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Pumpkin - a superfood for your face

Margaret Davis


Here in the Northwest, you can always tell when Fall arrives - leaves start changing color, the rain returns, and pumpkins are everywhere! You'll find pumpkin lattes at specialty coffee shops, in crackers, pancake mix, pastas and more at Trader Joes (thank you TJs for the gluten-free pumpkin offerings!), and on doorways and porches all over the neighborhood - both decoratively carved or left in their beautifully natural state.

Put some pumpkin on your plate

Not tried pumpkin beyond the traditional pie or spiced latte? Well, you are in luck! There are lots of recipes out there that help you get the most out of the many nutritional benefits of pumpkin, especially the skin benefits you can get from eating pumpkin (and its kin, winter squashes). Look for recipes that have low or no sugar, like this thai-style, vegan pumpkin soup recipe.

Skin benefits of pumpkin, a super, duper food:

  • Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and other carotenoids found in the bright orange pulp of pumpkins help defend your skin cells against oxidative damage and protect cells from free radical damage which leads to skin aging.
  • Vitamin C in pumpkin helps combat free radical derived oxidative damage, helping promote collagen production over time for better tone and appearance.
  • Minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc can be especially beneficial for healthy skin. Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy skin and many people are believed to be deficient in it. Increasing your intake of zinc may help with acne problems.
  • Folate, needed for red blood cell development and healthy circulation, helps improve skin circulation providing the oxygen and nutrients to increase cell growth, turnover and renewal.

Hey, there's some pumpkin on your face

Pumpkin has many skin benefits when you eat it and as a face mask treatment. Yes, pumpkin on your face...on purpose!

I love our Pumpkin Enzyme Mask with glycolic acid because it does a great job treating my skin when it looks dull and congested. The exfoliating enzymes in pumpkin, along with powerful, yet gentle glycolic acid, is excellent for revealing skin that looks smoother, radiant, and revitalized. Remember, while this mask may smell like pumpkin pie, it’s not for eating ‘-)

This mask, while appropriate for most skin types, except highly sensitive types, is an active one, and I recommend you patch test first. You'll feel a tingling sensation, which is normal, and you skin will be flushed afterwards for about 10 -20 minutes.  I usually apply this mask when traveling as it helps improve the look my skin, bringing back some of circulation after sitting for long periods of time on an airplane.

Key benefits to the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask:

  • Pumpkin Fruit Purée – Loaded with skin beneficial nutrients, high in essential fatty acids and Vitamins A, C and E. Works to soften and soothe the skin and boost collagen production.
  • Glycolic Acid – An alpha hydroxyl acid that rejuvenates skin with deep exfoliation, sloughing away old surface skin cells, and helping reduce the appearance of fine lines, irregular pigmentation and age spots and decreasing enlarged pores.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg powder – These spices, frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine, have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, and help diminish acne to sun spots. Interestingly, nutmeg is a seed, not a nut!
  • Vegan, nut-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free and gluten-free.

Tip: When my skin is feeling particularly dull and in need of deep cleaning and detoxing, I add Pumpkin Enzyme Mask to our Deep Clean Charcoal Mask and apply to cleansed skin. I remove with a washcloth after about 7-10 minutes, before mask dries completely. Then, I wipe a couple of cotton pads saturated with Paxi’s Hydro-Boost Toning Mist over my face to get any remaining bits of mask off and tone the skin for the next step. I usually apply Azure Facial Serum and finish with Hydro-Firming Eye Serum and Grape Acai Firming Moisturizer.

Happy Fall everyone!

Summer is great, but can be tough on skin. Tips to keep your skin looking its best.

Margaret Davis

Ah, vacation! We work hard all year, looking forward to taking some well-earned time off to enjoy ourselves. I just returned from our family's annual summer vacation and thought I'd share a bit of what I did to keep my skin looking it's best, while enjoying the heck out of my time off. 

How to survive the long plane ride...
Having saved frequent flier miles all year long, we flew to Europe for a couple of weeks. Flying for ten hours is tough on skin. Here's what I did to cope.

Number One: Don't wear makeup. Adding serums, sprays or moisturizers over makeup clogs up pores. 

Number Two: Bring a hydrating toning mist and hyaluronic acid based serum and a facial moisturizer and apply as needed during the flight.

Number Three: Drink lots and lots of water during the flight. 

Number Four: Sleep if you can.

That covers the plane ride. Now on to the fun days of summer vacation. 

Sun, sunscreen, sweat and swimming
This year, we went to London for just one night before heading to Spain. We stopped in Barcelona for three nights (which my husband and I now refer to as "Barf-alone-a" for reasons I won't go into, but that we both have personal experience with. Let's just say you never know when good food goes bad) and Valencia for two nights.

Barcelona and Valencia both are fantastic cities and we did a bike tour in both cities. The days were hot and sunny and I wore a ton of sunscreen. We went swimming at our hotel's rooftop bar and for the most part, had fun. All that fun and sun takes a toll on the skin, so my mid-vacation skincare regime included a deep clean mask.  It only took 10 minutes to mix, apply and let the mask sit before removing with a washcloth, and it helped remove the pollution and sunscreen.

Ah, magnificent Menorca.
Our next stop was the longest part of our time in Europe. Menorca is the lesser-known island in Spain's Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea. We rented a house for the week and had fun cooking paella, drinking Spainish Rioja wine and swimming in the pool or nearby Sea. The island is just gorgeous but my skin was looking rough due to the sun, sea and sunscreen. 

Seeing as the villa we stayed at had some great views and colors, I took advantage of the location to do a photoshoot with my Paxi Skin Care with the help of some talented friends. I found an Aloe Vera plant and grabbed some goat yogurt from the fridge and whipped up a batch of Charcoal Deep Clean Mask to help fix what ailed my skin.

After a fun photoshoot, I applied the mask and left on for about 10 minutes removing while it was still a bit damp. Contrary to what you may have heard, you need to remove a clay-based mask before it is completely dry and flaky.  
What are your favorite tips for keeping your skin looking its best in the summer?