On your next trip to the grocery store take some time in the produce section as in between the rows of zucchini and cucumber lies the next big thing in skin care and beauty tips: Pumpkin. Rich in antioxidants, amino acids and natural UV protectors, your neighbourhood squash deserves more than a carving session come Halloween.
Still a relatively new ingredient in beauty rituals, this spicy super fruit not only works as a remedy for inflammation and irritation but it also contains skin-purifying healers that rid the epidermis of dull, dry cells while promoting proper sebum (oil) production. "It is the perfect exfoliant for people who are hypersensitive to alpha hydroxy acids," says June Jacobs, CEO of June Jacobs Spa Collection. "The anti-aging benefits of pumpkin puree, including Vitamin A, help to speed up the cell renewal process and exfoliate dead skin cells as well as nourish the skin."
As is typical with any new trend, A-list celebs are already on the bandwagon. Brittany Snow (of Hairspray fame) and rock legend Rod Stewart all swear by Jacob's pumpkin-infused products.
The Pumpkin Spice Polish by Lamas Beauty ($21) cleanses, exfoliates and polishes your skin, sloughing away debris and dead cells that clog pores. lamasbeauty.com
Wake up with Sexy Bath and Body's Pumpkin Oatmeal Body Bar ($6.95). This combination of antioxidant-rich pumpkin seed oil and oatmeal helps moisturize dehydrated, stressed skin. sexyhair.com
June Jacobs' Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Mask ($76) is a worthy splurge. With the combined benefits of Vitamin A and the orange wonder fruit, it provides a spicy detox that promotes cellular turnover. junejacobs.com
For another mask option, Éminence Organic Skin Care offers a Pumpkin Latte Hydration Masque ($48). Fight the effects of environmental stress with this puree of pumpkin, Vitamin E and Omega 9 nutrients. eminenceorganics.com
Too tired for your usual 5-step routine? Indulge in the Pumpkin Pie 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($22) from Philosophy that cleanses your body and leaves your hair feeling soft and smooth. Go ahead, get seconds! philosophy.com
The doctor's in with Ayur-Medic's Pumpkin Exfoliant ($44). Without irritation, this enzyme peel sloughs away dry, dead skin cells, leaving your face smooth and ready for day cream. ayur-medic.com
Finish things off with Bath and Body Works' Pumpkin Pie Paradise ($5) body lotion: A carb-free slice of pumpkin, cinnamon and creamy caramel. bathandbodyworks.com
DIY pumpkin mask
3 tbsp of pumpkin, natural or canned
1/4 tsp of jojoba oil
1/2 tsp of honey
1/4 tsp of milk for normal to oily skin OR 1/4 tsp of buttermilk for dry skin
For really dry skin, add a few drops of evening primrose oil
Blend ingredients, apply with fingers, leave for 15 minutes, rinse.