Between cute hair clips, celebs chopping their hair off and cool skincare brands, there’s pretty much always something trending in the world of beauty. Which is why I’ve been watching carefully for the past few weeks to decipher whether it’s just a passing phase or a movement that’s here to stay. And judging by the amount of press releases and new launches hitting my desk recently, I’ve decided that it’s very much the latter.
Forget vitamin C: Pineapple is the latest ingredient making waves on the skincare scene (and it naturally contains an abundance of vitamin C, anyway). Plus, the best thing about it is that it genuinely works. Yes, it’s way more than just a tasty tropical fruit; pineapple has been working its way into everything from face masks to moisturisers this year. But what does it actually do for your skin?
In a word: brighten. Pineapple contains natural enzymes that work to break down and dissolve any dead skin cells that are lurking on the surface of your skin. By exfoliating away that unwanted top layer of skin, the pineapple is able to gently reveal the fresh, new skin beneath for a more glowy and radiant complexion. Basically, think of it as a hybrid between your favourite vitamin C products (for the brightening benefits) and glycolic acid toners (for the expert exfoliation).
To get to the bottom of the, erm, juicy science behind it and for an expert take on why we’re seeing pineapple skincare take off right now, I caught up with some complexion professionals. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about pineapple skincare and to shop the products that are actually worth buying.
Opting for pineapple-infused skincare is a great shortcut to skin exfoliation. “Our pineapple enzyme water is a custom ingredient designed to rid skin of dead skin cells to allow for maximum hydration, plumpness and glowing skin,” explained Sylvie Rouaix, vice president of product development for Marc Jacobs Beauty. “There’s no point in trying to hydrate dead skin cells, is there? We believe in exfoliating dead skin cells to maximise hydration.” Similarly, Dr. Dennis Gross has harnessed an exfoliating fruit enzyme derived from pineapples—bromelain—for some of his at-home skincare solutions. “Naturally derived from the stems and fruit of the pineapple, bromelain is an enzyme with multiple medicinal benefits. Topically, it works by digesting the skin’s dead proteins to help detach dead skin cells. Additionally, bromelain aids in reducing inflammation and helps to heal the skin.”
But what is it about 2019 that has led to a surge in the popularity of pineapple? “It just works really well,” said Rouaix. “We understand what it is [and] how it works. Pure efficacy while being gentle for all skin types.” Dr. Gross, on the other hand, reckons it’s all about us getting savvier about our skincare options as consumers. “There’s a synergy between exfoliation with acids and enzymes. Though they work by different mechanisms—one dissolves built-up proteins while the other works on the intercellular ‘cement’—they work in concert [with each other]. Not only does this allow each to do a better job individually, but also collectively.” Effectively, by adding a dose of pineapple into your routine, you’ll be supercharging any work that you’re already doing to exfoliate and brighten your skin.
So far, so good—but is this trending ingredient only suitable for certain skin types? Turns out, no. The experts agree that pineapple-infused skincare will benefit every skin type. Plus, even better news, if you deal with blemishes and regular breakouts then you might benefit even more from a dose of pineapple in your routine. “It will benefit all skin types, but people with acne should notice an especially significant improvement,” explained Dr. Gross. “Bromelain is a great ingredient to unclog pores and clear up skin.”
With pineapple sounding like something of a magic skincare ingredient for brightening, exfoliating and evening out skin, I wondered where there was any chance of it making ingredients like vitamin C redundant in our skincare routines. Luckily, Dr. Gross believes there’s a place for both in our bathroom cabinets. “As mentioned above, bromelain works as an exfoliant, eating away dead proteins to reveal brighter, younger looking skin underneath. Vitamin C is an antioxidant with a variety of benefits: it stimulates collagen production, protects against free radicals, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, diminishes dark spots, etc. You could use the two together and expect some great results, though!”
This nourishing moisturiser is formulated with 54/% enzymatic pineapple water to drench skin in hydration and instantly boost glow.
Infused with pineapple extract to exfoliate and soften skin, this brightening mask also uses brightening lemon and apple extracts and AHAs to improve skin tone and smooth the surface of your complexion.
This tingly mask brightens even the most tired of skins in just 15 minutes. The vegan formula uses natural AHAs along with pineapple and papaya enzymes to add a natural luminosity to dull skin.
By no means a new product, this exfoliating treatment from Elemis contains both papaya and pineapple enzymes and has something of a cult following for its ability to smooth and clarify the complexion.
The star ingredient in this two-step peel is bromelain—an enzyme found in the pineapple’s juice and stem. Traditionally, it’s used to treat burns by reducing inflammation and revealing the skin beneath and it has similar renewing effects in this treatment.