Historically speaking, invasions weren’t always a good thing. But, there are two super-duper invasions that immediately come to mind. In the 80s, the music world had the British Invasion, now beauty editors across the country are buzzing about a fabulous Asian Invasion. Why? Because the products are made of natural ingredients, and are very effective. At first I thought that my being Aleut, a Mongolian and Russian mix, was the reason my skin responds so well to these products. But, it turns out that the natural, nutrient-rich, gentle ingredients are good for almost any skin type.
One of the best products that is rooted in Asian skincare is enzyme cleansing/exfoliating powder. These powders usually contain rice bran, or enzymes such as papain (papaya, the same ingredient as meat tenderizer!), and they are so gentle you can use them every day. With such great performance, my skin is so soft afterward that I often forget to use a separate softener or toner.
Not all enzyme powders are the same; some contain more “grit” than others, and they all boast various ingredients. There is a cleansing powder for everyone, so if you try one and don’t like it, don’t neglect to give another one a chance. There are five that I keep on hand, so I have an option no matter how wonky my skin is acting at any given time. My favorites are:
Tatcha Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder ($65.00/$15.00)- This is newest of Tatcha’s rice bran-based enzyme exfoliating powders (I’ve tried them all- each one of them is amazing). This particular powder contains indigo extract and colloidal oatmeal to help soothe inflamed, irritated skin. This is my favorite powder to use during times I am experiencing more sensitivity. For example, right now, my skin is inflamed and sensitive due to switching from tretinoin cream to gel, so this is perfect.
AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Powder ($60.00)- This is the first enzyme powder I ever used. It contains papain, allatoin, and green tea leaf extract to protect, soothe, and exfoliate the skin. I got a mini bottle of this as a perk from Sephora, and I keep refilling it from the big bottle, because it’s so easy to travel with. The texture of this is very similar to that of the Tatcha Classic powder, so it works well even when my skin is more sensitive. The only negative is that it is very strongly scented. Those who prefer unscented products will want to avoid this. I happen to like fragranced skin care, and AmorePacific products all have the same smell (which I love), but during allergy season, this is even a bit much for me. Nevertheless, it remains one of my favorites.
Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30 Vitamin C Brightening Cleansing Powder ($45.00)- Wow, that’s a lot to type! Despite the lengthy name, this stuff is the bomb- it smells SO good, like fresh citrus, but the fragrance is very light. It has a slightly gritty texture, so it’s great for dry skin or flakiness. The Vitamin C also helps brighten skin and reduce hyperpigmentation. To top it all off, the Peter Thomas Roth enzyme powder is the most convenient to use. The top has a section that you can just slide open with your thumb. Being able to operate with one hand makes things so much easier when your hands are wet!
Josie Maran Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder ($40.00)- This powder is great for skin that is a bit flaky or dry. It contains finely crushed Argan shells to gently buff away dull skin. Because of the shells, it is a bit gritty, but less so than the Peter Thomas Roth. You can also mix this with Argan oil instead of water for a richer cleanse. This is my favorite when I’m dealing with Retin-A flakiness.
Boscia Tsubaki Oil-Infused Exfoliating Powder ($36.00)- This is another gentle powder that’s great even if your skin is sensitive. I’ve been through several bottles of this! The nifty thing about this particular powder is that the grains are dried, and then coated in Tsubaki oil. Once the powder is activated with water, the Tsubaki oil is released, providing hydration and soothing treatment to the skin. It has a very mild, pleasant, natural scent that dissipates quickly.
Have you tried any enzyme powders? Scroll down to comment below!