As beauty editors, our desks and medicine cabinets are inundated with products, so it’s challenging to discover a single gem you keep returning to. But when the Naturopathica Cherry Enzyme Peel ($64) landed on my desk, I was immediately hooked. Inside this tiny blue jar lives a sweet-smelling, jelly-like mask packed with cherry puree, lactic acid, and bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple. It’s essentially an antioxidant-packed smoothie for dull skin.
Naturopathica promises a more radiant complexion after one use of this peel, which seems too good to be true. But I can confirm it’s no exaggeration—read on for my full review.
BEST FOR: Dull skin that needs brightening
USES: Gently exfoliates and brightens using fruit-derived enzymes
ABOUT THE BRAND: Barbara Close launched Naturopathica in 1995. The brand is home to a wide range of skin care products with naturally derived ingredients, free of toxins and additives. In addition to products, Naturopathica has two holistic wellness spas in the New York area.
About My Skin: Dull with hyperpigmentation
I’ve struggled with hyperpigmentation for as long as I can remember, and I am always on the hunt for exfoliating products that increase radiance. My skin has been especially dull and backed up with dead skin lately; I’m seven months pregnant, and my extensive skincare routine usually falls at the bottom of my daily priority list. Still, I occasionally power through my looming exhaustion to reset my skin. When that time comes, I always reach for this peel.
The Formula: Sweet-smelling with a jelly-like texture
This tiny blue jar houses a reddish-colored formulation that does the hard work, so you don’t have to. Upon opening, you’ll almost immediately get a refreshing whiff of cherry, its star ingredient. It’s also packed with other fruit and plant-derived extracts like pomegranate, grape, and honeysuckle.
The Application: Use a skincare application tool
Of course, your fingers are always an option, but in an effort to reserve every last drop of this peel, I highly recommend using a facial spatula to apply the product. And be aware that when it’s on your skin, the formula is a bit red due to the cherry in the formula.
The Process: Works best on thoroughly cleaned skin
I applied a thin, even layer to freshly cleansed skin, which I washed with Biossance Gentle Pore Minimizing Cleanser ($28). I also used my PMD Personal Microderm Pro ($199) to vacuum congestion around my nose, chin, and forehead. These steps aren’t mandatory, but I’ve found that my results are much better after giving my skin a deeper clean. Naturopathica instructs to use this product in the shower and leave it on for up to five minutes so the steam helps deeply penetrate. I can confirm that steam does an extra kick, but on this day I left the formula on for 7-10 minutes and wiped it off with a warm towel.
The Results: Instantly brighter, more supple skin
In less than 10 minutes, my skin went from feeling physically dull to visibly brighter and more radiant. I usually don’t experience any tingling or irritation after using this mask, and any visible redness from my skin is just the impact of the exfoliating device used in conjunction. Still, I am always obsessed with how soft and bright my skin looks. I love pulling this out after a few days of neglecting my skin or when I have a special event or shoot to ensure my skin is clear and bright. Be sure to follow up with a hydrating moisturizer and SPF if exposed to light.
The Value: Worth the investment
A small 1.69-ounce jar will cost you $64, but in my opinion, it’s worth the investment for quality ingredients that aren’t harsh or stripping. The cost and product type are also aligned with similar items from prestige skincare brands. In my book, having a treatment that you can guarantee will instantly make you look glowy and more radiant is priceless.
Similar Products: You have options
REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($58): Unlike the red tint of Naturopathica’s Cherry Peel, this one leaves behind an orange glow thanks to enzymes from fruits like passionfruit and papaya. Lactic and glycolic acids also work together in this serum to remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture.
Eminence Organics Yam and Pumpkin Enzyme Peel ($49): This formula is packed with natural ingredients that remind you of a Thanksgiving dessert. Yam, pumpkin puree, pineapple, and papaya enzymes all help purify and illuminate dull skin in minutes.
Renée Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($88): Multiple members of the Byrdie team swear by this peel for a healthy complexion. It’s full of antioxidants derived from berries, and it’s formulated with AHAs, PHAs, and azelaic acid, making it a great contender for treating hyperpigmentation and acne.
Naturopathica’s Cherry Enzyme peel is like a potent smoothie for your skin, and it’s a formula I always reach for when I need a brightening boost. Its potent, naturally-derived ingredients list works wonders to buff off dead skin and renew the complexion. It’s definitely an investment that’s worth adding to your collection if you need an effective at-home treatment.