Chemical Exfoliants 101 with Pure Enzymes

Ready to give chemical exfoliation a try?

If there was any silver lining to this past year, it was a newfound appreciation for our beauty and at-home skincare routines. And, if you haven’t ventured into the realms of chemical exfoliants, you might be missing out. While the name might sound like something you brewed up in chemistry class, it is actually a popular method of skin exfoliation that has been used in the skincare industry for years. Nothing to fear here!

So, if you are looking to up your at-home skincare routine, join us as we deep dive into everything you need to know about chemical exfoliants, including a how to with one of our favorite COSMEDIX chemical exfoliants, Pure Enzymes:

What is a Chemical Exfoliant?

Let’s start with the basics. We’ve all heard of a physical exfoliator (think sugar scrub, walnut scrub, or scrub brush), but what about its chemical alter ego? Popular among skincare professionals, a chemical exfoliant is an acid and/or enzyme that is added to a skincare product to help exfoliate dead skin. Often available in a variety of different strengthens, these exfoliants can be applied to the complexion in the form of a cleanser, toner, lotion or face mask. And, while the word “chemical” might sound a little more advanced, don’t let that make you apprehensive! A number of chemical exfoliants are actually gentler than traditional scrubs.

How Does it Work?

Rather than using gritty skincare ingredients to remove dry skin, chemical exfoliators help slough away dead skin by encouraging healthy skin renewal. Examples of chemical exfoliants include AHAs, BHA and Fruit Enzymes—all of which work at different levels to help exfoliate the complexion:

AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid): Ideal for normal to sensitive skin types, AHAs work to exfoliate the outermost layer of skin to help improve the look of uneven skin tone, texture and dark spots.

BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid): Great for acne-prone or oily skin types, BHAs work deeper into the skin to help cut through pore-clogging impurities and refine the look of congested pores.

Fruit Enzymes: Unsurprisingly, Fruit Enzymes are derived from… well, fruit. Papaya, Pineapple and Cranberry are popular forms of fruit enzymes that can be applied to skincare formulations to help exfoliate away dull, dry skin. They are also a gentle alternative to AHA and BHA exfoliants.

So, What’s the Deal with Pure Enzymes

Pure Enzymes Cranberry Exfoliating Mask combines L-Lactic Acid—an AHA—and Cranberry Enzymes to help polish away dull, dry surface skin. Powered with refreshing and moisture-boosting ingredients, this  antioxidant rich formula also helps protect the skin from environmental stressors while locking in long-lasting hydration for a softer, plumper-looking complexion.

How to Apply + How Often to Use…

The most important key to exfoliating with Pure Enzymes is knowing HOW to use it and what to expect. Pure Enzymes can be used 2-3 times a week, depending on your skin type. Because of the chemical properties in this face mask, a little redness and tingling is to be expected—so don’t panic! That’s just the exfoliating and uber-hydrating skincare ingredients doing their best work!

To apply:

Step #1: Use COSMEDIX Dual-Sided Silicone Mask Applicator to apply Pure Enzymes to the face in sections. Don’t forget your neck!

Step #2: Allow to the mask to sit on the skin from 3-10 minutes. 3 minutes is usually best for sensitive skin types, where more oily or normal skin types can benefit from a longer application.

Step #3: Use warm water to gently remove the mask with your hands or a washcloth. Pat dry and follow up with your favorite COSMEDIX serum and moisturizer.

Get on the Next Level with COSMEDIX Step Up Guide to Retinol

Retinol. An apprehensive skincare ingredient to some, but a gamechanger for your skin.

Incorporating Retinol (Vitamin A) into your skincare routine is a beneficial steppingstone in your complexion journey. But, even if you understand the importance of the ingredient, it can still be an intimidating—even daunting—addition to your skincare collection of cleanser, serum and moisturizer.  

For those on the hunt for the ideal Retinol match, just remember that the simplest and most important thing to look for is the strength. Vitamin A in skincare products comes in many different shapes and forms and, depending on the strength, can help address anything from fine lines and uneven skin tone to deep wrinkles and age spots. If you’re curious which Retinol might be right for you, or are looking to step up to the next level, keep on reading for the COSMEDIX guide to Retinol:

**To learn more about COSMEDIX unique LG-Retinex and AGP Complex, check out the COSMEDIX Skincare Dictionary**

For the Beginners

Serum 16 Rapid Renewal Serum: Prevention is key!  If you’ve started to notice early signs of fine lines or dark spots, it might be time to dip your toes skin into the Retinol “waters.” Serum 16 is an ideal skincare product for Retinol newbies thanks to its hydrating ingredients and powerful, yet gentle, retinol content. with 16% LG-Retinex, this Rapid Renewal Serum is packed with vitamins to help improve the appearance of an uneven skin tone and smooth the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

BONUS: It is a brilliant skincare addition for dry, sensitive skin types that cannot tolerate traditional retinol.

For the Intermediates

Serum 24 Rapid Renewal Complex Featuring LG-Retinex: A step up from Serum 16,  this powerhouse serum contains 24% LG-Retinex to help deliver optimal results—without the common retinol irritation. Serum 24 is clinically proven to  help visibly reduce the look of medium to deep lines while encouraging a complexion that appears brighter and firmer.

Define Age-Defying Treatment with Hydroxy Acids & Retinol (2%): If you are on the hunt for a Retinol, exfoliator AND moisturizer, look no further than the Define Age-Defying Treatment. This multi-tasking cream is formulated with 2% AGP Retinol Complex and AHAs (a chemical exfoliator) to help promote healthy skin renewal, restore hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines and skin imperfections.

For the Advanced

Refine Refinishing Treatment (4%): This clarifying serum is formulated with 4% AGP Complex, amino acids and an extra dose of hydration to help promote a softer, clearer-looking complexion. Refine Refinishing Treatment improves the look of imperfections by helping to gently reveal the next layer of skin, refine the look of pores and smooth the appearance of wrinkles.

Refine Plus High-Potency Refinishing Treatment (8%): Take results to the next level with this High-Potency Refinishing Treatment. This age-defying formula contains twice the potency of Refine, with replenishing hydrators that help nourish the complexion. Refine Plus is the next step for anyone aiming to help visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines, blemishes and enlarged pores.

For the Experts

Refine RX Retinol Resurfacing Treatment (12%) :  With 12% AGP Retinol Complex, Refine RX features COSMEDIX most potent level of Retinol. This skin-refinishing treatment’s high concentration helps dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines, improve the appearance of uneven texture and promote an overall firmer, more even-looking complexion.

Introducing COSMEDIX NEW Customized Bundles

Here at COSMEDIX, we want to make your skincare journey as streamlined and luxurious as possible. We know that a complete skincare routine can be a little daunting, especially when first starting off, which is why we hand-picked personalized bundles just for you! Whether your skincare concern is aging skin, hyperpigmentation, acne or just want to focus on prevention, COSMEDIX has a NEW skincare kit for you. Bundle up and choose from our selection of 4 personalized kits for a complete skincare routine that feels like a breeze:

Preventative Anti-Aging Bundle

Facial rollers. Face Masks. 10 glasses of water. If you’re someone who is all about prevention, then this skincare bundle is for you! COSMEDIX New Preventative Anti-Aging Bundle makes it easy to address early signs of aging, working to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and minimize the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Start your morning and evening routine with a deep cleanse using Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser. Formulated with chemical exfoliants and energizing ingredients—like Tea Tree and Peppermint—this daily cleanser helps remove pore-clogging impurities while improving texture and discoloration. At night, boost your skincare routine and help reduce the appearance of fine lines with the Serum 16 Rapid renewal Serum. Last but not least, top off your AM and PM routine with Eye Genius Brilliant Eye Complex to help improve the look of dark circles and awaken tired looking eyes.

Advanced Anti-Aging Bundle

If you’ve started to notice those fine lines have gotten a little deeper and that uneven texture has gotten a little rougher, then the Advanced Anti-Aging Bundle is for you. Together, this 3-piece system helps reverse signs of aging by minimizing the look of wrinkles, age spots and dark circles.

Kick of your AM and PM skincare routine with a gentle lather using the Benefit Clean Gentle Cleanser. Next, indulge your skin to age-defying peptides that help reduce wrinkles and promote a firmer-looking complexion using the Radiance Age Restorative Serum. Formulated with rich antioxidants, Radiance helps brighten the appearance of skin while helping to protect from environmental stressors. To complete your skincare routine, dab the top-selling Opti Crystal Liquid Crystal Eye Serum on the undereye area to hydrate the skin and reduce the look of dark circles and fine lines.

Acne-Prone Bundle

Blemish-prone skin can be frustrating, but the new COSMEDIX Acne-Prone Bundle is here to help. This limited-edition skincare routine helps refine the look of pores while deep cleaning the complexion with soothing ingredients.

Clarity Salicylic Acid Foaming Cleanse was specially made for blemish-prone skin. Gently lather it onto skin to start your morning and night skincare routine, and watch as it helps wash away dirt, oil and pore-clogging impurities with is lightweight texture. If you have any spots that are especially stubborn, apply the Correct Rapid Relief Acne Treatment to help target blemishes with a concentrated blend of Salycilic Acid and soothing Aloe Vera. And, if your skin is feeling parched throughout the day, add a pick-me-up with the Mystic Hydrating Treatment to help condition the skin and boost moisture.

Hyperpigmentation Bundle

It’s the glow up you’ve been waiting for! Skin looking dull, tired and spotty? Introducing the Hyperpigmentation Bundle. This 4-piece set was specially curated with COSMEDIX fan-favorite products that help brighten the skin’s appearance and prevent skin discoloration.

Help refresh the complexion both morning and night with the Purity Clean Exfoliating Cleanser. The chemical exfoliants and invigorating ingredients will help lift away uneven texture while cleansing the skin of dirt and oil. To add a brightening boost, mix Simply Brilliant with the B Complex Vitamin B Boosting Powder to help clarify the look of skin and wrap the complexion in 10 brightening ingredients. And of course, the best way to help prevent future discoloration is by protecting the complexion with the Protect UV Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray. This on-the-go mist delivers an undetectable, sheer finish that helps shield the complexion from sunburn and future sun damage as it helps hydrate the skin .

Back to Basics: How to Apply Your Skincare Products in the Right Order

Oh the days of skincare past, where a bar of soap and a splash of water were considered adequate. Thankfully, the world has moved on and learned to embrace the importance of skincare. With new discoveries and trailblazing products popping up on the market left and right, it’s safe to say our knowledge is expanding as our bathroom cabinets are swiftly filling.

And, as liberating as it is to slather on a shiny new skincare product, knowing the correct order of application is another game in and of itself. If you have a growing skincare collection but aren’t 100% sure what to do, COSMEDIX is going back to basics for you! Keep on scrolling to dive deep into everyday skincare products and the best way to apply:

Cleanser

You know the drill. A good cleanse is the starting point for any effective skincare routine, so if you’ve been skimping on a thorough face cleanse, cut it out! Washing your face is the best way to remove pore-clogging impurities like oil, dirt and makeup—not to mention, a clean canvas helps boost product absorption for your toners, serums and more.

Try: Benefit Clean| A gentle cleanser that works with all skin types to help wash away dirt, oil and makeup—without stripping the skin of natural oils.

Toner/ Essence

The word “toner” can inspire many reactions. With a past reputation for being drying and harsh, toners have made it their mission to redefine themselves with nourishing ingredients that prep and hydrate the skin. Applying a toner after a cleanse is an excellent way to remove leftover dirt and oil while helping the complexion drink up those skin-loving ingredients that are coming its way.

Try: Benefit Balance| Help soothe and nourish the skin after a cleanse with skin-loving ingredients like Green Tea, Aloe Vera and Chamomile.

Serums

Like a shot for skin, serums add a daily dose of vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients to the complexion. The best part about these multi-tasking products is that they can be tailored to personal skin types and concerns. Mixing serums is another easy way to streamline your skincare routine by tacking multiple skincare wants in one simple application. And, if you prefer to apply them separately, use weight as your guide. Start with lightweight formulas followed by heavy or rich serums to ensure optimal absorption.

Try: Cell ID| A multi-tasking Nutritive Defense Serum that helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and signs of aging.

Eye Treatment

Eye treatments are a fool-proof way to target the delicate eye area with ingredients that help minimize fine lines, dark circles and age spots. They come in many different shapes and sizes, with cooling, retinol, gel and cream formulations. Basically, if you have an eye need, you are sure to find an eye product that  can help. Because eye treatments tend to be lighter than moisturizers, they are best applied before moisturizer and after serums.

Try: Opti Crystal| A top selling eye serum infused with Liquid Crystal Technology to help hydrate the under eye and improve the look of fine lines and dark circles.

Retinol (At Night)

Retinol is hailed for its age-defying properties and is an important step in a nightly skincare routine. If you are on the hunt for a treatment that will help encourage healthy skin renewal and prevent fine lines and wrinkles , retinol is sure to be your new best friend! Just make sure that you apply your retinol separately from other serums to ensure it’s active ingredient (Vitamin A) remains effective (Marie Claire).

Try: Define| Formulated with 2% AGP Retinol Complex, this age-defying treatment gently exfoliates the skin and helps reduce the look wrinkles and imperfections.

Moisturizer

It’s time to seal in all your hard work! Remember, the secret to skincare is applying products in the order of light to heavy. This is why richer products, like moisturizers and face oils, are typically applied as the last step. Using a lightweight toner, serum or treatment before an uber-hydrating moisturizer will help ingredients absorb into the skin, allowing the moisturizer to act as a barrier that locks in your skincare routine.  

Try: Humidify| A deeply moisturizing cream that helps deliver vital hydration while boosting the skin’s barrier function.