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Certain enzymes have exfoliating properties, like green papaya (papain) and pineapple (bromelain) as well as other acidic fruits like kiwi.

Keratinases (from bacteria like Bacillus Licheniformis) also have a wide range of substrate specificity such as it can degrade other fibrous protein fibrin, elastin, collagen and other non fibrous protein like casein, bovine serum albumin gelatin etc. One example of bacterial enzyme exfoliators is R-Bacillus Licheniformis Keratinase which is found in Peter Thomas Roth’s FirmX Peeling Gel. See also subtilisin.

First Aid Beauty (and other companies) utilizes Mucor miehei extract, a type of mold whose enzymes are used as a food additive and flavor enhancer in cheeses. It has no established benefit for skin, according to one source.

Companies like Zia cosmetics, Richard Arve and HDS Labs all make exfoliants and masks containing enzymes.

Hoq MM, Siddiquee KAZ, Kawasaki H and Seki T.2005. Keratinolytic Activity of Some Newly Isolated Bacillus Species. Journal of Biological Science 5(2): 193-200, ISSN 1727-3048.
Lin X., Lee CG, Casale SE and Shih JC.1992. Purification and characterization of a keratinase from a feather degrading Bacillus Licheniformis strain. J. Appl. Environ. AIlcrobiol. 58 : 3271-3275.
Molyneux GS.1959. The digestion of wool by a keratinolytic Bacillus. Aus. J.Biol. Sci, 12: 274-281.
Williams CM, Richtcr CS, Mackenzie JR and Shih JCI.1990. Isolation, identification and characterization of a feather-degrading bacterium. J. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 56: 1509-1515.
The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy By Anthony J. Cichoke

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