Chemical vs Enzyme: Exfoliation Guide

Soda Pop and Skin Care

So what do soda pop and skin care have to do with one another?

...well, a lot it turns out.

Without getting too nerdy, allow me to explain the fun and fizzy chemistry that makes soft drinks dance around on the tongue.

Before the big soft drink companies like Pepsi and Coca Cola seal their cans of your favourite pop they pump incredible amounts of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the can/bottle. 

There is a natural chemical reaction between the water (H2O) and the carbon dioxide (CO2) which creates what is known as carbonic acid H2CO3.

Still with me? Don't worry, it will all be made clear in a moment. Keep reading!

Now when you open up our ice cold cola beverage you will notice bubbles slowly forming, making their way to the top of the drink and floating around. This is the process of carbonic acid dissociating back to CO2 in water.

Now.. as you take a sip of your fizzy favourite the bubbles seem to explode in your mouth. How can this be?

Bubbles are produced much quicker in your mouth than in the drink thanks to a particular enzyme in the human mouth called Carboinc Anhydrase.

hmm.... what does this have to do with skin care again? 

I'm so glad you asked!

What are Enzymes?

Before I continue it is important that you understand what an enzyme is. Enzymes are very efficient catalysts (a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction) for biochemical reactions.

Simplified: They speed things up.

Shedding Dead Skin Cells

There is a natural process through which our body's outer layer of skin sheds old and dead cells revealing the fresh and beautiful skin beneath. This process is known as exfoliation. 

This process occurs naturally over a cycle of 30 days. As we age, the process slows down greatly. By age 25 the time it takes to rid ourselves of the pesky dead cells can double to 60 days!

This results in dry, scaly, and aged looking skin.


"What can we do about it?", you may ask. 

Enzymatic Exfoliates

Thanks to decades of research and development, cosmetic companies have discovered a way to greatly speed up this process so that you can enjoy a more youthful and healthy glow to your complexion.

Chemical exfoliation has actually been around for a long time now. Typically it has involved the use of salicylic acid as a means to burn off the dead skin. While this process works very well it is certainly not for everyone. I know for myself it can cause a great deal of irritation leaving me with red, damaged skin.

Today, companies like France Laure here in Canada have discovered a way to make use of natural enzymes found in fruit such as pineapple, pumpkin, cranberries, papaya, pomegranate and even cucumber to create a much gentler chemical exfoliant that will work to speed up the natural exfoliation process without introducing harsh acids that could result in irritation.


France Laure
Enzymatic Fruit Exfoliant

Apply a generous amount 1-2 times per week as needed.


  • Gentle Exfoliation
  • Reduces Acne
  • Restores youthful glow
  • Smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles

pH Levels

One of the added bonuses to enzymatic exfoliates is that they function efficiently across a wider range of pH. This is good news because the pH levels of our skin can vary greatly from one hour to the next. 

For the best results we suggest that you cleanse your face, apply a toner with cotton pad followed by a fruit enzyme exfoliate within 30-60 seconds of the toner being applied.

Word of Caution

You should note that while enzymatic exfoliates are an absolute breakthrough in cosmetic science it is important that you store your skin care product somewhere out of the light and if possible consistently cool as the change in temperature can render the product less potent.

The Bottom Line

Enzymatic chemical exfoliates are an amazing and natural chemical exfoliate, a great alternative to physical and acid-based exfoliation methods that will leave your skin feeling and looking healthy and youthful in a more gentler approach.

In general, exfoliates should NOT be used daily. Generally they are to be used between 1-3 times per week as needed. Check with the manufacturers instructions or speak with your aesthetician or dermatologist.

As always, we suggest to spot test the product first followed 50% of the recommended frequency of application for the first week or two.

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