‘Tis the season of the pumpkin. They are already making their way into decadent desserts and soothing stews… and soon, these luscious members of the gourd family are going to be carved up for Halloween.
However, while pumpkins look, smell and taste delicious, they’re even more effective as a natural beauty ingredient.
This autumnal icon is packed with several nutrients that help tackle premature aging, sun spots, clogged pores, and a dull, uneven complexion. That’s why you’ll see pumpkins being used in a lot of skincare products, like Peter Thomas Roth’s Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, Eminence Yam & Pumpkin Enzyme Peel and Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack. Here’s a closer look at how this juicy fruit helps your skin.
Pumpkins bust dead cells: They are packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which make them a safe and effective exfoliator that simultaneously increases cell turnover. Result? Brighter and smoother skin.
Pumpkins banish acne: Pumpkins contain torulitine, an acne-fighting nutrient that keeps skin healthy by reducing pore size, regulating oil production and heading off inflammation.
Pumpkins are anti-aging: Pumpkins are rich in essential fatty acids that help diminish fine lines and wrinkles. They are also a potent source of vitamin C (which boosts collagen production and prevents the breakdown of elastin) and sodium hyaluronate to help strengthen, hydrate and plump the skin.
Pumpkins reduce hyper-pigmentation: Pumpkins are loaded with copper and zinc. The former regulates melanin production to help fade away brown spots, while the latter assists in the repair of post-acne marks, rashes and sun-damaged tissue.
Pumpkins maintain the skin’s barrier function: Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, both of which help protect the skin against bacteria and other infections.
While there are many pumpkin-based beauty products on the market, why not go directly to the source and make your own? It’s almost too easy.
But first… how to make the pumpkin puree
Most of these beauty recipes ask for pumpkin puree and here’s an easy way to make this essential ingredient:
- Slice open the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds.
- Cut the pumpkin into large cubes, along with the peel.
- Throw the cubes into your biggest cooking pot and cover with water.
- Cover the pot and boil for an hour but check at the 30 minute mark… you want the pumpkin pieces to be fork-tender.
- Once cooked, remove the pieces from the pot and drop into a blender. Blend till the stew reaches a thick, even consistency; add some water from the pot if the stew seems too thick. Let cool to room temperature.
As a shortcut, you can resort to canned pumpkin puree but fresh is always best.
You need: ½ cup pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon pumpkin seed oil, 3 tablespoons sugar
How-to: Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together to make a thick paste. Apply it on your face and gently scrub using circular motions. Rinse off after 2 minutes with lukewarm water.
Pumpkin beauty recipe #2: Sparkle-boosting face mask
You need: 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
How-to: Combine all ingredients and blend into a smooth paste. Apply a thin layer of this paste on your face; wash off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
Pumpkin beauty recipe #3: Super-hydrating body butter
You need: ½ cup pumpkin puree, ½ cup coconut milk solids (coconut cream at the top of the can), ½ teaspoon cinnamon
How-to: Mix all the ingredients. Apply to skin, massaging gently. After 15 minutes, rinse with warm water.
Pumpkin beauty recipe #4: Feet-softening pedicure
You need: ½ cup pumpkin puree, 1 egg, ½ teaspoon honey
How-to: Combine all ingredients and blend together. Apply the mixture to your feet and calves. Wrap your feet in plastic bags and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing off with lukewarm water.
Pumpkin beauty recipe #5: Shiny hair mask
You need: ½ cup pumpkin puree, ¼ cup natural plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey
How-to: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Apply the mask through your entire hair; put on a shower cap and leave for 30 minutes, then shampoo with lukewarm water.
Have you ever tried a pumpkin peel or mask? Plan to try one? Do tell.