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!