Beauty low-down: Enzyme peels
A4's Enzyme Peeling Powder (left; HK$999/30 sachets)
Claim: when used regularly, the skin gains a natural glow, and problems such as obvious pores and fine lines are reduced. The blend of vitamin A- and E-rich argan oil stimulates cell renewal, while peel of argan fruit and activating enzymes work to refine enlarged pores by removing impurities and dead skin cells. Aloe vera moisturises.
The Organic Pharmacy's Enzyme Peel Mask with Vitamin C and Papaya (centre; HK$630/40ml)
Claim: ingredients such as lactobionic acid, passion fruit, grapefruit seed extract, papaya, and lemon work not only to smooth uneven skin and reduce blackheads, they also minimise the appearance of age spots and fine lines.
Tatcha's Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder (right; HK$600/60 grams)
Claim: water-activated powders use the enzymes from Japanese rice bran and papaya extract to exfoliate. Skin is nourished with an anti-aging complex with green tea and Okinawa red algae extracts. Three versions available. Classic, for normal skin, is infused with pearl extract for conditioning. Exclusively at Joyce Beauty.
Verdict: The packaging does mention a slight tingling sensation during the 10 minutes it takes The Organic Pharmacy's gel mask to take effect, but for the same result - brighter, squeaky clean skin - we'd opt for A4's Enzyme Peeling Powder. The skin doesn't feel tight after using it, and it lathers into a foam with some fine grains that give the skin a good message. Tatcha's Polished Rice Enzyme Powder also produces a gentle foam that makes skin softer and smoother. Although its exfoliating efficacy is not as immediate as the other two, the mild product is great for more frequent use.