a woman applying serum to her face
Will Retinol and Enzymes Work Together In Your Skincare Routine?
Retinol is all about supporting healthy cell turnover, while enzymes can improve skin texture and brighten complexion. However, the two potent ingredients don’t pair well together.
Enzymes, which are similar to acids like AHAs and BHAs, exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. As with acids, mixing enzymes with retinol can cause dryness and irritation.
Dermatologist Dr. Alicia Zalka says, "Enzymes can be used instead of other exfoliators, but using them at the same time as retinol might lead to… peeling or inflammation.”
Enzyme exfoliation is gentler than other methods, making it good for those with sensitive skin. Just be sure to remove enzyme products quickly, and to rinse your face afterwards.