What it is: Papain, found in papaya, is a really exciting protein due to its inclusion of protein-digesting enzymes. As skin aesthetician and cosmetologist Zia Wesley-Howard says in The Complete Book of Enzyme Therapy, “Enzymes gently yet thoroughly dissolve old skin cells without dissolving new ones or harming the skin.” After you apply papain to the skin, you will notice your skin is exfoliated in a gentle way that is completely different from the effects of harsh scrubs or microdermabrasion.


Where to find it: AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel, Jan Marini Zyme Green Papaya Mask


Spin Traps (Phenyl butyl nitrone)

What they are: Spin traps are antioxidants that have the ability to catch an electron as it spins out of control and return the electron to its normal orbit. Theoretically, this means you could catch a free radical before it does any damage! Studies have shown that spin traps have age-reducing effects, most likely due to their reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines within the skin.


Where to find them: Your Best Face Skincare



What it is: Because of its intense color, strong odor, and limited stability, turmeric has never been a popular ingredient in skin care products. However, Procter & Gamble scientists announced at the 2011 World Congress of Dermatology that they have been able to extract the active compound in turmeric, tetrahydrocurcumin. So we will be seeing a lot of turmeric in skin care soon!

The reason P&G wanted to include turmeric in skin care so badly? Turmeric is a very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Some studies have shown that it may boost the UV protection factor of sunscreen, though more research needs to be done to quantify the effect.