A pumpkin facial, you say? Why, yes! Pumpkins aren’t just a fun fall treat for your taste buds — they can boost your beauty routine, too. “DIY pumpkin beauty treatments make skin look younger and more radiant,” raves natural beauty expert Paige Padgett. “They’re packed with antioxidants that brighten skin, plus enzymes that rev collagen production to ward off fine lines.” Even better: Pumpkin treatments are easy and affordable to make at home, and they even smell like a delicious slice of pumpkin pie.
Wondering how to make a pumpkin facial right at home? It's important to start with the right pumpkin base for your DIY skin masks. Plain old canned pumpkin purée is ideal for these recipes, says Padgett. Just skip “canned pumpkin pie mix,” which has sugar, spices and extra flavorings that you don’t want on your skin.
“Adding antioxidant-rich pumpkin to sugar, an exfoliant, makes it a super-gentle way to slough off dead skin cells,” Padgett says. “And ground coffee, which contains caffeine, boosts circulation to make your skin glow.”
What you’ll need:
Start by: Combining pumpkin, sugar, coffee and ginger in bowl. “Ginger is an anti-inflammatory that fights off free radicals that can dull your skin,” Padgett says. Mash ingredients together with wooden spoon until well mixed. Using your fingertips, gently massage the pumpkin scrub into wet skin. Begin with your face, then move down to your neck and chest. Use small, circular motions to massage scrub for one to two minutes. When finished, rinse well with lukewarm water. Pat dry.
Pumpkin has vitamins that restore elasticity and rebuild collagen, while honey is a powerful hydrator. Using a binder with exfoliating lactic acid, like yogurt, helps the mask penetrate your skin.
Start by: Mashing ingredients together with wooden spoon until mixture becomes paste- like. Using your fingertips, smooth mask onto clean, damp skin, avoiding eye area. Relax 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well with warm water; pat dry.
No need to visit the spa for a pricy peel, Padgett says. “This pumpkin version is gentle and effective. And papaya has papain, an enzyme that boosts cell turnover for smooth skin.”
Start by: Combining pumpkin, papaya, vinegar and honey in blender. Blitz until creamy; pour mixture into bowl. Using your fingers, smooth treatment over clean, dry skin, avoiding the eye area. Relax for 10 minutes. When finished, rinse well with warm water and apply your favorite anti-aging moisturizer.
Pumpkin balances blood sugar. Enjoying a regular dose of cooked pumpkin can keep your glucose levels in check, a Japanese study found. So don’t be shy about digging into a slice of pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin stabilizes hormone levels. Munching on zinc-rich foods, like pumpkin seeds, helps your body use estrogen and progesterone more efficiently.
Pumpkin eases achy joints. Dressing your salad with pumpkin seed oil, which is extracted from pumpkin seeds, reduces inflammation studies show.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.
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