Rarely does a product hit me between the eyes at the get-go, but that’s what Bryce Organics Jamaican Papaya-Enzyme Alpha Hydroxy Fruit Facial Peel ($41) did – literally. On removing the plastic seal, the jar’s lid popped like an exuberant champagne cork and was followed by a geyser of what looked like fruit puree. This stuff was all over the bathroom, including mirrors, walls and ceilings. My senses barely had time to recover before I was assaulted by an amazing tropical, fruity smell. It was difficult to be upset with a product that smelled like a vacation, even if it had caused a spectacular mess.

I subsequently discovered that Bryce Organics Jamaican Papaya-Enzyme face mask is supposed to be refrigerated before using and that this would have rendered it less likely to explode. In any event, this should be refrigerated at all times.  The best way to think about is as food, because that is basically what it is. I have rarely come across a beauty product that could quite literally be pure enough to eat.

Bryce seems to have pureed the seeds of the papaya as well as the flesh, creating black flecks that look attractive against the pinky orange while also providing additional skin polishing. However, the way that papaya exfoliates is by harnessing an enzyme called pepain that can break down peptide bonds and loosen dead cells (it has been used for centuries as a meat tenderizer).  Someone once told me that papaya enzymes “eat” skin cells. Surprisingly, this is kind of what happens: papain is a proteolytic enzyme, meaning that it digests proteins. Pineapple, also here in Bryce’s Facial Peel, has papain as well.

The idea is to leave Bryce’s Facial Peel on for 15 minutes. Rinsed away, it reveals super soft, gently polished skin. Papaya also delivers beta carotene and vitamins A and C, plus there’s antioxidant apricot, olive and fatty acid rich avocado. I am finding that I love using this mask so much that I have to restrain myself from overdoing it.

If you are one of those people that would love to whip up your own totally natural potions in the blender but somehow never get around to it, Bryce (a Massachusetts based company that has devotees of its Mayer Lemon Scrub amongst TIA readers) has done it for you. Just remember to keep them in the fridge.


Organic Jamaican papaya puree, organic, wildflower honeycomb, organic pineapple extract, organic orange extract, organic apricot kernel oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic avocado carrier oil, organic pectin