Upgrade your skincare routine this fall with these homemade pumpkin mask recipes. From fighting acne to reducing wrinkles pumpkin offers the ultimate treat for your skin.
Why use pumpkin for skin care?
Whether you’re carving them for the kids or enjoying your third Pumpkin Spiced Frappe of the day, at this time of year pumpkins are hard to avoid. Yet despite the well-known treats, skincare fans are missing a trick – pumpkin masks.
Thanks to these homemade face mask recipes, pumpkin can penetrate deep into the skin, supplying it with powerful antioxidants and vitamins. According to experts, pumpkin also offers the following benefits for skin care:
Nourishes and Repairs
“Pumpkins are almost the perfect skin care ingredient, says Trish Heitz, licensed NYS esthetician and advanced skin care trainer. It has “enzymes to break down dead skin, and multiple nutrients to infuse into the skin such as vitamins A, C, E, magnesium, zinc and omega -3 fatty acids. It also has an abundance of antioxidants which helps repair skin from free radical damage, especially after summer sun skin damage.”
“Pumpkins are rich in AHA (alpha hydroxy) acids, which reduce wrinkles, moisturize the skin, and generally accelerate cell regeneration. In fact, these acids are often used in beauty products because they are great at removing dead skin cells,” adds Dr. Rosmy Barrios, MD, regenerative medicine specialist in aesthetic medicine and cosmetology.
Reduces Wrinkles For a Youthful Glow
“Another vitamin that can be found in pumpkin is vitamin A, also often called retinol. This can help fight acne, eczema, or psoriasis, reduces wrinkles and aging processes in general, and actively stimulates the production of collagen,” says Dr. Barrios. “Pumpkins are also rich in vitamins such as vitamin C, which protects the skin from unwanted pigment spots, helps regulate excessive levels of melanin, revitalizes skin color, and stimulates collagen production.”
Fights Acne For Clear, Smooth Skin
“When applied directly to the face, the potassium, magnesium, and zinc found in pumpkins help in the regulation of the production of oil in oily acne-prone skin,” says Dr. Alpana Mohta, board-certified dermatologist.
According to Heitz, for oily and acne-prone skin, “the process of acne produces too many skin cells and too much oil. This causes the skin cells to block oil flow from the follicle opening, [which may] cause inflammation and eventually an infection to start (a pimple). The AHAs in pumpkin enzymes lift the debris out of the opening, [helping to] clear and smooth the skin. The additional nutrients then help to repair the skin from the inflammation.”
“For wrinkled skin, the AHAs smooth the surface leaving the skin with less lines,” adds Heitz.
Canned vs. fresh pumpkin in DIY skincare?
Before incorporating it into your skin care routine, you may be wondering whether canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin is more beneficial.
“Canned pumpkin can absolutely be used for skin care. In fact, it can be a great option for those who want to enjoy the benefits of pumpkin but don’t have the time or inclination to prepare fresh pumpkins,” says Dr. Firdous Ibrahim, cosmetic dermatologist & trichologist.
“When using canned pumpkin for skin care, be sure to look for a product that is 100% pure pumpkin, without any added sugars or other ingredients. You can use canned pumpkin in a variety of ways, including applying it directly to the skin, making a facial mask, or adding it to your favorite lotion or cream,” adds Dr. Ibrahim. “Pumpkin is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can help to reduce the appearance of redness and swelling.”
4 DIY Pumpkin Mask Recipes
“Pumpkin can help to exfoliate the skin, remove dead skin cells, and unclog pores. This makes it an ideal ingredient for facial masks and scrubs,” says Dr. Ibrahim.
Encouraged by the many pumpkin benefits and my knowledge of DIY beauty, I knew the most efficient way to incorporate pumpkin into my skincare routine is with a homemade face mask. Whether your skin craves hydration or exfoliation, these DIY pumpkin mask recipes will leave your skin glowing.
Exfoliating Pumpkin and Oatmeal Mask
“Pumpkin is also a natural exfoliant, so it can help to slough away dead skin cells and reveal fresh, glowing skin. This scrub is perfect for exfoliating dry, flaky skin,” says Dr. Mohta.
While I’ve used oatmeal in an Exfoliating Facial Scrub in the past, the addition of pumpkin takes my skincare routine to a whole new level. Just be sure to finely grind the oatmeal in a blender or coffee grinder for this recipe as it’s the main exfoliator. Oatmeal flakes that are too large may be more abrasive to the skin, while finer oatmeal flakes exfoliate more gently.
You will need:
- ½ cup pureed pumpkin
- ½ cup oatmeal, finely ground
- 1 tbsp raw honey
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Apply to the skin using a brush or clean hands and leave for about 10 minutes. As you rinse with warm water, massage the scrub onto your skin in circular motions.
Hydrating Pumpkin Face Mask
As fall starts your skin may crave hydration after the sunny months of Summer. This recipe calls for olive or almond oil to help hydrate skin. “This face mask is perfect for dry or sensitive skin types. The honey and olive oil help to hydrate and nourish the skin, while the pumpkin provides antioxidants and vitamins,” says Dr. Ibrahim. “For an extra boost of hydration, you can add a few drops of rosehip oil to the recipe. Rosehip oil is packed with fatty acids and vitamins that help to moisturize and repair the skin.”
You will need:
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 1 tsp olive oil or almond oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Apply to clean, dry skin. Leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. If your skin is particularly parched, you can then apply my DIY Facial Serum for an added hydration boost.
Pore-Reducing Pumpkin Face Mask
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of creating and using Honey Face Masks. This is because raw (unpasteurized) honey is packed with pore reducing powers as well as antioxidants to help fight wrinkles and aging skin. This paired with pumpkin puree creates the ultimate face mask for airbrushed skin as pumpkin helps to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells.
You will need:
- 2 tsp pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp raw honey
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl, and mix well. Apply this pumpkin mask to clean, dry skin. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water. Feel free to follow up with my Homemade Rose Water Toner which helps to balance the skin’s natural pH, soothe redness and also reduce pore size.
Pumpkin Body Scrub
Here’s a recipe that’s based on my DIY Coffee Body Scrub with the addition of pumpkin puree to make a nourishing, luxurious pumpkin body scrub. As well as a great way to create that spa day at home experience, this pumpkin body scrub makes an excellent homemade gift for Thanksgiving.
You will need:
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coffee grounds
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup coconut oil
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and then transfer to a jar. In the shower, wet the skin and then scoop out a small amount and massage it on the skin. Use a body brush similar to those used for dry brushing to massage in circular motions. Reapply the scrub as needed, and then rinse off. “Just remember that it is suitable for the body and not for the face because the latter’s skin is too delicate for large coffee beans, and micro tears may appear,” adds Barrios.
Glow inside and out
Alongside the benefits of these pumpkin mask recipes, consuming pumpkin in your diet can further benefit your skin as it helps repair damage from the inside out.
Why not try the following ways to incorporate pumpkin to your diet:
- Add pumpkin to your morning oatmeal
- Try Pumpkin smoothies or acai bowls.
- Swap the Halloween candy for pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack
- Throw in the slow cooker for soup or add to this Butternut Squash Soup
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- 3 Best Body Butters for DIY Skincare
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- 10 Best Essential Oils for Baths
- Ultimate Guide to Detox Baths
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