Yesterday I cut myself some fresh pineapple, then promptly proceeded to eat a lot of it before remembering that every time I eat a copious amount of pineapple, the roof of my mouth becomes itchy and sore. So why is this condition a common complaint among fresh pineapple aficionados? Keep reading to find out.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is extracted from the stems of pineapples. Venezuelan chemist Vicente Marcano isolated bromelain from the fruit in 1891, but it wasn't introduced as a therapeutic supplement until 1957. Taken orally, bromelain can aid with removing dead proteins in skin cells, but the effects are very gradual. As a supplement, it can help with the pain and inflammation of varicose veins. Used topically, bromelain speeds healing and dissolves cross-linked (read: dead) collagen cells, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and any uneven pigmentation. Bromelain also has been shown to reduce inflammation, which is believed to be a factor in the aging of skin.
Bromelain is found in a number of beauty products, including Z.Bigatti Impact Fruit Enzyme Mask, Murad Exfoliating Fruit Enzyme Mask, and Alba Organics Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser.