I have acne prone skin. Any changes in usual routine, travelling and change in water affects my skin. Like any other woman with acne, I am always on the quest for discovering a home remedy or a product that can give a flawless skin. I usually steer clear of aestheticians and so called experts who give illogical suggestions but few months back I came across an aesthetician who approaches to skin problems in a more logical and scientific way.
She suggested me to gently exfoliate my skin with enzyme based exfoliators weekly once and then apply an astringent. Though she mentioned few names, I decided to do my own research on enzyme exfoliation and exfoliators. After a long search on internet I came across exfoliating cleansers with papaya enzyme exfoliation and bamboo stem extract exfoliation.
Outermost layer of skin cells known as corneocytes undergo shedding naturally for every few days. This process is important for flawless and healthy looking skin as it promotes the renewal of outer layer of skin with new cells.
In acne prone skin, the strong binding between the corneocytes as well as between the cells of hair follicle present in skin layers impedes the shedding process.
This build up of dead skin cells at the exterior and also at the hair follicle level of skin layer causes the blockade of skin pores leading to acne.
Exfoliation of skin helps the shedding process by decreasing the binding of corneocytes with one another.
As much acne prone skin needs careful exfoliation while doing so during an acne-breakout will most likely aggravate the acne. So start your exfoliation regime only after your breakout has subsided to a moderate extent
How does enzymatic exfoliation work?
In enzymatic exfoliation, enzymes such as papain from Papaya enzyme extract, Bromelain from pineapple are used to dissolve the glue between these external dead cells of skin.
Even the natural shedding of outer layer of our skin occurs by the action of enzymes. So using external papaya enzyme exfoliation simulates the natural process of exfoliation.
The inner peel of papaya can be used for getting the benefits of papaya enzymatic exfoliation or you can look for any good quality exfoliators.
Homemade papaya enzyme exfoliator:
- You can simply use the inner peel of papaya and rub it all over the face gently for a minute or two. Then rinse with warm water.
- Alternatively, you can experiment with the papaya pulp by adding either any of the kitchen ingredients:
- For acne prone skin you can add neem powder.
- For dry skin add honey to the pulp.
- For oily skin add matcha to the pulp. Matcha is finely grounded powder of specially grown green tea.
Papaya fruit is available in all seasons and you can make your own masks and peels anytime. However, as another option you can even try over the counter papaya enzyme extract exfoliators or pineapple enzyme extract exfoliators.
Previously, I was using Everyuth naturals hydro-active Walnut and Apricot scrub (if you have dry skin or normal skin you can check here ). Though I loved the smooth feel and instant glow after its use, it made my skin oily and gave me occasional breakouts. So, I wanted to experiment with an enzyme exfoliator so after checking through the ingredients list of various exfoliators, I chose:
Clinique pep-start 2in1 exfoliating cleanser with papaya extract and bamboo stem extract:
Clinique exfoliating cleanser has not only papaya extract but also bamboo stem extract. This was enough for me to go for it. You must be wondering now what role bamboo stem extract has in skin care.
Bamboo stem extract has oil absorbing properties as well as it is rich source of silica. But I believe the purpose of bamboo stem extract in this particular exfoliating cleanser is to absorb excess oil.
Nevertheless, this exfoliator doesn’t make your skin feel tight due to dryness. If at all the product you use makes your skin dry then you should be concerned more than dry skin people. Excessive dryness of facial skin leads to an imbalance in sebum production(natural oil produced by skin)
This papaya extract and bamboo stem extract exfoliating cleanser has even silica and caffeine. Silica and Caffeine added in exfoliators aids in sloughing off the dead skin cells.
The other ingredient that caught my interest was Salicylic acid. Salicylic acid breaks the clogs of dead skin cells that block the pores of skin which finds its usefulness in acne prone skin in particular. Additionally, it also breaks the bonds between the cohesive dead cells just like papaya extract.
However, after having a bad experience with other products, I no longer purchase based on the presence of a specific ingredient.
Because even Neutrogena’s oil free cleanser has Salicylic acid as its main ingredient. Much to my dismay it made my skin worse. I didn’t want to waste the bottle and so, I started using it to rinse my hands. Shockingly, my otherwise smooth palms turned rough and felt skin peeling near finger nails.
Your takeway: If the product you bought mentions having potent ingredients such as Salicyclic acid, Glycolic acid, Triclosan etc.. in specific percentages above 1% then you better first use it on your hand or other areas of the body. Apply it to your face if and only if it wasn’t harsh on your skin
My review of Clinique pep-start 2in1 exfoliating cleanser:
The cleanser has a lovely orange color with minute grains. I pump a dime size of the cleanser on the exfoliating brush (if you wish to purchase check here ) and then gently rub in circular motions over my wet face. After rinsing off the face I feel tight feel of the skin and so, I apply the astringent suggested by the aesthetician.
I have been doing this from few months and I can visibly see a reduction in the frequency of breakouts. I have hormonal acne so, I make sure to exfoliate my face around the PMS breakout times. Not to mention the noticeable glow this exfoliating cleanser imparts to the skin.
Astringent: You can use witch hazel or you can try the one I have posted below. Whichever you use avoid alcohol containing astringent. The one I use is from VLCC and the formulation has herbal ingredients. (You can check here )
Final note: Clinique pep-start 2in1 exfoliating cleanser with papaya extract and bamboo stem extract seems a well formulated product with all the essential ingredients that help in exfoliating an acne prone skin.
I believe it gives better results when used after steaming your face and then following up with an astringent. Drop in your comments if you would like to share your views.
You may as well check my detailed post on an oil which offers not only skincare but also enhances your makeup.
And get know what your skin needs for retaining and reviving its vitality rather than opting for the over-hyped anti-aging products
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