Welcome to Unmasked. The series where we try a bunch of weird beauty treatments to see a) whether they actually work, b) how much we can embarrass our editors. Particularly the male ones. Particularly the male ones whose skin looks like ham.
This week it’s all about the so-called ‘Game Of Thrones Facial’, or ‘Dragon Facial’ (technical name: Enzyme Therapy). We’d heard about this one online, but never had the courage to give it a try. Frankly, it looks terrifying. Most facials resemble a cloud of sea foam kissing your face, but this one makes you look like a cross between Freddie Kruger, an avocado’s shell and a relief map of the Andes.
So, What Is It?
Enzyme Facials (or ‘Manzyme Facials’, as they call them at DMK) are a plant-based treatment that uses ‘transfer messenger enzymes’ to make your skin glow with the power of a thousand suns. It was created by Danné botanist Montague-King. The cream is milky white and made from enzymes and albumin, the clear, strange plastic-y bit you find inside eggshells.
How Does It Work?
The enzymes dry and tighten on your face, stimulating circulation and literally bringing blood toward the surface of the skin (more on this later). This flushes out toxins and pumps the skin full of oxygen, vitamins, minerals and fresh lymph fluid. Nothing worse than stale lymph fluid, am I right?
What Does It Feel Like?
In a word...uncomfortable. The Manzyme Facial feels like your whole face has been dipped in superglue. You know how regular facials tighten the skin a little? This one feels like a hardened, crust of magma. You can’t really open your eyes, talk or move your head. I could literally hear it cracking.
DMK’s lovely technician, Kate, applied the cream with a soft brush to my face and neck. Even over the beard. It went on like yoghurt, but dried like cement. Within three minutes I could feel it tightening. Within five I couldn’t move. After 10 minutes our photographer started making ‘Woah’ noises, which isn’t what you want to hear when you’re frozen on a bench, unable to open your eyes.
The treatment stays on for about 45 minutes. After that, Kate came back and carefully scrubbed the dried, cracked enzyme layer off my face.
Did It Work?
I won’t lie, the immediate effect is pretty confronting. You don’t emerge from a Manzyme Facial like some alabaster-skinned Venus. It looks more like you’ve been struck by lightning—the enzymes draw blood to all your surface capillaries, which creates this red spiderweb pattern on your face and neck. Combine with harsh lights, magnifying mirrors and bits of dried enzyme, and I wasn’t feeling ready for a photoshoot.
But just wait...the real magic of this treatment happens overnight. By the next day, my skin had settled down, the spiderwebs had disappeared, and the overall feeling was firm, fresh and “juicy” (to use Kate’s words). I dunno about ten years younger, but it definitely shaved a good six months off. Some of my worry lines looked a good deal less worried.
Kate says it usually takes between three and six treatments like this to get the full effect.
Where Can I Get It?
In Australia and New Zealand, you can only get this particular treatment at DMK clinics. There’s a helpful store locator over here.
Each session of Manzyme Therapy will set you back around $200, depending on the clinic.
Are There Alternatives?
Sure. Maybe you don’t have the time or money (whelp) to do a treatment like this. For alternative enzyme treatments, you can try Active Enzyme Exfoliator by Josh Rosebrook. It’s an organic option that uses fruit enzymes to gently slough off dead skin cells. And it’s only $98.
Want more? We also love the Enzyme Cleansing Gel by Mario Badescu for a chill $20.
These products might not get the same results as hardcore Enzyme Therapy, but they’re friendlier on the hip pocket.
Very weird and strangely fun. I definitely saw results after a day or two. The DMK crew were nice, too. Worth a shot if you’re after good looking skin for summer.
Image credit: Branko Starcevic. Video credit: Griffin Simm