Pineapple Is the Unsung Hero For Brighter, More Luminous Skin



These days, the term “glow-getter” is verging on cliché. That said, I have yet to find a more apt adjective to categorize people who’ve made luminosity their main skincare goal.

I can think of one particularly glow-getting colleague who swears by a regimen of chemical exfoliation and vitamin C. (For the record, her skin looks phenomenal.) And it makes sense: Exfoliation sloughs away dull skin, and vitamin C is one of the most potent skin brighteners. There are many ways to implement this foolproof formula — one of which comes from an unassuming fruit source: Pineapple.

“Pineapple [juice] provides a true skin rejuvenating experience,” says Christine Chang, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Glow Recipe®. “It aids in exfoliating, brightening, and hydrating the skin.” As we discovered, the juice is truly worth the squeeze — at least as it relates to skincare. That’s because pineapple juice contains naturally-occurring glycolic acid, as well as bromelain enzymes. Both are responsible for pineapple’s mild exfoliating benefits.

You’ve probably heard about glycolic acid (a category of chemical exfoliators), but bromelain is relatively obscure, probably because it is only found in pineapple. Incidentally, bromelain is also responsible for the tingling sensation some people experience when they eat the fruit. To feel the satisfying tingle on your face, try the Herbivore® BrightenTM Pineapple Enzyme + Gemstone Instant Glow Mask ($48), which contains the hero ingredient plus rice powder and light-reflecting gemstone. Leave on for 10 minutes for brighter-looking skin.

Together, “[Bromelain and glycolic acid] work to gently dissolve the top layer of skin that contains dead keratin proteins,” Chang explains. As a result, skin appears brighter and smoother. Bromelain is also anti-inflammatory, Chang notes, which makes it an ideal active for sensitive skin types.

Because of its ability to assist in cell turnover and pore clearing, the actives in pineapple can also be beneficial for oily and acne-prone skin. (Try a cleanser like the Pacifica® Pineapple Oil SlayingTM Face Wash, $10, which also contains antioxidant-rich white tea). For a more intense slough, all skin types can benefit from a formula like the Alba Botanica® Pineapple Enzyme Facial Scrub ($8) or Kiehl’s Since 1851® Pineapple Papaya Scrub ($28). Both of these mechanical/chemical exfoliant hybrids contain pineapple enzymes and enough grit to satisfy without being overly-abrasive.

In addition to its ability to gently exfoliate, pineapple juice can also brighten skin over time. According to Sarah Lee, Co-founder of Glow Recipe, “Natural vitamin C [found in pineapple] visibly fades dark spots.” (Read about vitamin C in skincare.) This is because vitamin C inhibits melanin-producing cells and consequently prevents dark spots from forming. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant — which means that it protects skin against damaging free radicals.

Given these benefits, it’s unsurprising that pineapple has made its way into a bevy of skin elixirs. One of the buzziest is Chang and Lee’s very own Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Bright SerumTM ($49), which features 22 percent real pineapple juice, plus vitamin E, chamomile, and aloe for added hydration. The ultra-gentle serum is meant to be used daily under moisturizer for an overall glowier complexion.

If pineapple-packed skincare piques your interest, consider the bevy of other fruit enzymes that can provide similarly gentle-yet-effective glow-getting results.

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