEDIX Pure Enzymes Cranberry Exfoliating Mask
If you have sensitive skin, take a closer look at this enzyme mask. It polishes the complexion with cranberry enzymes and lactic acid, the mildest alpha hydroxy acid.
It’s fragrance-free and fortified with healing ingredients. It has neem, aloe, and turmeric to calm irritation and cleanse pores.
You only need to use it once or twice a week for between three to ten minutes.
Theraderm NuPeel Natural Enzyme Peel
Still, the best enzyme peel for sensitive skin might be this one. It renews the complexion with papaya and pineapple.
It’s a gel mask designed for all skin types. What’s more, it’s yet mild enough for use after a chemical peel when the skin is still flaking. To protect sensitive skin, the mask is free of gluten and parabens.
Finally, botanicals like grapeseed, aloe, and tea leaf ensure a calm and moisturized complexion.
RAYA Enzyme Peeling Facial Cream
RAYA operates a spa in Los Angeles and uses products like this one on-site.
Begin with dry skin and smooth on the creamy mask. Allow it to dry for a minute, then massage with circular movements to sweep away impurities and dead cells.
Fruit enzymes from pineapple and papaya exfoliate while aloe and mango butter soften and heal the skin.
ELEMIS Papaya Enzyme Peel
Disconnect from your problems and take a moment to relax. This fragrant enzyme peel requires no scrubbing to renew your complexion.
In fifteen minutes or less, the pineapple and papaya enzymes exfoliate tired skin. Meanwhile, sunflower and bladderwrack seaweed purify and strengthen.
Lastly, antioxidants from vitamin E and porphyridium accelerate healing.
What’s the difference between an enzyme mask and a peel? They vary in name only. Even though you might expect a peel to peel off, many rinse off like a mask.
Andalou Naturals Kombucha Enzyme Exfoliating Peel
Once upon a time, this product was called the Grapefruit Plus Exfoliating Peel. Now, the company has put emphasis on the kombucha enzyme from fermented black tea. But grapefruit is still the third ingredient on the label.
In any case, this is a potent exfoliating mask as it contains more than fruit enzymes. Besides bromelain and papain, it also uses willow bark to cleanse the skin.
Furthermore, it features a fruit stem cell complex plus vitamin C for extra brightening. Users say it leaves their skin renewed and comfortable without causing dryness or flaking. They’ve noticed tighter pores and diminished redness.
Valjean Labs Renew Collagen and Fruit Enzymes Sleeping Mask
Sometimes we’re too tired to exfoliate. That’s when a sleeping mask like this one comes in handy. It revitalizes the skin overnight.
As well as exfoliating, it also moisturizes and plumps. The key ingredients are pineapple and papaya enzymes, plus collagen to rebuild sagging skin.
One reviewer said that the thick texture absorbs quickly. They appreciated how they woke up with smoother skin.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Purifying Enzyme Mask
If you find yourself on a budget and unable to afford luxury products, we’ve got good news for you. There are still worthwhile options to try, like this drugstore enzyme mask.
Palmer’s formulated it with both kaolin clay and papaya enzyme, giving it extra exfoliating power. The clay draws out impurities while papaya dissolves the bonds between dead cells. Once you rinse, it leaves your face feeling like velvet.
There are more highlights we must point out. First, the mask smells like chocolate.
And second, it’s dermatologist-tested to be safe for sensitive skin. Although it has an artificial fragrance, it’s one of the last ingredients on the label.
[SON & PARK] Beauty Water
If you don’t have time for an enzyme mask, cleanse your skin with this toner instead. It clears away dead skin with papaya fruit water. It also keeps acne at bay with tea tree, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus.
Put it on a cotton pad and take care of trouble spots either before bed or first thing in the morning. It has a subtle citrus scent.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, you’re going to be delighted when you try an enzyme mask. It’s a mild and effective way to exfoliate naturally.
Even if you have sensitive skin, an enzyme mask helps dryness and redness. Over time, it reduces hyperpigmentation and smooths fine lines and wrinkles.
Best of all, there are mask types to suit all sorts of situations and budgets. From sleeping masks to peels and creams and powders, there’s an enzyme exfoliator for everyone.
1. https://www.self.com/story/are-enzymes-good-for-skin by Shannon Romanowski, published February 1, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2021