Vast group of proteins, produced by all living things, that act alone or with other ingredients as catalysts in chemical and biological reactions. Enzymes are divided into six main categories: oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, and ligases. The names of most, but not all, enzymes end in –ase.

Enzymes are used in skincare products to prompt exfoliation. Most enzymes are finicky about how and under what conditions they will act. Sometimes several enzymes are required to carry out a particular  reaction, and their actions are affected by temperature and pH. Some enzymes depend on the presence of other enzymes, called coenzymes, to function, or they depend on a specific body temperature. It would require an exceptionally complicated process to stimulate enzyme activity via topical application to skin.

References for this information:

Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, March-April 1977, pages 93-98

Journal of Proteome Research, May-June 2005, pages 967-971

International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2000, pages 85-94

See oxidoreductase bromelain papain

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