The transition to autumn brings pumpkin spice flavor to store shelves and menus, and pumpkins large and small to porches and house decor. But pumpkin possibilities extend beyond the kitchen and other traditional uses. This fall, turn your jack-o'-lantern into skin moisturizer, and savor the flavor of pumpkin spice lip balm. Try these and other seasonal DIY recipes good for your skin year-round. Next time you're making some pumpkin pie, why not whip up a batch or two of skincare treatments too with recipes not intended for your cookbook?
Pumpkin's Surprising Skin Benefits
From the outside:
Because the molecular structure of the pumpkin is small, it can penetrate deeper when used topically. Deeper penetration is especially useful in treating dull complexions, aging skin, and discoloration or pigmentation. Pumpkin also abounds in natural enzymes that exfoliate by dissolving dead skin cells.
•Brighten and smooth skin: Pumpkin's fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids increase the turnover rate of skin cells, which leads to a brighter and smoother complexion.
•Prevent the signs of aging: Vitamins A and C are powerful antioxidants that not only soften and soothe skin, but boost collagen production, which helps maintain your skin's elasticity and prevents the signs of aging.
From the inside:
Pumpkin improves skin health when eaten, replenishing and strengthening skin cells from within.
•Fight acne: Snack on some roasted pumpkin seeds for a tasty source of zinc. This essential mineral helps control hormone levels and oil production and assists in healing of the skin.
•Protect skin: The seeds also are chock full of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which work to maintain the skin's barrier function and help regulate sebum production, of particular benefit to those with oily skin.
•Reverse UV damage: Beta-carotene and other carotenoids, which are protective antioxidants, help reverse the sun's UV damage to skin.
•Boost circulation: Pumpkin's B vitamins such as folate and niacin promote circulation and cell renewal.
Tips for Using Pumpkin as a Skincare Ingredient
•Use the freshest, most natural ingredients available for the best results.
•Though canned pumpkin puree works in these recipes, use fresh puree when possible. One method of making your own puree is to simply remove the seeds from slices of a small pumpkin and microwave for 10 minutes until tender. Scrape the flesh from the rind, and mash or blend.
•Make these recipes in small batches or share with others, since they need to be used within a few days.
•Cover and refrigerate any unused portions to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Pumpkin Face Mask
•1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
•1/2 tablespoon of raw honey
•1/2 tablespoon of soy or regular milk
Directions: Mix all ingredients together, then apply the mask evenly to your face. After 15 minutes, remove with a warm washcloth. Moisturize.
Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub
•1 cup sugar (granulated or brown)
•1 teaspoon nutmeg
•1 teaspoon cinnamon (omit if your skin is sensitive)
•1/4 cup pumpkin (either canned or homemade puree)
Directions: Combine the sugar and spices, then mix into the pumpkin. Spread onto your skin, scrubbing in a circular motion. Rinse.
Pumpkin Body Moisturizer
For the simplest moisturizer just put some pumpkin puree on your skin for several minutes, then wash off with warm water. For a more fragrant version, combine 1/2 cup of pumpkin, 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (unless your skin is sensitive). Use like a regular moisturizer.
We hope you enjoy these fun DIYs! Let us know which ones you tried in the comments below. Happy pumpkin hunting!