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.